Wise Dan got the job done in Saturday's $500,000 Fourstardave (G2) at Saratoga and is now a graded stakes winner on turf, dirt, and polytrack.
I thought the combination of a yielding turf and a short price gave him the look of an underlay, and coming into the stretch my top pick Corporate Jungle looked like he could be the winner as Wise Dan was bottled up down along the inside.
John Velazquez was aboard Wise Dan and was down along the inside with plenty of horse but did not have a lane to accelerate in to.
Finally the pacesetter Get Stormy started to tire and left enough room along the inside for Velazquez to make his move, and when he did Wise Dan spurted to the front and drew away to win by five lengths.
It was a strong turn of foot that left me wondering what is next for this gelding.
In his three starts this year he has won the Ben Ali (G3) on polytrack at Keeneland earning a 117 Beyer Speed Figure, then lost the Stephen Foster Handicap (G1) on the main track at Churchill Downs by a head with a 100 Beyer.
Now he has a Grade 2 on turf on his resume for 2012.
The Woodward (G1) at Saratoga on dirt September 1 seems like a good option, but there are other options on turf including the Woodbine Mile (G1) on September 16.
We have a couple of stakes don Sunday's card at the Spa and trainer Todd Pletcher looks to continue his hot streak with juveniles when he sends out the likely favorites in both races.
Kauai Katie will be the shortest price of the day when she takes on five fillies in the $200,000 Adirondack (G2).
The fill ran huge breaking her maiden in her debut earning a 100 Beyer Speed Figure and is the 2-5 morning line favorite and may actually go off even lighter.
Pletcher will saddle a pair in the nightcap, the $200,000 Saratoga Special (G2) which drew a field of seven.
Shanghai Bobby is coming off a win in the Track Barron and likely will go off as the favorite, and the barn will also send out recent maiden winner Drum Roll.
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Here is today's opening from Saratoga to get the day off to a good start:
Analysis: Neatle the Cat gets the call and I am hoping we are back on the turf today after most of the races were washed off the turf the last two days. Our top pick makes his debut for the Kenneally barn that is 16% winners with first time starters. The colt is by Tale of the Cat out of a Alydeed mare that has dropped a couple of dirt winners but no turf winners. The colt has decent works on the morning tab and the barn hits overall at a 25% clip (with a +ROI) in turf sprints. The colt debuts with lasix and this is not a real tough looking group of state breds.
Palace was bumped on both sides coming out of the gate, saved ground early and came with a six wide bid and finished up well for third in his debut on the main track. He has come back with a bullet work on the training track and most recently a good looking work on the grass. The Mott barn usually does not have them fully cranked first time out and this guy figures to move forward with a race under his belt. By City Zip out of an End Sweep mare that has dropped a pair of dirt winners, top earner Retriever ($153K).
WIN: #2 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 2,7 / 2,7,10,12v TRI: 2,7 / 2,7,10,12 / 2,7,9,10,12
Today's Featured Race of the Day from Saratoga:
SAR Race 11 The Saratoga Special G2 (6:46 ET)
6 Shanghai Bobby 2-1
4 Southern Honor 5-1
3 Spurious Precision 5-2
7 Drum Roll 5-1
Analysis: Shanghai Bobby is perfect in two career starts and the lone stakes winner in the field. He broke his maiden in his debut back in April at the Big A and the effort was flattered when both the runner up and fourth place finisher came back to graduate in their next starts. Last out at Belmont Park the colt was bumped at the break, sent up to duel for the early lead and finished gamely to get the win in the Track Barron. The colt owns a solid pace profile throughout and has a decent enough off track pedigree if the rains come. Pletcher is winning at a 39% clip (12 for 31) with his juvenile runners here at the Spa.
Southern Honor was a much the best maiden winner last out at Philly for the Tony D. barn. The colt set the early fractions and drew off to win by 7 3/4 widening lengths in a sharp effort. He did not beat much, two he beat have come back to run, checking in fifth and eighth. The colt had a good work over the training track here for the Tony D. barn that wins at a 27% clip overall with juveniles. He will be in the mix early and is bred to like a wet track.
WIN: #6 to win at 8-5 or better.
EX: 4,6 / 3,4,6,7
TRI: 4,6 / 3,4,6,7 / 3,4,5,6,7
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.
R2: #8 Difficult Creek 12-1
R2: #12 She Be Bunny 8-1
R3: #5 Missysmmonlitmagic 12-1
R4: #7 Red Jack 8-1
R5: #2 Half Nelson 8-1
R5: #11 Big City Boy 15-1
R6: #5 Bet the Drums 10-1
R6: #4 Swinger's Party 8-1
R7: #5 Alluring Lady 10-1
R7: #9 Minnie Bear 8-1
R8: #8 And Why Not 8-1
R9: #10 Lumberjane 8-1
R10: #6 Salamera 10-1
Mike DempseyMike 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. The 2015 Triple Crown saw Mike correctly predict American Pharoah to win both the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. Mike nailed the Exacta and Trifecta in the Belmont Stakes. Mike had a solid 2014 Triple Crown race season, correctly picking the winning horse in 2 of 3 races. He selected I'll Have another to win The Preakness, and nailed Union Rags to win the Belmont Stakes as his top pick. Mike also had past succes in the Kentucky Derby, winning with Animal Kingdom in 2011 and rode his top picks, Super Saver and Street Sense, to the finish line in 2010 and 2007 respectively. No handicapper in the industry works harder to bring you analysis that produces profits at the track! Mike's Reports include his selections, detailed analysis, a fair odds line, and wagering recommendations for the entire card. Join Mike daily with top picks from Aqueduct or Gulfstream Park. You can also get his Weekend Best Plays Report in his Multi-Track package or sit at the track with him for 30 Days with his Monthly Horse Package!
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Jerry SessaJerry "Shots" Sessa has been involved in horse racing for over 30 years. He now brings his meticulous handicapping style to VegasInsider.com. When Jerry posts picks you are getting his best bets...when you win, he wins. Jerry opened the 2016 Triple Crown season by hitting his Derby Day best bet, Nyquist. He also nailed the Derby exacta for a $30.60 payout. On 4/16/16 at Keeneland, Jerry hit an $819 exacta that led to a $38k Trifecta & a $300k Super.
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