Saratoga: July 30, 2017: The Value & The Vulnerable, By Paul Hundley

Well everyone is still abuzz about the performance of Good Samaritan yesterday in the Jim Dandy Stakes, but today is a new day(Thank God) so let’s get into the races.

RACE 1: PASS, What a shame the only Stakes on the card is in Race 1 and can only draw 3 horses? There’s a severe lack of older female horses of quality in the U.S., and that has been reflected last several months in the fields or lack of, that have been in the Stakes offered.

RACE 2: The 1A-JET MAJESTY(12/1) was claimed last out by Jason Servis in a New York Bred OC after she ran 2nd at Belmont. Servis is 36% 1st off the claim and gets Irad Ortiz aboard, they’re 4 of last 16 together. Playing $5 Win, $10 Place. The 4-Bargaining Table moves up as well for Michael Miceli after a win at $40K last month and is 4 for last 13 with Claim repeaters and 23% with horses who won last out. 7-Five Hearts won at the $50K n3l last out in a turf sprint, stretches out today. Joe Sharp 32% with claim repeaters, 21% with winners in their last.

RACE 3: After 7 days, we finally have another VULNERABLE FAVORITE ALERT! 6-ANGIE’S COMING (8/5) did win last out convincingly at $16K n2l but has never been around 2 turns and now has to face n3l competition. With his early speed certainly could win, but has never been today’s 9 furlong distance either. 3-ENDURING HONOR (9/2) ships in for Tom Amos’s(30% shippers) and drops from the $30K n3l to this level, Amos’s an incredible 48% from his last 44 starters when dropping 2 or more class levels! While ‘Honor has never been today’s distance, most of his recent races are around 2 turns. Playing $5 Win, $10 Place. Also think 4-Dunk a Din has a shot today. Drops from beaten claimers for Wayne Catalano and gets red hot John Velázquez.

RACE 4: Will PASS on this as far as a bet. I prefer 4-MISTER MAESTRO of all. Has good early speed and cuts back in distance, plus Trainer Michael Tomlinson is 19% 3rd off the layoff with a positive ROI. 5-Junket was 3rd at Ellis Park last out vs Allowance company in turf debut. 7-Six Schillings is also trained by Catalano, is a first time gelding, and is coming off a win sprinting at Arlington.

RACE 5: Honestly, most in this could win this, so I’ll pass on a bet, however, having said that, if you feel a race is wide open and you still feel compelled to play it, then why not go for a price? 6-DANCING(8/1) showed good early speed in debut vs Snowfire before fading to 3rd. Has 2 works at Saratoga since for Mark Casse, who’s 21% 2 nd career race. With half the field having never raced, an experienced horse who can get out early can be very hard to beat. Have to mention the 8-Scary Not Scared for Horacio DePaz, 31% FTS, 33% Debut MSW. Sire Malibu Moon 14%. Watch her odds, if you can get 4/1, very playable.

RACE 6: I’m really hoping we can get the 5/1 morning line on 6-I’M THE CAPTAIN NOW, last out made a big move on the turn before weakening to 3rd of 12. Rocketry, who won that race, also came back to win Friday.  $5 Win $10 Place. 1-All About Voodoo makes 2nd start for Pletcher (27%) and was 4th in debut after having to be steadied at the eighth pole. Irad rides.

RACE 7: VULNERABLE FAVORITE ALERT! 8-Generous Kitten drops in for a tag and has been facing Stakes Company the last year. Could certainly be too classy for this field, but my concern is the lack of early speed in here. She’s predominantly a closer and the pace scenario greatly compromises her, not to mention Leparoux has really struggled at the meet so far. The irony is Maker trains him, but also trains our value horse in this race 6-WAR BOND(10/1) was claimed last out at the $25K level from Linda Rice, where he finished 2nd to the 7-Neoclassic . However that race had a fast early pace that Neoclassic was able to chase, War Bond will probably be a lot closer to the early leaders and should get first jump on them. $5 Win, $10 Place

RACE 8: This is probably my favorite race of the day! There’s a horse in here I “really like” . First things first though. VULNERABLE FAVORITE ALERT!! 7-Syndergaard(8/5) This horse has NEVER passed any horse at any call in any of his 6 previous races. So that means he’s probably going to have to go gate to wire to win. But there’s no shortage of speed to his inside, and pace figure wise he’s been no faster this year early on than 3-4 others in here. Yes he’s been racing vs tougher, and he could outclass everyone. But I’m guessing he’ll be even money or less. The 4-SARATOGA GIRO is my pick of the day. Horse has been off since March, but has 8 consecutive weekly works leading into today, so he’s probably as fit or more so than anyone else in here. Plus, Trainer Paul Barrow is 16% +90 days off with a +ROI. Yes, this one has early speed, however has been able to sit just off the early lead and have success. I also like that connections had the confidence to bring the horse here and not return to home track of Finger Lakes, and why not? His only run at Saratoga on dirt was a 2nd place finish in an entry level allowance. Plus, they bring his regular Jockey Jeremias Flores along, and this this only mount today, so you know he and Barrow will be prepared. $10 Win, $20 Place

RACE 9: 10-J.S. CHOICE ran a good race off the layoff versus rising 3 year old turf star Bricks and Mortar, and there’s no shortage of pace to chase here. $5 Win, $10 Place

RACE 10: Will PASS. I’m not sure there’s any value to be had here, and by this time in the day most will be paying attention to the Haskell at Monmouth. See you tomorrow everyone!

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