09/01/2009 11:00PM

Spa Babies for 9/3


Welcome to Spa Babies! I'll break down the statistics for every juvenile contest at the meet.  Hopefully, we'll end up with a tidy profit.

Wednesday's results
Race 5 - Fayoum finished second
Race 7 - Kaila Ann's Kitten finished fourth


Race 2
6 Furlongs
Maiden Claiming ($150,000)
2-year-old fillies
Purse $44,000

WATER OF LIFE was simply outsprinted through a fast opening fraction in her career debut, but she put in a bit of a late run on the inside to pick up a minor award, and should move forward with that experience under her girth.  It's a bit disconcerting that Todd Pletcher's go-to rider, John Velazquez, sides with WHISPERED, but Javier Castellano is a capable replacement. Pletcher sent out second-time juvenile Trickle Trickle to a high-end maiden claiming win earlier at the meet.
SHE WEARS THE BEST is the first starter out of Blissful Trip, a juvenile debut winner at Pimlico with a 69 Beyer Speed Figure.  Blissful Trip would finish second in the Fashion Stakes at Belmont as a juvenile filly, missing by a nose to Fifth Avenue.  This family has produced some solid stakes sprinters including Bay Shore (Grade 3) winner Blissful State and stakes-winner Debbie's Bliss (83K in earnings).  A $57,000 yearling purchase, She Wears the Best was bought back for $72,000 earlier this year at Ocala after working a quarter-mile in 21 seconds flat. 
SPECKLEDBIRD showed high speed in her career debut against special weight company before understandably tiring late.  Trainer Bill Mott has better numbers second-out than with debut performers, and Specklebird looms the one to catch and beat under Kent Desormeaux. 
Whispered is a half-sister to Minery, a stakes-winning sprinter that won her first three lifetime starts with Beyer Speed Figures of 104, 107, and 100.  Quiet American is not the most precocious stallion in the world, however, and Whispered must break alertly to avoid being shuffled back from the inside. 
ROMAN CHESTNUT adds Lasix after a dull try at 57-1 odds, but this is a weaker field than the one she faced on July 30, and she could certainly improve a bit.  She's a half-sister to Not for Silver, the winner of this year's Grade 2 Carry Back Stakes at Calder.  ROCK STAR ROYALTY's sire clicks with 19% of his juvenile debut runners, and all three of the dam's wins came in sprint heats.  This family has produced a slew of quick runners including stakes-winning sprinter Queen's Master (16 wins, 208K in earnings), and multiple Grade 3 winner King Robyn (568K in earnings).  The workouts fail to entice, though, and she may need a start.

1.  Water of Life  2.  She Wears the Best  3.  Speckledbird

The Play:
Water of Life - She Wears the Best Exacta
Water of Life - Speckledbird Exacta


