Saratoga: July 29, 2017, The Value & The Vulnerable, By Paul Hundley

Welcome to another edition of The V & V, where we not just try to find horses to play that might be live at a good price, we try to steer you clear of ones that may have an issue at short prices.

RACE 1: It’s Blue Blood vs Blue Collar here, as FTS from Asmussen and Pletcher battle Ian Wilkes’s charge. Honestly, I’ll pass on this race as far as a value horse, I like 3-BOURBON RESOLUTION because of the experience and he ran a nice 2nd in debut. If you can get 4/1 or higher, he’s a play W/P.

RACE 2:This race, IMO, offers plenty of value. While I don’t see 12/1, 2-SURPRISE TWIST should still be mid to high single digit odds. His debut at Pimlico he tried to chase a fast pace and weakened late, certainly not uncommon for a FTS. The winner and 2nd place both came back to win next out, and so did ‘Twist, this time sitting a little bit more off of a slow pace, but still able to close and win going away by 1 /2 lengths. Now you put Castellano on him for Arnaud Delacour, who is 24% when shipping. I also want to mention 6-PAINTER’S RAGS, first time turf today but his Dam has already produced 3 turf winners. Has been off since February but has 7 consecutive weekly works, and Motion is 20% with horses +90 days away. I’m going to key the 2,6 in an Exacta over 1,2,3,6,8,9,11 a $12 ticket, plus playing the 2 $5 Win, $10 Place

RACE 3: If 3-KIRBY’S PENNY runs back to any of her last 3 races, I don’t see her losing. Her only value however, is to key on top in exotics and horizontal bets.

RACE 4: Will pass as far as any bets, do like the 2-ULTIMA D but not a rock solid opinion here. Also like 3-El Dulce

RACE 5: While I don’t think Coal Front is a VFA, going to take a shot at beating him with 5-EXCITATIONS, who gets back to 1 turn after trying the Matt Winn last out vs McCraken. Did have a nice win in a n2l ALW at Keeneland in the spring. Will have to into beat Coal Front, but the favorite will be too short a price in here and there’s the real chance of getting caught up in a speed duel. Play the 5 $5 Win, $10 Place

RACE 6: LOVE 2-TATHQUEEF here. Last out won an Optional Claimer vs Rocketry and Gauguin, who ran 1-2 yesterday in an Allowance race here. Breaks from the rail so will have to use speed, but could see him wiring field. Playing 2 $5 Win, $10 Place, $.50 Trifecta 2/5,7/ALL

RACE 7: I really don’t know who the favorite will end up being in here, but think this race is ripe for a price. 4-PARTY NIGHTS was able to close into a slow pace last out in U.S. debut after less than perfect start. Is getting weight from almost everyone in the field. Will be overlooked because of coming out of Delaware Park and Elizabeth Voss is 19% 3rd off the layoff. Gets Ricardo Santana, who has pulled off some upsets on the turf already this meet. Playing $5 Win, $10 Place and Show. Will also mention the 6-Dream of Jean E, who if is able to establish a clear lead early could be dangerous at a price.

RACE 8: Last years winner A.P. INDIAN is back for this edition of the Alfred G. Vanderbilt, but he has lost his last 3 races so we’re going to try and beat him. Limousine Liberal is the hot horse, but hasn’t been facing the top tier sprinters in his 3 race win streak. Going with 5-BIRD SONG, who cuts back from 2 turns after last out in Stephen Foster, was inexplicably not sent vs Gun Runner. Two back ran big in the Alysheba on Oaks day, and I think with both morning line choices having issues, this one at 5/1 offers value. $5 Win, $10 Place.

RACE 9: The Bowling Green features 2 horses who won Grade 1’s last out. I’m not sold on anyone in this field, but think 1-BIGGER PICTURE is the most likely winner. Yes did have a fast pace to run at in last but has also shown ability to be up on the pace as well, so he’s very versatile with his speed. Also has a win here last year at today’s distance. Can’t play Ascend at all. Yes has won 3 in a row but I’m not sold he is at the top level.

RACE 10: Small field of 5 for The Jim Dandy but we have the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winners here. I don’t see anyone winning other than these two, so the race is probably only playable in horizontal bets. The pace scenario is intriguing however. Does Cloud Computing do a Classic Empire from the Preakness, or does Castellano hope the 4-PAVEL try to challenge Always Dreaming? Personally, I think having Pavel in here is a horrible decision, and it’s one that could set this horse back severely. I do like CLOUD COMPUTING to win, but that’s about all I have to say.

RACE 11: PASS, honestly I didn’t get an opportunity to look at it, which I apologize for, but I don’t want to be fake and talk about a race I never got to look at either.


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