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As you'll see below we changed our methodology a bit yesterday, and it paid off with an 11:3-1-3 day ( $28 & $6 x 2 ), and I want to thank everyone who came up to me and said hello throughout the afternoon. ( In an interesting bit of serendipity, no less than six of you approached me to let me know how the homage' to "Bijou and Pat" and what it meant to you all, often regaling me with stories of your own. Thank you all for making the day. )

Additionally, thanks to all who attended my morning seminar at the Marriot. It was great to be able to aid in your yearly outing !

Thirteen heats on tap today, and we're going to slightly alter our style of handicapping the next today. Normally we'll readjust the Beyer speed figures for each entrant ( eliminating some horses in the process ) then follow that up by utilizing the DRF Formulator platform a bit to find some diamonds in the rough, but we're going to eschew the latter for the next two days. Why? Well, in recent years, they have made the track a freeway on big racing days ( and quite often the day before ) in an effort to have quick times and, ahem... "records" produced, and they've also been known to trim & roll the turf courses as well, while having the rails set at the spot with the best ground. This often leads to some head scratching results, where we feel we've wasted a lot of hours. What we're going to do is look at all those who make our first cut and focus on those who have excelled on extremely fast ( hard ) surfaces, particularly those with variants ( yes, we're going old school ) of less than 10. That doesn't necessarily mean they need the lead on the lawn, but will have to have performed well in that regards. With dirt runners, we'd definitely like to see some early zip as well as positive results. 

Remember, wherever you're taking in the festivities, NO drinking and driving !!

I'd like to leave this bit of info here for y'all. When we're using the DRF Formulator platform while writing our columns, if we say "Sprints", for the most part we mean any one turn race, and when we say "Routes", we mean any TWO turn race. ( For example, we consider a 1 1/8th mile race at Belmont an elongated sprint, and a 6 1/2 furlong race at a Charles Town a route. ) We feel this way, because in our eyes, it's the number of turns that necessitate more energy than being relaxed on a straightaway. Sometimes the sample size for our study can be too large to manually break down, so there may be a few from one category in another, but usually the end result is pretty much the same. Additionally, when it comes to layoffs, we consider more than 50 days in a dirt to dirt scenario a layoff, more than 58 days in D to T or T to D a layoff, and more than 67 days in a turf to turf deal a L/O.


Today's Beatable Favorite(s): Race 13 - #5 Magic Star


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Saratoga - 8/24 - Travers Day

 

Race  1

1.Brown Entry

2.Gemonteer

3.Aveenu Malcainu

Both the #1 FRONTIER MARKET ( 3:1-2-0 in second off the L/O tries, 2:0-2-0 on this course -- all in different events ) and the #1A LEVERAGED ( won his only start off the shelf ), comprise decent halves of the Chad Brown turf entry, and they have both done well on turf courses that play to quick times -- which we feel will be the case this afternoon. #6 GEMONTEER is second off the shelf for the first time today and went coast to coast in the routing debut over a turf course with a variant of "4" last year; Jaramillo an excellent send rider. #7 AVEENU MALCAINU is one for two on the sod, and can somewhat be forgiven in the most recent, as it was his first try at the N2X levels.  OFF TURF: 1X(MTO)-11(MTO)-2(MTO)-1A-6

 

Race  2

1.Moonshine Now

2.Atoka

3.O'Trouble

#2 MOONSHINE NOW has a couple of decent morning moves on the docket for today's overture, "Overture, curtains lights, this is it, we've hit the heights !", and also brings a 390 Tomlinson in tow as well. Fella is a full to Aristocratic, who went 4 for 24 in dirt dashers, banking more than 234 large. #4 ATOKA had us smashing stuff in the house when losing by just a neck at 25-1 first time out ( was our top selection that day ) and now gets the wonder drug. Grab him by the tail to get the glory. #6 O'TROUBLE has been working sensationally for today's career starter, and $1,000 bred animal may be a goodie. 

