07/24/2013 2:03PM

Closer Looks: Saratoga July 26, 2013


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Race 1

Mass Destruction
That's a red-hot horse he chased at MTH in his last 2 (Immortal Eyes) so no shame in those finishes; 'Eyes would be a big player here; those were also his first 2 starts of the eyar so he was dealing with a long layoff, too; some 90-plus Beyers show he's got some oomph but he's dealing with new surroundings and some guys who would figure the equal or maybe even better than 'Eyes.
Saturday's Charm
Sluggish at the start of the Lion Cavern at BEL June 26 and never got involved; at least kept to his task decently so it wasn't a bad run; showed his quality when a superb 2nd to G1 SW Comma at the Top when 2nd (beaten just a nose) by that guy in the G3 Tom Fool on the inner March 2; 2 very nice local works say he comes here feeling good.
Currency Swap
Hey, you get a G1 SW for your $2 bucks, and that can't be bad; that G1 win (the Hopeful) came here in 2011, and last year he won the G2 Amsterdam here (103 Beyer); however, then came an OK run in the G1 King's Bishop here (6th), followed by a dull run in a stakes at PRX last Sept. 22 and he hasn't been seen since (throat surgery to correct breathing problem, then while recovering from that had surgery to remove an ankle chip); working well and you know he's got quality, but he's been gone a while, went under the knife twice and you always worry how they're going to come back.
Jake N Elwood
Finished behind 'Swap in that Gallant Bob at PRX last Sept. 22 and wasn't seen again for 9 months, but when he returned there June 16 he looked good as ever, dueling and gamely prevailing, earning a career-top Beyer (91); likely needs to improve further to beat these but that's by no means out of reach as once Mott gets 'em on the right track they tend to stay there, and 3 smart works here since (including a bullet) keep optimism high that they won't be singing the blues here.
Doctor Chit
Gave 'Swap a scare when 2nd to that guy in the G2 Amsterdam here last summer, and was then a very nice 4th in the G1 King's Bishop after being reluctant to load - he even had the lead in midstretch; freshened nearly 9 months and came back with a fine 2nd at MTH June 22 to Immortal Eyes, who came right back to win the Mr. Prospector there July 7 by over 7 lengths; plenty of speed, a bunch of 90-plus Beyers and 2 nice works since bode well.
Spa City Fever
Touh old pro has shown on occasion he's got the oomph to run with these (top Beyers of 101, 98); that being said, those Beyers and the bulk of his best work came going longer; in fact, he's only tried 6fs once and that didn't go so well as he was a well-beaten 4th; that came off a layoff, too, albeit a longer one; still, good to see Jacobson keeps him well above his claimed level and Rosario takes the call, but could it be this trip is a tad too sharp for him, at least against this caliber?; maybe, but Jacobson doesn't win at a high percentage because he puts his horses in the wrong spots, right? - Michael Hammersly

Race 2

Voodoo Tales
Broke maiden on the turnback and although the final time was modest, the latest training track breeze suggests she is at top of her game; should receive a strong pace set-up if all runners go and can rally in time for a share at a healthy price.
She began her career over this soil last summer with a fair placing, rallying from well out of it; was jammed up between rivals in her last run over the turf when facing a good group; can upgrade at this level but still believe she is better suited by longer distances than this.
A game second turned in earlier this month downstate but that field was much weaker than this one despite the price tag being similar; usually rallies after the fact and the song is likely to remain the same this afternoon.
Group Therapy
Statebred graduated in style a month ago when eased up in the final yards but the fact remains she defeated only 3 opponents that day; may have trouble keeping up in the early stages of this event as some of her rivals have much stronger pace profiles; difficult call.
Revealing Moment
Lightly-raced lass makes her belated 2013 debut but the returning work tab is solid including an atypical 7-furlong drill; met repeat winners in her 2 defeats and may have benefited from the long vacation; not an easy runner to fathom.
Seven Dreams
The selection based on her portfolio as she is the only 5-time winner in the field; compare the pace and final time of her last race with Voodoo Tales who ran on the same day; draws comfortable middle post and seems capable of running down the pacesetting crew.
Unbroken Dream
Down the tubes at 4 to 5 a month ago but a troubled beginning did not help matters; looked sharp in breaking maiden the time before but the only local workout is ordinary in quality; suggest a wait and see betting approach.
My Daughter's Song
Although still a 1-time winner, she has been in several added money events in her career and exits a race which featured a very tough trip; has a better first gear than most of this crew and seems capable of stealing away if unchallenged; exacta recommendation.
Tanglewood Tale
Right behind Seven Dreams in their last encounter but had an easier time of it in that run; worth some exotic wagering inclusion today, however, as she is the only runner in the field with a victory at this oval and she may be able to rally from close range.
I Jus Wana Hav Fun
Shot down in a duel last time when caught wide at Churchill; today's outcome may center on whether or not she can clear My Daughter's Song in opening strides; has valuable prior experience over the course and this cutback in distance, although minor, should work in her favor. -Jim Kachulis

