There are three stakes races today, the Grade 2 Adirondack at Saratoga, and two overnight stakes at Indiana Grand. First post, the 6th at Saratoga, is at 3:37 pm EDT.
There are three stakes races today, the Grade 2 Adirondack at Saratoga, and two overnight stakes at Indiana Grand. We’ll play all three, as well as two good allowance races from the Spa.
All of our Saratoga races are on the main track, which should be fast. The Indiana Grand races are on turf, and while track management announced on Wednesday morning that both races will stay on the grass, they will be run over a yielding turf course that will have a lot of give in it, and this will have a significant impact on how the races will be run, and the likeliest winners. With that out of the way, let’s go.
Allowance, 6 furlongs, Dirt, New York-bred Fillies & Mares 3 & Up
Seven go in this first-level allowance dirt sprint for state-bred females. 7-Eloquent Speaker has superior speed figures, good early speed, and a coveted outside post, but as she is 4/5 on the morning line, and more likely to be 1/5 when the gates open, we think she’s an underlay and a poor wagering proposition, and are looking elsewhere for the winner.
We like 2-Saratoga Beauty. She has good early speed, which the Saratoga dirt has been favoring for weeks. She did a speed-and-fade in her last, but that was at a mile, and today cuts back to six furlongs, which is the distance at which she broke her maiden two back. She’s been away for a while, having last run at Belmont Park in October, but her recent morning works suggest she will be fit, and gunning for the front. We think she’s going to get the lead, and we think the rest of the field will have a hard time catching her. We will bet her to win at 8-1. The bet: Saratoga, Race 6, $35 to win on 2-Saratoga Beauty.
Allowance, 1 ⅛ miles, Dirt, 3 & Up
This is a good first-level allowance that drew a field of eight. We like 5-Unrighteous, a Calumet Farm homebred 3-year-old colt who starts for trainer Todd Pletcher. It took him a while to figure things out, breaking his maiden in his fifth career start, but Pletcher liked his effort in that race enough to run him in the Ohio Derby, on June 27, in his next start. He fared poorly, finishing eighth, but we think he will be better for the experience, and now, dropping in a bunch of allowance horses with only a maiden win to their credit, we think he will be plenty tough. He’s a good horse, and we think that he’s very live at 10-1 odds. We will bet him to win. The bet: Saratoga, Race 8, $40 to win on 5-Unrighteous.
$150,000 Indiana Grand Stakes, 1 mile, Turf, 3-Year-Old Fillies
A full field of twelve 3-year-old fillies will go to the post for the Indiana Grand. We think most of these runners will struggle with the soft turf, but there is one we expect to relish it: 8-Outburst, who starts for trainer Eddie Kenneally. She’s an English-bred filly with European turf breeding on both sides of her pedigree, and we would normally assume that this translates to an ability to handle soft grass, we don’t have to guess with her, as she won her U.S. debut on a good Tampa Bay turf course, and we think she may even better on the even softer sod she will face today. We doubt that she will be her 10-1 morning line odds at post time -- she will probably get bet, and be a lower price -- but we like her enough that we will play her anyway. We will bet her to win. The bet: Indiana Grand, Race 7, $40 to win on 8-Outburst.
Grade 2 Adirondack Stakes, 6 ½ furlongs, Dirt, 2-Year-Old Fillies
Six juvenile fillies line up for the Adirondack, and it’s a good group, with several precocious and good-looking entrants. We’re all in on the favorite, 2-Make Mischief, as she has the best last-race Beyer Speed Figure, and also has the most early speed. This combination -- fastest early and fastest overall -- is lethal on the dirt, especially in juvenile races, and we think she is going to get the lead in this race rather easily, and from there, will be impossible to catch. We think that Make Mischief wires the field for trainer Mark Casse, and will bet her to win at 9/5. The bet: Saratoga, Race 9, $40 to win on 2-Make Mischief.
$150,000s Caesars Stakes, 1 mile, Turf, 3-Year-Olds
This is a terrific betting race, with ten colts, after scratches, going to the post. We like one who’s a big price, but who we think is sitting on a big race: it’s 8-Kinenos, who starts for Brad Cox. He’s run on soft turf twice, and acquitted himself quite nicely both times, winning an allowance at Aqueduct last November, and finishing ninth in the Transylvania at Keeneland on July 12 in his last. We think his Transyvlania is much better than it looks on paper: yes, he finished ninth in a field of ten, but he was only 2 ¼ lengths behind the winner in a race that was the definition of the term “blanket finish.” He’s a late runner, and we think that both the shape of the race, and the yielding turf, will be right up his alley. We think he’s in with a big shot at a big price, and will bet him to win at 15-1. The bet: Indiana Grand, Race 8, $40 to win on 8-Kinenos.
That’s all for today. Until tomorrow, enjoy the racing, be safe, and, as always, good luck at the windows.