 

Race  3

1.Ocean Fire

2.Charreada

3.First Wave

#6 OCEAN FIRE posted an adjusted 81.7 in the lone turf try over firm ground, and after disappointing over yielding ground ( and the dirt, which we can't figure out the reason for being there ) is back on what has been her best surface to date. Slightest of edges. #2 CHARREADA has yet to miss the superfecta and is displaying an uncharacteristic bullet for today's 3rd off the bench attempt. #3 FIRST WAVE has completed the exacta in both starts to date ( under different sets of circumstances ) and is extremely well bred for today's initial stretchout. Must use.  OFF TURF: 2-3-8-9-11

 

Race  4 

1.T Loves a Fight 

2.Performer

3.Off the Record

#8 T LOVES A FIGHT has done fantastic work since being snagged by Noda in Mid May, and that includes a win over the strip. Bay gelding has that type of "declining" record which we've grown to love throughout the years ( 30:10-4-1 ) as it shows he has a honker for the line, but what's really piquing our interest on a day that's most assuredly going to have some quick times, is the slick 4 for 6 ledger when this one is running over a track with a variant of < 10. Irad back aboard, and they teamed up for a score in their lone dirt pairing. #11 PERFORMA definitely found something to his liking in the return -- whether it was the layoff, new track, fresh pilot, or first time wonder drug, we'll never know. What we do know is that it came over a glib surface, and that this one has shown a nice work over at Oklahoma since. #5 OFF THE RECORD won first time out at a very tricky distance, and we'll leave in the mix. 

 

Race  5

1.Mitole

2.Promises Fulfilled

3.Firenze Fire

This is our favorite type of race -- a seven furlong Grade One event -- and this one is named after one of the greats of all time, Forego. We've enclosed some narrated video of the aforementioned's spectacular score in the 1976 Marlboro Cup right here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWeWHgHivWk . #3 MITOLE was given a positively grotesque ride in the Vanderbilt. When you're breaking from the inside, you simply can't run yourself into a half length blindswitch down the backside. You either go on with it and get to the top, or take back and look for a seam or to tip out. Well, none of that happened, and a well beaten 3rd place finish was the end result. Jockeys usually don't make the same mistake twice on the same horse, so we're expecting a much better result this afternoon, especially as this bay colt is a near perfect 4 for 5 on tracks w/a variant of lower than 10. #1 PROMISES FULFILLED enters today off a lifetime best numero and is 3 fer 3 when starting from the innermost three post positions. Must use. The bloom has come off the rose a bit with #6 FIRENZE FIRE, as this one has won just one of his last five after scoring in 6 of his first 13, but we have no fault with those looking to incorporate underneath. 

 

Race  6 

1.Special Relativity

2.Minit to Stardom

3.Mia Mischief

Another G1 going 7/8th's. Dig it.  #1 SPECIAL RELATIVITY is a bit light from a speed figure perspective, but has won all four starts at The Spa, is 3 for 3 when breaking from the pine ( two wins overlapping ), has won her only start at this tricky dx. ( overlapping with both of the prior categories, and got her photo taken the only time she raced on a track with a variant of less than 10 ( not overlapping w/any category ). You're getting all of this AND 12-1 odds. We'll bite. #6 MINIT TO STARDOM has won all three outings since being transferred over to the Camejo barn, and accomplished such at increasing class levels and odds. Another with the all important win over the strip and has fired of a bullet since last seen. #5 MIA MISCHIEF flopped in the Honorable Miss, but as she's been a part of the exacta in 13 of 15 prior to that, we'll toss her in the cake batter.  NOTE: AS OF 10:14, DUE TO A LATE SCRATCH THE #4 WILL BE OUR 3RD SELECTION.

 

Race  7

1.Borracho

2.Nitrous

3.Rowayton

Loyal readers of this column know this is our favorite race of the year. Formerly named the King's Bishop, we've included a brief bio of the Allen Jerkens trained runner right here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King%27s_Bishop . If the #4 is able to upset the heavy favorite here, we'll be getting muy BORRACHO beneath the backyard Tiki Torches tonight ! Rusty Arnold runner has improved with each passing one turn outing ( 66-84-89-93-95  ), so right off the bat, who knows where his ceiling is in that regards. Horse drops 16 ounces off a local score @ the trip and has won both his dirt dashes on a fast track with a var. of below 10. #5 NITROUS was a well defeated but decently clear runner up in the Amsterdam and has yet to miss the super on the sand. Another who may be rolling late should the inside runner break a tad slow and rush up into a speed duel develop. #8 ROWAYTON goes two turns to one, but you may be inclined to demand more than 6-1.

