07/24/2013 11:29AM

Saratoga: Dave Litfin's Analysis July 25, 2013

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

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1 ALAJMAL is back to steeplechasing after running over the flat recently, as was the case last year when he rallied from well back to win on this course at 8-1; he has subsequently kept good company, notably a third to three-time Grade 1 winner Demonstrative and dual A.P. Smithwick winner Divine Fortune. MARTINI BROTHER has won both starts since trainer change to Jonathan Sheppard, who has won a race at Saratoga every year since 1967; has developed rate-and-finish style with blinkers removed. DR. SKIP has found his niche over the jumps, winning both starts going away to start his new career. Closer Looks >>
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2 CORFU sold for $675K in March after under-tack quarter-mile in 20.80 seconds, and has trained sharply of late; dam a half-sister to multiple Grade 1 winner Peace Rules. AARONS ORIENT fetched 15 times sprint champ Orientate's stud fee after working a furlong in 10 seconds at OBS April sale; barn had 11 2-year-old winners at Churchill Downs, and has three already here. PURE SENSATIONis bred for speed, speed and more speed both sides of pedigree; probable pace factor for win-early connections after blowing out three-eighths Monday. Closer Looks >>
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3 SHE'S COAL FIRED and ICING ON THE CAKE drop from the special-weight ranks after finishing well back on a "good" track at Belmont July 3. She's Coal Fired went well in her debut on a fast track prior to that, and gets a very timid vote to rebound. Icing On the Cake might easily improve first-time Lasix; homebred will be shorter than 38-1 this time. THUNDERING GALE is a full brother to Grade 3 sprint stake winner Knights Cross. CHASE MY TAIL flashed early speed when well backed for bow; blew out nicely Saturday. Closer Looks >>
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4 WILLET smashed MISS VALENTINE in the Iroquois last fall, before narrowly missing in a subpar renewal of the Grade 2 Go For Wand; picked a tough spot for seasonal debut against Dance to Bristol in a swiftly-run Bed O'Roses, but she will likely improve after a trio of good follow-up works. Miss Valentine isn't flashy, but the consistent mare has won four of five stakes starts since the Iroquois; sealed wet dirt has been her Achilles Heel. BEAUTIFUL BUT BLUE handled favored Risky Rachel and Miss Valentine as a 3-year-old in the 2012 Fleet Indian here; outfinished repeatedly since then. Closer Looks >>
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5 OUR AMAZING ROSE went for 32 1/2 times Yes It's True's stud fee after working an eighth of a mile in 9.80 seconds at OBS March sale; several workouts match up with stablemate Stopchargingmaria, a 5 1/2-length debut winner opening day. JERRY LOVE is a full sister to multiple stakes winner Akronism; bullet work at Fair Hill last Saturday, and sneaky-good drill eight days prior was breezing from gate with "dogs up." ZIP ON gets off the rail and adds blinkers after a show of speed in 4 1/2-furlong dash debut vs. Team Asmussen's Street Story; one of two with 400+ rating for wet tracks along with SNOWBELL. Closer Looks >>
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6 DIVINE LUCK showed improved tactical speed with blinkers on at Gulfstream at the turn of the year, enough to suggest she may try for the lead in an otherwise paceless field as she reunites with Javier Castellano; third start of form cycle, bred for this trip. WHITE ROSE has a "flat" line of Beyer Figures in narrow 73-77 range all starts since unveiled last fall; close on ability with PRECARIOUS based on their Florida form Mar. 8. CONCISE is the X-factor as a first-Lasix import for Graham Motion, who is batting .400 with horses making their initial North American starts in 2012-13; encouraging set of Fair Hill trials. Closer Looks >>
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7 PAN DULCE improved with a late run first time turf, and was claimed by owner who has sights set on winning another Spa title; by Candy Ride and out of a half-sister to dual Grade 3 turf stakes winner Somali Lemonade, she has the bloodlines to stretch out effectively. VIVA ALLEGIANCE is a half-sister to two grass winners; Christophe Clement's already-profitable stats with debuting routers improved when Sea Queen scored at 4-1 Monday. CORALITA and RISKY PREDICAMENT have yet to run against maiden claimers on grass; either/both might jump up in this dart-thrower of a race. Closer Looks >>
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8 SALUTOS AMIGOS debuted on grass against the filly Speedinthruthecity (beaten a head in BC Juvenile Fillies Turf), and has been on dirt since then, most recently in a trio of graded stakes since big-figure maiden win; boasts three progressively better local grass works. CENTRAL BANKER got up late in tight finish on this course at 2, beating, among others, recent Carry Back winner Mico Margarita; versatile colt returns for deadly layoff barn, and, like the top pick, remains solid threat in the event of a surface change.STRIKE THE NOTE held stubbornly first time in blinkers, missing gamely between rivals to 9-year-old Yankee Injunuity; outside draw gives Johnny V options depending on what unfolds among early speeds STAGE STREET and WEEKEND HIDEAWAY. Closer Looks >>
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9 HOLIDAY'S JEWEL is just 1 for 14, but the win came on this course, and she drops to a new low level for her third start of the year; tough trip in sprint return, now puts blinkers on after bearing out backstretch second time back. BEVERAGE QUEEN passed a handful of stragglers when an after-the-fact sixth in Regret vs. Kitten's Dumplings, the favorite for Wednesday's Grade 2 Lake George; total lack of early speed could be a liability over an inner course that has carried speed well thus far. CASUAL ELEGANCEset the pace and held well when last on turf at Gulfstream vs. Why Katherine, recently beaten a neck in $125K stake at Woodbine; part of early pace with IMPLIED, the only dual winner in main body of the race. DRF Picks >>
10 If the finale winds up on the main track, 88-start veteran TAKE DOWN TWO recorded his lifetime Beyer top here last year, and last-out win in the slop when claimed at Belmont resulted in his best figure since then. Otherwise, the two multiple grass winners areDECISIVE MOVE and ISN'TLOVEJUSTGRAND, both of which have also won on this course. Decisive Move has been freshened since acquired by Jason Servis, who excels first off the claim and with turf sprinters. Isn'tlovejustgrand is 3 for 6 on this layout and just 2 for 36 elsewhere, so this is his time to shine; he has run comparable figures on fast and wet dirt as well. Closer Looks >>
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