At the Gate - Thursday
August 28, 2014
By Mike Dempsey
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Entries for Saturday’s stakes at Saratoga came out yesterday and a field of 10 will line up in the marquee event of the afternoon, the Grade 1 $600,000 Woodward at nine furlongs on the main track. The race is not a “Win and You’re In” race, but certainly will give us a look at contenders for the Grade1 1, $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic.
One horse missing is Palace Malice, who will skip the Woodward and point toward the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup on Sept. 27 at Belmont Park.
The favorite for the Woodward is the Eric Guillot trained Moreno, who is coming off a career best effort in his gate to wire win in the Whitney (G1) at Saratoga on Aug. 2.
Moreno is currently sitting at 25-1 in Breeders’ Cup Classic Future odds released by Sportsbook.ag this week. Junior Alvarado will have the return ride on the four-year-old gelding.
His main foe may be Itsmyuckyday (5-2) who stalked the early pace and finished up well for the runner up spot in the Whitney. The colt won his three previous starts including the Grade 3 Salvatore Mile. Paco Lopez rides for trainer Eddie Plesa, who will add blinkers on the colt.
The hot Chad Brown barn sends out Zivo (5-1) who has won six races in a row, last out taking the Suburban Handicap (G2) at Belmont Park.
Saturday’s 12-race card features the Grade 2, $300,000 Prioress, Grade 1, $500,000 Forego, and the Grade 2 $250,000 Bernard Baruch Handicap.
NBC Sports Network will cover the action on Saturday at 6:00 p.m. ET. The Forego is a ‘Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint.
Here is a look at the top contenders for the Breeders’ Cup Classic and their current betting odds:
Breeders’ Cup Classic Future Odds:
Shared Belief 2/1
California Chrome 3/1
Palace Malice 4/1
Will Take Charge 5/1
Game On Dude 12/1
Wicked Strong 15/1
Clubhouse Ride 20/1
For a complete list of Breeders’ Cup Future Odds check out Sportsbook.ag.
To purchase my full card report for Saratoga for Thursday click here.
Here is today’s second race (the opener is a steeplechase) from Saratoga to get the day off to a good start:
SAR Race 2 Md $50,000 (1:00 ET)
2 Peanutsnpopcorn 10-1
4 First Bid 5-2
6 Better Man 4-1
8 Fruit Ludt 3-1
Analysis: Peanutsnpopcorn stretches out to nine furlongs off a couple of tries at seven, a fifth in his debut and a sixth in his second career start, beaten three lengths. Zito usually does not have them fully cranked early and this guy has enough pedigree to handle the extra ground. He is by Afleet Alex out of the stakes winner Ninth Inning ($150,452). Zito is 14% winners moving runners from sprint to route.
First Bid tracked the early pace and was weakening in the stretch when he had to steady between foes in deep stretch. He makes his second start off a seven-month layoff and he drops in for a tag for the first time. Nine furlongs should be no problem for him as he has a long-winded pedigree, by Derby winner Street Sense out of an A.P. Indy mare.
WIN: #2 to win at 9-2 or better.
EX: 2,4 / 2,4,6,8
TRI: 2,4 / 2,4,6,8 / 1,2,4,6,8
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Saratoga:
SAR Race 8 Clm $50,000 (4:16 ET)
6 Indian Starlight 5-1
7 Lady's Lunar Luck 3-1
4 Scenario Analysis 4-1
9 Edie 5-2
Analysis: Indian Starlight chased thee early pace and faded to finish a well beaten 12th last out against a solid group of Alw-1 foes. The top two in the race came back to win next out, the winner Crown Queen winning the Lake Placid (G2) here on Aug. 16. The mare makes her third start of her current form cycle and finds a good spot here tagged for $50,000. She was competitive at Keeneland back in April against Alw-1 foes in a good second and beat $25,000 starter optional claimers four back at Gulfstream Park. Decent value if she goes off near his 5-1 morning line.
Lady's Lunar Luck tracked the early pace and weakened to finish fifth last out against state bred Alw-2 optional claimers. The runner up Distorted Beauty came back to beat state bred Alw-2 company in her next start on Aug. 14. The mare was claimed out of her last outing by the RRod barn that is 30% winners (with a +ROI) first off the claim. She won back to back here last summer on the Spa turf.
WIN: #6 to win at 7-2 or better.
EX: 6,7 / 4,6,7,9
TRI: 6,7 / 4,6,7,9 / 1,4,6,7,9
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: #4 Opera House 8-1
R2: #2 Peanutsandpopcorn 10-1
R4: #6 Goodtolook 8-1
R6: #8 Birds Gone Wild 10-1
R7: #7 Amazing Anne 8-1
R7: #9 Krista’s Persona 10-1
R10: #9 Tapidor 12-1
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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