TimeformUS Weekend Plays: Sunday Stakes Previews at Saratoga and Del Mar

The Grade 2 Woodford Reserve Lake Placid Stakes, Saratoga, Inner Turf, Three-Year Old Fillies, One Mile and One Eighth

Caroline Thomas (12-1) is a deep closer who has been subjected to one extremely slow pace after another.  (Note that fractions rated to be particularly slow are shown in blue.)  She also had some trouble at the start in her last which is not noted in the shorter chart comments you see in other past performances products.


We have had an eye on her for a while and keep telling ourselves: "One of these days, she's going to get some pace to work with and really surprise people."  That day has finally arrived. Caroline Thomas already owns competitive speed figures, and because this field contains several quality horses who possess tactical speed, at long last, she should receive an honest pace to close into. This could cause her to improve tremendously. She is the selection in here.

Morning line favorite Tapicat (#2) has been visually impressive, and the TimeformUS pace projector indicates that she will set an honest early pace.

However, John Velazquez will be stalking her on Silsita (#6), and he certainly won't let her have it too easy up front. Tapicat has never run a speed figure faster than 95, and she will certainly have to do a little better than that to win today.


The Rancho Bernardo Handicap, Del Mar, Grade 3, Six and One-Half Furlongs, Polytrack, Fillies and Mares, Three-Year-Olds and Up
The Rancho Bernardo has attracted a field of five fillies and mares and will be run as the fourth race on the Sunday Del Mar card in order to keep it out of the Pick 6. The winner of last year's edition of this race, Winding Way, returns to defend her crown but does so under something of a cloud. Her regular trainer, Carla Gaines, is under suspension for having two of her fillies show a surfeit of testosterone in post-race drug tests. One of those fillies was indeed Winding Way, though the positive test was for her maiden victory at Betfair Hollywood Park, not her 2012 victory in this race. At any rate, Gaines' sometime-assistant Jerry Quinn has "taken over" the training of Winding Way while Gaines does whatever trainers do when they are politely asked not to train their horses for 30 days. Meanwhile, the aptly named filly Reneesgotzip will go to the gate as the heavy favorite to win the Rancho Bernardo.
The TFUS Pace Projector indicates that after the opening quarter mile of this race, the field will be fairly strung out, with Reneesgotzip on a commanding lead and Sweet Marini in second place, followed by Winding Way and Sugarinthemorning, with Curvy Cat a clear and rather distant last. What is more, the Pace Projector projects that the race will be run at a pace that favors horses on or near the early lead. In short, the Pace Projector gives a boost to the one horse who doesn't seem to need one: Reneesgotzip.

Rancho Bernardo Pace Projector
Reneesgotzip enters this race fresh off a speed figure of 122, a number so fast that its repetition (or near- repetition) practically guarantees victory today. However, the number may not be all that it seems. She ran it while racing on the lead and near the rail over a Del Mar surface that was favoring inside speed. Moreover, she ran it at a time when her trainer, Pete Miller, was on fire. Well, Miller has since cooled off considerably, much as he did after his blazing start in last year's Del Mar meet. Still, Reneesgotzip plainly loves this surface (over which she has run two excellent speed figures), has a tactical advantage over her rivals because of her early speed, holds a class edge over her rivals, and has trained well for today's race. Plus she is trained by a "bounce-conscious" trainer who is well aware of the possibility of a negative reaction to her huge effort last time and who has therefore handled her gingerly since that effort. She is a deserving favorite today.

The most likely upsetter might well be Winding Way, who got caught up in a speed duel with the rugged Teddy's Promise in her most recent race and earned a solid speed figure of 106. She is capable of winning races from off the pace, which would seem to be a prerequisite for her beating Reneesgotzip today. 



Arlington Million Day All Stakes Pick 4
Get FREE Arlington Million PPs at TimeformUS.com

The Arlington Million racecard is always one of the highlights of the summer for both bettors and racing fans. Since these races typically attract numerous high-class international raiders as well as some of the best US turf horses, we are offering our analysis in combination with that of the experts at the Timeform home office in England. Write-ups by Timeform's Mark Milligan of all the international-based runners are included below.  Without any further ado, here is our combined analysis of the All Stakes Pick Four (50 cent min./$200k guarantee), with TimeformUS selections at the end.