Race 3

Colt did everything but get unsaddled; there is some other speed here but would expect this guy to be very tough if he can clear; place horse in the debut graduated with an 81 Beyer, was out of the money twice; 3 for 11 dam took two routes, banked about $40K; 2 of 3 siblings won including 9 for 16 over $2.5 million earning Horse of the Year Havre de Grace; may forget to stop.
King of Broadway
Pushed around at the break, was still coming a bit late; stakes placed 2 for 7 dam earned over $50K, was route only; all 3 siblings won; all won routing including Grade 2 placed near $190K earner Character Builder; expect better effort.
Maserati (BRZ)
Toss last, he could handle the yielding course; no help from sibs that are a combined 0 for 3; been knocking on the door, overdue to tear out the hinges.
Dyker Beach
Gelding almost got there in the return effort to kick off year and he could be more on the muscle with the blinks today; the winner of last repeated in the Grade 2 Dwyer by 7 with a 100 Beyer; backers can say there is route success in family a multiple 6-figure earners; with his style, he needs plenty of help up front.
Sliver and Onions
Debut solid considering he took the overland route and he was flattered somewhat when the winner that day repeated in an N1X by a head with a 93 Beyer; 6 for 22 dam earned over $100K as basic sprinter; both siblings won once including a route winner; over 8 clear last time; the one to beat.
Howie's Tiz
Wide all three times, can't fault those that are gun shy after the double chalk flop; SP dam won twice, earned nearly $80K, was sprint only; one of 2 sibs won including triple SW, 7 for 18 router and over $450K earner Rush Now; like the spacing of the July spins.
On the muscle from the get go but being between runners is seldom an ideal thing; SW 4 for 11 dam earned over $150K, won routing twice; this is her first to race; could see him pushing the splits, but he has Onions to deal with among others. -Brian Mulligan

Race 4

Belle Gallantey
First part of the coupling returns just 5 days after failing to threaten a runaway winner in her first local start; it's been a while since she's won and she's settled for quite a few minor awards, but her effort 2 back behind a subsequent repeater at this trip and level does put her right in the thick of this.
Currency Union
She's got a little bit of early foot and that could help from this inside draw in a field that doesn't look to contain a lot of that commodity; barn doesn't win many races but they did turn this gal around some and they'll make a positive rider switch today; with a hard send she could prove to be the one to run down.
Nothing But Air
Overcame the inside draw to run away from cheap maidens first out over the inner track but has been idle for over half a year since that one; barn excels with its fresh runners and this gal has worked well over the past month for her return while catching winners for the initial time; can't overlook.
Run a Dubb Dubb
Statebred didn't do much running in her first local try last weekend and now she'll move back to a level at this she ran big 3 back downstate; barn has already found the winner's circle at the stand and the quick return suggests this gal may be set to take a step forward with the regression behind her; consider.
Spa City Lover
Got the tightener in her she needed earlier in the month at Belmont and now she'll return to a venue at which she's yet to finish out of the exacta in 4 career spins; statebred will face open company in this spot but they aren't any tougher than she caught in her comebacker and if her last was enough to get her ready for something close to her best she can factor today.
Sweet Sway
Fresh gray has some early foot but she hasn't offered much late in either of her recent cracks with open company; statebred hasn't run competitive numbers off the inner track and now she'll step in to face older for the first time; have to side with others on the win end.
Read the Research
Barn's other half blew out sharply for the cut back to this sprint trip after failing to go on late at 8 panels in the statebred downstate stake; her first 3 wins all came sprinting and she is a local winner so the return to this venue should help; she's got the positional foot to sit a good spot from the bell and looks to be the one to down.
So Blessed
Steps up for her first crack off this solid claiming barn's buy after running down conditioned claimers in her return from the break; don't know that she'll get a hot clip in front of her in her local debut and she'll probably need to catch some breaks or take another step forward to go with some of these; prefer others. -Steve Grabowski

