09/01/2013 12:30PM

Saratoga: Dave Litfin's Analysis September 2, 2013

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Dave Litfin's Analysis [BEST BET: Tannery (8th race)]

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1 TOP TIER LASS has run her two best races sprinting on Saratoga turf, a debut maiden win last summer, and a rallying runner-up finish from post 12 when second back from a layoff July 28; claimed from that race by sharp outfit. ASCENDED FEVER has similar Beyer tops sprinting on turf and in slop at the Spa; stretch threat either way. INAFLASH is third off the bench after much-improved effort to beat maidens decisively; moves way up if Labor Day opener comes off the grass. Closer Looks >>
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2 If the first leg of the early pick 4 winds up on the main track at 1 1/8 miles, ULTIMATE EMPIRE has finished first in two of his last three, handling mud nicely for runaway maiden score, and getting disqualified here July 29 after failing to maintain straight course. Otherwise, WITH EXULTATION has been freshened since two failed attempts as the favorite at this level; big late run to win debut from dead last. MISSISSIPPI DUEL stretches out after pair of front-running wins against beaten claimers; would've benefited from inner turf's speed-favoring conditions before the rains came. Closer Looks >>
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3 If switched to dirt, MR RODRIGUEZ would be returning to the scene of his fastest race, when third in an overnight stake late at the 2012 meet; returns at reduced level for good layoff barn. On turf, SLAMARAMA won a pace battle but lost the war when a game second over several of these Aug. 24; experience on rain-softened ground. SHOW SOME LOVIN and ASSET INFLATION (suspicious drop) figure close based on their last-out maiden triumphs over the course. Closer Looks >>
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4 FOGGY ROAD is on a bounce-rebound pattern after strong finish with a new Beyer top first time out in two months, followed by regression when wide; cuts back to six furlongs along with 50% price drop. PRIVATIZE is second back from a layoff after racing in contention for a half-mile in the mud; that was his first sprint, and this will be his first start against maiden claimers. ONE RED CAT also gets some class relief after forcing the pace with blinkers on; never been in this cheap. Closer Looks >>
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5 The consistent TIZ TERESA has run figures in the 75-80 range in all four turf starts, while showing the ability to mix it up early or come from off the pace; picks up the leading rider after overtaking SWEET N DISCREET. The latter passed horses for the first time when switched to the grass most recently; might benefit from a switch to wet dirt judging from big-fig maiden win in the slop. BALLISTIC SUE comes off her fastest race to date wiring similar; she may prefer firm turf, however, and is drawn outside several others with high early speed. Closer Looks >>
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6 HARPOON is a half-brother to Grade 1 2YO sprint winner Cuvee, as well as Will He Shine, a $346K earner who captured the Grade 2 True North; $500K yearling buy comes off an improved gate work last week. TIZNOWFORAMERICA forced a strong pace and held third in a promising debut; may improve first-time Lasix. DERIVATIVECONTRACT sold for 45 times his sire's stud fee in May; Monmouth-based invader is a half to three sprint winners. Closer Looks >>
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7 SOUND OF FREEDOM broke alertly, sped clear and held to deep stretch when clearly second best at 6-5 first out; a wet track would be okay judging from Tuesday's bullet work in the mud, but he must first draw in from the also-eligible list. ENDOWMENT MANAGER sold for 12 times sire's stud fee earlier this year; several workouts match up with stablemate Derivativecontract, who runs in the shorter maiden dash a race earlier. JUSTIN NGUYEN has changed hands since debut placing behind 6-5 Twang early at the meet; one of three to have already run 6F on dirt, along with BIRD NOW and MALIBU ANGEL. Closer Looks >>
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8 Recent rain works to the advantage of TANNERY, a soft-turf specialist who won three times on soft or heavy ground overseas, and who beat four of these on a boggy course in the Sheepshead Bay; back with fillies after very respectable fourth while wide in the Sword Dancer. ANJAZ lunged at the start, altered course in the stretch and finished gamely for second in the Sheepshead Bay; second again last time in the Waya after finding more traffic. MINAKSHI held on with good determination after making the pace vs. the top two at Belmont; consistent mare handles any course condition. Closer Looks >>
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9 STRONG MANDATE has a similar look to Dublin, who springboarded off a second-out maiden win at Saratoga to win the 2009 Hopeful for same owner-trainer combination; improved big-time with blinkers on, favorably drawn. BIG SUGAR SODA also comes off a big-figure effort wiring maidens, but must stretch out from 5 1/2 furlongs while Strong Mandate went 6 1/2; loses Castellano to KING CYRUS, who comes off visually impressive debut victory that came up slow by the numbers. CORFU and WIRED BRYAN were noses apart in the Saratoga Special, and the stakes-seasoned colts are both eligible to move forward after their respective Beyer pair-ups. Closer Looks >>
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10 After finding trouble repeatedly on dirt and turf this summer, seven-time runner-up BLUE BALLERINA adds blinkers for her second start off the claim and picks up Castellano; call in wide open getaway race. LARA is okay turf or dirt as well, and was just a neck behind the choice in their off-the-grass clash July 24; showed more early speed that day. MONONOKE shortens up after leading for six furlongs Aug. 7; the last-out beaten fave is top-ranked on the Tomlinson numbers for turf. Closer Looks >>
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