Race 7: The American St. Leger

Only the most chauvinistic of our racing fans and bettors believe that North American grass racing is on a par with that of our European counterparts. Our horses have been bred primarily for dirt racing, and in our breeding program, strong emphasis is placed on speed and especially precocity. It is therefore no surprise that all four of trainer Wesley Ward's wins in England have come with June two-year-olds.

However, our grass horses usually perform miserably when they ship to foreign countries. In the history of the Dubai World Cup, American-based turf horses are a combined 0-for-47 in the three major grass races, The Dubai Duty Free, The Dubai Sheema Classic, and the Al Quoz Sprint.  

Moreover, not since the Charlie Whittingham-trained Golden Pheasant won the 1991 Japan Cup has one of our North American turf horses captured a major Group 1 win on turf in a foreign country. Golden Pheasant himself was also originally from Europe, but had spent almost two years in the US before his Japan Cup heroics. Indeed, a true US turfer hasn't accomplished this feat since Fourstars Allstar captured the Irish 2000 Guineas in 1991.  

At the marathon-like distance of one mile and five and a half furlongs, the American St. Leger is basically a race tailor-made for European shippers. There are two European shippers in this event: Dandino and Wigmore Hall. Here is analysis of these two horses from Timeform in England:

Dandino – His trainer, Marco Botti, won the inaugural running of this race last season with Jakkalberry. He brings over a similar type this year in Dandino, who was a really good 2nd at Royal Ascot last time. Looks to have a big chance.

Wigmore Hall – This classy horse is well known across the Atlantic, having competed in the Million previously, and is a 2-times winner of the G1 Northern Dancer Stakes at Woodbine. This is his first try beyond 12 furlongs.

The bottom line is this: The two European invaders tower over this weak field. They've run superior speed figures and this race suits them perfectly. The best chance of the Americans on form is Dark Cove, but he must give a seven pound weight break to this entire field, a significant weight concession at this distance.

Race 8: The Secretariat

The two best US-based horses in this race are clearly Jack Milton and Rydilluc. Jack Milton was an excellent third in the Virginia Derby last time out, in a race where he was defeated by only a neck and carried four pounds more than both the winner and second-place finisher. He's earned back-to-back TimeformUS speed figures of 104, and he projects a good trip today.

Rydilluc, on the other hand, is the most talented American runner in the field, and might be more talented than the Euros as well. However, the ten furlong distance is a big concern, especially considering the way he quit through the stretch in the Virgina Derby in his most recent start. The female side of Rydilluc's pedigree is very sprint oriented and he is running here only because the Hall Of Fame stakes, at the far more optimal distance of 8.5 furlongs, was rained off of the turf at Saratoga last week.

Here is analysis of this race's foreign shippers from Timeform in England:

First Cornerstone – Won a G2 in Ireland last season, and finished 4th in the Racing Post Trophy, one of Europe’s top 2yo races. Has not been in that sort of form this year, finishing 5th in the G1 Irish 2000 Guineas, and well down the field in the G1 Prix Du Jockey Club, in France.  May appreciate the class relief.

Visiyani – Represents last year’s winning owner/trainer/jockey combo. This horse has not achieved as much as Bayrir had before winning last year, but his connections know what’s needed to target this race.

Yeager – Broke his maiden in June, then stepped up to win a handicap race impressively at Ascot last time. This US-bred colt seems to be improving quickly, and his trainer Jeremy Noseda has a knack of bringing the right horses over from the UK.

Race 9: The Beverly D

Of the North-American-based horses, morning line favorite Marketing Mix is an absolute standout. She's run speed figures of 111, 111, and 115 in her last three starts. No other North American-based horse in this field has ever run a figure as high as 111 in her entire career. Marketing Mix was a close second in this race last year, and she was assigned a career-best speed figure of 116 for that effort. You know she loves the course and distance and she's making her third start off the layoff after having defeated males last time out. In plain English, Marketing Mix is our best chance, and the Euros will need to show up in a big way in order to beat her.

