Saratoga | Race 9 | Post Time 5:40 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs
This might be the most interesting race on the card, since a number of horses are dropping in class to run for the $50,000 claiming tag. Of the two Chad Brown horses, I prefer Tricked Up (#10), who is probably running at the right level after winning his N1X allowance condition. He’s just not good enough to compete with the best horses in New York at higher levels, and is realistically spotted. I’m less enthusiastic about Performance Bonus (#1), who has been laid up quite a bit in his career, and may not really want to go two turns. That said, he did draw an advantage inside post position for this tricky one-mile distance, which makes him worthy of inclusion.
I want to try to beat both of them with BANKERS HOLIDAY (#3), who figures to be a square price with so many other viable options in this field.
I really liked Bankers Holiday’s lone turf race at the Spa last summer, in which he almost overcame a slow pace to nearly get up to win with a wild late rush. After that, he faced tougher company going distances that were not ideal – either too short or too long – in his next couple of grass starts. Now he comes back at a mile, and Joe Sharp has great numbers with horses coming off layoffs of 180 days or more. Over the past five years, he is 11 for 42 (26 percent, $2.97 ROI) in such situations. Furthermore, he’s returning as a new gelding, which helps some horses show their true talent. I would like to see Luis Saez use him just enough to get a mid-pack position down inside, so he isn’t left with too much ground to make up in the lane.
I also want to use Conquest Sandman (#8), who is another runner dropping in class after losing for the N2X allowance level last time. He’s dropping in class after a layoff, which is mildly concerning. However, there is not a ton of speed in this race, so his front-running tactics should make him dangerous. I would also use War Stroll (#7), who may be forwardly placed as well, and cuts back after not handling the marathon distance last time.
Exacta key box: 3 with 1, 7, 8, 10
Trifecta: 3 with 1, 7, 8, 10 with 1, 7, 8, 10