08/01/2013 9:42AM

Saratoga: Dave Litfin's Analysis August 2, 2013

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Dave Litfin’s Analysis [BEST BET: Scribbling Sarah (4th race)]

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1 After a couple less-than-ideal trips in allowance company, KISS OF THUNDER drops back to the level of big win at Churchill when claimed from sloppy off-the-turfer; blew out sharply last week. ERIUGENA edged forward to new top Beyer when brought back from two-month break at Delaware; horse that beat him that day came back to win a first-level allowance. SKY LOVER is back quickly and stretching back out to distance of maiden win, after racing in traffic behind horses Sunday; claimed the last three times he's been in for a tag. Closer Looks >>
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2 GROUPTHINK is a half-brother to La Concerto, a $248K earner and multiple sprinter winner, as well as hard-knocking $296K earner Game Token, a familiar face on this circuit; may come out running for win-early connections. TAPIDOR is a $450K half-bro to Icabad Crane, a multiple New York-bred stakes-winning router; breezing on dirt & turf lately. BLUE COLLAR CAT showed a bit of improvement second out behind Wired Bryan, who is 2 for 2 after coming back to win the Sanford; July 19 work looks like his best yet. Closer Looks >>
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3 BIT BUSTIN has popped out of the gate first in all four starts this year, and latest on turf from post 12 isn't held against her; bumped twice in stretch right before that, can win this off either May performance. NOTESFROMABROAD leapt at the break and spotted the field several lengths in July 4 return; much improved with blinkers on at the turn of the year, before going to the shelf. BIRD HOUSE is turf to dirt and blinkers on; she has already won in this condition, as has FIFTYFOUR FOREVER, who showed renewed interest second time back from a layoff opening weekend. Closer Looks >>
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4 SCRIBBLING SARAH began her career with a Beyer pair-up from off the pace, and moved forward several lengths while changing to front-running tactics third time out behind Palace Dreams, who returned to win an allowance as much the best; pedigree is versatile enough to handle wet dirt should opening leg of the pick 6 be rained off. STOCK FUND hasn't been 5 1/2 furlongs since Spa debut as a 2YO behind eventual Grade 1 winner Dayatthespa, and 17 starts later she is still looking for that elusive maiden win; always looks competitive on paper. COURAGEOUS KAREN improved first time grass, and improved again less than two weeks later, getting a race over the course while beating PIE'S FIRST LADY, SARAH'S WILD GIRL and BILEAPS AND BOUNDS. Closer Looks >>
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5 If the last leg of the early pick 4 winds up on dirt at seven furlongs, CONZIG went well from the rail at Belmont most recently, and would have pace options breaking outside; showed speed in the mud last fall. On turf, SAPPHIRE BLUE awaited room briefly nearing stretch, came out late to get second and galloped out strongly past wire in May 23 outing behind repeater Justoneatheguys; figures close with GIANT'S JEWEL. The latter was just a length off the lead after a mile July 11, so today's turnback in distance may be just what the doctor ordered; handles rain-softened footing. Closer Looks >>
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6 If switched to dirt, WELL KEPT won with a breakthrough figure with similar spacing between starts last out, and that number has held up following next-out wins by Moment in Dixie and Baby J (who took Grade 3 Victory Ride); good try in 2012 Test at 71-1. Otherwise, DOUBLE THE ENERGY has been idle since February, but has history of running well fresh, including a win on this course, and hard-fought decision at Gulfstream over MADAME GIRY and ROSA SALVAJE; 2 for 2 over non-firm turf. SOUNDS OF THE CITY had some trouble on the turn when beaten in a photo for second by SPUN CAP at Keeneland; consistent mare won with big late run here last year beneath Jose Lezcano. Closer Looks >>
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7 The California invader ITALIAN RULES has never been worse than second on dirt, including a win over last week's Grade 1 Bing Crosby winner Points Offthebench; nevertheless, he has to be approached with some trepidation dropping $37,500 in price first off a claim and two-month absence. TAKE DOWN TWO returns to Saratoga, where he posted his lifetime Beyer top in a win last year; 88-start veteran shows minimal a.m. activity since claimed early June. P J'S MAGICAL WINK might relish any moisture in the track based on lengthy score in Spa slop first out in New York; yet another who has been idle since claimed, but unlike the top pair he is going back up the ladder today. Closer Looks >>
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8 If switched to dirt at 1 1/8 miles, POINT TAKEN would be right back after tangling with 22-time winner Caixa Eletronica for a second straight time last Saturday; three wins from six starts on off tracks. Otherwise, PRESUMPTIVE raced twice here last year, winning at 36-1, and running second at 33-1 behind Lea, who was recently second to Wise Dan in the Firecracker Handicap; sharp score in last, favorable pace setup in store. MAJOR MARVEL has won five of his last six starts and now totals 18 victories and nearly $500K in earnings; may battle with BERNIE THE MAESTRO, another prolific winner who is turning back from a 1 1/2-mile stake. Closer Looks >>
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9 If the finale is rained off to the main track, COUNTERCYCLICAL is a half-brother to two multiple sprint winners including $204K earner Dream of Atlantis; encouraging work tab for barn that wins with debuting maiden claimers. Otherwise, FORCE MULTIPLIER boasts a layover turf figure when brought back from similar layoff May 17; special-weight dropdown caught yielding turf first time in blinkers. DAPPER DRAPER would have the race-over-the-track angle in the event of a surface switch after chasing Stop Sign opening week; younger half-sister Zip Up won a maiden special on the grass at Belmont in June. Closer Looks >>
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