Here is analysis of this race's foreign shippers from Timeform in England:

Dank – Best effort came when winning a 9 furlong, G3 race at Newmarket in May. Was a little below her best, but still managed to win a G2 in Ireland last time, also over 9 furlongs. Usually stalks the pace.

Duntle – Put in her best effort of the season last time when 2nd behind Elusive Kate in a G1 race at Deauville, in France. Previously this year, had won at Royal Ascot (G2) and Leopardstown (G3).  Has never raced further than a mile.

Gifted Girl – Won a Listed race over a mile at Pontefract last time, having previously run well to finish 2nd in a G3 race at Epsom. Has worked her way up from handicap company in the UK, and gets a further step up in class here.

Race 10: The Arlington Million (Free PPs)

Defending champion Little Mike took advantage of an uncontested early lead and went wire to wire under a crafty ride by Ramon Dominguez in last year's edition of the Million. With the presence of Nate's Mineshaft in this race, it's very unlikely Little Mike will have any choice to exploit such a tactical advantage this time. That's not a deal-breaker though. Little Mike was able to use stalking tactics and score a very impressive victory over our superstar turfer Point of Entry and the very good St. Nicholas Abbey in last year's Breeders' Cup Turf. Little Mike was terrible in Dubai, but so is every US-based turf horse who goes over there. The only disconcerting thing about Little Mike is the fact that he had his optimal trip in the United Nations last time out, and couldn't even save third against much softer competition than he faces today.

The best hope of the American-based horses might be Real Solution. This Pennsylvania-bred sired by Kitten's Joy showed a very promising start to his career, in Italy, before fizzling out. He was transported to the United States and transferred into the barn of sharp American trainer Chad Brown, a trainer who has numerous Trainer Ratings of a perfect 100. Real Solution ran a solid TimeformUS speed figure of 110 in his most recent start, when third to Point of Entry. Sure, he got a huge nine pound weight concession from Point of Entry that day, but this lightly raced four-year-old has been freshened and pointed for this race by the ultra conservative Chad Brown.

Richard Mandella also has an interesting contender in Indy Point. This southern hemisphere star was a very impressive winner going a mile at Del Mar against weaker competition in the Wickerr. The manner in which he won that race suggests he will appreciate the added distance. Mandella certainly doesn't have the flashy Trainer Ratings that Chad Brown does, but he's a great old-school trainer, and it is ambitious of him to ship Indy Point to this race only 24 days after his stateside debut.

Here is analysis of this race's foreign shippers from Timeform in England:

Grandeur – US bettors will be aware of this horse, due to his exploits in So Cal last year. Won a G2 at Hollywood Park, following on from a good 2nd in a G1 at the same venue. Seemed to have improved since then, when 2nd to Mukhadram in a G2 at York last time, and clearly getting better.

Guest Of Honour – A lightly-raced colt, still open to improvement.  Finished 3rd  in a G2 at Ascot last time (enduring a luckless trip), and would almost certainly have been closer had things gone better for him. He is untried at much beyond a mile, but travels strongly enough to suggest that 10 furlongs will be no problem.

Hunter’s Light – Started favourite for the Dubai World Cup, before finishing a disappointing 7th . Had previously shown high-class form in Dubai, on Tapeta. Finished 3rd in a G1 (on turf) in Germany last time, not finding a lot when asked by his jockey. Could go well for the addition of Lasix.

Mull Of Killough – A tough gelding who recorded his best effort this season when winning a G3 at Newmarket in April. Shipped to Singapore in May, running  5th in a G1, before coming back to the UK, finishing 2nd behind Aljamaheer in a G2 at Ascot last time.

Side Glance - A consistent performer, whose last win came in a G3 at Epsom in 2012. Finished  7th behind the top-class Al Kazeem at Royal Ascot last time.  Probably stays 10 furlongs, though his best efforts have been at slightly shorter.

The Apache - Showed smart form in Dubai over the winter,  winning a G2, and twice running 2nd  to Sajjhaa in G1s. Returned from a  4-month layoff when finishing 4th behind Mukhadram (Grandeur 2nd ) last time at York. Should move forward off that run.

Timeform Overview: Grandeur is likely to be best supported of the foreign challengers, but Hunter's Light is at least his equal on his day and looks the value call on Lasix for the first time.

