Friday, July 31, 2009

Saratoga Day 4&5

G1 Diana Stakes

There is no way I’d go against Forever Together in this field. She is a special horse and towers over her rivals in class. She ran second last out, but that was at a mile, a distance she is not best suited for. At 9 furlongs her closing kick will have a bit more punch. Note the electric bullet work leading to this race. The big dog is ready to eat.

The only other alternative for a price or upset is Criticism. Look for her to lead them around the track and steal the race is the favorite falters.

G2 Jim Dandy

This is really a rather stale edition of the Jim Dandy. Usually the race is dominated by one or two standouts, but this year we get a small seven-horse field filled with second tier types.

I’d be all over Saratoga Sinner if not for the 182 day layoff. With any type of useful prep he’d be the play against this group. I actually find myself leaning towards him anyway, but I am tempering my enthusiasm because the field can’t be that bad… can it?

Charitable Man is the “name” in the field. He of course ran a dull 4th as the wise guy horse in the G1 Belmont. I’ve never been a big fan of the horse. He does loom large in this field on ability, but the fact that he has not faired well around two turns in his career is troublesome.

Kensei is swift and appears to be improving with additional ground, but this will be his first start around two turns.

I’m leaning toward Warriors Reward for this race. There is a lot of speed and this horse will be closing in to it. He’ll need to step up slightly speed wise, but this is not a consistent field he is facing and the distance should embellish him and his style.

I’ll take Warriors Reward for the win and Saratoga Sinner as the longshot-upset special. (He’s not really a long shot in the purest sense of the word, but he is the fifth choice on the morning line in a field of seven)

G2 Fourstardave

This is a very interesting race and I think it will have several attractive betting propositions. Kip Deville’s presence in the field is great news for those looking to get a decent price on some of the other contenders. Kippy has certainly done more with his career than any in this field and if he can regain past glory he will loom large. With that said the old man hasn’t looked particularly great recently and he certainly is not a horse you can bank on. I’ll be laying against him confidently, though it would not bother me to see this guy perform to his ability.

For me the race comes down to Cowboy Cal and Cosmonaut. I’m selecting Cowboy Cal in part because I have a soft spot for the horse and also because the turn back in distance will be right up his alley. He’s never lost at this distance and I think he’s ready for another big performance. Cosmonaut has not trained that well leading to this and that’s a concern.

I’ll take Cowboy Cal for the win, and Justenuffhumor for the mid-priced upset choice. He’s won four consecutive races and has trained well coming to this race. He’ll get a massive class test here, but you have to step up at some point. Any improvement by him makes him a real danger. His race line may get him over bet though I’m afraid. At 6-1 or thereabouts though, fire away.

G1 Go For Wand

This race has little appeal from a wagering standpoint unless on the back end of multi-race wagers. This race is a chalk eating weasels delight.

The Godolphin entry looms large with Seventh Street and Cocoa Beach. Both have question marks but the play against for those inclined is the 9-5 Miss Isella. Seventh Street is coming in off a one length defeat in G1 company. Cocoa Beach is one of the best fillies in the land that is coming in off an unexplainably horrid performance. She cant be that bad, that quick.

Miss Isella is coming in off two solid scores in G2 company. She has never really run a bad race in her career on dirt and she has certainly picked it up from a speed perspective of late.

For selection purposes I’ll go with Miss Isella because she’ll be 2-1 rather than the entries 4-5 and if Cocoa Beach is not herself, she is probably the class of the field. Spritely is the upset play. She’ll look to wire the field in her first route.

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