At the Gate – Thursday

In addition to the $1 million Pacific Classic (G1) we have another Grade 1 race at Saratoga on Saturday—the $600,000 Alabama (G1), for three-year-old fillies.

First run in 1872, the race has been won by plenty of outstanding fillies including Go for Wand, Heavenly Prize, Blind Luck and Royal Delta.

This year’s edition drew a field of nine led by Point of Honor, who ran second to Guarana in the Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) in her last outing. She won the Black Eyed Susan (G2) at Pimlico in her previous outing.

The Chad Brown trained Dunbar has won three of her four starts, taking the Mother Goose (G2) in her last outing at Belmont Park.

Other contenders in the field include Iowa Oaks (G3) winner Lady Apple, Indiana Oaks (G3) winner Street Band and Black Eyed Susan and Iowa Oaks runner up Ulele.

Also, on Saturday’s card at the Spa is the $200,000 Lake Placid (G2) and the $100,000 Smart N Fancy.

I will have selections for the Alabama in Saturday’s column.

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 Thursday click here .

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

SAR Race 1 Clm $25,000 (1:00 ET)
#1 Frozen Hannah 7-2
#2 Amazing Audrey 6-5
#4 Bareeqa 3-1
#6 Princess Victoria 8-1

Analysis: Frozen Hannah was a sharp winner against $25,000 claimers at Indiana Grand last out in a race washed off the turf in her first start after landing with the Wilkes barn. Now it is back to turf and this mare has run well on the grass, landing in the money in 14 of 21 trips. Two back at Gulfstream Park she checked in third versus $12,500 starter optional claimers in a decent effort. The winner Una Luna came back to beat $16,000 starter optional claimers and then was second in the Treasure Chest in her most recent outing. She fits in this spot and has run well over the Spa turf in her three outings here.

Amazing Audrey also made her last start at Indiana Grand. The filly made a mild late run to finish in the runner up spot last out against Alw-2 optional claimers. The filly beat Alw-1 company two back at Churchill Downs. Since she broke her maiden for a $40,000 tag here last summer, she has not missed landing in the exacta in six starts. She looks tough in this spot but is going to be a puny price.

WIN: #1 to win at 3-1 or better.
EX: 1,2 / 1,2,4,6
TRI: 1,2 / 1,2,4,6 / 1,2,3,4,6

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Saratoga:

SAR Race 8 The Union Avenue (4:46 ET)
#2 Bonita Bianca 9-2
#1 Holiday Disguise 5-2
#6 Carrera Cat 9-2
#5 Fair Regis 5-1

Analysis: Bonita Bianca stalked the early pace and finished evenly in a third-place finish last out in the state bred Critical Eye going a mile off a 3 1/2-month break. She now returns off a 2 1/2-month break while cutting back to 6 1/2 furlongs and adding blinkers. The cut back in distance should suit her as she won this race last year with a god stalking trip. She should get a similar trip here behind what could be a lively early pace. The Servis barn is 28% winners with runners coming back off a 61-180-day layoff.

Holiday Disguise stumbled coming out of the gate, tracked the early pace and drew clear late to a sharp win in the state bred Dancing Renee last out at six furlongs at Belmont Park. she has now won 8 of her 16 career starts and returns here off a two-month break for the Rice barn. This is her first trip on the Spa main track and put in a couple of good morning drills over the surface. She is another that should benefit if the early pace is hot.

WIN: #2 to win at 7-2 or better.
EX: 1,2 / 1,2,5,6
TRI: 1,2 / 1,2,5,6 / 1,2,3,5,6

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: #6 Princess Victoria 8-1
R2: #2 Miss Marissa 8-1
R4: #5 Croi Mor 8-1
R5: #2 Fireball Jon 8-1
R5: #4 Majestic West 8-1
R6: #2 Days of Glory 12-1
R9: #9 Two Cent Tootsie 15-1
R9: #2 Cape Cod Diva 8-1

Good luck today!