And here are the TimeformUS must-uses in the All Stakes Pick Four:

American St. Leger:  Dandino, Wigmore Hall

Secretariat: Jack Milton, First Cornerstone, and Visiyani

Beverly D:  Marketing Mix, Dank, and Duntle

Arlington Million: Real Solution, Hunter's Light, Guest of Honour


Saturday Saratoga, Race 10, The Alabama
Local Post Time - 5:45pm ET

The 3/5 morning line favorite, Princess of Sylmar, simply looks too tough to beat. She's won back to back Grade 1 races against much better competition. Those races were both assigned race ratings of 117. Today's race, though also a Grade 1, has a rating of only 101. Those who wish to grasp at straws will note that Todd Pletcher does not have a good record in this race, and they will note that today's distance of a mile and a quarter is farther than anyone in this field has ever run. We don't see those points as significant factors. Princess Of Sylmar is simply much better than these, and a repeat of either of her last two performances will translate to easy victory.

The two alternatives for those hell-bent on taking a stand against the Princess today are Fiftyshadesofhay and Carnival Court. Fiftyshadesofhay has started ten times, and has never run a speed figure faster than a 103. Carnival Court, who is a half sibling to Royal Delta and has a perfect 100 pedigree rating, is lightly raced and figures to love the added distance. The problem with her is that she's never run a speed figure faster than a 93 and has never faced competition this good.

Coming Sunday, previews of Sunday's graded stakes races at Saratoga and Del Mar. 


Leave a Comment:

Rusty Weisner

I wanted the play the P3 ending in the Sword Dancer but don't like anything in races 7 & 8 other than a mild interest in 20-1 shot Attenborough in R7.

I'll play the late 50-cent P4 with Twilight Eclipse singled in the first leg, the Sword Dancer:



16 Aug 2013 2:41 PM
Rusty Weisner

I will also try DDs in R6-7:



The 2 in R6, Iron Power (6-1) is lightly raced, broke maiden in his second race.  The top two favorites in this race come out of the same race he was in and finished ahead of him, but he had an excuse.

16 Aug 2013 3:26 PM
Rusty Weisner

I'm not going to try to beat Princess of Sylmar tomorrow.  I'll play my cheap $8 P4 ticket with her and Twilight Eclipse and play Twilight Eclipse to win and on top and in verticals in R9.

16 Aug 2013 3:47 PM
Little Bill

Oxbow out for the year. He'll come back like a beast. Awesome Agains, like fine wine.

16 Aug 2013 4:57 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Saturday Del Mar

R8 The Del Mar Oaks

1 Wishing Gate (7/2), an ultra-impressive 'vs Plod Winner' two back at AP, recorded a 'Neutral or Better Win' as a bold upgrade for Flow Players in her easy G2 victory in the San Clemente. Readers of this Blog that followed the advice posted here before that victory are encouraged to 'let it ride' tomorrow.  Vertical exotic players should consider the 2 Discreet Marq off her strong 'vs Zip Win' on July 4.

16 Aug 2013 7:13 PM

There are to interesting US based colts in the Secretariat that could either upset or at least make the Tri/Super interesting.

Draw Two: After breaking his maiden on 10/17/12, he returned to the races 7 months later and despite his long respite he won an 8F allowance. His next start 2 months later was in the 10F VA Derby. This where this colt  becomes interesting! His 2nd race in 9 months is contested at 10F. How tight could he have been for such a long race?

He broke from post #10 and was immediately pushed wide by #9. He occupied last position for the 1st 4F. He worked his way into the race by the final turn and when he started his serious challenge in the stretch, he again receive a healthy bump from #9. He closed willingly for 4th.

Jack Milton who likewise had a troubled trip and who got beat by a NS, finished about 2-3 lengths ahead of him. In the 9 months in which Draw Two had 2 races, Jack Milton had 4. Therefore JM must have been the fitter of the two.

If Jack Milton is considered the best of the locals then Draw Two should have an excellent chance to beat him.

Balthazar: A handsome looking son of WR setting Red Giant. His MSW victory at Keeenland did not require him to leave 1st gear. He is blessed with energy efficient strides and a devastating turn of foot.