Race 3
1 1/16 Miles (Turf)
P. G. Johnson Stakes
2-year-old fillies
Purse $70,000

SMART SEATTLE, an impressive debut winner going 5 1/2 furlongs on the grass earlier this meet, is bred to run all day.  By Smart Strike, the sire of 2007 and 2008 Horse of the Year Curlin, Smart Seattle is out of a dam that was Group 3-placed at 1 5/16 miles in France.  Half-brother Nationbuilder won over the jumps at 2 1/16 miles here on July 26.  Smart Seattle is conditioned by the extremely sharp Graham Motion, and can handle this rise in distance despite breaking from the far outside post.
MEHNDI looked good winning first-out at Belmont for William Phipps, and has been given plenty of time to recover from that performance.  The broodmare sire was a strong stamina influence, and Mehndi acts like the additional distance won't pose much of a hurdle. 
BEAUTIFUL SONG and LISA'S KITTEN are both still maidens, but the former made an excellent midrace move here 15 days ago after breaking from a tough outside post position.  This family has thrown such quality turf runners as Comic Strip, Silver Comic and Lucayan Prince, and Beautiful Song should continue to move forward.  Lisa's Kitten stretches out following a pair of sprint efforts, and her promising first-crop stallion, Kitten's Joy, has done very well with turf runners going long.  That shouldn't be a surprise as Kitten's Joy was an absolute terror in grassy routes.
MADDIE'S ODYSSEY got a piece of the pie in the Tippett Stakes at Colonial Downs last time out.  Her pedigree screams stamina as she's by Kitten's Joy out of a Lemon Drop Kid mare that won four route races in her career.  She needs a slight Beyer boost to take these down. 
WRITE WHEN READY improved by leaps and bounds in her first start on grass, and she may establish the early pace under John Velazquez.  This is the family of Well Chosen, the winner of the Ashland Stakes going long on the main track.  Write When Ready seems sharp, but will take a solid step up in class from that Ellis Park race.
LUCKY TO BE ME tries turf after winning her maiden around two turns on the main track.  There is some class on the bottom of this pedigree, and her sire was a lawn-mower in Europe. 
I DO THAT is a New York-bred first-time starter in a tough, tough spot.  Her half-brother, Katskill Bay, earned stakes-placed honors sprinting in the mud.
TAPITSFLY looked good winning an off-the-turf sprint earlier in this meet, and the third-place finisher that day returned to graduate on the lawn yesterday afternoon.  She shows sharp grass works for Dale Romans, and the dam won three races on grass including her turf debut.

1.  Smart Seattle  2.  Mehndi  3.  Beautiful Song

The Play:
Smart Seattle - Mehndi Exacta
Smart Seattle - Beautiful Song Exacta


Race 5
5 1/2 Furlongs
Maiden Special Weight
2-year-old fillies
Purse $55,000

Christophe Clement isn't exactly known for his prowess with debut runners, but he is 10-38 (26%, $2.90 ROI) this year with first-time starters.  STRIKE IT RICH, a $350,000 yearling by the classy Unbridled's Song, is out of Belle of Perintown, a multiple sprint winner that popped a 99 Beyer going 1 1/16 miles in the Grade 2 Silverbulletday Stakes at the Fair Grounds.  Belle of Perintown's only other foal to race is Sumptuous, a Hennessy filly that won second-out at two for Todd Pletcher and has placed in three stakes races.  It's good to see Ramon Dominguez accept this assignment, and Strike It Rich may threaten with a good late kick.
VICTORIA LYNN has an extensive history at public auction.  She sold for $140,000 as a weanling, was a $145,000 RNA the following year, then went for $115,000 as a yearling before being purchased for $80,000 earlier this season. She worked a quarter-mile in 22.1 at the Fasig-Tipton sale in May, and shows a bullet workout over the Saratoga main track in preparation for her debut.  Her low-profile connections guarantee a good price, and the second dam was a multiple stakes-winner of over 580K.  She's worth a shot at big odds.
STORMANDAPRAYER set wicked fractions against top juvenile filly Hot Dixie Chick when thrown to the wolves in the Schuylerville on Opening Day, and she looms the speed of the speed this afternoon.  She's the one to beat, but stamina hasn't been her strong suit, and she probably won't offer much in the way of betting value. 
CAPITALISM AT RISK showed good speed in her career debut for Richard Violette, an underrated and excellent source of juvenile winners.  She got leg-weary late, but can improve off that performance.  It may be hard for her to wrest the early advantage away from Stormandaprayer, however.
HAPPY WEEK and DATTT ECHO were involved in a protracted duel through very fast fractions here on August 13.  Happy Week won the battle, but lost the war, and is the preferred of the two.  Dattt Echo may find herself duking it out on the front end one more time. 
ENNIS LADY is a full sister to Despite the Odds, a Michael Trombetta-trained three-year-old that earned a 104 Beyer in winning the off-the-turf Hill Prince over sloppy going at Belmont Park in early June.  Despite the Odds just finished fourth in the King's Bishop on Travers Day.  The workouts fail to entice, however, and the rail draw can be tough spot for a youngster.  RESTLESS SONG adds Lasix after a dull debut.  She needs a good deal of improvement for Mr. Lukas.  CAST CALL cost $1,000,000 as a yearling for good reason.  She's by the great A.P. Indy out of Shadow Cast, a mare that won the Grade 1 Personal Ensign at the Spa with a 107 Beyer.  Cast Call is the proverbial "could be any kind" of debut runner with a limited worktab on display.
HOW FAR TO HEAVEN shows a big gap on the tab, and this solid barn has struggled at the meet.  She hails from the family of graded perfomers Saudi Poetry and Aeneas, but may need a race.

