08/11/2013 10:32AM

Saratoga: Dave Litfin's Analysis August 12, 2013

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Dave Litfin’s Analysis [BEST BET: Hello Lover (7th race)]

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1 INFLATION TARGET pressed the pace in the mud two starts ago, which is enough to suggest he'll have terrific position in a Monday opener that otherwise lacks early speed; first time in to be claimed. HOMEBOYKRIS, the 2009 Champagne winner, certainly has the back class to win this; he's also got two of the field's three wins at seven furlongs. MARTINI MADNESS has shown some early initiative from time to time; good try first off the claim. Closer Looks >>
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2 BIN ELUSIVE posted a lifetime Beyer top when she went turf to dirt second off a claim by Mike Maker at Churchill Downs, and was flattered when the runner-up returned to win; reunited with Rosie. ELUSIVE ACT was wide into the lane chasing a strong pace when haltered from her last at Churchill; had won her two previous dirt races pressing the early issue. KAITLYNS CAT ran her fastest figure this track & distance last August, with similar time off since a June race at Belmont; be closing. Closer Looks >>
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3 MAGICAL MOON returns from a two-month freshening for Al Stall, who sent out Central Banker to win the recent Quick Call here in seasonal bow; graded-stakes placed filly 2 for 2 in turf sprints. MYSTIC LOVE has raced only once in the past seven months, when she caught good turf at a mile and checked in fourth; stakes winner going short and long. LIGNITE remains eligible for first-level allowance conditions after being disqualified from June 16 return; major pace player with FUNFAIR. Closer Looks >>
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4 No one's hit the Beyer par (72) for this maiden special-weight event, but INSIGHTING came reasonably close as a first-time starter last fall, and may rate the benefit of the doubt for a late-season route at Aqueduct when shut off in midstretch; stretches back out after speed sharpener in comeback opening weekend. DOWNGOESFRAZIER just missed against $25K maidens first out this year, then was shelved two more months before decisioning the top pick July 20; as with several others, the ability to get the distance is a question. LEROY JR. has been away since hesitating at the break May 2012; returns for new barn in a blah field. Closer Looks >>
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5 If the last leg of the early pick 4 and first leg of the pick 6 winds up on dirt, ,PECORINO was a clear second in recent debut over the track, and would be moving from the rail to the outside. Otherwise, DUE DILIGENCE is a full brother to Console, 2 for 2 in turf sprints after running his rivals off their feet in a second-level allowance here Aug. 7; top-ranked on Tomlinsons for turf by wide margin. SUM SUPERSTAR is the first runner out of Star Dixie, a turf winner; chased fast pace set by stablemate Corfu (entered in Sunday's Saratoga Special) first out. Closer Looks >>
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6 INAFLASH returned from a two-month layoff after being claimed and led to deep stretch here July 24, a day when early speed had a tough time of it; not much to run with her early unless PASSIONFORSONGS rediscovers her speed second time back. RETTALFA has posted Beyers in the 50s all six New York starts on a variety of footing; consistent filly is a logical exotics inclusion. TOAST TO ASHLEY is turf to dirt, route to sprint, blinkers on and drops from special-weight company, all of which may or may not add up to an improved race today. Closer Looks >>
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7 HELLO LOVER was claimed from win for $7,500 first out in 2012, and went on to win eight more races and nearly $300,000 through 16 more starts before getting a well-deserved freshening; back in top form after getting off to a typical slow start and rallying for third in the Grade 3 James Marvin. BERNIE THE MAESTRO closed out five-win campaign last year by taking the Rapid Transit on Claiming Crown day; back to doing what he does best after setting the pace in 1 1/2-mile turf stake. KEEP ME INFORMED won an off-the-turf maiden route in the mud here back in 2010; claimed from live heat July 7, big-figure win three back. Closer Looks >>
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8 HARDENED WILDCAT was up against it from a tactical standpoint when STRAPPING GROOM was able to dictate a leisurely pace in the Lion Cavern overnight stakes; he has since turned in several bullet works and appears likely to get a better setup with speed types LAURIE'S ROCKET and RIGHT TO VOTE drawn inside Strapping Groom. LEAVE OF ABSENCE was also hurt by the race shape in the Lion Cavern, and was then claimed from a solid placing over this track; usually gets a share. TROILUS was talented enough to run second in a Grade 2 stake before going to the sidelines for an extended period of time; probably needed his recent return at Indiana Downs. Closer Looks >>
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9 DON'T SAY NO gets his second try in a Spa turf sprint, the first one coming in 2010 on yielding ground against multiple stakes winner Bridgetown in the Latham Stakes; met repeaters three straight starts leading to sharp try last out, snug fit to the date clause. RADIOHEAD and VOLCANO RUN are intriguing route-to-sprint propositions after being claimed respectively by David Jacobson and Linda Rice, each of whom have been profitable with a large number of new acqusitions in 2012-13. Closer Looks >>
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10 EDIE made her first start since Dec. 26 for new trainer Tom Bush, and responded with a game placing at Belmont that earned her a Beyer of 84, slightly above her best numbers in 2012; note she was able to run four 80s in a row from Jan. through June last year. TOWN FLIRT is third back from a layoff and runs in a claimer for the first time since maiden win over this course in 2011; hot trainer & jock combo. GLAMOUR GALORE also makes the third start of her form cycle; bred to handle today's added distance. Closer Looks >>
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