His sire Red Giant bred only 38 mares in 2009. This appears to be another good one from a small book. He is one of the locals that have to be considered.

17 Aug 2013 9:12 AM

I have been lamenting the lack of support the great Invasor has received at stud. He was recently inducted in the HOF and wouldn’t it be fitting if Ausus could give this great race horse his first G1 winner.

Ausus could be considered to be a product of two stallions that have not lived up to expectation. Her dam sire Fusaichie Pegasus has was brilliant but his brilliance has not transitioned to the breeding shed.

Aussu last victory came in the (G3) Modesty Handicap contested at the Beverly D distance of 1 3/16m. Her winning time was just off the stakes record for the distance.

The Euros will be tough but so was Invasor. If his daughter can deliver a performance similar to that which he delivered in the Don handicap she can get the job done.

17 Aug 2013 11:40 AM
Little Bill

AP 7) P-4 4 w 8,9,10 w 4,7 w 2,7,9.

17 Aug 2013 12:49 PM
Mary Zinke

Arlington r10, The Million: 7 Indy Point, 11 Little Mike, 5 Temeraine, 13 Grandeur.

Arlington r9: 7,6(would not surprise me if she won)8,9.

Arlington r7: 7,8,4,6.

Arlington r8: Like the 10.

Del Mar r8: 7,8,9,6.

17 Aug 2013 1:14 PM
Rusty Weisner

There were some scratches at Saratoga so I'm playing a P3 with a horse I like in R6:

R6-8 P3:


Add the 10 in the last race to P4 ticket.

Bet over $50 on Twilight Eclipse, my big bet of the day; maybe he breaks through today.  Teaks North scratched; maybe that helps him with an easier pace.  

I also took Mary Zinke's horse in the Arlington Million on a lark -- got to bet on an American, and he's got a race here and Lasix under his belt:

P4: 4,8/2,3,4,7,9/4,6/7

17 Aug 2013 1:30 PM
Forbidden Apple


Secretariat- Stormy Len

Beverly D- Marketing Mix

Arlington Million- Grandeur

Del Mar Oaks- Discreet Marq


Race 6 #2 Iron Power needs a smooth start and he should improve second out after a layoff. Lezcano is riding well on the grass, he will never be 6-1. Daily Doubles with #6 Gold Megillah and #10 Velvet Cap.

Race 8 #2 Ampersand is also second off a layoff with Lezcano. Pick 3 with Boisterous and Carnival Court. Even with a firm turf, Boisterous looks formidable. Carnival Court clearly needs a sharp improvement to win the Alabama. I'm expecting her to try and steal the race on the front end. Plus she is crying out for more distance and was not cranked up for her previous one mile race.

17 Aug 2013 2:08 PM
Rusty Weisner

Forbidden Apple,

I'm singling that Iron Power in a P3.

17 Aug 2013 2:46 PM


R9 exacta

4/5 boxed


R8 exacta

4/10 boxed

4/12 boxed

R9 exacta

2 W 5,8,9

R10 tri

8 W 1,7,10,11,13 W 3

In the million I am leaning on the turf imports to get me home.

17 Aug 2013 3:22 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Saratoga 7th

5 Lawyer Jim recorded a rare 'Quick to Zip Win' two back. The last,  while not worthy of an upgrade on it's own merits, does provide support to the read as he was too close and made an early move into a race that favored Closers.  

17 Aug 2013 4:00 PM
Plod Boy Phil

and BOOM.

Flow players had this gem in hand yesterday afternoon....

Good times

17 Aug 2013 4:11 PM

as a flow player yes we did .

flow flow flow !!!!!!!!!!!!!

17 Aug 2013 4:23 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Overlay Alert

Monmouth Race 9

2 Skiffs Brewmeister recorded a modest 'vs Plod Win' last out.

17 Aug 2013 4:48 PM
Sam Santschi

Realize that Dandino won the St. Leger already but my picks for Arlington P4 were:  4, 7 / 7, 9 / 5, 6, 7 / 1, 13

17 Aug 2013 5:22 PM
Mary Zinke

GL with that single, Rusty. I just really like Indy Point. When I saw his Wickerr win, I thought this one will beat all of my Cali favs. And I hoped he'd run in the Million. I did pick him for the Wickerr based on his PPs, and now I've watched many of his youtube videos.  And yes, rm on him today.

