Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:03 AM
At the Gate - Wednesday
We are nearly halfway through the Saratoga meeting, with day #17 on tap on Wednesday and there really has not been too many surprises so far.
Chad Brown has opened up a clear lead in the trainer standings with 18 winners from his 68 starters, hitting at a 26% clip. Brown won 39 races last year, landing him in second behind Todd Pletcher, who saddled 40 winners.
Steve Asmussen is having a strong meeting, winning with 11 of 36 starters (31%). Last summer the barn was 9 for 64 (14%).
Pletcher has won with 10 of 53 starters (19%) so far at the meeting. He won at a 24% clip here last summer and it seems his barn is not hitting on all cylinders so far this meet. He has sent out 16 runners that have gone off as the betting favorite and only three have won.
One area Pletcher is not hitting is with his first timers. He has sent out 11 and only won with one to date.
The biggest surprise among the jockeys is the slow start by Jose Ortiz, who won the jockey title last summer. He has moved up to eighth in the jockey standings with 10 winners from 91 mounts, hitting at just a 11% clip.
His brother Irad leads all jockeys with 23 winners, six more than Luis Saez. Javier Castellano has booted home 16 winners and Ricardo Santana Jr. is having a good meet with 13 winners, doing his best work teaming up with Asmussen.
Still looking to get off the duck are trainer Graham Motion (0 for 19) and Bruce Brown, David Cannizzo, and Gary Sciacca who are each 0 for 12 at the meet.
The jockeys with the most mounts still looing for a trip to the winner’s circle are Mike Luzzi and Abel Lezcano at 0 for 14. Julien Leparoux is having a tough meeting, winning with just one of his 31 mounts.
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Here is the opening race from Saratoga to get the day off to a good start:
SAR Race 1 Clm $14,000N3L (1:00 ET)
4 Fillet of Sole 7-5
1 Sumner 8-5
3 Brockton George 3-1
5 Run Bayou Bird 10-1
Analysis: Fillet of Sole tracked the early pace and weakened to finish fourth last out against $35,000 non-winners of three in his first start off the claim by the Servis barn. He was claimed two back at this level where he pressed the early pace and weakened to finish third behind repeat winner Sparty Boy, who came back to beat $25,000 non-winners of four in his next outing on May 27. This guy owns solid early and mid pace numbers and while Servis has won with just 2 of his first 14 starters at the meeting he could have a big day today.
Sumner drops back in for a tag here after a fifth last out in stakes company at Philly. The colt graduated for a $12,500 tag and then beat $30,000 non-winners of two in his first go against winners, both of those wins coming at Gulfstream Park. He will be tough here on the class drop for Pletcher.
WIN: #4 to win at 8-5 or better.
EX: 1,4 / 1,3,4
TRI: no play
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Saratoga:
SAR Race 9 The Quik Call (5:40 ET)
1 World of Trouble 3-1
11 Coltandmississippi 8-1
7 Dirty 5-1
6 Shangroyal 8-1
Analysis: World of Trouble makes his first start on turf here for the Servis barn that is 35% winners (with a +ROI) overall in turf sprints. This guy won the seven-furlong Pasco by 13 3/4 lengths in his first start this year then ran well in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) in a third-place finish. He returns in the Woody Stephens (G2) off a three-month breaking and weakened to finish fourth after pressing the early pace. The colt has a decent enough turf pedigree, out of a Valid Expectations mare that has dropped four other winners including one turf winner.
Coltandmississippi was the beaten chalk last out going a mile on turf at Gulfstream Park where he tracked the early pace, got into the mix on the far turn and ran out of gas in the stretch in a seventh-place finish. Three back going six furlongs on turf in the Bridgetown he made a good late rally to finish third, beaten just a half-length for the top spot. The runner up in that race was Nootka Sound, who came back to win the off the turf Soaring Softly (G3) in her next outing on May 19. The blinkers come off and he cuts back to a spring here for Pletcher who is 21% winners moving runners form route to sprint.
Dirty has won three of his last four starts, last out beating Md bred or sired Alw-2 foes by five lengths at this distance. The colt took the field gate to wire two back to beat $50,000 starter allowance foes at Belmont Park. The Englehart trainee comes in here off a career top where he won with a little something left in the tank.
WIN: #1 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 1,11 / 1,6,7,11
TRI: 1,11 / 1,6,7,11 / 1,2,6,7,11
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: #5 Run Bayou Bird 10-1
R2: #10 Nazay 8-1
R4: #1 On Patrol 8-1
R5: #6 Early Retirement 8-1
R6: #6 Held Accountable 10-1
R7: #10 Blurred Line 8-1
R9: #11 Coltandmississippi 8-1
R9: #6 Shangroyal 8-1
R10: #9 Thefinalcrazydude 15-1
Good luck today!