The Hopeful

This Grade-1 staple for two-year olds at Saratoga wraps up the meet today and is a very competitive and field of eight.

As with the Spinaway from Saturday, a few contenders come out of some gold-rail races, creating horses to oppose at short prices. Let’s take a look at the field.

#1 Mojovation (2-1) – One of our key opinions in this race is to oppose Mojovation. He debuted on Jim Dandy day, which was one of the strongest gold-rail days of the meet. Bet to 4-5 for Todd Pletcher, he was cut out to be good, but not only rode the gold rail, he also got away with a very slow first quarter of 23.31 and will deal with additional pace pressure today. The third place finisher from his debut came back to win but Bourbon Resolution was wide off that gold rail in the July 29th race.

#2 Oskar Blues (10-1) – At 33-1, he was wisely put into the race early by Dylan Davis in his seven-furlong debut, but like Mojovation, benefited from being on the gold rail. The race came back pretty fast, and he does have a win at seven furlongs, but today must deal with additional speed as well.

#3 Firenze Fire (7-2) – He was the solid winner of the July 22nd Sanford Stakes, but had a very good trip in there and only earned a 79 Beyer, which puts him behind several of his rivals today. We’re going to oppose the Sanford horses as a group, especially Firenze Fire at a short price.

#4 Psychoanalyze (15-1) – He ran a very good race to win his debut at Belmont going 5.5 furlongs in June, but didn’t really have an excuse in the Sanford. He is another candidate to be a part of the pace and would be a surprise.

#5 National Flag (9-2) – He was crushed to 3-5 in his debut and was done on the turn but responded with a nice win on Whitney Day, winning what appeared to be a pretty strong race with a good outside-stalking trip. He showed he could sit off the pace and that seems like the trip he’ll be getting today.

#6 Sporting Chance (8-1) – After just getting run down by subsequent Ellis Park stakes winner Dak Attack in his June debut, he won a 5.5 furlong maiden race on July 22nd, overpowering the field going 5.5 furlongs. Plus, he should handle the additional 1.5 furlongs without a problem, being by Tiznow out of a Candy Ride mare. He also has two six-furlong workouts between that race and this one, looking poised for a big performance. The problem for Sporting Chance is the additional pace that he will face here, though he is drawn well outside. He’s an underneath use.

#7 Givemeaminit (12-1) – Here’s our pick. Dallas Stewart runners most often need a start, and when one puts in a big run in their debut, you should take notice. He ran in the Sporting Chance race on July 22nd and put in a huge wide move behind the wire to wire winner as basically the only horse to make a meaningful off-the-pace move. That move was strong, as despite drifting in a bit he was moving very well down to the wire and galloped-out best. The extra 1.5 furlongs should be right up his alley and he will get a lot more pace today than he got last time. Dallas Stewart got one Grade 1 win at the meet when Forever Unbridled won the Personal Ensign on Travers Day and we’re betting him to get another one here.

#8 Free Drop Billy (4-1) – We liked him a bit in the Sanford and he was bet from a 15-1 morning line (which seemed like a good line at the time) to surprising 3-1 favoritism. He ran fine, but swung up outside with dead aim and couldn’t get by Firenze Fire in a race that did not come back especially fast. He’ll get more pace here, which should help, but we prefer Givemeaminit.

The Pick – We’re looking forward to betting Givemeaminit, who should benefit from the expected fast pace and comes out of a strong maiden race where he was the only horse to make a meaningful off-the-pace move. He’ll be a good price too. Let’s finish the meet in style.

We’ll play him with National Flag and Sporting Chance, with a little bit of Free Drop Billy.

Good luck.

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1 Response to The Hopeful

  1. Pingback: Saturday Full of BC Preps | A Form & A Fedora

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