08/29/2013 10:39AM

Saratoga: Dave Litfin's Analysis August 30, 2013

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Dave Litfin's Analysis [BEST BET: Delightful Quality (6th race)]

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1 OGERMEISTER was a good-figure debut winner at Belmont before venturing to Royal Ascot, and returned nearly two months later in a tough spot chasing Corfu in fast-paced Saratoga Special; moves outside dropping back in with own kind. SOL THE FREUD was clear throughout debut four weeks ago, winning back nearly half of $90K purchase price; probable pace factor in wide-open stakes opener. DOUBLE GOLD posted a professional stalking-trip win when unveiled opening weekend; however, the 2nd & 3rd finishers from that heat each came back to run fourth as the favorite. Closer Looks >>
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2 GROUPTHINK was a tough-trip second, splitting Sol the Freud and Howaboutwe (see 1st race), when pounded to odds-on for first start; failed to draw in from also-eligible list Wednesday, and he's on the outside looking in again. WAKE UP IN MALIBU is unveiled by George Weaver, whose meet-leading $16.40 average mutuel heading into the last week included first-out wins by Hot Squeeze ($14.40) & Court Dancer ($8.30), who also had gate works as their final prep; half-brother to three winners. BLUE CHIPS ONLY ships in from Parx for Tony Dutrow, who is 44% (4 for 9) with NYB 2YO firsters over the past five years. Closer Looks >>
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3 With 43 wins and $2.75 million earned between them, SAGINAW and CAIXA ELETRONICA will throw it down from the two inside posts, each shouldering a 130-pound package they have valiantly (and successfully) carried in the past. A slim edge is accorded to Saginaw, who is unbeaten from five starts this year and appears to have the better tactical speed at this point, but frankly, rooting for a dead heat is how we're looking at this epic confrontation. BERNIE THE MAESTRO is no slouch, either, and was denied a 16th tally by the slimmest of margins most recently; likely pacesetter gets a bowling ball's worth of weight from the top two. Closer Looks >>
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4 MISSY BAY is a half-sister to Frosty Bay, who currently rides a two-race win streak in N.Y. Stallion Series events (also with Javier Castellano up) for these same connections; promising work tab. Christophe Clement will try for his sixth turf debut winner at the meet with FIRST SUMMATION, whose half-sibling Fast and Strong was a maiden winner on the grass at Tampa Bay earlier this year; speed from gate Aug. 7. AINTEASYBEINGGREEN would be coming back on short rest if able to draw in; alert breaker drifted late but dug in gamely to just miss as the favorite last Friday. Closer Looks >>
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5 In a head-scratcher of a conclusion to a not-so-early pick 4, DEFIANT is logical enough based on either of his turf races at Belmont; gets some class relief after wide trip as the chalk first time over the course. INCHCAPE improved first time on grass, beating several of these, and was claimed; may be looking for the lead second time back from layoff. ELLA'S KITTEN went evenly vs. Inchcape on July 26, and evenly again last week chasing Parnelli first out for Eric Guillot; down in class & distance. Closer Looks >>
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6 DELIGHTFUL QUALITY was hustled early, taken back after being outsprinted for the lead by FIVE STAR MOMMA in Aug. 5 overnight stake, lacked room turning for home and again in midstretch before finishing with a flourish; rates another try as they both drop back to the allowance ranks. Five Star Mama matched previous top Beyer (earned on synthetic) first out at the meet; she has been effective without the early lead. ALEXANDRA'S GRACE won her first two starts in blinkers (eight months apart), then forced the pace against the grain of an anti-speed bias here July 24; first work back was a bullet. Closer Looks >>
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7 At $125,000, INSTRUMENTAL sold for five times sire City Zip's stud fee at the OBS April sale; half-sister to seven winners is top-ranked on the Tomlinson turf #'s among those in the main body of the race. MAY SHARES chased three wide throughout promising debut when clearly second best; also-eligible filly is the lone entrant with a race over the course. FREUD'S SUNSET, a homebred half-sis to three winners, has been readied by a profitable first-out trainer; two recent breezes on the grass. Closer Looks >>
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8 SISTER GINGER now has a 4-for-6 record this year after notching third straight win and edging forward to new Beyer top in $127K stake at Indiana Downs; might trip out nicely despite outside post if some combination of MIDNIGHT WATCH, MISS LAMOUR and/or NATIVE BOMBSHELL go out winging. TEEN PAULINE set track record winning 2YO debut here, and got back in the win column when switched to turf for third start this year; may get another comfy ground-saving journey just off the speed. BELLA CASTANI (2 for 3) and UNBELIEVABLE DREAM (3 for 3) have done well at one mile, and figure close in absolutely up-for-grabs edition of the Riskaverse. Closer Looks >>
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9 MR. WILLIAM earned competitive figures in both turf starts for Lisa Lewis, who reclaimed the gelding at the first opportunity; scratched from 1 1/16-mile race Wednesday to await this dash. SOUTHERN SAFARI improved first time over the course despite eventful trip, and moved forward again when run back 13 days later despite racing wide (with a fast three-furlong blowout in between); coming around for The Chief. DENDRITE needs no introduction in 23rd attempt vs. maidens; for exacta & trifecta purposes, though, he's been in the money nearly 50% of the time. RIDE A SONG was only two lengths back of Dendrite in his first and only turf try; threat with any improvement. Closer Looks >>
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