SaratogaBets Handicapping - Kevin Cox's Saratoga Selections & Analysis - 9/3


Well that was a mess of a day on so many levels. 

Today's Beatable Favorite(s): None

I'd like to leave this bit of info here for y'all. When we're using the DRF Formulator platform while writing our columns, if we say "Sprints", for the most part we mean any one turn race, and when we say "Routes", we mean any TWO turn race. ( For example, we consider a 1 1/8th mile race at Belmont an elongated sprint, and a 6 1/2 furlong race at a Charles Town a route. ) We feel this way, because in our eyes, it's the number of turns that necessitate more energy than being relaxed on a straightaway. Sometimes the sample size for our study can be too large to manually break down, so there may be a few from one category in another, but usually the end result is pretty much the same. Additionally, when it comes to layoffs, we consider more than 50 days in a dirt to dirt scenario a layoff, more than 58 days in D to T or T to D a layoff, and more than 67 days in a turf to turf deal a L/O.


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Saratoga - 9/3


Race  1

1.Maker entry



Both the #1 GLYNN COUNTY ( solid last two speed figures, and overall improvement since starting things out ) and #1A LOKOYA ROAD ( trainer upgrade and in for a tag for the first time ) comprise solid factions of the Mike Maker entry. As we only like one other entrant in here, we feel this an excellent place wager, as if they run 1-2, you'll get an inflated price. #8 CEANT went for double the stud fee at auction, but is in for 1/3rd of that today ( uh oh ). Nicely bred, but take a peek in the paddock. #3 STONECASTLE has a couple of decent adjusted Beyers and has been working at long distances @ a private training center for today's return.  OFF TURF: 1A-7-6-5-3


Race  2

1.Mucho Sunshine



#5 MUCHO SUNSHINE hasn't done much to get the pulse racing of late, but with maidens we permit ourselves to go anywhere in  their P.P.'s in an effort to find something positive, and this one has a couple of decent adjusted numeros on the resume' from way back when, and there are a couple'a uncharacteristic quick morning moves on display for today's return to an all time low. #9 VERIFY has had some wide trips of late and could spice things up if able to get over to the inside & save some ground. #2 BETTS sheds the eye cups & goes turf to dirt for today's 2nd off the shelf engagement. Another one on the dropdown. 


Race  3


2.Simply Ravishing

3.Mischievous Dream

Today's featured event is named after famed conditioner P.G. Johnson, and it's a small, but competitive affair.  #4 THURSDAY got the job done in smart fashion right outta the box down at Delaware, and although the number from that day was a bit on the low side, sometimes these babies can improve by leaps & bounds. March foal is actually somewhat better bred for the green than the brown, so improvement isn't entirely out of the question, and this aptly named gal is racing on the right day of the week. #7 SIMPLY RAVISHING bested a highly thought of runner in the debut a month back, and while she may have outran her turf pedigree that day, we'd be remiss in excluding. #3 MISCHIEVOUS DREAM improved by about 20% when facing winners for the first time, and that's something that's not easy to accomplish. Jockey upgrade in play today, as Irad has returned from his injury.  OFF TURF: 4-5(MTO)-3-7-2


Race  4 

1.Blunt Force

2.Cover Photo

3.Dirty Bird

These three and no more for all our rolling action.  #4 BLUNT FORCE was a lively runner up in a near identical spot on the 24th of July, and four year old has been a part of the triple in five of her last seven as well. Carmouche having an awful stand, but we'll lean this way because of the tactical speed at this tricky distance. #1 COVER PHOTO was sent up to the Lakes for her first start off a 5+ month break in the action, and although she didn't win that day, it was a nice first step back after finishing next to last back in February. 8:4-1-2 dirt record when breaking from the innermost three slots, compared to having a 7:0-0-1 mark in all other starts definitely aids the cause, as some runners simply do better while covered up. #3 DIRTY BIRD may grind out a share. 


Race  5

1.Hot Dame

2.Cara's Dreamer

3.Niiji (AE)

#2 HOT DAME hasn't tipped her hand with any of the morning moves, but both grandsires were goodies in Storm Cat & Unusual Heat, and jock has been doing pretty well with longshots of late. Price play. #3 CARA'S DREAMER came along decently to secure 3rd place money going short right here two fortnights back, and although we normally eschew closing sprinters on the stretchout ( as they have a tendency to be overbet ), you may get some value once again with this one. #1A NIIJI (AE) is on the outside looking in, but should a couple declare, this one will be going inside to out while having some fair turf pedigree for the secondary outing.  OFF TURF: 1-4-7-2-12(MTO)


Race  6 

1.Holmdel Park 

2.Mani Pedi

3.Spin a Yarn

#1 HOLMDEL PARK is one for two going from green to brown, completed the triple in her sole try when breaking from the pine, and may surprise in just her second try on a glib surface. #5 MANI PEDI got the job done for us right here on the Queen Bee's birthday ( who always loved a good pedi ! ), and sheds 32 ounces off that score while picking up Saez for a suspended Gaffalione. #3 SPIN A YARN has won all four of her starts up in Canandaigua County, and is impossible to leave out.  