17 Aug 2013 5:40 PM
Sam Santschi

Nice trip for Yeager there in the Secretariat.

17 Aug 2013 6:04 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Saratoga 12th Recap

Two upgrades: 1 Kid Wando (10-1) and 9 Bernardo (19-1).

One downgrade: 3 Native Singer (2-1).

As discussed here last Sunday,  the common race they exited was an Extreme Race for Speed,  thus upgrade off the pace runners and downgrade the pace setters.  While the best the two upgrades could do was a 3rd, the downgraded race favorite was off the board.  Despite the fact that we did not get the money this time,  taking live overlays over dubious underlays is the best bet in the long run.

17 Aug 2013 7:15 PM
Rusty Weisner

Mary Zinke,

Nothing doing.

Lost most of my money today - $80 - on Twilight Eclipse in the Sword Dancer.  I had a good feeling about the horse and it went like I pictured, but he just wasn't the best, unfortunately.  I had him in tris over Big Blue Kitten and Boisterous (I almost played the Coldfacts tri key with him over ALL/ALL) and a what would have been a decent P4 even with P.O.Sylmar.  

17 Aug 2013 7:28 PM
Rusty Weisner

Monarchos Matt liked Real Solution, and probably Kevin, too, if he's still around.  Hope they made some money.

17 Aug 2013 7:31 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Good for Kevin - he's been playing for years and has never been put up via DQ.....

17 Aug 2013 7:41 PM

It's Kitten's Joy's world. We're just living in it.

17 Aug 2013 7:41 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Arlington Race 12

6 Carson's Crown - chased the wire to wire winner of an Extreme Race for Speed last out.  That run followed a modestly upgraded effort in a race with a speed favoring Flow in his return to sprinting after two turf routes.  Trusting Stidham's choice for this spot over the opener.  

17 Aug 2013 7:51 PM
Plod Boy Phil

The Del Mar Oaks:

That's not quite perfect,  but still worth a BOOM.

Bold downgrade of the 6 made it a bit sweeter.

Drinks on Forbidden Apple !

17 Aug 2013 9:02 PM
Pedigree Ann

Anybody notice, in all the hoopla about the DQ involving the first two under the wire, what a brutal trip Hunter's Light had in the stretch? I picked him in the Race of the Day contest so I was watching him. Full of run, couldn't get out. Sawed off, bumped, clipped heels, stumbled, nearly went down. The chart doesn't begin to tell the whole story.

Hope Indy Point is all right. Race too bad to be true.

18 Aug 2013 7:41 AM
Plod Boy Phil

Since I don't drink,  it's early to rise for another day with the Flow.

Weather pending, the note above regarding the over bet downgrade Kitten's Dumpling in yesterday's Del Mar Oaks, provides handicappers with an upgrade and a downgrade in today's Lake Placid. The 'Quick to Zip' goes to favored Tapicat while the 'with Zip' downgrade goes to Watsdachances.

Good times.

18 Aug 2013 8:58 AM
Plod Boy Phil

Sunday Ellis Park

R1) 4 Arrived Home (9/2) recorded a 'Neutral or Better Win' in his turf debut last out following a impossible wide run behind the near w-w winner of a very Speed favoring race.  Repeats on the step up.

18 Aug 2013 10:34 AM

Yeah, I'm still here.  Good on Rusty for realizing I liked Real Solution.  Didn't cash though, just had him in the late Pick4.  Missed the next race as I had singled #9 Frivolous.  

But I can no longer say I've always been on the wrong side of a DQ.  

I was lucky enough to hit two early Pick 3s at Arlington and a good tri at Saratoga.

I cashed out most of my winnings, so just dabbling at Saratoga today.

Top picks:

Race 7) #9 Neck of the Moon

Race 10) #4 Bank Float (value pick)

Race 11) #7 Kitten Kaboodle

18 Aug 2013 10:40 AM
Plod Boy Phil

Sunday Woodbine

R4) 2 Goldstryke Glory (6-1) found herself chasing the wire to wire winner of a very Speed favoring Flow last out - not an easy task if a length or more back at the first call.  Makes her turf debut today with a cutback to 6f.