 

Race  8 

1.Secret Message 

2.Mascha ( Fr ) 

3.Hogans Holiday

This year's rendition of the Ballston Spa is a tough one to decipher. #3 SECRET MESSAGE had a troubled trip in the Diana and gets a jockey upgrade to Jose today, and deserves another shot. #9 MASCHA (FR) showed some grittiness when winning her North American debut at the end of July, and gal was Grade 3 placed overseas ( without the use of Lasix ); love the loss of weigh after a tally. #1 HOGANS HOLIDAY ( cross entered at Colonial on Thursday, so check the changes ) is off a layoff for the 1st time today & owns a 2 fer 2 mark when breaking from the wood. May jack up the exotics prices.  OFF TURF: 7-5-1-6-9 

 

Race  9 

1.Midnight Bisou

2.Wow Cat ( Chi )

3.Elate

Personal Ensign race on tap here, and we've tossed in some video of the undefeated Hall of Famer's thrilling final win in the Breeders' Cup !! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSpBui9UIkM    #1 MIDNIGHT BISOU may be on the way to the HOF as well if she can rattle off a few more Grade 1 tallies, and today looks like a nice spot for her. Filly got one for the thumb down at the Shore last time out, has never finished off the board, and owns a poyfect 5 fer 5 ledger when starting on strips with a variant underneath 10. #5 WOW CAT (CHI) may not be undefeated since arriving in the States ( like she was in her native land ), but she has far from disgraced herself in the Red, White & Blue. Second off a L/O today and has a jazzy "declining" mark of 13:9-3-1. #4 ELATE is impossible to leave out. 

 

Race  10

1.Sadler's Joy

2.Channel Maker

3.Ya Primo ( Chi )

#9 SADLER'S JOY is on an eight race losing streak, but is 2 for 6 on the inner & has also done fine work @ the trip. Slimmest of margins, despite Lezcano being on an 0-23 skein. #8 CHANNEL MAKER finished 4th in the Bowling Green, but lost by less than a length that day and is 1 fer 3 on this course. #6 YA PRIMO (CHI) was 5 for 9 in Chile before placing in the initial North American foray, and did that despite running into some trouble. Should be a major factor once again.  OFF TURF: 1-3-2-9-5

 

Race  11

1.Laughing Fox

2.Code of Honor

3.Mucho Gusto

The featured race of the day, The Runhappy Travers sponsored by Runhappy, is upon us, and for me, the greatest memory is when Runhappy won it. I remember it so vividly...The omnipresent heat that day gave way to a blackened sky as the field headed postward...then a drop of rain fell, and another, and another, until an all out deluge cascaded from the heavens which caused an instant fog enveloping the racing surface. As the bells rang and crowd roared, audible gasps were heard as Runhappy -- displaying none of his customary early speed -- was left at the gate, 7...maybe 11 lengths behind the penultimate runner. As they headed into the $1,863 Club turn, the last sight to be seen was that of Runhappy's rump, far behind the rest. With the view of the field entirely ensconced by fog thicker than ten giveaway blankets ( or one standard blanket ), Larry Colmus had no alternative but to give his famous recipe for French onion dip. Suddenly, a tsunami of sound developed at the top of the stretch, and proceeded to grow with each passing moment as one horse pierced his nostrils through the fog. It was Runhappy !! Six lengths in front at that point and widening with strides twice the length of any mattress. Ten lengths, than twelve ! Parents liberally tossed their infants in the air in jubilation !! Runhappy wasn't just winning the Travers, but was doing it in record fashion -- a whopping 31 1/4 lengths on the line with ears pricked as he smiled for the cameras on the rail !! It was a sight to behold, my friends. And that's my greatest Travers memory...                    

#4 LAUGHING FOX was in a bad spot early on in the Jim Dandy, then was brought six wide in a field with that many ( Nurse !! ) turning for home by Santana before checking in 4th at 15-1. The good news is that the adjusted speed figure from that day was an 85.9, and the only time this one has gone from one turn to two, a 13.1% improvement was made in the Beyer department. If that were to occur today, you may be within your rights to expect something in the 97.2 range, and doesn't that fit snugly in here? Colt ran an adj. 99.1 in Pimlico, so you know it's attainable, and in a field of "interchangeable parts", why not go for a price? We were all over the #2 CODE OF HONOR a year and six days ago, and he didn't disappoint when going coast to coast beneath Johnny V., and Shug charge has been a steady performer ever since, and from what we here, all the bath reports have been okay, but that's just between you and us. #7 MUCHO GUSTO enters today off successive career best #'s for Bob Baffert's Baked Beans, and as he has yet to miss the board, who are we to rock that boat now? 

