Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:57 AM
At the Gate - Wednesday
We start off the week at Saratoga with a good 10 race card, three stakes, the opening race of the day over the jumps—the $75,000 Mrs. Ogden Phipps.
The $100,000 Mahony kicks off the stakes action on the flat, a 5 ½ furlong test on turf that drew a field of 10, nine runners along with one main track only entrant. There is a 50% chance of some scattered showers that are not supposed to arrive until late afternoon.
Trainer Jorge Navarro sends out the favorite in the Mahony in Archidust, who ran big winning the My Frenchman at Monmouth Park in his turf debut. It was also his stakes debut, drawing off to win by 2 ¾ lengths and earning a career top speed figure.
I look for every opporurtity to beat a Navarro chalk and both The Black Autumn and Uncle Benny fit the bill.
The feature is the $100,000 Evan Shipman for New York breds going nine furlongs on the main track. Trainer John Kimmel sends out the 6-5 morning line favorite Mr Buff.
The gelding took the field gate to wire to win the state bred Saginaw last out, his fifth win in his last seven starts. Junior Alvarado has the call but at a short price let’s attempt to beat him as well.
As you can see below, I went with Control Group for the Rudy Rodriguez barn. The five-year-old won at Finger Lakes last out and makes his third start off the bench. Luis Saez picks up the call and if he goes off near his 8-1 morning line I’ll be happy.
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Here is the second race (the opener is a steeplechase) from Saratoga to get the day off to a good start:
SAR Race 2 Md $25,000 (1:22 ET)
#7 Legion Storm 5-2
#1 Bears Mafia 8-5
#6 Fortune Smiles 12-1
#2 The Confidante 8-1
Analysis: Legion Storm made a good late rally to finish in the runner up spot last out for a $25,000 tag and he has landed in the money in 8 of his dozen starts. He was 10 3/4 lengths clear of the third-place finisher Quintarelli, who graduated in his next outing on July 29 at Finger Lakes. He makes just his second start off the claim by the Atras barn that does good with recent acquisitions. Saez sticks and he finds a group here he can handle.
Bears Mafia drops back in for a tag after a sixth-place finish last out on turf here. The gelding has been better on dirt and was a good second on the main track at Aqueduct back in April in his first start after Levine took over the training duties. He reunites with Carmouche who was aboard that day. Pedigree wise he seems more suited for the main track.
WIN: #7 to win at 2-1 or better.
EX: 1,7 / 1,2,6,7
TRI: 1,7 / 1,2,6,7 / 1,2,6,7,8
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Saratoga:
SAR Race 9 The Evan Shipman (5:06 ET)
#9 Control Group 8-1
#2 Mr. Buff 6-5
#4 Dynamax Prime 5-1
#7 Gio d'Oro 8-1
Analysis: Control Group prompted the early pace and drew clear in the stretch to beat allowance foes at Finger Lakes last out over a wet track. This guy was beaten by Mr. Buff three back in the state bred Alex Robb in the mud at the Big A. The RRod trainee looks primed for a top effort third off the bench here and he should get a good tracking trip behind what appears likely to be a sharp early pace. The five-year-old ran third in this race last year. He won his first two starts over the Spa main track, both wins coming in '17. Saez picks up the call and this son of Posse rarely runs a bad one, winning 10 of 25 starts and has landed in the money 19 times. Looks as if he has the best shot of beating the chalk in here. He is 5 for 11 at nine furlongs.
Mr. Buff took the field gate to wire to win the state bred Saginaw last out by 6 1/4 lengths. It was a near career top, that fig coming four back when he won the Jazil at Aqueduct at nine furlongs back in January. He does his best work when able to control the pace and there are a couple of runners in her that can give him a test early. He beat state bred Alw-2 foes here last summer by nine lengths in a gate to wire score. The Kimmel trainee is imposing but is going to be a light price again in this spot.
Dynamax Prime stalked the early pace and finished up well while no match to the chalk in here in a runner up finish in the Saginaw, beaten 6 1/4 lengths for the top spot. He was claimed for just $12,500 by the Gonzales barn and when he landed with Rob Atras, he beat state bred Alw-1 and Alw-2 foes in his first two starts. The gelding is going to get a good pace set up. He has won at 1 1/4 miles and has a runner up finish at today's distance.
WIN: #9 to win 5-1 or better.
EX: 2,9 / 2,4,7,9
TRI: 2,9 / 2,4,7,9 / 2,3,4,7,9
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: #6 Fortune Smiles 12-1
R2: #2 The Confidante 8-1
R3: #9 Wild Boar 10-1
R5: #1 Funnypointofview 8-1
R8: #4 Laser Loop 8-1
R9: #9 Control Group 8-1
R9: #7 Gio d’Oro 8-1
Good luck today!