18 Aug 2013 12:54 PM
Plod Boy Phil

"...and Goldstryke Glory is running out of her skin today......in 1:08 and a fifth"

18 Aug 2013 2:31 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Nicely done guys.

18 Aug 2013 4:52 PM
Monarchos Matt

Was live to Real Solution and The Apache in the all stakes Pick 4 and had them boxed in an exacta with Indy Point and Grandeur, which made for a very solid day for me, easily my best of the year so far. I stuck with Rydilluc in the Secretariat as my win play but it was worth it to learn that he is no 10f horse...but was spread deep enough there to have the winner and then hit with Dank outright as well. My main mistake was sticking with Indy Point, who all week I liked about equally as Real Solution, despite the beating his odds took. I guess I bought into the hype and believed that Real Soliution was vulnerable from the rail, but really wish I had stuck with the value play there. Lesson learned, but still a very good day and it was a fantastic event to attend as always.

18 Aug 2013 5:36 PM
Little Bill

Congrats to all that cashed. It's freezing out here.

18 Aug 2013 6:02 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Another interesting Monday card at Saratoga for Flow Players.

R6) 8 An Imaginery Road (6-1) impressed in MSW score with a 'vs Plod Win'. Best yet to come.

19 Aug 2013 11:03 AM
Plod Boy Phil

Wednesday Saratoga

R6) 1 Nodebtdanny (4-1) chased the wire to wire winner of a notably Speed favoring event last out at 7f on the dirt. While lacking the Flow figure strength as runaway winner 'GG' posted here on Sunday,  the profile is similarly enticing.

21 Aug 2013 12:47 PM

How we miss Jason Shandler

21 Aug 2013 4:28 PM
Rusty Weisner


How so?

22 Aug 2013 10:17 AM
Rusty Weisner

I like My Happy Face and Let 'Em Shine best in the first two legs of the big P4.

22 Aug 2013 11:52 AM
Rusty Weisner

I'm not sure what to do with the Ballston Spa -- just take the three that have won at G2 or G1 or whether any of the three G3 winners have a chance here; seems a pretty good bet to try to beat Laughing.  

I like Palace Malice, but not enough to wager a lot on.  I think I should go for the R9-11 P3, where I like two horses as singles: My Happy Face, but especially Let 'Em Shine.  In the King's Bishop I think that one outclasses all the other speed and besides him I give a chance to the closers: besides the impressive Forty Tales longer shots Declan's Warrior, Capo Bastone, Central Banker.

22 Aug 2013 1:22 PM
Rusty Weisner

I'm taking stand against Verrazano but not real enthusiastic about any of the others besides PM.   Maybe Orb, WTC, Transparent and/or Romansh.  I missed the boat on WTC at 17-1 in the Jim Dandy but 10-1 on the ML doesn't seem too bad considering he's run a faster Beyer than Orb has ever run.  No verticals for me in this race.

22 Aug 2013 3:47 PM
Monarchos Matt


I'm also going to try to beat Verrazano for the win. I still think Palace Malice's Jim Dandy was every bit as impressive as the Haskell was, Beyers be damned, and PM is proven over a distance of ground and has a far superior 10f pedigree. Perhaps Verrazano is just talented enough to get it done here, but at 2-1 (and likely less at post time if you ask me) I have to lean towards PM as the most likely winner(who might also be lower than his morning line, however...)

This leaves me right back where I was on the first Saturday in May. Orb still has the best figure of all at this distance and should get more pace to run at here than he did in either the Preakness or Belmont, with Moreno and Verrazano going at it early, and I think Romanash may be forced into that from the rail, with PM sitting just off of them in a good spot. The layoff doesn't bother me, and Shug seems confident. If he's 4-1 or higher I don't think you can leave him out when he's proven at the distance and fresh.