 

Race  12

1.Fled

2.Colonel Tom ( AE )

3.Dowse's Beach ( AE )

#2 FLED has won both his grass starts & did such on quick turf courses of variants of 2 & 9; K.I.S.S. kids. #15 COLONEL TOM (AE) needs a lot of luck in order to make it over to the races today, but should that come to bear, would bring in a win over these blades, and it came in a third off the L/O try as well. #13 DOWSE'S BEACH (AE) is another on the outside looking in, but has a whopping 7 for 16 boxscore when racing on "hardish" turf courses ( variant of less than 10 ), and that's in comparison to being 4-20 in all other turf affairs.  OFF TURF: 10-3-8-2-16(MTO)  NOTE: AS OF 11:49, DUE TO A LATE SCRATCH THE #5 WILL BE OUR 3RD SELECTION.

 

Race  13

1.Hidden Facts

2.Aymara

3.Five Alarm Robin

Lynch has tightened up the screws on the #3 HIDDEN FACTS since this one was last in action down in Hallandale Beach, and that includes a breeze out of the gate which was fast than that which had a running start. Appears to be the controlling speed here in a race devoid of much, and while you'll be knowing her early on, keep the Pepto handy for the last 70 yards. Let's get this one home for a great guy in Roger... #1 AYMARA may have burned a bit of baccala in the turf starts, but by no means disgraced herself & deserves another opportunity at double digit odds. #9 FIVE ALARM ROBIN has improved with each passing start and deserves your 'spect.  OFF TURF: 6-9-10-13(MTO)-14(MTO)  BEATABLE FAVORITE: #5 MAGIC STAR doesn't make our first cut ( turf Tommy is low ) so why would we take 3-1 ?

 


Saratoga           ( Current ):    47-314       ( $368.30 )  Beatable Favorites  9-22   ( 40.9% )     Favorites Win %:  117-314  ( 37.3% )(As of Sat. morning)

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Belmont Spring     ( Final ):    90-447      ( $697.60 )  Beatable Favorites  6-33 ( 18.2% )      Favorites Win %:   172-447 ( 38.5% ) 

Aqueduct Spring   ( Final ):    32-110      ( $322.60 )  Beatable Favorites   1-4  ( 25.0% )      Favorites Win %:    39-110  ( 35.5% )

Aqueduct  Winter ( Final ):     73-374     ( $490.60 )   Beatable Favorites: 7-23 ( 30.4 % )     Favorites Win %:   150-374 ( 40.1% )

Graded Stakes     ( Final ):     5-39         ( $54.20 )     Beatable Favorites: 0-3    ( 0.0% )       Favorite's Win %:   12-39    ( 30.8% )


All Triple Crown, Breeders' Cup, Selected Grade 1's and Travers full days  ( These are also counted in the "Dirt Tracks" category ):

( 2013-2019 Final ) 62-384  ( $555.70 ) Beatable Favorites: 18-56 ( 32.1% ) Favorite's Win %: 131-384 (34.1%)  +/-: -26.2% against a 16.8% takeout  


Poly Tracks2013-6 (All Final): 85-568        ( $819.20 )    Beatable Favorites : 15-68     ( 22.1% )Favorite's Win %: 163-587       ( 27.7% ) +/-: -27.6%  against a 15.6% takeout

Dirt Tracks  2013-9 (All Final):2258-11020 ($18,829.30) Beatable Favorites : 318-1148( 27.7% )Favorite's Win %: 4062-11127 ( 36.5% ) +/-: -14.6%  against a 16.7% takeout ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Cumulative Stats   (All Final): 2343-11595 ($19648,50)  Beatable Favorites : 333-1216( 27.4% )Favorite's Win %: 4180-11606  ( 36.0% ) +/-: -15.2%  against a 16.4% takeout


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