At the Gate – Friday

The feature at Saratoga for Friday is the $100,000 Tale of the Cat for three-year-olds and upward going six furlongs on the main track. The race is for non-winners of a graded stake this year.

A field of eight will go to the post led by Pat On the Back, the 2-1 morning line favorite. The Jeremiah Englehart trainee has won three of his last four starts, taking the New York bred Commentator in his last outing.

His main foe is Killybegs Captain (5-2), who exits a third-place finish in the Nerud (G2) at Belmont Park in his last start.

Coming up on Saturday we have three Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” races, one at Saratoga and two at Arlington Park, all on turf.

The highlight at the Spa on Saturday is the $500,000 Fourstardave Handicap (G1) which drew a field of 10 led by a trio of runners sent out by the Chad Brown barn.

Brown will saddle the mare Uni (5-2) taking on the boys as well as Raging Bull (3-1) and Made You Look (10-1). The winner earns a starting spot in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1).

The $1 million Arlington Million (G1) drew a field of 10 and Brown shipped in Bricks and Mortar, the 8-5 morning line favorite. The five-year-old has won five straight, winning the Manhattan (G1) in his last outing. The winner earns a berth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1).

The $600,000 Beverly D (G1) winner will get a spot in the field for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1). Also on the card three-year-olds will battle in the $500,000 Secretariat (G1) with a field of nine signed up.

Now is the perfect time to purchase my Monthly Package. It gives you a month of Saratoga Reports daily and my Best Plays Report each Saturday and Sunday.

To purchase my Saratoga Report for Friday click here.

Here is the opener from Saratoga to get the day off to a good start:

SAR Race 1 Clm $30,000 (1:00 ET)
#5 Quest for Fire 8-1
#4 El Dulce 8-5
#3 Smooth Tales 7-2
#9 No Regrets 3-1

Analysis: Quest for Fire
tries grass for the first time here for the Summers barn. Last out this heading fueled for the early lead and weakened in the stretch to finish third, beaten three lengths. He has a decent turf pedigree, by City Zip out of a Freud mare that ash dropped three other foals to race, all dirt winners but no turf winners. He is quick and Rosario sticks. If he takes to the surface switch, he may be able to beat this group at a decent price.

El Dulce set the early fractions and faded to finish 10th last out against Alw-1 foes. he takes the blinkers off and drops in for a tag here for the DePaz barn. Two back off the layoff he set the early fractions and held on for the runner up spot in a solid effort. The winner Love You Much and the third-place finisher Strong Dance both came back to win next out. The former Pletcher assistant is 21% winners overall in turf sprints and this guy is the local one to beat.

WIN: #5 to win at 5-1 or better.
EX: 4,5 / 3,4,5,9
TRI: 4,5 / 3,4,5,9 / 1,3,4,5,9

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Saratoga:

SAR Race 9 The Tale of the Cat (5:18 ET)
#2 Killybegs Captain 5-2
#3 Pat On the Back 2-1
#4 He Hate Me 5-1
#5 Skyler's Scramjet 9-2

Analysis: Killybegs Captain
was off poorly stumbling out of the gate and having to steady, tracked the early pace and just missed the place spot by a neck last out in a third place finish in the Nerud (G2), earning a career top speed fig. Two back he missed by just a neck in the Chocolate Town Sprint at Penn behind repeat winner Midtowncharlybrown, who came back to win a state bred stake at Philly in his next outing. He owns a solid pace profile throughout and finds a good spot here facing non-winners of a graded stake in '19 for the Terranova barn.

Pat On the Back tracked the early pace and battle don gamely in the stretch to prevail by a nose in the state bred Commentator last out at Belmont Park going a mile. He won the six-furlong state bred Affirmed Success tow back in the slop off a 4 1/2-month break. He returns here off a 2 1/2-month break for Englehart who is 24% winners (with a +ROI) with runners coming back off a 61-180-day break. This five-year-old seldom runs a bad one and earns consistent figures, Beyers between 96 and 99 in his seven of his last eight starts.

WIN: #2 to win at 2-1 or better.
EX: 2,3 / 2,3,4,5
TRI: 2,3 / 2,3,4,5 / 2,3,4,5,7

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.

R1: #5 Quest for Fire 8-1
R2: #6 Creative Genius 10-1
R3: #8 Snap Hook 8-1
R4: #6 Love Me Tomorrow 8-1
R5: #6 Control Group 8-1
R6: #1 Leaveuwithasmile 12-1
R7: #2 Hollywood Critic 10-1
R10: #4 Devious Charm 15-1
R10: #5 Passing Out 8-1

Good luck today!