07/26/2013 2:33PM

All Star Stakes Analysis For Saratoga, Saturday July 27

Email

Stakes Analysis by Dave Litfin

PRIORESS
Kauai Katie

Wildcat Lily

So Many Ways

Todd Pletcher scratched KAUAI KATIE (#7, 1-1) from the recent Victory Ride Stakes, opting to make the Prioress her first start since a tough-trip third in the Acorn two months ago. That looked like a fortuitous decision when pre-race favorite Midnight Lucky came up with a foot bruise earlier this week, and even more so when Kauai Katie drew the outside, a position from which she garnered both of her Grade 2 wins in the Matron and Forward Gal.

Kauai Katie is perfect from four starts off workouts, beginning with a 100 Beyer for her debut at Saratoga, and will be hard to stop at her best distance. She appears a solid single for the anchor leg of the early pick 4.

DIANA

Centre Court
Stephanie’s Kitten
Dayatthespa

If ever a horse deserved the benefit of the doubt for a disappointing race, it is CENTRE COURT (#5, 5-2), who won or placed in 10 consecutive starts on firm turf, before a traffic-filled trip in the Just A Game over a rain-softened course. She has trained splendidly since then, and will renew hostilities with Stephanie’s Kitten, who received a perfect rail-skimming trip to win the Just A Game.

Those two finished close together in the Lake George and Lake Placid at Saratoga as 3-year-olds, and they have each developed nicely since then. They seem like the right “A” horses in the $500,000 guaranteed late pick 4, with Chad Brown’s trio of DAYATTHESPA (#3, 6-1), DREAM PEACE (#1, 4-1) and SAMITAR (#6, 6-1) forming the “B” team.

JIM DANDY

Palace Malice
Mylute
Code West

PALACE MALICE (#5, 5-2) had some poor racing luck along the Triple Crown trial, and things came to a head in the Kentucky Derby, when he was equipped with blinkers and basically ran off with Mike Smith through impossibly fast fractions. Given five weeks to regroup, and with the blinkers removed, he ran the race of his life to turn back Preakness winner Oxbow and Derby winner Orb, despite racing four wide throughout. He has continued to train forwardly since relocating to Saratoga, where he was a maiden winner as a 2-year-old, and projects for a stalking trip behind FREEDOM CHILD (#7, 4-1) and MORENO (#4, 10-1), who respectively wired the Peter Pan and Dwyer downstate.

If a hotly contested pace develops, that could pave the way for CODE WEST (#2, 6-1) and/or the deep-closing MYLUTE (#8, 7-2) to fill out exactas and trifectas..

Stakes Analysis by Mike Watchmaker

PRIORESS

Kauai Katie
Wildcat Lily
So Many Ways

KAUAI KATIE (#7, 1-1) looks as though she might have taken a step back in her last two starts, but in this case, looks would be deceiving. She didn't have the smoothest trip last time out in the Acorn and the mile distance of that race really isn't her forte. Moreover, she was in with much better, as evidenced by the fact that Acorn runner up Close Hatches came back with a most impressive score in the Mother Goose. Two starts back in the Road Princess Stakes, Kauai Katie's winning Beyer was pedestrian, but that is because the final time was compromised by very slow early fractions. Kauai Katie is back sprinting here, she loves the track, and is a heavy favorite I would be happy to be alive alone with in the last leg of the early pick 4. If I wanted to go two deep, I would use WILDCAT LILY (#2, 4-1), whose last two wins at Calder were career-best performances.

DIANA
Centre Court
Stephanie's Kitten
Dayatthespa

Yes, I know that DAYATHESPA (#3, 6-1) is loose on the lead here like she was when she won Q.E. II Cup last fall, but I can't overlook her no excuse loss last time out at 2-5 at Monmouth, when she was also loose on the lead. This is a two horse race between CENTRE COURT (#5, 5-2) and favorite STEPHANIE's KITTEN (#2, 8-5). I prefer Centre Court because she will be getting back on the sort of firm footing she's more familiar with, because she should get first run on Stephanie's Kitten, and because she'll be the slightly better price. But you can't split the wood here. You have to use both.

JIM DANDY
Mylute

Palace Malice

Vyjack

I don't know how much PALACE MALICE's (#5, 5-2) Belmont Stakes winning performance took out of him. Everyone, including him, staggered home in that race. I like MYLUTE (#8, 7-2) on top. I'm not thrilled with the fact that Mylute hasn't raced since the Preakness even if it is by design, but his gaining third in the middle leg of the Triple Crown was a terrific effort considering he had absolutely no pace to assist his late run, and he gets more pace this time. I would use Palace Malice defensively in single-race and multi-race exotics, and I could toss in a couple of other price horses underneath or in backups, namely VYJACK (#10, 12-1), MORENO (#4, 10-1), and WILL TAKE CHARGE (#3, 12-1). The Belmont was the wrong spot for Vyjack, he was a player in Palace Malice's destructive Derby pace, and he was a good third three starts back in the Wood Memorial behind Verrazano and Normandy Invasion. Moreno has romped twice since getting blinkers and maybe he is this good. Will Take Charge was awful in the Belmont, but was compromised by the slow pace in the Preakness, and he pulled a Mark Sanchez in the Derby when he ran into Verrazano's rear end in upper stretch.

 

Stakes Analysis by Mike Welsch

PRIORESS

1. KAUAI KATIE
2. SO MANY WAYS
3. LIGHTHOUSE BAY

KAUAI KATIE, (#7, 1-1) has been freshened since finishing unlucky third in the Acorn and back at a distance she probably handles best. SO MANY WAYS, (#5, 3-1) looks like the chief competition and should be coming best at the end. LIGHTHOUSE BAY, (#4, 12-1) an improving sort but gets a bit of a class check here. Worked well, galloped out nicely on 7/14.

DIANA

1. CENTRE COURT
2. STEPHANIES KITTEN
3. DREAM PEACE

CENTRE COURT, (#5, 5-2) the victim of an unlucky trip in her last and training like a monster since arriving locally. Should be able to get the jump on her nemesis STEPHANIES KITTEN (#2, 8-5), who like the preferred choice never runs a poor one. DREAM PEACE, (#1, 4-1) ran a strong second off the plane in this race last summer but still looking for her first win in the U.S. Like Centre Court, training extremely well for this spot.

JIM DANDY

1.PALACE MALICE
2. MYLUTE
3. CODE WEST

PALACE MALICE, (#5, 5-2) seems to be improving with every start and couldn’t be doing better coming into this race. MYLUTE, (#8, 7-2) another who showed improvement during the Triple Crown season and should get enough pace in here to set up his late kick. CODE WEST, (#2, 6-1) like the preferred pair, on the upswing but facing his sternest test today. Should be able to stalk, get first run over the tiring leaders under Rosario.