Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:57 AM
At the Gate - Saturday
We have three graded stakes at Saratoga on Saturday and while the $600,000 Jim Dandy (G2) only drew six runners there definitely is plenty of quality.
The Bill Mott trained Tacitus is the 7-5 morning line favorite. The colt makes his first start since a runner up finish as the beaten favorite in the Belmont Stakes (G1).
He takes on War of Will, who won the Preakness Stakes (G1) before tossing in a clunker in the Belmont where he finished ninth.
Global Campaign is coming off a victory in the Peter Pan (G3) and appears to be over his foot issues that knocked him out of the Ohio Derby (G3).
The $250,000 Bowling Green (G2) is a wide-open affair drawing a field of 13 that will go 1 3/8 miles on the turf, which was yielding on Friday. Channel Maker is the 7-2 morning line favorite for Mott.
The $350,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (G1) kicks off the stakes action. Defending champ Imperial Hint is back and makes his first start since a third in the Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1) in March.
Mitole is the even money favorite on the morning line and comes into the race having won seven races in a row. He won the stacked Metropolitan Handicap (G1) at a mile last out and shortens back up to six furlongs.
As you can see below, I landed on Firenze Fire, who is going to be a decent price. He was fifth in the Met Mile but seems to prefer six furlongs. He should be coming late.
The $300,000 Bing Crosby (G1) at Del Mar is a “Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1). A field of eight lines up and the New York shipper may be the one to beat.
Recruiting Ready ships in for trainer Stanley Hough and it looks like he made a wise choice shipping instead of staying home for the Vanderbilt at the Spa which came up tougher.
My Best Plays for Saturday includes my eight strongest plays from Saratoga and Del Mar.
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Here is the opening race from Saratoga to get the day off to a good start:
SAR Race 1 Md $40,000 (1:00 ET)
#7 Mo Fun 8-1
#3 Teachable Moment 5-2
#8 Wild Weekend 8-1
#10 South West Bay 9-2
Analysis: Mo Fun is a $270,000 Keeneland purchase making his debut for the Abreu barn that is 21% winners (with a +ROI) with first time starters. The gelding is by Uncle Mo out of an E Dubai mare that has dropped four foals to race with a pair of winners including one turf winner. A solid work tab and this barn is capable. We should catch a decent price on this gelding.
Teachable Moment dropped in for a $75,000 tag last out and checked in fourth going a mile over good turf at Belmont Park. Another drop here in for $40,000 while blinkers are added. A decent turf pedigree, by More Than Ready out of a Mizzen Mast mare that ash dropped two other foals to race with one dirt winner, no turf winners to date. A repeat of his last puts him in the mix here but with the connections the price likely is going to be on the light side.
WIN: #7 to win at 5-1 or better.
EX: 3,7 / 3,7,8,10
TRI: 3,7 / 3,7,8,10 / 3,7,8,10,11
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Saratoga:
SAR Race 9 The Alfred G. Vanderbilt Hcp G1 (5:44 ET)
#4 Firenze Fire 9-2
#3 Imperial Hint 3-1
#1 Mitole 1-1
#7 Do Share 15-1
Analysis: Firenze Fire exits the Met Mile (G1) where the colt stalked the early pace while in the three path, angled out slightly and did not have enough gas left late in a fifth-place finish. The winner paths were the best place to be that day. Two back at today's six-furlong distance he was a sharp winner of the Runhappy at Belmont Park, earning a 106 Beyer. He has run well at six furlongs and was a decent third in the H.A. Jerkens (G1) here last summer at seven furlongs. His win over the Spa main track came in the '17 Sanford (G3) at six furlongs. Servis is 28% winners moving runners from route to sprint. Among the top three logical contenders in here this guy figures to offer the best value.
Imperial Hint makes his first start since running third in the Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1) in March. He won this race last year and followed it up by winning the Vosburgh (G1), then running third in the Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1) as the beaten chalk. The barn is 17% winners with runners coming back off a 61-180-day layoff. The six-year-old has been working quickly in the mornings at Monmouth park for his return.
Mitole has won seven in a row, taking the Met Mile last out, dueling for the early led and prevailing by 3/4 of a length while down along the best part of the racing surface much of the trip. The Asmussen trainee is better sprinting, landing in the exacta in 8 of 9 trips at six furlongs. The barn is 22% winners moving runners from route to sprint. He looks imposing but has the look of an underlay in this spot.
WIN: #4 to win at 4-1 or better.
EX: 3,4 / 1,3,4,7
TRI: 3,4 / 1,3,4,7 / 1,2,3,4,7
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Del Mar:
DMR Race 7 The Bing Crosby G1 (5:39 PT)
#7 Recruiting Ready 2-1
#5 Air Strike 4-1
#6 Chief Cicatriz 12-1
#3 Cistron 5-2
Analysis: Recruiting Ready ships in from New York as Hough could have gone in the Vanderbilt (G1) but this field did not come as tough. Last out he prompted the early pace and held on until late in a third-place finish in the True North (G2) at 6 1/2 furlongs. The winner Catalina Cruiser returned to win the San Diego 'Cap (G2) in his next outing on July 20 here. The five-year-old owns a solid pace profile throughout and should get a good tracking trip behind what should be a lively pace. He has lost three in a row since taking the Gulfstream Park Sprint (G3) but looks headed in the right direction.
Air Strike was last early and came with a good late rally to get up late to win the triple Bend (G2) last out at Santa Anita at seven furlongs. The colt was cutting back from a mile where he was fourth in the Steve Sexton Mile (G3) at Lone Star. He broke his maiden over the main track here last summer going a mile. The cut back to six panels in the question mark but he should get a solid pace to run at.
WIN: #7 to win at 2-1 or better.
EX: 5,7 / 3,5,6,7
TRI: 5,7 / 3,5,6,7 / 3,4,5,6,7
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.
R1: #7 Mo Fun 8-1
R1: #8 Wild Weekend 8-1
R2: #5 Bossy Bride 8-1
R3: #3 Soul P Say 12-1
R4: #9 Sonneman 8-1
R4: #8 Always Misbeaving 8-1
R6: #7 Sweet Meadow Mist 8-1
R7: #1 Sui Moon 8-1
R8: #3 Puttheglassdown 12-1
R9: #7 Do Share 15-1
R10: #8 Zulu Alpha 10-1
R10: #11 Olympico 10-1
R11: #2 Tax 8-1
Good luck today!