08/31/2013 12:29PM

Saratoga: Dave Litfin's Analysis September 1, 2013

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Dave Litfin's Analysis [BEST BET: Fast Falcon (11th race)]

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1 SAMITAR has raced exclusively in graded stakes in the United States, with the exception of a win in a restricted race at Belmont two starts back; compromised by a lack of pace in the Diana. RUTHENIA ran out of ground in the one-mile De La Rose, but now stretches out to 1 1/16 miles, where she has posted four of five victories; reliable closer may have her work cut out if the inner turf course continues its recent speed-favoring ways. BAFFLE ME has been unable to contain the top two lately, but could turn the tables if she gets an easy lead, given the prevailing conditions the past 10 days or so. Closer Looks >>
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2 If the opening leg of the early pick 4 winds up on dirt at 7 furlongs, KNACQUE was a promising second in debut chasing Sweet Whiskey, who runs later today in the Spinaway; would be getting off the rail. On turf at 1 1/16 miles, COURTESAN had debut rained off and ran evenly after breaking alertly; trainer has saddled five maiden turf winners at the meet. ILLAPA faced some adversity in debut, and the runner-up came back to win Wednesday's P.G. Johnson Stakes; lone entrant in the main body with a race over the Mellon course. Closer Looks >>
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3 If this maiden race is switched to dirt at 7 furlongs, TIZ FOR TAT has been second best in three straight starts dating back to last September against eventual graded stakes winner Mico Margarita; good try second time back vs. Truth Is (see 11th). On turf at a mile, IRON WORKS chased Rapscallion (subsequently 2nd in allowance) through slow fractions and faded late in debut; may carry his speed farther with first-time Lasix. HAMNET makes seasonal bow for new trainer who excels with absentees and first-time turf runners; sire was a major talent on grass. Closer Looks >>
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4 SHMOOZ TALKER was bottled up along the inside just behind the leaders, came with a solid run when able to get clear but lost a head bob to wide closer with a full head of steam July 27; versatile gelding equally capable on dirt. So is ALCOMATCH, who has actually won on turf, dirt and synthetic; claimed from determined score first out at the meet. CAYAMBE is another multi-surface threat, with last turf sprint a tough spot chasing stakes repeater Tightend Touchdown; 15-time winner haltered from last pair, freshened by record-setting connections. Closer Looks >>
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5 POW WOW WOW has put up competitive figures of 77-75-76 in her last three starts on fast tracks; blinkers on after forcing fast fractions vs. blowout winner. MY SPARKY won first three dirt races this year on the lead, then ran on willingly Aug. 5 after being outsprinted early; second off the claim by R-Rod. D'PRINCESS was quick enough to lead early when last seen June 30 vs. Classic Point, who subsequently set the pace in the Honorable Miss and Ballerina; has three of the field's five wins at today's distance. Closer Looks >>
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6 FARCE stopped in last, but looks like the kind of filly who simply needs the early lead, which she had for wins in her first two grass races, notably the June 27 starter allowance from which the 2-3-4-5 finishers all came back to win; has inside position on IMPLIED as they both look to take advantage of what has been a speed-crazy inner course. BELLE OF THE WEST was outkicked by MELODY LIN when both rallied from off a collapsing pace on a freshly rain-soaked course Aug. 8; displayed some tactical speed in her Belmont sprint July 7, perhaps enough to make good use of the inside post. AL'S ROSIE drops with three competitive figures in tow, but could be greatly compromised by her far outside draw. Closer Looks >>
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7 SPANISH GOLD is a half-sister to eight winners, was sired by a Travers & Whitney winner, and has been readied by Todd Pletcher, who has saddled 37 2YO winners and counting here the past two summers; expected to come out running. PERFECT LA COMETE is a half-sister to the multiple sprint stakes winners Munnings and Munnings Sister; homebred posted two bullet works at Churchill Downs before her five local drills. MY MERRY WAY is a full sister to Bullsbay, who captured the 2009 Whitney at 18-1 for Graham Motion; would be first in from the also-eligible list with any defections. Closer Looks >>
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8 Don't know anything about first-time starter SCAT AWAY other than she has a decent pedigree for turf, and is drawn on the rail in a field where none of the experienced runners have matched the Beyer par (73) and few have shown much early initiative; observe tote action and pre-race appearance. EDDY'S TIME led between calls while wide and saved the place over DONE SMOKING in their Aug. 3 meeting; got the more favorable post for their second clash. LADY NITRO gets a class check exiting maiden claimers at Parx Racing, but boasts the two best figures and has some tactical speed. Closer Looks >>
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9 If the Saranac winds up on the main track, MICROMANAGE would find this an easier assignment than the Haskell, for which he earned a third consecutive 90+ figure; okay with moisture in the track. Otherwise, TATTENHAM is down in class & distance after racing in cluse quarters down backstretch and getting shuffled back in Grade 1 Secretariat; game effort missing in photo to older Star Channel at Belmont. NOTACATBUTALLAMA followed paired Beyer tops in the Hill Prince and Solar Splendor with another gutsy score in off-the-turf Hall Of Fame; versatile overachiever appears to thrive on competition. FAVOR FACTOR is lightly raced and improving with every start for top turf trainer; strong finish in N1X allowance win. Closer Looks >>
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10 Take your pick between SWEET WHISKEY and STOPCHARGINGMARIA, a pair of Pletcher-trained OBS March Sale graduates who whistled as poorly kept secrets earlier at the meet. The former is a bit quicker judging from the splits of their respective 5 1/2-furlong dashes, but the acid test will be who handles today's 7 furlongs the best. BRAZEN PERSUASION and BAHNAH have the benefit of experience against winners after dead-heating in the Schuylerville; that race came up rather slow, however, and they are stuck down toward the inside. SWEET REASON came from Union Avenue to win sloppy off-the-turf bow going away; connections are likely doing a rain dance as we speak. Closer Looks >>
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11 In 13 starts since his maiden win, FAST FALCON has only run against allowance company twice - against Cigar Street, who won the Grade 3 Skip Away next out, and Cross Traffic, who was nosed in the Westchester and Met Mile before winning the Whitney; third finisher in 2012 Travers has entrymate NEVADA KID along to ensure honest pace. TRUTH IS steps up in class & distance after stalking-trip debut win at 6 furlongs with solid figure (90); sharp breeze recently for connections finishing up the meet on a tear. TIZ ADONIS and KID SIDNEY got to know each other quite well July 28 when they brushed several times early and made contact again in the stretch; the former is a lightly raced 3YO with more upside than the latter, a 4YO with three times as many starts. Closer Looks >>
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12 GOLDEN RULE made up over 10 lengths to finish second at boxcar odds in her Santa Anita debut last September; two recent starts on the Mid-Atlantic circuit weren't nearly as good, but she drops from special-weight company for dangerous ship-in barn. DARNLEY BAY was clearly second best first time back from a year-long layoff at today's level; leading rider sticks for another try. MEDIUM OF EXCHANGE was in the money all three sprints at Oaklawn Park earlier this year; never been in this cheap. Closer Looks >>
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