It’s been foolish to try to beat Orlando Noda lately. He is a remarkable 9 for 21 (43%, $4.49 ROI) at this meet, and has won with 6 of his last 8 starters through Sunday. Like many runners from the stable, Control Group (#3) improved in his Saratoga start, which was also his first race off the claim for the barn. However, it’s not as if that effort came out of nowhere, as the horse had previously achieved a similar victory in July for Rudy Rodriguez, albeit against cheaper company. Perhaps it’s unwise to pick against this horse, but he’s landing in a tougher N2X optional claimer than last time, primarily due to the presence of one main rival.
I prefer OUR LAST BUCK (#5) at what could be a better price. This 6-year-old has been a new horse since he was finally stretched out in distance on the dirt. He rewarded his connections with a pair of impressive victories against softer company before just missing at this level last time with a career-best 113 TimeformUS Speed Figure. While he lost as the 3-5 favorite, the horse who defeated him is a classy runner who simply regained his best form in the slop. Our Last Buck will be difficult for anyone in this field to handle if he merely maintains that form. The two-turn 9 furlongs may be a question mark for some, but he figures to sit a comfortable trip perched just off the two speeds, Yankee Division and Control Group.
Exacta: 5 with 3,4
Trifecta: 5 with 3 with 1,4,6