At the Gate - Saturday
August 11, 2012
By Mike Dempsey
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It looks as if today's feature at the Spa, the $500,000 Fourstardave Handicap (G2) will stay on the grass, unless we get more showers later this afternoon.
As of this morning the main track is muddy and the turf course yielding, with races 1,2,4,7 washed off the grass.
The Fourstardave drew a competitive field of nine with Wise Dan the 5-2 morning line favorite despite having just two career starts on grass.
The five year old gelding is coming off a game effort on the main track in a neck loss to Ron the Greek in the Stephen Foster Handicap (G1) at Churchill Downs on June 16.
He will be making his first start on grass since a fourth place finish in the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) at Keeneland last fall.
I am going to stay on the Chad Brown bandwagon and go with Corporate Jungle, who is coming off a fifth place finish in the Shoemaker Mile (G1) at Betfair Hollywood Park, which capped a three race win streak for the colt.
The race will be televised live on NBC Sports Network. The one hour telecast gets underway at 6:00 ET.
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My Best Plays Report for Saturday includes my eight strongest plays from Monmouth Park and Saratoga.
Here is today's opening from Saratoga to get the day off to a good start:
SAR Race 1 Clm $20,000N2L (1:00 ET)
1 Zeemut 7-2
7 Market Princess 5-2
9 Bakin' With Cindy 2-1
3 Audington 8-1
Analysis: Zeemut drops back in for a tag for her local debut after checking in a non threatening sixth last out against Alw-1 foes on the turf at Ellis Park. Two back off a 2 1/2 month break this gal was a decent forth against $25K non-winners of two, beaten 1 1/2 lengths for the top spot. The winner and fifth place finisher exited that race to win their next starts. She is winless in nine starts on turf, but catches a softer group here and one of her best efforts on turf came over ground with some give to it when she was beaten just a neck against Alw-1 foes last August in her first go against winners. The rain was coming down yesterday and the turf course figures to be less than firm today.
Market Princess was seventh last out at this level here but she had a rough trip, unable to find any running room throughout the stretch. Two back she made a good late rally to finish in the runner up spot, beaten two lengths for the top spot. A clean trip here puts her right in the mix in this spot.
WIN: #1 to win at 3-1 or better.
EX: 1,7 / 1,3,7,9
TRI: 1,7 / 1,3,7,9 / 1,3,4,7,9
Today's Featured Race of the Day from Monmouth Park:
MTH Race 10 The Monmouth Oaks G3 (5:26 ET)
5 Morrow Cove 9-5
6 Jemima's Pearl 5-2
1 Wine Princess 2-1
3 Defy Gravity 8-1
Analysis: Morrow Cove earned a career top last out winning the Serena's Song in a sharp win, drawing clear to win by 4 3/4 widening lengths. The two month break seems to have agreed with her and she owns solid early and mid pace numbers and is bred to handle a wet track. Pletcher is hitting at a 27% clip at the meeting and this gal he sends out here still has upside potential. She looks capable of winning right back.
Jemima's Pearl broke poorly and was not a threat in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) last out, sent off at 15-1 in the 14 horse field. Two back she made a mild late rally to finish third in the Fantasy (G2) at Oaklawn Park. She is better than she showed in the Oaks and she makes her first start here for the Calhoun barn that takes over from Baffert. The barn hits at a 22% clip with runners coming back off a 61-180 day layoff.
Race Rating: $$$
WIN: #5 to win at 8-5 or better.
EX: 5,6 / 1,5,6
TRI: no play
Today's Featured Race of the Day from Saratoga:
SAR Race 11 The Fourstardave G2 (6:45 ET)
7 Corporate Jungle 6-1
1 Data Link 3-1
3 Get Stormy 4-1
2 Wise Dan 5-2
Analysis: Corporate Jungle me up short last out when shipped to the left coast for the Shoemaker Mile (G1), checking in fifth and beaten two lengths for the top spot. The loss snapped a three race win streak and the race has produced a couple of next out stakes winners. The runner up Suggestive Boy came back to win the Wicker at Del Mar and the seventh place finisher Hudson Landing won the Mt. rainier at Emerald Downs in his next start. The colt broke his maiden over the Spa turf here last summer and is 4 for 7 at one mile on the grass including wins in the Appleton (G3) and Elkwood. He fits here with his best and may end up a decent price here in a wide open field.
Data Link made a good late rally to win the Monmouth (G2) last out as the heavy favorite. The colt won the Makers Mark (G1) three back at Keeneland, and then two back had a tough trip in a fifth place finish in the Woodward Reserve Turf Classic (G1). He was squeezed back at the start, came with a good rally but had to steady when blocked in traffic midstretch and then could not make up any ground late on the loose on the lead winner Little Mike. The colt looks as if he is sitting on a good one here for the Shug barn.
Get Stormy tracked the early pace and could not match strides with Data Link in the stretch last out in the Monmouth. He has a Grade 1 win this year, taking the Gulfstream park Handicap back in February and won this race back in '10. He has done some of his best running over the Spa turf where he has won four of his six starts with one runner up finish.
Wise Dan was a game second to Ron the Greek in the Stephen Foster Handicap (G1), beaten just a head. The winner came back to run second in the Whitney Handicap (G1) in his next start here on Aug. 4. The Charles Lopresti has done his best work on the fake stuff, winning five of seven. He has just two starts on turf in his career, a win in the Firecracker (G2) last summer at Churchill Downs and a fourth in the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) last fall at Keeneland. His pedigree does not lean toward turf and his price is going to be on the light side.
WIN: #7 to win at 4-1 or better.
EX: 1,7 / 1,2,3,7
TRI: 1,7 / 1,2,3,7 / 1,2,3,4,7
These are price plays for exotic players looking to find a couple of extra contenders to use in their trifecta and superfecta wagers. Or for those with smaller bankrolls, you might want to get in a small win-place wager.
R1: #3 Audington 8-1
R4: #6 Night Editor 8-1
R6: #8 Majestic Hussar 12-1
R7: #5 Tiny Predicament 10-1
R8: #8 Imduce 8-1
R9: #2 Shankopoyamus 8-1
R10: #5 Coexist 8-1
R10: #1 Green Monster 15-1
Good luck today!
HORSE RACING EXPERT
Mike covers the New York racing circuit (Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga) year round as well as Keeneland, Churchill Downs, the Triple Crown, and the Breeders’ Cup.
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