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2010 Saratoga: Day 5

Results: Saratoga - Day 4 (July 26, 2010)

Entries: Saratoga - Day 5 (July 28, 2010)

I don't think that many would call today's Saratoga card one of the better betting days; a state-bread N1X race for older horses, a couple of maiden claimers, some conditioned events, and $12.5 claimer litter the entire afternoon.

Race 4: $35k Claiming N2L, 1 1/16 miles (Turf), 3&up

4-Quick Delivery (4/1) won a Maiden Special Weight over the Churchill Downs turf course before running well behind of the winners in an N1X event a month later.  This spot should be a lot softer than that last race and I would expect a much better performance from this gelding.

There doesn't appear to be an abundance of speed in this race which could make things very nice up front for Kent Desormeaux and 6-On Vacation (3/1).  I don't know that I would take 3/1 on this colt as he seems to go in and out of form at the drop of a hat.  He should run well at this level, but "should" doesn't usually mean a whole lot with conditioned claimers that are 1-for-9 in their career.

Race 6: $25k Maiden, 1 1/16 miles (Inner Turf), 3&up, Fillies & Mares

This is normally the type of race I don't like to get involved in but there might be a decent value play with the 3-Kiss of Fire (8/1).  Three things that I like about this Mark Henning trainee: 1) she's demonstrated that she fits at the class level; 2) she's shown an ability to come from off the pace (something that should be an asset on the Inner Turf); and 3) in her last two starts she had to overcome a poor start and a wide trip.  If Kiss of Fire can finally negotiate a clean trip she's got a chance to score at decent odds.

Race 8: Grade 2 Lake George, 1 1/16 miles (Inner Turf), 3yo, Fillies

12-Bay to Bay (4/1) spent last fall winning races from a stalking position but has reverted to a deep closing style for her last three efforts, including a win in the listed American 1000 Guineas at Arlington Park on May 22nd.  That 1000 Guineas race has come back pretty strong as sixth place finisher Kilmore Quay (IRE) ran a strong second in the Virginia Oaks to Check the Label, while third place finisher Queen of the Creek flopped in the Grade 3 Regret but then bounced back to win at Saratgoa over the weekend against Optional Claiming company.  Not bad results for the come-backers of that listed stakes race even though this race looks to be a bit more challenging.  If Bay to Bay can get the set-up on the front end there is good reason to believe she'll have a shot in deep stretch.

The wild-card in the Lake George is the 4-Neon Light (GER) (9/2), a first-time North American starter for German trainer Andreas Wohler.  Neon Light won the Group 3 Preis der Winterkonigin as a juvenile and then finished third in the Group 2 German 1000 Guineas in his only race of 2010.  Germany racing is clearly a step below the top circuits of France and England, but you don't see too many horses coming over to North America out of German group stakes races unless they possess a bit of talent.  It's not an easy spot to make a debut but at the same time, this isn't field littered with Grade 1 quality.  Neon Light's odds and previous success make her an appealing betting proposition.

With 3-Khancord Kid (20/1), 7-Go Ask Alex (30/1), and 8-Strike It Rich (7/2) all likely challenging for the early lead I like the chances of 1-House of Grace (8/1) to get first run at the leaders coming off the far turn.  She seemed a bit flat in her first effort of 2010 but given the seven month lay-off it's likely she needed the race to get her back to razor sharp status.  You have to respect anything coming out of Goldolphin in a graded stakes race and the 8/1 morning line odds could be fantastic value in this spot.

I'm going to play 8-Strike it Rich to win followed-up with exactas involving 4-Neon Light and 12-Bay to Bay.

Race 9: Allowance N1X, 5 ½ furlongs (Turf), 3&up, Fillies & Mares

7-Broken Dreams (6/1) has only two races to her career tally but she's put up good efforts sprinting on the grass and in the slop.  That's a nice versatility to have in her corner given all the races that have been taken off the turf in the first few days of this Saratoga meet.  I think she makes a decent play if the race stays on the lawn and possibly a huge play should this one get washed off. 

This turf sprint is being run on the outer Mellon Turf Course, where today the portable rail will be set at 12 feet.  Combining a 5 ½ furlong sprint on the outer course with the rail even further out would suggest that the speed will have the advantage.  1a-Crimson Glory (5/1) has shown a ton of speed in her previous sprint tries on the lawn but she draws in as an AE and will start very wide in this event. 1-Easy Ashley (5/1) has speed and a good post (#2) to get a good jump on this field.