Race 5

The Lady Says Yes
Don't like to see the money she's burned through her first four starts, and even though she has to be viewed in the light of a contender versus these, it's a good idea to demand value from her before backing, and coming from these connections, that doesn't seem likely to happen; Castellano has won with 28 of 91 (30%) mounts for this barn in 2013.
You So Smart
Feel that it's fair to question the strength of the 73 Beyer Speed Figure she earned for her turf debut in her latest outing as that was a pretty soft group she met up with and an extremely slow early pace was involved; she had her share of traffic trouble that day, but she really didn't appear to have much run either; Garcia has won with 13 of 41 (42%) mounts for this barn in 2013.
Sophie's Turn
She was live in the wagering for her career debut and feel that she's eligible to show more now that she has a race behind her; she broke 1-2 lengths slow and she ran into a sharp winner who returned to win next out here on 7/20 going 1 1/16m over turf vs. N1X alw. rivals with an 80 Beyer.
She didn't finish far behind a couple of today's rivals in her latest start and she might have needed that race after the long layoff; however, she must show more and she goes out for a barn that has been very quiet in 2013; it's a little interesting to see Lezcano land here.
Left Uppercut
She looks like she's heading in the right direction as she gets ready to make her third start of the year, but keep in mind that this is a 5-year-old mare trying to earn her first career win in start number 15; don't feel that she's out of the question in this spot, but others entice more.
Hooked Again
One of two signed on in here for the barn of Tom Bush and this miss exits the same race as today's rival Sophie's Turn; she has a nice little pedigree for turf and it's not like she can't improve at second asking.
Life's a Stage
He exits the same race as a couple of today's rivals and it would have been nice to have seen him show more through the stretch that day after sitting a comfortable trip early on; prefer to look in another direction.
Sakonnet Point
They may have been just looking to get this filly some racing experience before shipping to Saratoga and it's very interesting to see Napravnik land here when she piloted You So Smart for Maker last time; her dam won 3 of 4 starts for 87k, two wins routing, no turf starts; over the past 3 years, Napravnik has won with 16 of 40 (40%) turf starters for Sheppard, including 2-for-2 at Saratoga.
Prize Taker
Sire wins with approximately 13% of his turf starters and dam won two of five starts for 51k, and she didn't make a turf start; turf is a question, but she was improved at second asking and she has the look of a filly that will appreciate more distance to work with; keep her in mind if this race has to be moved to the main track.
Prefer her of the horses in here that were also in the 5th race at Belmont Park on June 16, as that was a decent effort for her first turf attempt, and a messy start really cost her in a paceless race in her latest outing; note that Rosario is back aboard for this.
Sky Lassie
Outside of Prize Taker, the dirt form in the main body of this race has been poor, and this miss finished behind Prize Taker in her latest outing; not going to give her the nod for the top spot, but all things considered, this wouldn't be a bad spot for her to get to go.
Her form headed in the wrong direction after a promising career debut, but feel that she can benefit from taking some time off, and this would be an ideal spot for her to get to stretch back out in distance; have to respect her chances if this race gets taken off the turf.
Carole Lee
Like the idea of her stretching out in distance again and she might find herself sitting an ideal trip right in behind the early speed of Brandini; a comfortable early pace might have her involved in the running throughout. - Brian Pochman

