Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:03 AM

At the Gate - Wednesday

There is a two-day carryover in the Pick 6 at Saratoga on Wednesday with $166,166 in the kitty, but we may have to deal with Mother Nature once again.

There was rain overnight and some forecast for this morning, with the afternoon looking clear, and I am hoping that the weather holds out as we have six races including the opening steeplechase carded for the grass today.

The feature is the $100,000 John’s Call at 1 5/8 miles on turf for non-winners of a graded stake on turf in 2018. 16 were entered with a dozen to start if we are on the grass today.

The Chad Brown trained Call Provision is the 3-1 morning line favorite. The gelding has beaten optional claimers in his last two starts on turf at 1 3/8 miles, winning photos in both starts.

Brown is running away with the training title at the Spa, winning with 31 of his 103 starters, a 30% clip. He has runners in four races this afternoon. Todd Pletcher is a distant second with 16 winners from 90 starters (18%).

Brown also sends out Focus Group (6-1) in the John’s Call and he may offer better value. The colt is coming off a sharp win over good ground here on July 30 and looks headed in the right direction form wise.

I went looking for more value with the Bill Mott trained Patterson Cross, who was fourth behind Call Provision last out but has the ability to turn the tables.

Now is the perfect time to purchase my Monthly Package for just $99.95. It gives you a month of Saratoga (and then Belmont Park) and my Best Plays Report each Saturday and Sunday.

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Here is the third race from Saratoga (the opener is a jump race, the second a chalkfest) to get the day off to a good start:

SAR Race 3 Md Sp Wt (2:06 ET)
#4 Real Money 9-2
#3 Party With Friends 7-2
#8 Vehement 8-1
#5 Halladay 3-1

Analysis: Real Money is a $675,000 Ocala purchase making his debut for the Casse barn that is 17% winners with first timers. The colt is by Real Solution out of a Mineshaft mare that has dropped three foals to race including a pair of turf winners and they are both stakes winners, top earner Noble Beauty ($162,100). Solid looking works on the morning tab and he may end up getting overlooked on the tote in this spot. I am hoping we are on the grass today.

Party With Friends was bumped coming out of the gate in his debut over a wet main track here, he stalked the early pace and was not a threat in the stretch in a sixth-place finish. The $200,000 Keeneland purchase is by Speightstown out of a Honour and Glory mare that has dropped six winners and three have won on turf. Brown hits at a 28% clip with second out maidens. Castellano sticks and this guy also would not mind if this comes off the grass as he is bred top and bottom to handle a wet track.

WIN: #4 to win at 3-1 or better.
EX: 3,4 / 3,4,5,8
TRI: 3,4 / 3,4,5,8 / 3,4,5,6,8

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Saratoga:

SAR Race 9 The John's Call (5:40 ET)
#5 Patterson Cross 6-1
#4 Focus Group 6-1
#10 Call Provision 3-1
#3 Wake Forest 12-1

Analysis: Patterson Cross stalked the early pace while saving ground and made a good late rally to finish fourth beaten a length behind Call Provision last outgoing 1 3/8 miles. He was a sharp winner two back against Alw-2 optional claimers. He earned three straight trip digit Beyers last year including a head loss in the MacDiamirda (G2) and a neck loss in the Pan American (G2) at Gulfstream Park going 1 3/8 and 1 1/2 miles on grass. He makes his third start of his current form cycle here for the Mott barn. He has the look of a runner that should be able to handle the extra ground here and has handled ground less than firm.

Focus Group made a good late rally over good ground here on July 30 to beat Alw-2 optional claimers. he passed is first allowance condition at Keeneland three back going 1 1/2 miles. He looks primed for a top effort in his stakes debut here for the Brown barn.

WIN: #5 to win at 9-2 or better.
EX: 4,5 / 3,4,5,10
TRI: 4,5 / 3,4,5,10 / 2,3,4,5,10

Live Longshots:
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 Caoimhe 10-1
R3: #8 Vehement 8-1
R4: #2 Molly’s Nighthawk 8-1
R7: #7 Pariapiano 10-1
R7: #6 Adorina 8-1
R8: #4 Conquest Hardcandy 8-1
R9: #3 Wake Forest 12-1
R10: #8 Filon Lynn Lion 8-1

Good luck today!

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