Underneath, the scariest horse to me is Transparent. He was one that I was very high on in the winter, and despite the DQ in his last, he was much the best in the stretch of  the 9f Curlin. His pedigree suits for the distance and if he's back at full strength he could make things interesting. Obviously Will Take Charge is a must use underneath as well although I don't see him as a win candidate. Another horse that interests me at long odds is War Dancer, who has won at 10f on turf, and while his pedigree looks speed oriented, it also (importantly) suggests that he won't mind the switch to dirt.

I'll try to keep off the board entirely Golden Soul (off form since the Derby, which cost me the exacta and the tri and looks more and more like a fluke every time he runs), Moreno (like the pedigree but don't like the way he folded last time at a shorter distance) and Romanash (class jump, and worried about rail post).

Looking at something like this:


Orb, Palace Malice/

Orb, Palace Malice, Verrazano/

Orb, Palace Malice, Verrazano, Transparent, Will Take Charge, War Dancer

And across the board $ on Orb if he's 4-1 or higher, which should hedge my investment if Verrazano wins the race and kills my Trifecta. And if Orb wins and the Tri hits, even better.

Not going to be a multi-race wager day for me, I think the King's Bishop is much more wide open than you do...Let Em Shine had Zee Bros to deal with last time but I still think he'll see more speed here than you think. It would be tough to talk me into singling him in a 14 horse race that is bound to have some speed, especially when Forty Tales seems to always find just enough ground late.

22 Aug 2013 4:43 PM
Rusty Weisner

Monarchos Matt,

I was very close to considering another Palace Malice/Orb exacta/trifecta, but for me the second time was the charm.  Nevertheless I think PM is strong, and at least he splits the money with Verrazano.  I think he could hold his Jim Dandy form or even improve off it: the Belmont had a deceptively low Beyer so he think he replicated it in the Jim Dandy, as this is his race of the year.  With Verrazano I'm crossing my fingers that he does what Quality Road did in the Travers off the highest fig in his life.  I'm not taking War Dancer:  he's never won on dirt and his one dirt try was weaker than the turf efforts it was sandwiched between.

I'm going to stick with Let Em Shine.  Sure, there's lots of speed, but for me that's hard to predict.  Let's hope he runs the rest of them into the ground.  In any case, I won't take any speed but him; on my alternate ticket I'll only take closers (Forty Tales' last winning effort was good, as I don't think it really set up for him the way the Woody Stephens did). In the Test I'll take that Lulu horse along with My Happy Face.  

I'll play multiple P3 and P4 tickets, with my two singles PM and Let Em Shine; I'll need one of them to win. I'll only have two in R9.

I'm off for a short beach vacation.  Good luck!

22 Aug 2013 5:55 PM
Little Bill

Ballerina- I had to laugh, check out the race/work pattern on Street Girl. Talk about wind her up and take a shot.

22 Aug 2013 8:36 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Friday Del Mar

R4) 2 Quinette exits back to back 'wrong side' runs following a fifteen week freshening.  Drops into a field with plenty of Zip in the gate which may set things up nicely for her.

23 Aug 2013 5:48 PM
Forbidden Apple


Iron Power broke like a turtle again at 8/5. I only used him is a few small doubles. My Happy Face looks primed for a win. I also like Let Em Shine, he has a big chance at winning. I bet Mentor Cane last time, but he has problems making turns. It's very odd that Shirref's also had Peace and Justice blow a turn in a race.

23 Aug 2013 11:20 PM
Forbidden Apple

Second and third again, I had doubles (Book Review & Villanesca w/ Parnelli). That must be at least the 40th horse of the meet that ran second for me.

23 Aug 2013 11:24 PM
Forbidden Apple

Transparent is my Travers pick at 10-1 with NO Lasix. He was not nearly as sharp for the Curlin as he will be tomorrow. He overcame a layoff and a slow pace in the Curlin, he's ready now. With his athletic build I think he can stalk the pace and make a sweeping move to the wire. Another positive sign is that the McLaughlin barn has been on fire this week. My only concern is the jockey, I hope he learned something in the Curlin. Palice Malice and Moreno should give the needed pace that I'm looking for. Verrazano does not scare me at all. He always has an easy time of it up front and then looks great at the finish, not tomorrow.

Top 3 picks:

1)Transparent 2)Palice Malice 3)Orb

23 Aug 2013 11:40 PM

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