God's Tipster's Saturday Saratoga and Monmouth Park Picks: 8 races including the United Nations, TVG Haskell
Friday’s Recap from Saratoga:
(All odds US)
Replays for Friday’s races from Saratoga can be found here:
Race 3: SCRATCH
Race 4: 4th@ 3.95/1
Race 7: 1st@ 2.70/1 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
Race 8: 5th@ 6.80/1
As expected we were off the turf for most of Friday’s races after a rainy start to the day. We began the day with a scratch in Race 3. In Race 4, well I guess we can hold off the horse of the year discussions on Lost Ark as he wasn’t able to keep pace with the top three and checked in a disappointing fourth. In Race 7, Abadin gave us our first win of the week with a gate to wire maiden score without any anxious moments. In Race 8 Curbstone, who I had hoped would set the pace from his rail post, broke last and had to play catch-up. He’s not used to coming from off the pace but he did today and checked in fifth.
Let’s take a look at some Saturday Saratoga races along with some races on the Haskell card at Monmouth! Fast and firm conditions are expected at both locations. Let’s get started!
Race 1: Fortune Seller - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 3/1)
Maidens go a mile and a sixteenth on the inner turf. The duo of trainer Kevin Rice and jockey Jose Ortiz teamed up on July 7 to win a turf race at Belmont with the second time starting She’s Fire, and I’m looking for lightning to strike twice as Fortune Seller debuts for those same connections. Sired by the great Kitten’s Joy this two-year-old colt had a bunch of fast looking workouts over the polytrack at Presque Isle Downs capped off with three consecutive five furlong drills. This one looks live to start the day.
Race 5: Undervalued Asset - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 2/1)
Fillies and mares sprint 7 furlongs in this allowance race. Undervalued Asset exits a narrow loss to Vahva, who would run third in the Grade 3 Victory Ride in her next start. From a class standpoint she lays over these and with top notch connections in her corner, 2/1 morning line odds look like a bargain.
Race 8: Scramble - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 8/1)
Allowance/optional claimers go a mile and a sixteenth on turf. Scramble appears to have enough early speed near the inside where he should get the jump on some of his competitors. The lower profile connections should help keep the odds a little more on the fair side but this guy gets Lasix for the first time in his career which should help his staying power just a bit. Scramble is also back facing weaker after running into Kalik two back (who would return to win a Grade 2) and then running into Program Trading and Operation Torch last time out - who both look like future stakes winners.
Race 10: Victorious Wave - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 15/1)
Allowance sprinters go 6 furlongs here and most eyes will be drawn to the 8 horse, Accretive, who began his career with a strong win followed by a narrow Grade 2 loss right here at Saratoga. He looks fine and might be best but at short odds I’ll give a look to a live longshot named Victorious Wave. This guy ships in from Finger Lakes but had raced on the Aqueduct circuit this last winter. This four-year-old gelding possesses dangerous early speed and has won 5 of 11 starts so he can certainly carry that speed if left alone up top.
Race 7: Internal Capital - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 5/2)
Allowance runners race a mile on turf. Chad Brown has Internal Capital, who I have to believe will be lower than his 5/2 morning line by post time. Brown’s winning at 34% for the meet and this guy broke his maiden over this very surface. He’s been off since October but he’s been working well in preparation for this for a barn that wins with layoff runners like these 30% of the time.
Race 9: Witty - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 9/2)
Turf sprinters go 5 1/2 furlongs in the Wolf Hill and there should be plenty of pace on early - the question is who will be there when the dust settles. Witty is my pick and although he’s only had two career turf starts it was his most recent effort that impressed me the most and earned this selection. Last time out at Laurel Park against stakes company he sat off a slowish early pace and came with a strong late rally - albeit a bit too late. Today he gets a rematch against Fore Harp who defeated him last time out but there should be plenty more pace on today to set up his late kick.
Race 11: Catnip - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 4/1)
The Grade 1 United Nations at a mile and three eighths on turf is our co-feature of the day. This turf course can be very speed favoring and while So High looks like the cheap speed in here I think Catnip should sit the trip just off that one. Catnip is 4 for 7 lifetime, winning the Grade 3 Monmouth last time out over this very turf course. While he’s never been this far before he’s bred to handle it and hails from a barn that’s winning at 29% for the meet so far. Joel Rosario fit this one like a glove last time and he’s back again. From just off the pace.
Race 12: Tapit Trice - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 3/1)
The Grade 1 TVG Haskell at a mile and an eighth is the marquee race on the Monmouth Park racing calendar and a prep for the Grade 1 Travers later in August. Love him or hate him, Bob Baffert has won this race 9 times and he’ll be going for his tenth today with Arabian Knight. This guy is 5/2 on the morning line but is likely to be closer to 8/5 by post time which is interesting because he’s only a Grade 3 winner that’s raced twice and has no races since January and he’s going to be favored off a layoff against the Kentucky Derby and Blue Grass winners. He also faces pace pressure from Extra Anejo from his immediate inside. Tapit Trice would be the beneficiary of any pace in this race. He didn’t have the best trip in the Kentucky Derby and ran well enough in the Belmont Stakes making me think he deserves another look here. I considered the Belmont the strongest of the three Triple Crown races this season and his guys top notch connections just add to the appeal.
Best of luck to all our members playing Saturday’s races from around the U.S.!