The first three days of the Saratoga meet have been beset with rain, an off track, and races coming off the turf. Today''s outlook looks a bit better as the main track is listed as "Fast" and the turf course "Good" this morning. Race 6 has been taken off the turf.
Results: Saratoga - Day 3 (July 25, 2010)
Entries: Saratoga - Day 4 (July 26, 2010)
Race 4: $25k Maiden Claiming, 1 1/16 miles (Turf), 3&up
The "pulled up, vanned off" angle pops up with the 8-Bird Empire (4/1) in the fourth race. This son of Empire Maker ran well two races back against Maiden Special Weight company at Churchill Downs and then he had a tough race last time out where he was unable to leave the track on his own power. Lukas doesn't do much on the lawn at all these days but he seems to be a good bet for a much improved performance as they wouldn't send a horse back to the track after he was vanned off unless he was 100% ready to run. Bird Empire might not be up for the win, but I think he could figure for a minor prize.
10-Dare to Live (10/1) is another horse that looks like he could make a major improvement from his last race. In his debut effort against $50k company, Dare to Live was pinched back just after leaving the gate and never so much as sniffed the leaders the rest of the way around the track. McPeek throws the blinkers on today and he's got Leparoux in the irons, a couple of moves that should produce a better effort from this son of Lion Heart.Race 5: OC $50k/N2X, 1 mile (Inner Turf), 3&up, Fillies & Mares
4-Firey Red (IRE) (3/1) turned in a solid effort in her first try in North America back in November when he finished 3rd as the beaten favorite at Hollywood. They've given her a bit of time off since that effort and she's now in the care of Christophe Clements; the move from a low percentage trainer (Dermot Weld) to a high percentage one (Clement) shouldn't be ignored, especially given Clement's ability to produce winners on the lawn.
6-Queen of the Creek (6/1) hit the wall in first try against graded stakes company when she finished last in the Grade 3 Regret at Churchill. Prior to that race she ran a solid third in the American 1000 Guineas at Arlington and has been a consistent performer throughout much of her career. She's bounced back from that poor effort with a couple of nice works over the Saratoga turf course and trainer Tom Proctor goes to Leparoux for today's mount. Queen of the Creek would be very tough to beat if she can get back to her Arlington/Keeneland form.
Race 9: $25k Maiden Claiming, 1 1/16 miles (Turf), 3&up
I found very little to like in this race other than the 9-Brad's Kitten (10/1), a first time starter by Kitten's Joy (owned by, of course, the Ramsey's) and trained by Wesley Ward. He's drawn into a decent spot to score a first time out win as this field isn't over powering with top class talent and Ward does well with first time starters although his numbers aren't quite as good with firsters on the lawn. Still, this could represent some decent value in an exacta or trifecta play.