Saratoga | Race 9 | Post Time 5:40 p.m. (ET) | Go to the FREE TimeformUS PPs
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This is undoubtedly the most interesting race on the card. The shortest price on the morning line is Cherry Lodge, who is coming out of an allowance race at Belmont on July 9. Rubilinda, who got stuck on the also-eligible list and didn’t draw into the race, failed to run down Cherry Lodge (#12) that day but probably ran the better race, closing into a slow pace. Cherry Lodge, who is running here, is talented as well, but I don’t want her. She’s drawn a terrible post position for this distance and is unproven around two turns.
Defiant Honor (#11) is another runner to consider. According to her connections, she displaced her palate in the Lake George last time and has since had a surgical procedure to correct the issue. Her prior effort against allowance company gives her a big chance here, but she, too, is stuck in a far-outside post position. Going a mile on the inner course, that is not where you want to be.
Given the aforementioned factors, I think this race is extremely wide open, and there is a longshot who really intrigues me.
LET IT RIDE MOM (#2) made her turf debut last time going 5 1/2 furlongs in the Coronation Cup. Breaking from the rail, which is not ideal in these turf sprints, she had to steady behind horses on the run down the backstretch, ultimately getting shuffled out to last place by the time they got to the far turn. She was never fully clear until late in the stretch but came running with a strong kick nonetheless. I remember paddock analyst Maggie Wolfendale noting before the race that she was a big fan of this horse getting on the turf, and I really don’t think we got to see the best of Let It Ride Mom on that occasion. She handled two turns on a synthetic surface as a 2-year-old, so this stretch-out may actually benefit her. Furthermore, she has a bit of tactical speed and is well drawn down toward the inside. I love that Irad Ortiz Jr. is hopping aboard and think the stars may align for this filly to make a splash at a big price.
Exacta Key Box: 2 with 3,4,7,8,10,11,12
Trifecta: 3,7,11 with 3,4,7,8,10,11,12 with 2