Saratoga Springs, August 19, 2022 — Please do not consider this short shrift. We’ve used all our useful time handicapping and researching. And, so, here is a down-and-dirty version of the All Stakes Pick 3 beginning with Saturday’s eighth race, the Grade 2 Lake Placid.
SARATOGA RACE COURSE
G2 LAKE PLACID STAKES Race 8
DESERVING FAVORITE: With The Moonlight (9-5)
EARLY LINE VALUE: Consumer Spending (7-2)
STRAIGHT WAGER and EXOTICA: Betting Consumer Spending to win at 3-1 or greater. Exacta Key Box Consumer Spending with Haughty (9-2) and With The Moonlight (9-5). Three-Filly Trifecta Box
SMART N FANCY STAKES
DESERVING FAVORITE: Miss J McKay (4-1)
EARLY LINE VALUE: Lady Edith (8-1)
STRAIGHT WAGER and EXOTICA: Lady Edith to win at 6-1 or greater. Exacta and Trifecta Key Box: Lady Edith with Miss J McKay, Change of Control (7-2), Robin Sparkles (6-1) and Caravel (4-1)
G1 ALABAMA STAKES
DESERVING FAVORITE: Nest (1-2)
EARLY LINE VALUE: Nostalgic (15-1)
EXOTICA and STRAIGHT WAGER: Exacta and Trifecta Key Nest 1st with Gerrymander (7-2), Secret Oath (4-1) and Nostalgic (15-1) to complete the play. Saver Win Wager: Nostalgic to win at 12-1 or greater.
RACING AS REFUGE
Here we are in Saratoga, my old home town. Waiting to get back here, like many other people, since 2019.
No, I had to arrive here to contract a virus. It was the first time I’ve traveled since March of 2020. Draw your own conclusions.
Been luckier than many. First, I remain on the right side of the turf course. This morning was my third on the backside after two weeks here.
It’s enjoyable, productive. Chatted up Mr. Shug, Mr. Mott and Monsieur Clement. Saw Dale Romans and his better half, Tammi. Dale, looking great, introduced me to his childhood friend, Eric Reed.
The man you all saw on TV after the Kentucky Derby is the same one you’ll meet in person. Ever cordial, unassuming, over the moon with his big chestnut, who he says has flourished since the Belmont.
He said he’s doing things right, then explained. “He trained good for the Belmont, too, but I could see he was trying hard to do it; here the track is tiring but he’s getting over it good, He’s doing things easier.
“I want him fit,” Reed added, “but don’t want to make him body sore with too much work coming off the eight weeks. He’s grown, filled out. I didn’t really notice because I see him every day. But people from Kentucky have been telling me. His attitude is good. He seems to love it up here.”
Reed’s happy he was given a stall in Romans’ barn. “I’ve known Dale my whole life. It’s makes it easier when you come to a new place to have people who know you. I’m enjoying it.”
When we arrived, Reed was on the phone to his people in Kentucky and Ohio, picking out spots for the majority of his stock. In between, he was finalizing plans to get jockey Sonny Leon here in a timely fashion from South Florida. That likely will be a week from today.
I’ll say this. Eric Reed is an easy man to root for.
For now, I’ll concentrate on Saturday’s storied Alabama, perhaps witness my first live race of the 2022 Saratoga season. In a perfect world…
Juddmonte Winner Nothing Less Than ‘One of the Ones‘
I’ve said it before but worth repeating. Even though I’ve been gung ho for Breeders’ Cup since the inaugural in 1984, I’ve only been a Euro-Nerd for about a short decade.
Barely old enough, I hardly knew–only heard tell–of the great Ribot and have no excuses to not know more of the great Frankel, only by offspring.
But I have followed Baaeed’s career closely, certainly for his last six Group 1 scores, most at one mile: the Sussex, the Queen Anne, the Lockinge, Queen Elizabeth II, Prix du Moulin and, of course, Wednesday’s Juddmonte International.
And that was heralded as the supreme test, at a classic distance, a chance for 10-for-10 legendary glory, in the manner of a Frankel. The trip was supposed to be the thing, only the farther he ran, the stronger he appeared to get. kicking clear and lengthening stride.
It was one of the greatest performances I’ve ever seen. Full stop.
And now the talk of one more run before retirement. It will be up to William Haggas to make the final call. The chatter concerns the Champion Stakes at Ascot, and now the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe has entered the discussion.
If it’s not too much to ask, Mr. Haggas, if there were two more races in his future, could the finale be a chance to conquer the New World. It was never mentioned, but have you seen Lexington in the fall. I hear it’s quite lovely.