Saratoga: August 13, 2017, The Value & The Vulnerable, By Paul Hundley

Hello everyone and welcome back to the Saratoga column that sounds like a daytime soap opera! Yesterday we continued our winning ways, though our streak of Vulnerable Favorites not winning got stopped in race 8. Blame it on the rain, that’s what Milli Vanilli would do! So let’s dig into today.

RACE 1: VULNERABLE FAVORITE ALERT! 6-Friend of Liberty(7/5) is 1st off the claim for Larry Rivelli, who we successfully used yesterday with a VFA horse in race 1 as well. Rivelli is 32% 1st off claim, but not in New York. Plus, these 6 furlong races have been dominated by being on the lead or close to the pace, which is not her running style. Now, it’s possible she may be closer today if her workouts are any indication. However, I’m reading her Fast works a different way, combined with the huge drop in class, it adds up to they’re trying to dump her quick today. She may even win, but the price isn’t going to be right, that’s for certain. I should also point out I have no idea what the track condition is today after them getting that heavy rain. Going to do a small play with 5-LEAH’S DREAM(9/2), who either bounced off that huge run 2 back or was just outclassed. Should find today’s field more to her liking. $5 Win $10 Place

RACE 2: Again, not sure how yesterday’s weather affects this race. The turf looked horrible in races 8 and 10 after the rain came down, so I’m going to take a stab and say this is off the turf. So I’ll PASS

RACE 3: Though I’m not sure this horse qualifies as value, i think 4-JULES N ROME is the play if the track is fast. Yes I realize has been beaten almost 80 lengths in last 3 races, but 1)They were going longer than today, 2)was facing tougher than today, 3)were all on off tracks, though I do realize she has performed well on an off track recently, not all wet tracks are the same. Has shown very good early speed, and with the distance cutback should really benefit. Also has a pair of wins at Saratoga so that’s another plus. Going 4/1,2,3/ALL $1 Trifecta

RACE 4: PASS, again, not sure of the status of turf racing today, so hard to handicap a race that you’re not sure of who’s running and on what surface.

RACE 5: I am leery of 5/2 favorite 7-My Boy Tate, his speed numbers aren’t any better than 0/12 maiden Quai Voltaire. 1-Devilry(3/1) FTS for McLaughlin, but hard to take that on an unknown quantity, especially breaking from rail. Going to give 4-GIVETHEMAN A CIGAR a shot. FTS for Steve Klesaris (19%), Irad aboard, Dam has 2 winners from 2 starters. $5 Win, $10 Place.

RACE 6: Scheduled on turf, PASS

RACE 7:  This will be ON THE TURF.

RACE 8: Grade 2 Saratoga Special. 9-Copper Bullet(5/2) is the morning line favorite, and very well may win. Draws well here, has good early speed, coming in off a bullet work, and is already G3 placed. That being said, think he’s beatable. 8-Diamond Oops comes in 2/2 in Florida, but doubtful he’s been facing the competition there he faces today. Plus, I don’t trust Patrick Biancone. ZERO for last 20 in Graded Stakes. 4-Barry Lee had a dominating win in debut at Laurel, and 2nd place finisher came out of race to win next out. Working good, and on a side note, won debut on my Birthday! However, I think the value here, and the horse I plan to play around is 2-MO DIDDLEY(8/1) has one of the lowest speed figures of the bunch in here, but had all kinds of trouble in that debut, breaking out at start and being, chart says 5 wide but honestly, it was worse than that. Has been working up a storm in the morning. $5 Win, $10 Place, $1 Exacta Key Box 2/3,4,6,8,9 $10 ticket.

RACE 9: UGH! Another scheduled turf. You know the drill, PASS

RACE 10: $#!t! PASS

I won’t be here tomorrow, but @tracksidetalk will be filling in with his Saratoga plays.

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