Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:03 AM
At the Gate - Friday
After Thursday’s card at Saratoga I am officially on tilt until further notice.
I do not think I have ever seen a race card with so many bonehead rides on one day, let alone at a “premier” track like Saratoga. I have been pretty critical of some of the steward’s decisions recently but after getting a look at what they have to deal with, I am starting to see just how difficult their job is.
Joel Rosario tried to bull his way through in the stretch in the fifth race aboard Sian’s Way and completely wiped out my second choice Non Finisce Mai.
Jockey Many Franco actually got disqualified aboard No More Excuses, who came over a path, but Rosario had no business trying to go through a path that did not exist.
In the ninth race is was Javier Castellano who tried to come up the rail on the betting favorite Onthemoonaagin only to see his path close up. Trainer Chad Brown’s expression after the race tells me Javier won’t be aboard her in her next start.
In the seven race I thought Irad Ortiz should have just let Miles of Humor go to the lead, but he restrained her back off the pace in second and she still finished gamely for fourth, but his passive ride might have cost her a better placing.
The collateral damage in my office was just one broken pen, and I am surprised my iPad was not broken into about six pieces.
Let’s hope the jockey colony in New York gets a good night’s rest for Friday’s card.
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Here is the opening race from Saratoga to get the day off to a good start:
SAR Race 1 Md $50,000 (1:00 ET)
2 Ballybrack Lass 5-2
1 Honey Parade 7-2
4 Vampish 2-1
5 Cassies Dreamer 9-2
Analysis: Ballybrack Lass is a $45,000 purchase debuting for the Clement barn that is 9% winners with firsters. A solid looking string of works and this gal is bred to like a wet track. She is by Super a Saver out of an Elusive Quality mare that has dropped four foals to race, all winners.
Honey Parade goes for lynch who is 8% winners with first timers. She was a $12,000 purchase, by Firsts Defence out of a Grand Slam mare that has dropped four foals to race with a pair of winners. She has one of the stronger off track pedigrees in this field.
WIN: #2 to win at 9-5 or better.
EX: 1,2 / 1,2,4
TRI: no play
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Saratoga:
SAR Race 9 Hall of Fame G2 (5:40 ET)
2 Maraud 5-1
4 Raging Bull 3-1
6 Gidu 5-2
& Combatant 10-1
Analysis: Maraud gets the call and I am hoping we stay on the grass here. This guy has run really well on less than form ground, winning the American Turf (G2) three back at Churchill Downs on yielding ground and beating Alw-1 optional claimers over ground labeled as good. He found 1 1/4 mils too tough last out in the Belmont Derby (G1) and cuts back in distance here for Pletcher. Johnny V. sticks with Gidu which should help the price on this guy.
Raging Bull was the beaten chalk last out in the Manila at Belmont Park going a mile in his stakes debut coming with a seven wide rally to finish 3 1/2 lengths back of Up the Ante. The Brown trainee graduated in his debut over good ground back in April at Keeneland.
Combatant has not tried turf but the way the barn is going this Asmussen trainee is worth tossing in the mix. He is a half to five turf winners.
WIN: #2 to win at 7-2 or better.
EX: 2,4 / 2,4,6,7
TRI: 2,4 / 2,4,6,7 / 2,4,5,6,7
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: #4 Money Purse 8-1
R3: #7 Ostrolenka 8-1
R3: #5 Stone to Gold 10-1
R6: #5 Miss Mystique 8-1
R8: #1 Mesitermind 8-1
R9: #8 Combatant 10-1
R10: #3 Flatexcel 8-1
Good luck today!