Mother Nature threw us a curve ball on Wednesday to start the week, with races at Saratoga washed off the turf.
The races were also off the turf at Churchill Downs and there is more rain in the forecast for Thursday morning, but then the forecast calls for improving weather. Oaks Day will see partly cloudy skies and for Derby Day on Saturday the forecast calls for mainly sunny skies and a high of 82 degrees.
We have 13 races at Churchill Downs and a dozen at Saratoga on Friday, and I will have every last one handicapped. My Kentucky Oaks Day card is now available. On Saturday we have 14 races on Derby Day and there are 12 races on the Saratoga card.
The Kentucky Oaks on Friday is a showdown between Gamine and Swiss Skydiver, but I am going to give Speech a good look at her 5-1 morning line odds.
Before we get to the two big days of action, we have a good 10-race card at Saratoga on Thursday. The feature is the $100,000 New York Stallion Series Park Avenue which drew a field of seven three-year-old fillies that will compete at 6 ½ furlongs on the main track.
The Rob Atras trained Officer Hutchy looks like an imposing favorite. The filly is coming off a sharp win against $25,000 non-winners of three and makes her first start for the high percentage barn.
You can catch the action from Saratoga today from 1:00 to 6:30 ET on FS2. In addition, you can stream the action on YouTube or by using the TVG App. The horse betting company based in the U.S. is offering a risk free bet up to $300 for new players.
To purchase my Saratoga best bet for Thursday click here.
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 as well as my Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby Day reports.
Here is the opener from Saratoga to get the day off to a good start:
SARATOGA RACE 1 ANALYSIS (1:10 P.M. ET)
SAR Race 1 Md $75,000 (1:10 ET)
#7 Compliant 8-5
#6 Magic Mojo 8-1
#1 Glynn County / 1a Lokoya Road 2-1
#5 Holy Emperor 7-2
Analysis: Compliant stalked the early pace and finished evenly in a third-place finish last out here in his first start off a 9 1/2-month layoff. He drops in for a tag here for Brown who is 40% winners (with a +ROI) with runners dropping from maiden special to maiden claiming. The colt is bred to handle the extra ground, by Kitten's Joy out of a Smart Strike mare that has dropped one other foal to race, no winners to date. He put in three solid efforts last year including a runner up finish in his second career start at Belmont Park going 1 1/4 miles. He looks tough here as the likely short priced favorite.
Magic Mojo tracked the early pace while under a tight hold, came with a three wide bid in the stretch, was bumped hard by the eventual winner which forced him into a foe and he weakened in the final furlong in a fourth place finish. The winner was DQ'd and Scanno, who crossed the wire third came back to graduate in his next outing on Aug. 12 here for a $75,000 tag. This guy is one of two sent out by Jerkens in here and he should move forward off his last effort with a cleaner trip and the 8-1 morning line looks more than fair.
SARATOGA RACE 6 ANALYSIS (4:01 P.M. ET)
SAR Race 6 The NY Stallion Series
#7 Officer Hutchy 9-5
#6 The Important One 6-1
#4 Big Q 7-2
#3 Spin a Yarn 5-2
Analysis: Officer Hutchy chased the early pace and drew clear in the stretch to beat $25,000 non-winners of three last out in a sharp effort. It was by far her best career effort and she won by 2 1/4 lengths while it was another 14 lengths back to the third-place finisher. She was claimed out of the race, going to the Atras barn that is 25% winners first off the claim. She ran second in a NY Stallion Series race in the mud last year in her first start against winners. She should get a good trip sitting off what should be a lively pace and she has shown enough late run to get the job done in this spot.
The Important One stalked the early pace and finished evenly last out in a fifth-place finish against state bred Alw-2 optional claimers on turf off a 2 1/2-month break. She beat state bred Alw-1 foes two back in her turf debut and off a three-month break. She broke her maiden in her debut on the main track at the Big A and was a decent third versus $40,000 starter optional claimers in her first go against winners. The Asmussen barn is 20% winners moving runners from turf to dirt. She looks capable of moving forward with the surface switch and the 6-1 morning line looks fair enough to give her a look in this spot.
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.
Good luck today!
R1: #6 Magic Mojo 8-1
R2: #7 Brees Bayou 8-1
R4: #7 Cotton Candy Cutie 10-1
R5: #9 Big Time Lady 8-1
R7: #2 Sky Kitten 12-1
R8: #2 Jc’s Shooting Star 8-1
R10: #2 Red Light racer 8-1