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2010 Saratoga: Trip Notes and Horses to Watch

With the Saratoga meet now over many of the horses on the grounds will find themselves facing a bit softer competition than they found in their last start. 

Below is a look at the horses from the last couple weeks of the Saratoga meet that I noted on my troubled trip and watch list.  Many of these will probably pop up at Belmont Park for their next starts.

  • Beau de Beaupre (8/21, Race 6, 3rd, MdSpWt, NY):  Ran the fastest final quarter in his six furlong Maiden Special against New York-breds but had a bit of an altercation with Schoolyard Cat as he was leaving the gate.  A cleaner start and a repeat of the level (or a class cut) could lead to a much improved performance.
  • Under the Rainbow (8/22, Race 1, 3rd, N1X Alw, NY): Went off as the even-money favorite (coupled with Rumors of Glory) but started a bit slow and then ran into a bunch of trouble.  She went six wide coming into the stretch and then had to alter course when Laylaben came out in the final half-furlong.  Laylaben finished first but was disqualified for her interference with Under the Rainbow. 
  • Tapit Dancer (8/22, Race 10, 3rd, MdSpWt):  A couple things made Tapit Dancer's debut effort a tough on: first, the race was wiped off the turf and put on a sloppy and sealed main track.  Second, she stumbled very badly coming out of the starting gate.  Her next effort will probably be on grass but if she were to have to run over an off-track again just leaving the gate cleanly should put her in the mix.
  • Forever Tango (8/23, Race 3, 4th, 20k MdClm): Talk about a bad trip, Forever Tango gets knocked around a couple of times right after leaving the gate and then swaps paint with a badly tiring Shaker Lakes as they rounded the turn.   This filly would be primed for a better performance if she repeats 20k competition and could be a favorite with any kind of price cut.
  • Super Espresso (8/25, Race 1, 3rd, MdSpWt): This filly ran the fastest 2nd quarter, 3rd quarter, and final furlong in the field in her last race but  bumping with Click Your Heels leaving the gate doomed her chances to win. 
  • Status Pending (8/25, Race 2, 2nd, 35k MdClm): A 5 ½ furlong dash leaves little room for error at the start so when Status Pending was bothered leaving the gate and lost ground early her win chances looked incredibly bleak.  However, she ran the final 3 ½ furlongs in 40.55 seconds, over two seconds faster than any other horse in the field, including the 4/5 favorite that won by a length and a quarter.  Status Pending will probably be well-bet in her next start but she could be a very likely winner if she repeats the level.
  • Hear Her Roar (8/26, Race 5, 5th, 20k MdClm): A combination of a bump leaving the starting gate and a five-wide move coming into the stretch made winning a NY-bred Maiden Claimer a tough proposition.  Hear Her Roar, despite the trouble, ran the fastest final furlong of the seven in the field - 13.28.
  • Roderick and One Turn Eddie (8/27, Race 2, 3rd and 5th, N1X Alw, NY): These two New York-breds didn't hooked up in a speed duel on the front end that absolutely killed the chances of either one to win.  Roderick and One Turn Eddie ran the opening quarter in 22.41 and the half in 44.86; the half-mile was the fastest of any race on the main track at Saratoga that day.  Both of these horses could be great bets if they come back in a race with just a touch lighter pace situation (preferable a race where they aren't racing each other).
  • Pretty Prolific (8/28, Race 10, 7th, G1-Ballerina): How's this for a trip line in the official chart:

    "Pretty Prolific was bumped just after the start, bobbled while in tight quarters then clipped heels off Devil By Design and stumbled, angled to the inside, saved ground while well behind the field, gained some ground in the stretch, lacked room behind the minor award winners nearing the wire and was horribly unlucky in an awful trip."  (Official Chart via DRF.com)

    What's even more incredible is that despite all of that trouble, Pretty Prolific ran the fastest 3rd quarter and final furlong of the field (23.39 and 13.20).  She's a huge candidate for improvement in her next start.
  • D' Funnybone (8/28, Race 11, 7th, G1-King's Bishop):  This colt is a quality horse, although one could argue that he's a bit off-form right now, but even with the minor form questions he's much better than his performance in the King's Bishop.  D' Funnybone was bumped twice in the early going, once leaving the gate by Hurricane Ike and then later by Bank Merger.  As he began to make a move into the stretch he was boxed in and faded badly to the rear of the pack. 
  • Dominant Jeannes (8/29, Race 5, 2nd, MdSpWt): As the lone first-time starter in her last race, Dominant Jeannes was ignored on the odds board and left the gate at 15/1.  She was bumped leaving the gate and lost a bit of pace when another horse drifted into the lane but still ran a very credible race, including the fastest final 3 ½ furlongs (21.76 seconds).
  • Salty Little Sis (8/30, Race 3, 1st, MdSpWt, NY): A dominate winner against NY-bred maidens, Salty Little Sis could be a dangerous filly if she were to face NY-bred N1X company at Belmont for her next start. 
  • Dance Floor Maniac (9/1, Race 6, 4th, 12.5k Claiming N3L): Went off at odds of 4/1 in his last race by slammed into the right side of the starting gate and then raced four wide around the turn.  Just leaving the gate cleanly next time out would be an improvement.
  • Money's Sweet (9/3, Race 1, 3rd, 10k Claiming N2L): This colt didn't have as bad of a trip as Pretty Prolific, but it's right up there with some of the worst you'll find.  The trip note:

    "Money's Sweet broke outwardly and bumped soundly with Ashley's Mission, jostled with Seis De Mayo while rated just behind the leader on the backstretch, waited while inside and stuck behind rivals on the turn, was asked while still behind rivals in uppers stretch then failed to respond and weakened while clear for the show."

    Money's Sweet was the 4/5 favorite in this race and finished over ten lengths back of the winner but he's got a legitimate excuse based solely on the trip.
  • Nolita (9/3, Race 2, 2nd, 60k MdClm): Nolita was clearly second best to the impressive Henny's Hurricane in her last race.  A price cut, or even a repeat at the level, could be a big effort for this filly.
  • Bankers Buy (9/3, Race 3, 2nd, Saratoga Dew): Finished 2nd as the 8/5 favorite last time out against listed stakes company but she was three wide and six wide into each turn that day.  Even with the wide trip she was only beaten by a head.
  • Callide Valley (9/4, Race 3, 2nd, OC/N2X): A very good second to Mr. Fantasy last time out.  Callide Valley was a bit slow leaving the gate but ran the fastest 2nd and 3rd quarters of any horse in the field.  A good performance at odds of 13/1 and could be a sign that this runner is starting to figure things out.