Race 6

Gridiron Great
9 weeks since a tough beat losing by a neck margin despite breaking slowly then ending up 6 wide; will be able to save ground for this then make one run; the workouts for this do not add to the appeal while the trainer yields just 9% winners with maiden claimers since 2012.
Flashed gate speed in sprints and figures as the one to catch today; the runner-up finisher from last posted an 81 Beyer speed figure in his next-out BEL-MSW win; sire is 35-for-316 with 1st-turf starters; today is his 1st start at longer than 6.5F; sire who did not race on grass captured his biggest win in the 9F Santa Anita Derby; dam finished 2nd in her only grass start at 7F going 2-0-0-0 during career in races at 1Mile or longer; she produced 1-for-11 Searya (19K) who never raced on grass.
Bernie's Best
Has fired his best Beyers on firm turf so willing to excuse latest right off the bench when unable to rally past quicker over a yielding turf course; races 1st time in a maiden claimer some call the MSW drop the biggest in racing; the 3-back winner repeated in a GP alw. with an 80 Beyer.
Boogie Too
Chased a runaway winner 54 days ago posting a career-best Beyer and firing a lot better than the 2-back loss vs. Gridiron Great; leaps up in price off a loss which is typically not a good win angle; working nicely on dirt for this noting a big wet-dirt effort in February vs. the winner who repeated in an AQU-optional claimer with a 75 Beyer; would not mind this rained off the green onto wet dirt.
Latest-show finish looks a lot better since the winner repeated in an AP-50K claimer with an 83 Beyer; finished close in defeat 2-back vs. the runner-up finisher who Beyered 69 in his next-out PID-MSW win; should be flying late but have to wonder off the 7-week break if he returns with his very-best effort which would be needed to take this.
Posse Attack
Improving-career Beyers and with a big late kick that fits well at today's distance; needed last start when screaming out for more distance and gets it here; 27%-winning MSW trainer since 2012 adds to the appeal; hopes Inchcape sets a hot pace which would enhcance his late kick.
Runs Like a Kitten
Primed for this at longer when outfinished; the rider from 1st pair sides with Uncle Gare today; 32%-fresh trainer off the loss vs. quicker noting the debut defeat was vs. similar rivals but raced 8-wide without blinkers which were added for last; broke a lot sharper in most recent with the new hood and is projected to stalk the speed again for this.
Present Course
The runner-up and show finishers from last Beyered 78-74 in next-out CD-MSW wins; 32%-win trainer with the MSW-to-maiden claiming angle; mixed reviews from his turf starts; 2-back beat the show runner a next-out 77 speed figure TAM-MSW graduate.
Uncle Gare
Reunites with the rider from his only exacta finish at 1 Mile posting a career-best Beyer; the jockey seemingly had other options but goes here; middle moved in latest at shorter which did not give the impression he wanted a lot more distance than 7F but is stretched back out for this.
Ella's Kitten
Landed behind similar rivals in 1st two USA races although latest was an improved Beyer/finish; no gate speed which is a big issue because he will need to fly past the entire field to win it all and the pace may not be very quick here; super-fresh barn for a 33%-SAR-winning jockey-trainer combo since 2012.
More Debt
Sire is 10-for-114 with 1st-turf starters; 33-for-236 with debut runners; is out of an unraced dam who produced 1 winner from 2 other foals to race SW Bad Debt (13-for-44, 596K) who won 11-of-35 on turf (542K); unveils at a tough distance while gives away seasoning and experience to each rival; prefer 1sters breaking outside rather than bogged down along the rail. -Art Gropper

Race 8

Keg Party
Rather ambitious placement to say the least; his two wins have come on the turf at Mountaineer, and now he's going to Saratoga, switching to dirt, and stepping into a stakes race; add that all up and it points to a distant finish.
Turned the corner over the winter and continuing into the spring, with two victories, a runner-up finish to Revolutionary, and a fourth behind Orb; raced quickly in winning his latest but must shake off the rust from nearly 4 months off; coupled with Romansh.
Bad Hombre
Has picked up his game since April, running first or second in four straight races; can handle any track condition, and even ran well in his only start here last year when fourth behind Violence, Titletown Five and Orb in a maiden race; big step up in class here to face stakes runners, however.
Midnight Taboo
Was ambitiously placed in the Belmont, and even if you figure that Repole wanted to run him there, Pletcher must still have regarded this one well to try it; now he returns this colt in a stake other than an allowance; barn or owner certainly has confidence in this one, who is training well.
Proud Strike
After a thoroughly disappointing first race after the La Derby, he ran to expectations in his latest at CD, defeating a good field; comment notes trouble, but he really had a nice trip for a horse coming from 13 lengths back; the pace was hot; Santana in for the mount; he was the trainer's primary go-to rider at CD in the spring when Asmussen tied for the training title there.
Is the other half of the Darley entrant, and though he is short on experience - having just won a maiden race - he was sharp in winning that day and his pedigree calls for more distance and upside; blinkers on - rare for a horse coming off a victory.
Cerro (IRE)
Suits the condition of this race well, being a stakes winner around two turns - just not in graded company - hence his eligibility to the Curlin; seems most effective when raicng on the lead, as he proved in winning at Pimlico recently.
Edge of Reality
Has notched three wins, though all at Parx, but Dutrow knows a good horse when he sees one and he shows confidence in this one by shipping him to NY; remember he won graded stakes with So Many Ways here last year; only poor effort came in the slop at GP when stretched out to a route for the first time; finished like a horse without distance limitations in winning that mile race last time out; edge. -Byron King

