Day 3 headlined by turf, babies

Five of the ten races on Sunday’s card are slated for the turf courses with four routes and one turf sprint.  Two of the other five races are for 2YOs, with the 2nd bringing together NY bred juveniles and the 9th is the 97th running of the Sanford (G2).

Before looking at Sunday’s card let’s take a look back at Saturday’s 10 race card.  The day started with an unfortunate incident in the first as Rockettes Escapade broke down at the top of the stretch.  That severely compromised War Clan, who was in the midst of a move on the outside and wound up getting carried out about 4 paths.  Bob Baffert’s Saddleranch was an impressive winner of the 3rd as he hit a new gear turning for home under Martin Garcia.  Whether he was aided by the track profile or not remains to be seen but he is clearly a fast horse with some ability.  Trainer David Jacobson has only had one winner at each of the last four Saratoga meets, so should he just retire after Wishingonastar won the 4th yesterday?  No, I think he’ll continue on and pick up a few more.

It won’t be long before Deposit Slip breaks his maiden as he rocketed home from the back of the pack to miss narrowly in the 5th race.  Tahoe Lake was the beneficiary of a perfect trip and tremendous ride by John Velazquez, but he came from well off the pace and those moves just have not been winning on the Mellon turf course.  Expect him to clear the N1X condition very soon.  I’m still not sure what to make of the 7th other than that sometimes you just have to tip your cap to Todd Pletcher and move on.  Jimmy Simms would have lost if Dominant Jeannes was not scratched.  He made a ridiculously easy lead, set a soft pace and was still all out to hold on for the win.  He is a huge bet against if he moves up a condition and lands in a race with a bit more speed.

Back on April 1 I went on At the Races with Steve Byk and said that It’s Tricky was the best 3YO filly in the country.  I was not joking and now I’m tooting my own horn.  She toiled in obscurity prior to the Gulfstream Park Oaks then many wrote her off after a poor effort in Hallandale, FL.  Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin gave her some time and she’s now rattled off consecutive GI victories.  Mud freak?  Miler?  No, just call her the best 3YO filly in the country.

Binks Forest pulled off the fourth wire job on the Mellon turf in the Saturday nightcap.  Note to the Saratoga jockey colony: speed is really good on the turf right now.

Click here for my analysis of Sunday’s card as we’ll try to snag the late Pick 4 again after taking it down on Saturday.  Here are my thoughts on the Sanford, where I think heavy favorite Overdriven is moderately vulnerable:

#7 POWER WORLD was an impressive winner at first asking as he flew home late to win at 4.5fs after falling 11 lengths back after a quarter-mile. He was then tried in the Bashford Manor and jockey Corey Lanerie tried to keep him closer to the early pace. That dulled his late kick and he wound up plugging along for 2nd as the eventual winner came from absolutely last down the backstretch. In a race that’s loaded with speed this colt figures to be dangerous as he has been this trip and can rate and finish from off the pace. #6 OVERDRIVEN ran the most impressive race by a 2YO anywhere in the country last time out as he took his debut by just over 3 lengths. Trainer Todd Pletcher is bringing him back on short rest and prior to Georgie’s Angel winning the Schuylerville this barn was 0-25 with graded stakes starters coming off maiden wins and returning in less than 30 days. Whether this colt will be ready for another effort is a serious question. #3 MAAN was an impressive debut winner as well as he rated comfortably off the pace and gathered in his rivals late. You have to look for horses who can move from off the pace in this group and this son of Malibu Moon is most likely one of them.  SELECTIONS: 7-6-3

I’ll be back to recap the Sunday card tonight and to take a look at Monday’s card!  Good luck today!

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