Race  7

1.Seeking Revenge

2.Sky Kitten

3.Stefanie On Fleek

#7 SEEKING REVENGE put forth an honest & daylight clear showing in this race 27 days in the rear, and has done her best work at this trip. Mild selection. #2 SKY KITTEN was all out to get up in time at the level just below this, when last in action on 8/16, and we like how this miss is progressing from a speed figure perspective as she goes along. #8 STEFANIE ON FLEEK completed the exacta in her lone try when available for purchase, and connections think enough of their chances to ship up from New Joyzee today.  OFF TURF: 7-4-1A-6-1  NOTE: AS OF 12:26, DUE TO MULTIPLE SCRATCHES THE #9 WILL BE OUR 3RD SELECTION.


Race  8 

1.Kept True


3.Miss Lily B

#5 KEPT TRUE got smacked around a bit at the onset when returning off nearly a five month sabbatical, and gave up the ghost at the halfway point when facing this type. The good news tho, is that this Gyarmati charge has won both of her "second off the shelf" deals, and has a crisp 3 fer 6 mark at the dx.; Expecting a sharp performance for today's second start with eye cups. #4 SLIMEY outran her odds in the most recent when finishing 3rd at 27-1, but seems to have a propensity for going wide, so we'll keep beneath with a chilly jock assigned. #7 MISS LILY B has been no worse than second in 10 of 11 career outings, and what the hell's wrong with that?  NOTE: AS OF 12:27, DUE TO A LATE SCRATCH THE #8 WILL BE OUR 3RD SELECTION.


Race  9 


2.Pallas Athene 

3.Niko's Dream 

#2 TASS appears to be the clear speed of this deal, and although she's failed to gain ground in the lane in four straight, there seems to be a dearth of any runners who can go with her early on. That being said, she just may surprise if able to set some easy splits. #3 PALLAS ATHENE bested half the field at 17-1 in her second start off the bench, and in her only third off the L/O foray, she missed by only a neck, improving her BSF by a few pts. in the process. #1 NIKO'S DREAM comes in today toting a string of four ( well spaced ) lifetime best #'s, has a win & a third from as many "2nd off the absence" outings, and just may sit a nice pocket trip for a barn with a lot on their plate 48 hours from now.  OFF TURF: 5-1-2-4-3


Race  10

1.Arch of Fire

2.Anything Goes

3.Ms Boombastic

#7 ARCH OF FIRE lost by just a bit over three lengths at 59-1 when going short first time out, and as the Tomlinson figure for that distance is just about the same as today's, who's to say a similar -- or even better -- performance couldn't occur with today's reduction of seven pounds in the weight department ?  #3 ANYTHING GOES has a couple of quick morning moves on the ledger for today's first afternoon trip to the frontside, and $250,000 Keeneland purchase is pretty well bred for this sorta deal. #1 MS BOOMBASTIC was an even fourth first out, and may be "fahntastic" with today's hood addition.  OFF TURF: 6-3-5-1-7 

Saratoga         ( Current ):     63-350     ( $494.80 ) Beatable   Favorites   5-21 ( 23.8% )   Favorites Win %     127-350 ( 36.3% )( As of Thursday morning )

Belmont               ( Final ):     30-249     ( $278.60 ) Beatable  Favorites  7-19  ( 36.8% )    Favorites Win %      92-249 ( 36.9% )

Gulfstream           ( Final ):     58-468    ( $865.50 )  Beatable  Favorites  2-22  ( 9.1% )      Favorites Win %    161-468 ( 34.4% )

Aqueduct Winter  ( Final ):     65-427    ( $615.10 )  Beatable  Favorites  8-18  ( 44.4% )    Favorites Win %:   174-427 ( 40.8% ) 

Graded Stakes ( Current ):       5-24        ( $45.00 )  Beatable Favorites    N/A   (  N/A )      Favorites Win %:     10-24   ( 42.5% )

All Triple Crown, Breeders' Cup, Selected Grade 1's and Travers full days  ( These are also counted in the "Dirt Tracks" category ):

( 2013-2020 Final ) 64-411  ( $581.30 ) Beatable Favorites: 18-56 ( 32.1% ) Favorite's Win %: 139-411 (33.8%)  +/-: -29.2% against a 16.8% takeout  

Poly Tracks2013-16  (All Final): 85-568          ( $819.20 )  Beatable Favorites : 15-68      ( 22.1% )Favorite's Win %: 163-587      ( 27.7% ) +/-: -27.6%  against a 15.6% takeout

Dirt Tracks  2013-20 (All Final):2599-13167 ($22,277.40) Beatable Favorites : 352-1263( 27.9% )Favorite's Win %: 5006-13250 ( 37.8% ) +/-: -15.4%  against a 16.8% takeout

Cumulative Stats    (All Final): 2684-13735 ($23,096.60)  Beatable Favorites : 367-1331( 27.6% )Favorite's Win %: 5188-13837 ( 37.5% ) +/-: -15.9%  against a 16.7% takeout