1.  Strike It Rich  2.  Victoria Lynn  3.  Stormandaprayer

The Play:
Strike It Rich to Win and Place at 9-2 odds or greater


Race 7
5 1/2 Furlongs (Turf)
Maiden Claiming ($75,000)
2-year-old fillies
Purse $35,000

Alan Garcia is named on both halves of the Linda Rice-trained entry so one will scratch.  If IN TE DOMINE is the one that gets to play, then she'll get our tepid nod in a head-scratcher.  By the red-hot sire Freud (7-22, 32%, $4,60 ROI, sire of Mr. Vegas, a juvenile debut winner going 5 1/2 furlongs at Saratoga this meet) out of a half-sister to Grade 2-placed sprinter Sailor's Warning, In Te Domine may be well-meant following a trifecta of half-mile drills on the grass.
If In Te Domine stays in the barn, let's give RAISE THE KITTY one more chance.  She improved in her first try over this course for Todd Pletcher as she dueled with favored Hatheer until midstretch before tiring late.  She looked pretty exhausted in the gallop-out, but has faced some solid juvenile turf runners, and looms the main speed. 
TICKLE MONSTER's dam won on grass, and she has already foaled Lakeville, a multiple stakes winner (and juvenile debut winner) of over 100K, and multiple stakes winner Key Issues (107K, juvenile winner).  Trainer Tim Ritvo is having a solid meet, and this filly should offer a little betting value. 
ANGEL'S COVE is the first starter out of Minge Cove, the winner of the Via Borghese Stakes going 1 1/16 miles on grass at Gulfstream Park.  Angel's Cove's sire, More Than Ready, has been surprisingly cold this year as he's only 2-55 (4%) with first-time starters in 2009. 
SIMMY shows some interesting workouts for a dangerous barn, but one must wonder if she'll do her best running right away.  Her sire, Millennium Wind, is 0-44 with first-time turf performers.  EAGER LEADER is another More Than Ready filly out of a dam that won on turf from the family of the solid Second of June.  She draws outside, but it's Rice, and she has been virtually unstoppable at this meet.  Steve Asmussen does great work with juvenile performers, and FLOWER EXCHANGE has shown good speed in both tries on the main track.  She'll be forwardly-placed under Shaun Bridgmohan, and this is the female family of the good turf runner Marshua's River.  CHRISTMAS TRIP never got into it on the main track, but Stanley Hough has done good work with experienced juvenile performers at this meet.  Both of the dam's wins came on turf (she was a first-turf winner), and she has foaled several blacktype earners including Gold Trippi (winner of the James Marvin Stakes on dirt at this meet).  NEVER DREAM must improve off dull debut effort on the main track.  MRS STROUD is a full sister to Grandelena, a stakes-placed sprinter that won two of three as a juvenile filly.  CROSSFIREHURRICANE shows a gap in 19-day gap in the work tab, and the barn has been cold with debut runners this year.

1.  In Te Domine  2.  Raise the Kitty  3.  Tickle Monster

The Play:
In Te Domine - Raise the Kitty Exacta
In Te Domine - Tickle Monster Exacta

If In Te Domine scratches, then change the play to:

Raise the Kitty - Tickle Monster Exacta
Raise the Kitty - Angel's Cove Exacta

Meet record based on starts, wins, top pick (after scratches) in the money, and profit/loss of that day's play ($2 wager): 63-14-33 (+ $4.80)