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Saratoga Stack 7.22.23
The second Saturday of Saratoga. Mistakes were made Friday.
My son has read “Mistakes We’re Made,” part of the Timmy Failure series. He’s read a bunch of books from the series. I actually just brought him down to the basement studio to ask why he likes these books.
And that was that.
Like the name of the book, mistakes indeed were made Friday..
Our Two Minute Pick for Friday was not a good one. Yes, #1 Curbstone did break slowly and was much further back than I expected. Was never going to win from there. But looking back at the race, the “speed duel” I thought was clear on paper was much more unlikely. If the #9 Major Blue didn’t go early to test #2 Speed Bias, there was a chance the latter horse could be really clear.
And if I had bothered to really look at the two “speeds,” I’d have noticed that the scenario above was very possible. Major Blue had run two of his last four races on turf and going right to the front was not a lock, even with a good Timeform Early Pace figure.
That’s not to say I would have had the winner. But the trip I drew up for my pick was not a great one, even forgetting about the slow start.
That being said…I did add Curbstone to the Watch List for next time.
Meanwhile, the winner went off at 11-1 for Todd Pletcher and had great works according to the DRF Clocker Report: including works with Forte. I missed that and that can’t happen at Saratoga.
Never gave him thought off that Brooklyn effort.
Mistakes. Were. Made.
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Unfortunately, the mistakes did not end there.
Recorded a 30-minute podcast with our good friend Jessica Paquette. Not only the announcer at Parx but also one of the daily handicappers again this summer for the Saratoga Special. We talked Haskell, Saratoga’s Late Pick 3 and the closure of another mid-size track in the United States.
Up early this morning to edit it all together and …. the file is no good. For sure my fault.
Apologies to Jess, who is headed to Toronto to hang with the America’s Best Racing crowd at Woodbine.
So you get a solo pod from me to start your Saturday morning.
Will update this later with our Two Minute Pick.
Here’s your MutStack Solo Pod presented by NYRA Bets - handicapping the Haskell and the Late Pick 3 at the Spa.
#8 Arabian Knight clearly the horse to beat and good on the Monmouth line-maker tabbing him 5/2. Trainer Bob Baffert has won this thing NINE times. He’s not looking to get embarrassed here. He looked like a freak in his first two career efforts and is the most likely winner.
BUT…doesn’t #7 Extra Anejo have to apply some pressure? If he doesn’t, Arabian Knight is probably long gone.
I’m betting he does apply some pressure and will take #5 Tapit Trice on top. He’s won at the distance and in doing so was actually not that far off the pace. At least in comparison to some of his other races. I think Saez will have him involved from the bell (I know, he’s slow early) and ready to pounce late. You can make the case he actually moved early in the Belmont and still almost got second.
As for the Derby winner #4 Mage, I think they are using this as a very high-profile prep for the Travers.
I would not leave #1 Geaux Rocket Go off your trifecta tickets.
5-8-1 in the Haskell for me. Would use the top two as As in multis.
Jessica’s Pick: #7 Extra Anjeo on top; recent effort gets him ready for this #8 Arabian Knight most likely.
The Saratoga Card Late Pick 3 (Main plays/backups)
Race 9 The CCA Oaks: #2 Wet Paint had no shot against #5 Hoosier Philly last time when that latter horse set a slow pace on a speed-favoring main track at Ellis Park. Will use #4 Gambing Girl as a backup in the multis off that big effort in the Oaks. (2/4)
Edit - Major scratch of the speed #5 Hoosier Philly. All of a sudden I’m not as keen on singling Wet Paint. #1 Southlawn now elevated with a shot to go from the rail. Other scratches make this now (1,2/4) for me in the Pick 3.
Jessica’s Pick: #2 Wet Paint “Likely to be the best of this group down the road.”
I guess Chad can get #8 Accretive back in the winner’s circle off the long layoff? Was working with Blazing Sevens who came back flat in the Curlin Friday. I prefer #6 Daufuskie Island for Rudy. Great form, early speed. Back into open company here from state-bred. Just go, Trevor.
#7 Woo Hoo That’s Me faced Rotkne last time - that horse would be even money in here. Been freshened and trainer Jorge Abreu is strong with this move: another that felt pointed to Saratoga.
Edit #7 scratched
#1 Bourbon Bash a bias play as a backup off the Ellis try. (6/1,8,9)
Scratches: Isn’t #6 loose here now? Lone ‘A”
Jessica’s Pick: #9 A La Carte “Draw a link through the turf effort. Mott out to a good start at Saratoga. Backup - #
2 Talkin Pharoah - “ Linda on the quick wheelback would use defensively.”
June 25th was a very speed-favoring day at Ellis Park. With that in mind, I have to play #4 Just Call Ray. Cuts back after trying to close on that June 25th track. Linda will run the 1 or 1A - I’d prefer the the 1A Flint Ridge. She’s an ‘A’ in here. (1,4/6,11)
#6 Seven Nation Army and #
3 Where Paradise Lay as backups.
#3 Where Paradise Lay “Suffolk Downs connections and could take advantage of the fast pace.” Backup: 1A Flint Ridge
You can find all of Jess’s picks for the day in The Saratoga Special.
More on Race 11 in our Two Minute Pick - Presented by NYRA Bets.
You’re welcome for the great thumbnail.
Good luck if you’re playing! Comments open below.