Friday’s feature, the Grade 3 Forbidden Apple at one mile on the Spa Inner Turf, is wide open–even if it offers a glimpse at a real life Saratoga Horse for Course.
Voodoo Song (3-1) is 5-for-6 at Saratoga, winning four straight at the 2017 meet. At an expected short price we will gamble that he’ll need one, and this race–in fact, for all these horses–is a likely prep for the richer G1 Fourstardave next month.
Chad Brown and Mark Casse will saddle uncoupled entries. We are going to lay the Brown pair, and concentrate on two others to get the money, Casse’s First Premio (10-1), and Kiaran McLaughlin’s Qurbann (6-1).
The latter is getting big time class relief, dropping out of three straight Grade 1’s. He finished a very competitive second in two of them.
Qurbaan is fast, has recency, picks up Rosario, and he won his only start on Saratoga turf. Think bettors would be lucky to get about half his early line odds.
Winless since 2017, he certainly could use a confidence builder and this is the perfect spot despite the field’s competitive nature.
First Premio should be close to his early line quote. Casse needs to know where this horse fits currently, and the five year old could stand to win a graded stakes right about now.
The Team Valor chestnut gets the position-conscious Jose Ortiz and is drawn inside. He lacks Spa experience, is winless in four starts at the route, but rates to save all the ground and could trip-out. Worth finding out at a price.
For the record, we’re going with class on the grass with Qurbaan to win and place, with a saver win wager on First Premio at 10-1 or greater.
Exotics fans should probably include the logical Casse entrant March to the Arch (6-1) everywhere, winner of the G2 Wise Dan last out and who blew out very strongly at CD recently, a half-mile in :47, fastest of 93 peers at the distance that week.
YESTERDAY: Comical won the G3 Schuylerville, paying $8.20. Listing won the G3 Quick Call, paying 4.80.