Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:03 AM
At the Gate - Sunday
We were off the turf at Saratoga on Saturday except for the fifth race and the final two races on the card, the Lure and Waya were postponed and will be made up next weekend.
The sun was out most of the day until just before the Whitney when lighting and rain caused a 45-minute delay.
Diversify ran them off their feet in the Whitney with my top pick Mind Your Biscuits landing in the bottom half of the exacta.
I am hoping we are back on the grass on Sunday as the feature is the $200,000 Troy Handicap (G3) which drew a field of eight led by Disco Partner, the Christophe Clement trainee who has won 9 of 19 career starts on turf.
The six-year-old cuts back from a mile where he was fifth in the Forbidden Apple and is back doing what he does best, sprinting on the turf. The question mark is how he will handle ground less than firm and at a light price.
As you can see below I am going to try and beat him for the top spot with Holding Gold, who is coming off a good effort in a third-place finish in the Highlander (G3) at Woodbine.
Sunday’s Best Plays Report includes my nine strongest plays from Del Mar and Saratoga including the stakes action.
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Here is the opening race from Saratoga to get the day off to a good start:
SAR Race 1 Md Sp Wt (1:00 ET)
#6 What a Fox 3-1
#1 Mo Wheels Up/ 1a Lady T N T 5-2
#5 Into Mystic 8-5
#4 Tweedia 8-1
Analysis: What a Fox is sent out by the Asmussen barn that is 18% winners with firsters and has won with 2 of his first 3 firsters sent out at this meeting, both with Santana in the irons. The filly is by Bernardini out of a stakes placed Tale of the Cat mare that has dropped four runners with a pair of winners. Solid works and this barn's two-year-old have been firing.
Mo Wheels Up is working sharply in the mornings for the Sharp barn that is 17% winners with firsters. She is by Uncle Mo out of the stakes winner Smarty Deb ($171,055) who has dropped four foals to race, all winners, top earner stakes winner Wild About Deb ($312,870). She looks ready to fire.
Into Mystic is a $650,000 Ocala purchase sent out by the Pletcher barn. The trainer is 29% winners with firsters overall but just 1 for 8 through Friday here at this meeting.
WIN: #6 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 1,6 / 1,5,6
TRI: no play
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Saratoga:
SAR Race 5 The Troy Hcp G3 (3:15 ET)
#2 Holding Gold 9-2
#3 Disco Partner 8-5
#6 Blind Ambition 5-1
#7 Sandy'z Slew 7-2
Analysis: Holding Gold is going to offer more value than the favorite here and he is capable of pulling off a mild upset here. Last out he came with a good late rally splitting rivals to finish third in the Highlander (G1) going six furlongs. Two back he came with a seven-wide run to finish fourth in the Jaipur (G2) in his first go after coming back from Dubai. The main question mark is whether he gets enough early pace to run at. He looks primed for a top effort in his third start of his current form cycle.
Disco Partner cuts back from a mile where he was bumped coming out of the gate and did not show his usual punch in a fifth-place finish, beaten three lengths. He won the Jaipur (G2) two back and is now 9 for 19 on turf in his career. The cut back here suits for the Clement barn that is 30% winners (with a +ROI) moving runners from route to sprint. The last time he went from a mile to a sprint he won the Belmont Turf Sprint last fall. He has won over ground less than form. The main knock is I doubt we see anything close to the 8-5 morning line.
WIN: #2 to win at 7-2 or better.
EX: 2,3 / 2,3,6,7
TRI: 2,3 / 2,3,6,7 / 1,2,3,6,7
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Del Mar:
DMR Race 8 The Sorrento G2 (5:33 PT)
#10 Del Mar May 9-2
#2 Dragic 8-1
#3 Bellafina 7-2
#7 Stirred 5-1
Analysis: Del Mar May was a good second to the highly regarded Brill in her debut, that filly a $1 million purchase out of the Hollendorfer barn. Our top pick was nearly six lengths clear of the rest of the field in the promising effort. Nakatani should be able to work out a trip breaking from the far outside and she owns the top last out speed fig. She is out of a stakes placed Malibu Moon mare that has dropped two other foals to race, one winner.
Dragic was a sharp maiden winner at the spring Keeneland meeting for the Ward barn. She returns off nearly a four month break off works at Keeneland and one local drill She is out of the stakes winner Letgomyecho ($136,200) who has dropped five other winner, top earner stakes winner J Boys Echo ($373,946). Ward is 18% winners with runners coming back off a 61-180-day layoff.
WIN: #10 to win at 7-2 or better.
EX: 2,10 / 2,3,7,10
TRI: 2,10 / 2,3,7,10 / 2,3,7,8,10
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 Tweedia 8-1
R2: #3 Bernardino 8-1
R2: #7 Okeamo 15-1
R6: #5 Irish Intuition 10-1
R7: #3 I’m an Ocala Dude 12-1
R9: #4 Thunder Mesa 15-1
Good luck today!