At the Gate – Friday

We have a good lead in to Travers Day this afternoon with New York Showcase Day with six stakes restricted to state breds.

The stakes action on the 11-race card starts off in the third which is the $250,000 Albany for three-year-olds drawing a field of seven. Sea Foam is the 2-1 morning line favorite off his win in the New York Derby at Finger Lakes.

The $200,000 Funny Cide drew seven juveniles that will go six furlongs on the main track. The Todd Pletcher trained La Fuerza (5-2) won the Rockville Centre in his stakes debut. His main foe will be recent maiden winner Bankit (2-1), who graduated at the Spa by 6 ¾ lengths in his second start.

Collegeville Girl is the 5-2 morning line favorite for the $200,000 Seeking the Ante for juvenile fillies going 6 ½ furlongs on the main track. She broke her maiden over a wet track and takes on seven foes.

The $150,000 Yaddo drew nine that will go 1 1/16 miles on the inner turf course. Fifty Five is the 8-5 morning line favorite but both Feeling Bossy (5-1) and La Moneda (5-2) look like they fit.

The $200,000 Fleet Indian is at 1 1/8 miles on dirt for three-year-old fillies drawing field of 11 and is one of the more wide open races on the card. Purely Lucky (5-1) goes turf to dirt for trainer Brad Cox while the Linda Rice trained Split Time (5-2) is likely to go off as the favorite.

The $150,000 West Point wraps up the stakes action, a field of 12 entered with two main track only entrants likely to bring the group down to 10 as the weather actually looks nice for this afternoon. Familiar names Kharafa (6-1) and King Kreesa (10-1) meet up for the umpteenth times in their career, both earners of over $1 million.

Saturday’s Travers card features seven stakes including six Grade 1 races and four Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” races.

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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)
#8 Wicked Grin 3-1
#1 Beachside / 1a Sounds Good 5-2
#3 Pipes 4-1
#7 Analyzethisandthat 9-2

Analysis: Wicked Grin makes his debut for the Clement barn that is 9% winners with first timers. Here at the Spa dating back five years the barn has hit at a 17% clip (with a +ROI) with debut runners. The gelding is by Jimmy Creed out of a Western Expression mare that has dropped two winners including one turf winner. Decent looking works on the morning tab.

Beachside makes his debut for Rice who is 17% winners with first timers. This guy is by Giant's Causeway out of a Tiznow mare that has dropped one foal to race, no winners to date. Entrymate Sounds Good is out of a More Than Ready mare that has dropped six winners including three turf winners, top earner stakes winner Iron Power ($482,081). Completes a strong entry with the Ortiz brothers taking the calls which could lead to the entry taking a bit too much play at the windows.

WIN: #8 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 1,8 / 1,3,7,8
TRI: 1,8 / 1,3,7,8 / 1,2,3,7,8

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Saratoga:

SAR Race 9 The Fleet Indian (5:49 ET)
#1 Purely Lucky 5-1
#3 Split Time 5-2
#11 English Soul 7-2
#2 Take Charge Aubrey 6-1

Analysis: Purely Lucky chased the early pace and did not have enough punch left late in a third-place finish against older open Alw-1 foes on turf going 1 1/4 miles. She is back with state breds and with three-year-old fillies here for the Cox barn that is 30% winners moving runners from turf to dirt. She only has two starts on the main track her best coming in the slop where she ran second against state bred Alw-1 optional claimers She is bred to handle nine furlongs and it looks as if she will be a fair price in this spot.

Split Time won the New York Oaks at Finger Lakes last out despite getting blocked and having to steady in traffic nearing the quarterpole, drawing clear to win by two lengths. She beat five she faces again here and two came out of the race to win next out. This will be her first trip at nine furlongs and she is bred to handle it. by Take Charge Indy out of a Not for Love mare.

WIN: #1 to win at 7-2 or better.
EX: 1,3 / 1,2,3,11
TRI: 1,3 / 1,2,3,11 / 1,2,3,8,11

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: #1 Wushu Warrior / 1a It’s Hot Out 8-1
R4: #5 Seven Jewels 8-1
R4: #8 Caralicious 10-1
R6: #7 Discretionary Marq 8-1
R8: #8 Lady Joan 8-1
R10: #7 Memories of Peter 12-1
R11: #8 No Worries Mate 15-1

Good luck today!