08/06/2013 12:41PM

Saratoga: Dave Litfin's Analysis August 7, 2013

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Dave Litfin’s Analysis [BEST BET: Temper in Command (7th race)]

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1 WAR HAWK boasts a high 405 Tomlinson rating and has been readied by a barn with four 2-year-old winners at the meet; call on the blind in all-firster start to the day. BELLY OF THE WHALE has been given three recent turf works by trainer 22% with 2YO newcomers in turf sprints 2008-12; may come out running. LITTLE BOSS is by sire off to terrific start with debuting 2YOs (21%) and first-time turfers (24%); multiple grass stakes-winning dam has produced two turf winners. Closer Looks >>
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2 MARRIEDTOTHEMUSIC sped to the front and improved position opening weekend, widening to thrash 11 rivals in racehorse time vs. open company; must handle some additional ground, while BOND VIGILANTE cuts back in distance. The latter comes off back-to-back wins at a mile, but looks to have enough tactical speed to stay in range; barn really picked up steam here past few days.CHAPMAN has been given a respite since promising five-race start to career that included a couple tough trips; won off works. Closer Looks >>
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3 AMPA'S GIRL is third back from a layoff after a pair of turf routes to start the year, and drops from special-weight company with back form this track & distance; call in scramble where five others are coming off the grass. MONONOKE won a pace battle with LIGHT WEIGHT but lost the war fading to third in their recent clash; under the gun from the rail with Light Weight right alongside.RUFUS RUTH earned improved pace and speed numbers with blinkers added last out; her trainer has good turf-to-dirt stats, so uncoupled stablemate HOOKED AGAIN rates a look, too. Closer Looks >>
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4 FAVORITE UNCLE was up close early, fell back after being bumped into the turn and rallied for third when claimed from latest at Churchill Downs; freshened up, breezed nicely for leading owner July 28. VEE'S ACCOLADE has now completed 20 exactas and/or trifectas after finishing with good energy opening weekend; R-Rod's reclaimed gelding moves from the rail to outside. MIGHTY IANwidened at every call when haltered from wire-to-wire maiden score; may get some pace pressure from newly-blinkered DRUM ROLL. Closer Looks >>
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5 If this N.Y. Stallion Series race is switched to dirt at seven furlongs, ESCAPEFROMREALITY had a confidence-building comeback at the distance last month, and two works at the Spa include a bullet over the track. Turf or dirt, WEST HILLS GIANT will be a handful after beating four of these downstate despite hesitant start; early trouble in sloppy N.Y. Derby after that. OLD PAL OF MINE ships up from Louisiana Downs after paired Beyer tops in maiden win and third-place finish behind a multiple winner; cozy post. Closer Looks >>
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6 MALIBU MUDSLIDE tried turf and two turns simultaneously under the lights at Colonial Downs recently, and was right there to midstretch before fading in second try for this owner-trainer; likely to benefit turning back to 5 1/2 furlongs. SO ROYAL has similar look to stablemate Kiss Me Lola ($7.50), a maiden turf sprint winner earlier at the meet who was also coming off a short layoff; must come away alertly from rail with pace rivals IVY CHAIN and MY COUSIN ZINNY outside her. The consistent BLUE BALLERINAand the improved PAN DULCE figure close together and belong in exacta/trifecta strategies. Closer Looks >>
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7 TEMPER IN COMMAND prepped for two Saratoga route wins last year with a long sprint at Belmont, and reprises that form pattern after strong finish in seasonal bow downstate; ample early speed in this matchup to set the table. ROSES FOR ROMNEY took it to Grade 2 winner Discreet Marq from the get-go in fast-paced overnight stake July 4 and paid the price; has inside position on potential early rivals SALLY'S DREAM and PRINCESS MARA. CARIBEAN BEAT is on a favorable Beyer pattern after matching last year's top in comeback win that featured solid final fraction; favorable pace setup. Closer Looks >>
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8 THINKING OF GIRLS put up 80+ Beyers in her last five dirt races in Southern California, and returned in similar form opening weekend against Marriedtothemusic (see today's 2nd race); little margin for error if TAPROOT runs back to his last-out placing at Belmont. Taproot ran a peak figure off a freshening, but note regression off an effort like that when favored last winter. ASSURED VICTORY steps up to an unrestricted $20K claimer first off the claim, after enjoying a clear lead in the mud against "beaten" types; involved early with REAL ESTATE, who is back quickly. Closer Looks >>
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9 If switched to dirt, the speedy N. F.'S DESTINY has been freshened since a couple tough losses in June, the latest when run down final strides by Night Maneuver, who returned to win here with a triple-digit Beyer. No matter the surface, the grizzled warriorRAVALO will be tough, as he's been capable of running figs north of 95 on dirt, synthetic, and on this turf course, where he was second twice in stakes to Awakino Cat in 2010; rounding to form after middle move second race off the bench. CONSOLE has been back to the drawing board after chasing N.F.'s Destiny with first-time Lasix in his initial outing this year; won only turf sprint nicely off works. Closer Looks >>
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10 WON'TUALWAYSWONDER makes the third start of his form cycle and takes second consecutive class drop after showing signs of life in off-the-turfer at Churchill; chances improve if Wednesday's nightcap goes to the main track at 1 1/8 miles. SOLO APPROACH flashed surprising speed closing week at Belmont in first race since March; he has several races on the go-back that fit with these. Little separates SHORTCOMING, CODE Z, BRANDY'S BIG GUY and PROFESSOR CHAOS based on their virtually identical Beyer tops. Closer Looks >>
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