BEST BET: RACE 6, RAPPEL
BALANCE THE BUDGET won his first start back off the layoff, and then opened a huge lead in his second start over soft ground before lasting for 2nd; can run better here dropping out of the Grade 1 Smithwick. NO WUNDER didn’t jump his best in stakes company making his first start up here, but he did much better to just come up short last time while outfinishing several of these. HARDROCK ELEVEN looking for first win since going backto-back last September, the first of those wins coming up here; set the pace before fading behind NO WUNDER last time while jumping out badly all the way.
ONE MORE ROUND has his issues, and he was listed as a vet scratch from a $50k claimer earlier in the meet, but he also has run some races when feeling right that would make him very hard on this field; can have that first start back from the layoff in the slop where he was off poorly from the gate and left far behind early before rallying some late. FORGE ran well up here in his debut as a 2yo, and he dueled the pace in his first start of the year before succumbing in the stretch; big class drop for trainer looking to secure second straight Saratoga title. YOUR SECRET’S SAFE dropped earlier in the meet and disappointed over that sloppy track ahead of ONE MORE ROUND while failing to run down a 115/1 shot on the lead; new trainer excellent off the claim.
MINSKY MOMENT scratched out of last Friday’s Albany, which was won by his stablemate Twisted Tom, to await this easier spot; tough here after being badly compromised while wide over a strong inside track last time. BORN FOR A STORM the other Chad, and he wheels back in quickly after getting wired in a sprint here last week; stretches out for the first time. CONTROL GROUP looking for three in a row after wiring a three-life claimer that was taken off-the-turf over course and distance last time; up in class for this, but figures say he fits.
SHIMMERING MOON flashed some ability early on but took a while to put it all together for her prior trainer, but think she may have started to come around this year, and she was convincing in her first start for Nevin while tracking from the outside before taking over and drawing away with a new top figure.; well-posted outside the other speed COZZY SPRING looked good using her speed to win back-to-back races earlier this summer at Belmont, including that top figure win two back where she went fast early and wouldn’t let the closers in late; forget that last one where she never looked comfortable over turf. SILLY SISTER cut the pace and was no match for the talented Sunset Ridge in a fast race last time; was heading the right way prior to that one, and she may fall into a trip here if the top two race for it early.
ULTIMATEENTICEMENT shipped in to face NY-breds earlier in the meet and used his speed to good effect before falling to a talented and wellmeant firster from Chad Brown’s barn; tough with a repeat performance, unless one of the first time starters can go. NEW YORK HERO may be most likely of those to show up right away as a half to the talented runner, and excellent 2yo Upstart for a top trainer. FIVE STAR BUNT has landed in a couple of tough races for the level so far vs. the likes of Morning Breeze and subsequent stakes winner Aveenu Malcainu, and liked that he had more speed last time as he goes shorter from the rail.
May be coming too late for RAPPEL, but like him cutting back to sprint after disappointing over
time going longer; recent races leave something to be desired, but he is not as bad as his overall record makes him look, and he began his career with some promise as a sprinter. ROYAL ASSET may be a better dirt horse, but he has run well on turf from limited tries, and he looks like the lone speed in this field. RATE FOR ME required a drop in to the claiming ranks to break his maiden, but he did that convincingly, and then came right back to win again over this track and trip; tries to keep it going vs. better. GRAND SKY upped his game significantly off the claim for Jason Servis, who is in the midst of a very strong meet up here, and who is especially stong with turf horses off the claim; threat stepping back up if he can repeat that last one.
GRAND VALOUR had his debut rained off the grass and he lacked early speed in that short sprint before coming wide and racing on with some interest in the stretch; half to a three-time turf route winner stretches out for trainer who excels with second time-starting maidens, though most of her success in that category has come with dirt horses. GOSILENTLY made lone turf start last year vs. NY-breds and didn’t run poorly at all while rallying late to get a piece; ships back in after finding improved speed, and improved figures out of town. APPEALING BRIEFS has settled for secondbest in each of his last two starts since shipping back up to NY this summer, but he has run well both times and fits well in this field once again; running out of chances.
ODE TO THE HUNT one of four exiting the 8/6 race for this condition up here which was contested over a mile on the inner turf where he finished behind both Manifest Destiny and Storm Prophet, but think he is the one you want out of that race - if you want any - as he was in traffic for much of the stretch run after failing to get himself into a contending position in the early stages; giving him one more chance second off the layoff. MISSION
LEADER’s lone turf start to date was a solid effort for second behind the talented Voodoo Song as a 2yo; switches back to try again as a new gelding after having his most recent start in May rained off. JUPITER RISING won his turf debut on a class drop for Mike Hushion, and he was bothered in the stretch while in contention last time at this level; have no problem giving him another chance in this field as he switches to the Pletcher barn.
ORBOLUTION went 0-2 on dirt early on, but she improved with the switch to turf, as her pedigree suggested she would, to defeat maidens easily after a nice trip; looks tough in P. G. Johnson that didn’t come up as tough as it usually does. WILD N READY a maiden stretching out in stakes company, but it’s not a strong 100-grander, and she was along late for 3rd in that sprint debut after losing some position early on; barn tends to let them race themselves into shape, and it would be no surprise to find this one taking a significant step forward in this spot. SASSY SIENNA was cleverly ridden as the favorite in her Indiana debut, and she did the rest once clear in the stretch to post an easy win; picks up Castellano for an excellent trainer.
DELTA OUTLAW returning from long layoff that extends back to last year’s meet, and it is reasonable to expect him to need one on the way back, but he is better than these horses by quite a bit if even close to the same horse, and he has speed from the rail. BUNYAAN turning back off the claim for Linda Rice after settling for second-best to a better horse routing last time; has never won sprinting but don’t mind him trying this distance.
HAY LISTEN UP faced steep turnback all the way to six last time after trouble at the start left him chasing a fast pace going longer in his first start of the meet; tough post, but he has some speed.