Friday, July 18, 2014

July 18, 2014: Saratoga and Del Mar Plays

Saratoga

Race 2: Maiden Special Weight (5.5f): #3 By the Moon (M/L 8/1)
Michelle Nevin's first time starter stats this year aren't good, which makes this a lukewarm selection, but everything about the breeding of this filly screams early developer. Indian Charlie won his first four starts (one as a two-year-old) and is a pretty good sire of debut starters and the dam of this filly is the Malibu Moon mare named By the Light, who won her first five starts (four as a two-year-old) and blew 'em away over this distance in her debut. She's been working just about as fast as who I feel is the most likely winner in Wall Street Lady, but the nicer price makes this gal our top selection.
Others to consider: #8 Wall Street Lady (M/L 3/1)

Race 3: G3 Schuylerville Stakes (6f): #4 Fashion Alert (M/L 3/5)
Not much to say here, but I really tried to find a case to make for another runner in here and I really couldn't. Although Take Charge Brandi ran nicely in debut, but the speed figs for Fashion Alert's debut were faster in a race where she ran further and against what I considered a stronger field. She enters this with faster works and Pletcher's two-year-olds are in flying form. It pains me to land on a 3/5 shot, but just single and move on. 

Race 4: Maiden Special Weight (6f): #3 Mumtaazah (M/L 5/2)
In what figures to be a bit of a chalky segment of the card, the Kiaran McLaughlin trained daughter of Tapit returns from a lengthy break with first time Lasix after finishing second to the talented, and dearly departed, Onlyforyou after what was a bit of a troubled trip in debut. McLaughlin is one of the best in priming horses to run off these extended layoffs, so expect her to be ready to run. 
Others to Consider: #7 Premura (M/L 5/1)

Race 9: Sir Cat Stakes (8f, turf): #8 Gourmet Delight (M/L 30/1)
Is this son of Gottcha Gold the most talented runner in this field -- probably not. He does only have a maiden win to his name, but I think he could very well get the perfect pace setup that could see him finishing in the placings. He's one his only start on the turf (albeit a maiden race), but he did so despite being completely blocked on the stretch and having to steady before being redirected around a wall of horses at Monmouth over this distance. While it was only a maiden win, he did defeat Clement and Pletcher firsters in doing so despite running closer to a solid pace than either of them. Not your most likely winner, but could hit the board at a monster price. As for the others, Storming Inti is about as consistent as they come, but he runs much better on the lead and as a result, it's hard for me to not see him Ring Weekend, and potentially Tourist getting into a duel up front. Cabo Cat, the one true closer in the field, is the most likely winner given the potential pace scenario and the company he's run with this year, but he tends to play the role of fast closing runner-up more often than winner. 
Others to Consider: #2 Cabo Cat (M/L 4/1), #5 Tourist (M/L 8/5)

Del Mar

Race 6: $80,000 Allowance Optional Claiming (5f, turf): #3 Wine Police (M/L 6/1)
It's fair enough to say he's struggled as of late, but also remember that he finished second two-back in a G3. Perhaps the switch to turf is a bit of a question mark, but he has won over synthetic in the past and gets a major class drop here. 

Race 7: California Thoroughbred Breeders' Association Stakes (5.5f, AW): #7 Lost Bus (M/L 5/2)
This daughter of Bring the Heat won impressively in debut over 4.5 furlongs at Santa Anita with Espinoza aboard (who retains the mount here). She flashed plenty of speed and simply ran away from the field late. Her breeding suggests synthetic shouldn't be an issue, but she will need to get in a decent position early to combat her post position given the inside seemed the place to be yesterday. 
Others to Consider: #4 Desert Thief (M/L 8/1), #3 Singing Kitty (M/L 3/1)

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