07/19/2013 8:26PM

Saratoga: Dave Litfin's Analysis July 21, 2013

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Dave Litfin's Analysis [BEST BET: Vinnie Goodtimes, 6th Race)]

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1 FOX ROX is a homebred out of Shesastonecoldfox, a debut winner at Saratoga for these connections and a producer of four winners including N.Y. Derby winner Fox Rules; promising trials at Finger Lakes. DOUBLE GOLD has been readied by Steve Asmussen, who recently sent out 11 juvenile winners at Churchill Downs; dam's produce includes Grade 2 winner St Averill. THUG DADDY is unveiled off a set of Saratoga works similar to those of stablemate J. Quirk, who ran a clear second at 22-1 opening day behind an odds-on Todd Pletcher-trained newcomer.. Closer Looks >>
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2 RED VINE lagged well off the leaders and closed with a rush making up nine lengths at seven furlongs first time out; additional ground should suit. ALL THAT is by Ky. Derby & Preakness winner Big Brown, who was a dazzling winner when unveiled in a Spa turf route at 2; wet-track experience makes him a logical choice if the first leg of the early pick 4 is rained off the turf. MIO D'ORO led at the pace call both placings at Churchill Downs; chances may hinge on whether All That and/or RAPSCALLION, who are drawn on either side, apply early pressure. Closer Looks >>
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3 NUBIN RIDGE has been idle since meeting subsequent stakes winner Our Double Play in early spring, which may be construed as a positive sign in view of his debut victory at Saratoga last summer; versatile sort has run identical Beyer tops turf & dirt. BEMATA has won twice previously off the kind of route-to-sprint switch that is in play today; picks up the nation's leading rider for his first sprint in blinkers. THINKING OF GIRLS boasts a number of races on the SoCal circuit that would make him very competitive in this spot; ran a lifetime Beyer top the last time he went turf to dirt. Closer Looks >>
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4 UNO DUO is improving with each start, and the lightly raced half-sister to graded stakes-winning sprinter Etoile Montante has a cozy outside perch that affords Joel Rosario tactical options depending on the break; bred to relish any moisture in the track. POW WOW WOW met several graded stakes winners in two starts at today's distance at Gulfstream, before chasing 3-10 Calistoga; chased recent Victory Ride winner Baby J in her only appearance at Belmont. KEENING dueled early, fell a half-length behind in the stretch and came again for game maiden score second out; any further development puts her in the mix. Closer Looks >>
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5 With similar spacing between starts in his first outing for Chad Brown, WILD BILLUM switched to turf and flew home with a last-to-first move through a fast final fraction; Laurel bow indicates he remains a stretch threat if opening leg of the pick 6 goes to the main track (at 1 1/8 miles). TATER DOWNS is another dual-surface threat, boasting 87 Beyer tops turf and dirt; tops the lineup in wins & earnings. HE'S SO FINE was a close second in both blinkered turf starts at Gulfstream, before cutting back to sprints on dirt and synthetic later in the spring; beat half the field in key-race With Anticipation on Spa turf as a juvenile. Closer Looks >>
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6 VINNY GOODTIMES was slow to settle, gradually worked his way to a short lead in the stretch and gave way grudgingly to Ale (who runs in today's 5th race); has found a soft spot that includes several switching over from steeplechase races. Among those, EASY REACH meets non-winners after taking jump-up races back to back in the spring for Jack Fisher, who sent out Short Shrift ($30.40) to win opening day, also with a switch to Alex Solis; has back form over the flat, and set the pace in a muddy off-the-turfer here two years ago vs. horse for course Cease. SOUTHERN MATCH passed some stragglers behind a runaway winner in sprint bow at Churchill; stretches out with an acceptable turf pedigree. Closer Looks >>
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7 ATLANTIC'S SMILE was bet to favortism for both downstate starts, and rebounded from an off-the-board finish in the mud to narrowly miss on turf after stretch-long drive; half-sister to three New York-bred stakes winners is bred to handle the added ground. TRANSPLENDID uncorked a solid final fraction gaining four lengths and four positions through the late stages July 7; she has handled non-firm turf fairly well on two occasions. The returning JOY SEEKER is a half-sister to Princess Mara, a winner on Aqueduct turf earlier this year, and she is also top-ranked for the surface switch on the Tomlinson ratings; remains a contender on dirt based on initial form cycle and some sharp recent works. Closer Looks >>
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8 Race dynamics may favor GREAT ATTACK, who is back from Dubai, and back on Lasix; he possesses a solid closing kick, and may be set up nicely by a plethora of speed in this matchup. TIGHTEND TOUCHDOWN has posted a 3-2-0 record from five starts for his current connections, rising from mid-level claimers to win the Pa. Governor's Cup, along with a placing in the Parx Dash to venerable Ben's Cat; part of hotly contested early fractions along with some combination of VARSITY, SPRING TO THE SKY, NEXT QUESTION and/or DOCTOR CHIT. The latter is back to grass for the first time since Spa debut as a 2-year-old; led at stretch call of last year's Amsterdam & King's Bishop, form that makes him the one to beat should the Fiddlers Patriot be switched to the main track. Closer Looks >>
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9 HOLLYWOOD TALENT was right there into the turn of the Bashford Manor, but lost his action (perhaps from reflection of lights on muddy track) at considerable loss of momentum, before being regathered for good finish; can turn the tables on DEBT CEILING at a square price. The latter has swept three starts at three venues with varying pace tactics on fast & wet tracks; versatile colt continues to train swiftly at Laurel base.. ALL IN BLUE is right back 17 days after impressive debut performance, likely trying to get lined up for better spacing to the Hopeful down the line; under the gun from rail inside WIRED BRYAN, a New York-bred who was very quick first time out. Closer Looks >>
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10 SHE'S STONES SIS takes a beneficial turnback to 6 1/2 furlongs after leading at the stretch call in a pair of one-mile attempts at this level; call in wide-open nightcap. WHAT THE FROST exits good-figure maiden triumph first out for Rudy Rodriguez; "A" race gives her a big chance, but she's been hard to gauge thus far. KITTY PANDA gets blinkers after being outfinished by the improved MAKE THE MOMENT in their June 23 clash. AGILION has been gone since New Year's Eve, but fired her best race at Saratoga off workouts last year. Closer Looks >>
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