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Saratoga Stack 7.29.23
Jim Dandy Day brings the focus back on Forte
There are some days playing the races where I feel like I’m reading the wrong Racing Form.
Friday was one of those days.
In Race 3 our Two Minute Pick horse was one of the speeds on paper but ended up rating off a horse that, while had speed early, was not likely to go to the front for trainer Tom Morley. The 5-year-old gelding did just that, wiring the group and paying $20.20
In the featured Amsterdam #6 New York Thunder made his dirt debut a winning one, out-breaking the ultra-quick #5 Ryvit and going wire to wire. Would never have had that one. Got at 110 Beyer. Wow.
And in the 11th, #3 Urgent Fury surprisingly made the front and wired the group at 7-1.
Not a great day for the account balance.
But Saturday brings 12 more races to handicap and a few of the better 3-year-olds in the country racing in the Jim Dandy Stakes.
And Jim Dandy Day is a great day to open a NYRA Bets account.
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Spent 15 minutes with our friend and Parx race announcer Jessica Paquette to talk about the Saturday feature, the Mage effort in the Haskell and more.
Jess is making picks every day in the Saratoga Special. You can pick it up at the track or read it online. Jess was nice enough to join me from the road so I hope you’ll forgive a little background noise at the end.
We both like the same horse Saturday.
All eyes on #2 Forte today in the Jim Dandy. He’s the horse to beat but there are questions.
Why the blinkers today? Todd Pletcher 1 for 15 the last five years first-time blinkers in graded stakes races. Eight of the 15 have finished in the money, but this is not a Todd move.
While I don’t think it was the most likely scenario, if the Forte connections wanted to go from the bell and just try and wire this group, the presence of #4 Saudi Crown ends that conversation.
And for sure Saudi Crown is really interesting in here. Nice effort against Fort Bragg in the Dwyer. For what it’s worth, Brad Cox 7 for 26 (27%) with a $2.04 ROI second route race on the dirt coming in a graded stake. He can have the front to himself if he wants it and will probably get it. Can he get the mile and an eighth? Very talented horses with pace advantages are usually good bets.
#3 Hit Show has always felt a notch below the best of the crop.
#5 Angel of Empire was our Derby pick, but hard to endorse when could not take advantage of the pace in the Run for the Roses and then was flat in the Belmont.
#1 Disarm will be the choice at 6-1. He will not get the best pace set up today, but he has the chance to save ground from the one hole and launch his bid into the turn. Working well at the Spa and at 3x the price of Saudi Crown, he’s my play. Any sort of real moisture in the track will certainly help his cause.
1-4-2 for me in the Jim Dandy.
Let’s talk about it on today’s Two Minute Pick presented by NYRA Bets.
Elsewhere on the Saturday card…
Race 2: Have to downgrade # 7 Floki’s Flight off the bias trip last time. #6 Socciatore can take command from the jump.
Race 4: Tough post but Tom Amoss has #11 Corner Kick strong first off the claim. Was off the pace on one of those “speed” days at Ellis.
Race 6: Tough race but don’t ignore #7 Lady Laoban after she had trouble early in her last and fell in her first start. Draw Jose Ortiz.
Race 7: Full brother to Derby winner in the #4 Dornoch. Second-time Asmussen Alert #8 Lambo.
Race 8: Hopefully we get #4 Elite Power and #5 Gunite battling in the lane. Could be a memorable stretch drive.
With massive rain scheduled after 1PM, you’re on your own in the late turf races. There is some dirt form in there so you’ll have a chance to plan ahead.
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Good luck if you’re playing. Comments open as always.