Saratoga Saturday LIVE!

6:05 PM – Well, my $96 Pick 4 is alive to #1 CHROMOSPHERE and #9 BRITISH BANKER.  It’d be a decent score to the former and about 4/5 on our investment with the favorite.  A Little Warm and Miner’s Reserve must have enjoyed that N2X they hooked up in at Delaware last month as they basically repeated that event in today’s Jim Dandy.  Here’s a tale of the tape on how they stack up vs. the other two 9 furlong races on the card:

Race 2 (MSW) – :23.76 / :48.31 / 1:12.61 / 1:36.99 / 1:49.76

Race 7 (N1X) – :23.64 / :47.80 / 1:12.05 / 1:36.12 / 1:49.43

Race 10 (Dandy) – :23 and 1 / :46 and 4 / 1: 10 and 4 / 1:35 / 1:47 and 4

Sorry for not having the time for the Jim Dandy down to hundredths.  The chart should be posted soon but what is clear is that the Jim Dandy was a fast race.  How will A Little Warm handle another furlong?  Who knows, but we’ve seen precious few serious performances this year from this 3YO crop and it was good to see one today.

3:41 PM -The steam that worked in race #2 did not quite hold up in the 6th as #3 ASTROLOGY was pounded from the first flash on the tote board.  Sent off at 8/5 he battled for the lead the entire way but was vanquished in the last furlong as #4 SETTLE FOR MEDAL ran by the two favorites inside the final sixteenth.  Who is going to be the best of these going forward?  I’ll take Astrology, whose sire, A.P. Indy, has still never had a debut winner at Saratoga at 6 panels or less.

Hope the day’s treating you well, only one race before the Pick 4 begins in Race 8!

1:21 PM – The card begins with an upset as jockey John Velazquez seized the initiative with #2 EXCLUSIVE SCHEME and held on gamely through the stretch to score by a nostril.  Tough to figure out what Rajiv Maragh was doing with #3 AKILINA as he let the winner get away on the backstretch despite being in front off the clubhouse turn.  It seemed as if Akilina didn’t have it anyway, so my gripe is much ado about nothing. Even more surprising than the upset winner of the first is the incredible tote action #8 ADMIRAL ALEX is receiving in Race 2.  He opened 1-1 and is currently 2-1 with 7 minutes to post.  Being a half to Woodlander is usually not enough to garner this kind of support at the windows, so this is shaping up an awfully interesting race.  I’ll play a $72 early Pick 4 that goes like this: 1,2,6,7 with 1,4,11 with 5,13 with 1,3,6.  Good luck!

11:51 AM –  We’re just over an hour to first post for Saturday’s 11 race card and the only scratch in either of the stakes races is #7 WINSLOW HOMER in the Jim Dandy.  Trainer Tony Dutrow is opting to run him in Sunday’s Curlin, which will now have a field of no more than seven with Miner’s Reserve running today.

Earlier on the card #5 WONDERBOY ROY is scratched in the 3rd, which is a huge change given that he looked to be around even money.  If you’re still planning to play the early Pick 4, take a hard look at #11 KING PRADA who gets in off the AE list for trainer Tim Ritvo.

The opener is the William B. Fasig with 7 older NY bred females going a mile and a sixteenth on the inner turf course.  I’m inclined to think #3 AKILINA will be tough if taken to the front end by jockey Rajiv Maragh as there’s basically no speed in this group.  She nearly won a stakes race here last summer for trainer Christophe Clement and enters off of a good effort in the Mount Vernon.

Check back in as I’ll post my thoughts periodically throughout the afternoon.  Good luck!

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