Race 9

Ready Signal
Cuts back in her local debut after getting beaten just a couple of lengths at the level downstate last time; there looks to a solid pace signed on for this one and maybe she's able to sit behind them here, but a minor award looks to be her ceiling.
Moves back to the lawn for the first time since last last summer when she caught her second heavy course in as many tries; had some trouble going longer in her first with winners at Belmont last time and she's bred to run better on the green as she's kin to several turf winners including 254K earner Rogue Victory and G1 SP main track router Pinch Pie who banked 222K in her career; could get lost on the board in this big field and warrants some consideration.
Madre Ditutticapi
Steps up seeking her third straight score after holding on in her first crack with winners; neither grass try was anything special so don't know that the return to this footing is going to benefit her much; siding with others on the win end.
Quiet Ending
Consistent 4 year old statebred ran well in each of her local starts and now she'll move back in to face open company after running restricted foes down in her Belmont finale; she'll cut back to a trip at which she's yet to win today and her late running style could pose her some traffic issues in a big field, but there's plenty of lick signed on and she should be rolling late; one to hold off.
Daddy Loves Gold
Tries winners for the first time on the cut back after wiring maidens as the chalk downstate; filly worked well before shipping up here and she's lightly raced so maybe she continues moving forward now that she's figured the game out; getting off the fence and the reduced trip should allow her to relax a bit more early as well.
Devil's Cave
Makes her first start since the winter when she was very good sprinting on the green in Florida; barn switches to their first call pilot with whom they hit at a 30% clip and they excel with their fresh runners; may offer some value and can't be overlooked.
Lawless Miss
Steps up after breaking through when getting a hot clip in front of her at Belmont; she'll cut back here and looks to again get solid fractions up top as she returns to try a course over which she was beaten less than a length last summer; rider opts to side elsewhere.
Miss Bracken
Kentucky shipper tries winners for the first time after wiring maidens as the chalk in her first crack on the lawn; while she's lightly raced and eligible to improve her speed figures to find some company as the waters get deeper in this spot; siding against the repeat.
Tiz Teresa
Returns 3 weeks after pairing career best Beyers going longer at Belmont; from here she figures to be able to take back a bit and let the front runners go at it and those tactics led to her maiden score 2 starts back; contender appears capable of getting back on track in here.
Sweet N Discreet
Pletcher filly gets Rosario for her first try on the lawn while returning to this circuit; barn has gotten off to a quick start at the stand and this gal did work quickly on the green across the street last week; sire gets 14% first time surface winners from his offspring and the dam dropped a couple of sharp main track runners in G2 SW sprinter and 305K earner Travelin Man and G1 SP, G2 SW and 365K earner Discreet Dancer, neither of whom tried this kind of footing; expect to see her rolling from the bell.
Ballistic Sue
Drops a level after tiring from her pace efforts as the chalk in her return to the green last time; maybe she proves to be quicker than the other speeds in this spot and her rider does opt to stick with her as she cuts back a half panel, but she's going to have to earn it from out here.
To My Valentine (FR)
Runner up in 3 of her 4 stateside starts makes her first local start in this spot; her most recent crack at the level was solid and she's got the positional foot to stay within striking range of the pacesetters early, but the outside draw in a big field could subject her to a wide run; limiting her use to underneath in exotics. -Steve Grabowski


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