Sunday TimeformUS Highlight Horse: Improving Ranger Rox stretches out in Better Talk Now

Saratoga | Race 9 | Post Time 5:39 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs | Not already a TimeformUS member? Sign up 

It’s hard to know where the public will settle in this wide open edition of the Better Talk Now. Sifting Sands (#8) figure to attract support going out for the powerful Chad Brown stable. He comes off a victory at the N1X level but he paid a shocking $58 to win that day, and now he’s going to be among the favorites. Horses like this are typically ones you don’t want to bet back, but he did beat a solid field last time and may just finally be putting it all together. 

Straw Into Gold (#7) was a little disappointed as the favorite when facing New York-bred allowance horses last time. That wasn’t the strongest field for the level and he never really picked up the pace, but it is worth remembering that race was run during a rainstorm just before they took the rest of the card off the turf. He ran better with a perfect trip in the Manila two back and is a contender with a similar effort. 

I want to go in a different direction with recent maiden winner RANGER FOX (#1). I like the progression that this John Terranova trainee has made through his three turf starts. He got a good trip stalking a slow pace in his turf debut, but subsequently improved when just missing on June 5 after setting an honest pace. Yet his last race is what really impressed me, as Joel Rosario decided to rate him behind horses, and he did so willingly before still producing a strong stretch run. A mile is probably the farthest he’ll want to go, but he’s drawn well down towards the rail and can work out another stalking trip.

THE PLAY

Win: 1

Exacta Key Box: 1 with 2,6,7,8

Trifecta: 1 with 6,8 with 2,3,6,7,8

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