08/28/2013 10:55AM

Saratoga: Dave Litfin's Analysis August 29, 2013

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Dave Litfin's Analysis [BEST BET: Brandys Secret (11th race)]

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1 ROYAL FLING SHOT was bumped around early and late in a tough trip Aug. 1 behind All Together, who was subsequently second in the Turf Writers Cup; may improve with better racing luck second time back from an extended absence. KINGDOM makes third start at the meet after finishing 20 lengths clear of the third finisher in a longer optional claimer; gets some weight from some unremarkable older rivals. BLUEGRASS SUMMER had rider lose an iron for a few strides vs. the top one as the favorite most recently. Closer Looks >>
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2 CAT FEATHERS has faced males in three starts this year, including longer 'chases on good and soft ground; ran big twice at 2 1/16 miles on firm turf here in 2012, including a narrow loss in this race to CUBIST, whose form since then has been atrocious. TAKE HER TOTHE TOP beat six of these despite jumping awkwardly in Mrs. Phipps, including stablemate OPERA HEROINE; huge meet for trainer. KISSER N RUN swerved to avoid fallen foe at the third fence and raced widest throughout Mrs. Phipps; likes some cut in the ground, so any rain midweek could be a plus. Closer Looks >>
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3 LITTLE ROCKET has returned from a layoff to post consecutive Beyer tops, the latest an ambitious assignment in Grade 1 Prioress; back where she belongs, both wins with Mike Luzzi. KEEP BUSTIN beat several of these when edged by Galiana in mud three weeks ago; entrymate SHE'S STONES SIS (only one will run) "bounced" but still got through N1X ranks on the fifth try Aug. 11.HALDANE tries again after three straight runner-up awards with blinkers on; yet to run back to her best 3YO figure. Closer Looks >>
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4 STAR HARBOUR certainly isn't having the kind of year he had in 2012, but he has run well previously when fresh and may be sitting on a good effort following a sharp recent workout; drops in class as main speed from outside. MAJESTIC NUMBER won first four dirt starts in blinkers, then fell a nose short with late surge earlier this month; consistent and well-connected sprinter will be highly sought after at the claim box. TAKE DOWN TWO makes 90th start, and first off a reclaim by Gary Contessa, who won twice with the grizzled veteran during the first half of the year; hasn't been out of the money in 2013. Closer Looks >>
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5 If switched to dirt, WHISKEY ROMEO has won four of five when able to get the early lead; trio of bullet works since chasing 6-5 Rainbow Heir on speed-biased track in graded stake, Otherwise, DOWNTOWNOSCARBROWN has solid turf pedigree, as the son of War Front is a three-quarter brother to Plenty, who was 4-4-0 from 10 starts on grass; three local lawn drills. JESS NOT JESSEsuffered first loss from five Spa turf sprints Aug. 11 when he fought to a short lead between calls deep stretch and lost the bob; 7YO is under the gun from rail, and a potential "bounce" candidate coming off two all-out drives off a long layoff. Closer Looks >>
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6 No one was hotter last week than Kiaran McLaughlin, who went on a 6-for-7 tear, and whose KINGSTON BAY was a game second in a good-figure debut under these conditions opening weekend; rates another chance. MR. O'LEARY beat 10 rivals when third in Belmont debut behind allowance repeater Eastwood and recent maiden graduate Sliver and Onions; switches surfaces for top turf trainer. UNITED STATES WON is out of Atlantic Frost, a multiple grass winner who has produced Sandy Key Gal, a $105K turf earner; seriously good work tab at Fair Hill. Closer Looks >>
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7 No one was hotter last week than Kiaran McLaughlin, who went on a 6-for-7 tear, and whose KINGSTON BAY was a game second in a good-figure debut under these conditions opening weekend; rates another chance. MR. O'LEARY beat 10 rivals when third in Belmont debut behind allowance repeater Eastwood and recent maiden graduate Sliver and Onions; switches surfaces for top turf trainer. UNITED STATES WON is out of Atlantic Frost, a multiple grass winner who has produced Sandy Key Gal, a $105K turf earner; seriously good work tab at Fair Hill. Closer Looks >>
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8 COAL AND ICE is out of a stakes-placed 2YO sprinter who has thrown one winner, and is unveiled by barn with five juvenile winners at the meet; Aug. 19 workout matches up with one of them, Double Gold, who scored at first asking July 21.BELIEVEINFAITH is a half-sister to Funny Lady, a recent maiden sprint winner at Delaware Park; profitable first-out trainer.FRIENDS PRO broke alertly to set/press the pace in two starts over the track, the latest when with the grain of a speed-friendly surface; a bit questionable stretching out. Closer Looks >>
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9 ROSES FOR ROMNEY has held good form through spring and summer at all three NYRA tracks, the only non-exacta finish in a stake when involved in fierce duel with recent Del Mar Oaks (G1) winner Discreet Marq; unbeatable from post #1 if the inner course remains as speed biased as last week. PURE AMOUR returned from a layoff to win her first two starts for George Weaver at nice prices; Beyer from latest matched career top earned back in Feb. 2012. LADY'S LUNAR LUCK has been rock solid for nearly a year now, handling firm, good and yielding ground equally well; normally a rate-and-finish type, but she was sharp enough to stay close to a slow pace and prevail last out. Closer Looks >>
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10 Among the quintet coming off 1 1/16-mile maiden wins on this course, BASE CASE SCENARIO uncorked the best final fraction; flattered when third finisher returned to win big Travers day. Similarly, the stock of TIGER BOURBON rose when two opponents he outgamed in sprint debut at Belmont, BASHART and GENERAL JACK, came right back to win; best sibling (War Tigress) was a grass router. General Jack comes off top-figure maiden win in $100K stake at Canterbury; threat in wide open event. Bashart is back just 11 days after hard-fought win; picks up leading rider, as Johnny V. opts to stick with WE MISS ARTIE. Closer Looks >>
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11 The fairly amazing 20-time winner BRANDYS SECRET has been beaten once on turf, when she cut a screaming 1:08 pace at Gulfstream and understandably faltered late vs. Deanaallen'skitten, who won a second-level allowance at Belmont after that; usually goes to the front, and that's been the place to be on the inner turf lately. SALLY'S DREAM beat Roses for Romney (see 9th race) Aug. 7 for her second straight win with a new Beyer top; tough task when run back nine days later in the Yaddo vs. Grade 1 winner Dayatthespa. BROKEN TRUST FUND overcame slow pace to win first off the claim June 1, and nearly did it again three weeks later; deep closer must be evaluated according to how inner turf plays to start the final week. Closer Looks >>
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