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Old 08-13-2019, 08:58 AM   #1
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Saratoga: Wednesday, August 14

Kudos to those on the “Saratoga Live” TV show. If I didn’t know that Tom Brokaw (NBC Nightly News) wasn’t on the set, I’d think he was doing the reporting. Lafitt Pincay III, you sound exactly like him. “Good pipes,” Lafitt. In a similar vein, Maggie Wolfendale adds so much to the telecast. What I enjoy about Maggie’s reporting is that she talks about the horses’s physicality. That’s something you can’t read in the DRF. Everyone on the show adds so much to the enjoyment of the races. Keep up the good work.

Race One: No Picks

Race Two:

As I’ve stated “ad nauseum,” in a race with first-time starters, horses with races under their belts are king. Thus, in this MSW dirt sprint I’m giving my tepid nod to Dan The Man Can. This Into Mischief-bred has, in fact, two races “under his belt,” a dirt-sprint and a turf-sprint. Personally, I like the turf-to-dirt angle. This Can the Man-bred is also adding Lasix. This 2-year old chestnut colt will have to carry his speed the full six furlongs. The “Pride of Carolina, Puerto Rico” (the home of the late-great beisbol player, Roberto Clemente), Manny Franco, is in the irons. The long-time trainer from East Moriches, NY, Ed Barker, is this colt’s conditioner. Others: , ,

Race Three:

In this 16k claiming sprint, I’ve landed on Reason to Soar. This horse's back-class is undeniable. This Empire Maker-bred has been facing much better. In fact, last year, this 5-year old gelding finished 2nd in a Grade III stakes at GP. I guess the only “fly in the ointment” is the fact that this bay gelding hasn’t raced in over three months. The most recent morning works have been “decent”. This D’wildcat-bred has the riding services of one of the best, Jose Ortiz. This gelding’s trainer, George Weaver, does well with “shippers”. Others: , ,

Race Four:

As I sifted through the entries in this state-bred turf-route allowance race on The Mellon, I quite frankly found the pickings to be mighty lean. I’ve ended up with , Bad Guy. First and foremost, this 4-year old chestnut gelding has the services of one of the premier jockeys in North America, Irad Ortiz, Jr. It should be noted this gelding has faced open competition. Yet, this gelding is only 1 for 27, lifetime (not a choice for the weak-kneed). This Pulpit-bred has been away from the races for nearly two months. However, it should be stated that he did turn in a recent “bullet”. He stopped the clocker’s watch at :36.3, breezing. Alejandro Maymo is this gelding’s trainer. Others: , ,

Race Five:

Stand for the Flag is my choice in the 90k 7-furlongs sprint-route. Yes, this Super Saver-bred has been away from the races “…for the longest time.” Yet, this bay filly’s trainer, Jason Servis, does exceptionally well with horses that have been, as they say, “on the bench”. In his only pari-mutuel start, in early-September of last year at the Spa, this filly was flying in the stretch. That despite the fact that this Maria’s Mon-bred was bumped at the break. In cases like this (vacaciones), I often look at the morning work-tab, but that has been mediocre. Yet, I still believe that if this filly is reasonably ready, she can win. Jose Lezcano is in the irons. Others: , , .

Race Six:

In this state-bred MSW turf-route, I’ve landed on Devils Rendezvous. This More Than Ready-bred chestnut filly has one race under her belt. That was a dirt sprint on a sloppy track about one month ago; she finished 5th as a nearly 9-1 shot. Yet, now her connections are trying this 2-year old on the lawn. I do declare, the breeding is there. To hammer home the point: this filly’s dam, Wallstreeter, had 2 winners from 4 starters and 2 turf winners. You can toss in stellar morning works. Most recently, this filly breezed four furlongs in :48.1. Prior to that, she blitzed four panels in :47.1. Gary Contessa trains. Davie, Florida’s Tyler Gaffalione is in the irons. Others: , , .

Race Seven:

We stay on the grass in the non-graded Bolton Landing Stakes to contested over the distance of 5 and ½ furlongs for a purse of 100k. My choice is the Eddie Kenneally-trained entrant, Abscond. This Blame-bred won at first asking at Ellis Park a little less than one month ago. In that one, this Arch-bred showed an “early turn of foot”. This 2-year old bay filly should be out and going when the gates unlatch. The veteran Venezuelan-born reinsman, Javier Castellano, has his feet in the stirrups. Others: , , .

Race Eight:

In this 7-panels, 40k claimer, n2L, I’m picking Violent Delights. This Medaglia d’Oro-bred chestnut gelding could do little on the lawn in his most recent start. He now returns to the main where this A.P. Indy-bred has experienced his fair share of success (he’s hit the tote in 4 out of 6 main-track tries). “El Panemeno,” Luis Saez, has the call for the Brooklyn, NY native, trainer Tom Albertrani. Finally, I do like the 3rd start off a layoff handicapping angle. Others: , , .

Race Nine:

Back on the lawn at one mile and “a teenth” in this 25k claimer. My tepid choice is: Harv Won’t Tap. In this Divine Park-bred’s last, a race that was taken off the turf and run on the main, this gelding finished a closing 5th against better. He now returns to the turf where, on that surface, he’s hit the board in just under 75% of his tries. Not too shabby! “El Dominicano,” Jo-el Rosario, reprises the ride for trainer Bruce Brown. Brown does exceptionally well, albeit with a limited sampling, with horses making their 2nd start under his tutelage. Brown also does well with horses making their 2nd start after a claim. Yet, in all candor, Brown is only 8% when going dirt to turf. Others: , , .

Race Ten:

In the nightcap, a turf-allowance sprint, I’m going with Linda’s Ballet. This Distorted Humor-bred has hit the tote in all three of her turf tries. She has the services of the Panamanian-born “El Rey de la Hierba,” Jose Lezcano. I like horses that have a win under their belt on the Spa’s turf course. Yes, this filly is stepping up, but I believe she’ll be equal to the occasion. Rudy Rodriguez trains this Heatseeker (IRE)-bred. The filly’s dam, Heartless, had 2 winners from 3 starters and 1 turf winner. Further, Rodriguez does very well with first off a claim. Others: , ,
Walt (Teach)

"Walt, make a 'mental bet' and lose your mind." R.N.S.

"The important thing is what I think of myself."
"David and Lisa" (1962)

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