BETS n’ PIECES REVIEW — Luis Saez started where he left off as last year’s record-setting riding titlist, taking the opener with Royal Tryst, who got the fast pace and wet-footing he relishes, as Mike Maker replicated his first 2021 start…
Wesley Ward promised that second-timer Half a Chance would run well and she did. But the big takeaway was Spelterini who roared home for the place, nest time dear diary. Fast-working Pletcher firster Chocolate Gelato finished one-paced at odds on, appearing a bit heavy-headed and will improve with racing…
Kendrick Carmouche took a rare Spa turf balcony route with a 4-5 wide turn move on Snow’s Island, maintaining his momentum for the win. Remote could have had a smoother stretch journey; may or may not have mattered, however. Majority Partner looked good in a claiming maiden breaker, finishing well through the stretch following a slow start; might be better than rated next time if properly placed.
Tarabi is a nice filly, proving it with a well judged ride, stalking comfortably throughout and always looked a winner through the stretch. winning her stakes debut in the Wilton. Goddess of Fire could have had a better start breaking from the rail in the newly reinstalled Wilson Mile chute, showing class late to save the place in the final strides. Mate Favor, dead on the board, raced dully throughout; she’s better than that…
Just Cindy is a good filly, now 2-for-2 after breaking sharper in second start despite pole position. Just as in her debut, she was very professional proving clearly best in the G3 Schuylerville. A scopey, alert filly, she indeed appears to have a future; follow. Favored Wayne Lukas filly Summer Promise was a very good second and will benefit, as will late-running Janis Joplin, a much improved effort following her green-trip debut. The longer the better for her.
And that’s the Long and short of it, a stakes doubleheader and instant turf double, as races 8 and 9 feature the 5-1/2 furlong Coronation Cup and one mile G3 Forbidden Apple.
Our early focus will be the longer, graded event, a two turn event on the inner and, as one would suspect, a very competitive match that attracted a limit field.
Think of it as a prep for the G1 Fourstardave AUG 13 because many of the connections likely see it that way.
The Forbidden Apple features a little of everything; speed, stalkers and late kickers and given the dynamics, the trip, always important on grass, is accentuated more. Why?
Because the inner turf has tighter bends but a longer stretch than the outer Mellon Course.
For us, these races are enigmatic, especially at the beginning of a meet when there are no trends to help show the way. So, like the best jockeys, we’ll play it off the break.
The Skinny: Nearly half this field could lead from the start, so we’ll play the percentages and think mid-movers and late runners. Here are some obvious contenders:
Set Piece (3-1) runs his best races late so the pole position can be a blessing and a curse. A G2 Dinner Party winner last out, and boasting some of the fastest performance figures in here, Brad Cox surely must be thinking Fourstardave coming into this.
Mira Mission (7-2) is forward-looking and just as fast. He’s a mid-pack type whose #3 slip could enable him to trip out here. Team Wilkes and Leparoux have had much success in these spots.
Atone (6-1), looking to break his graded-stakes maiden, set the Dinner Party pace-not his preferred style. He draws outside, working with on-schedule purpose, 3-for-5 at the trip, and attracts Prat. City Man (8-1) will appreciate the mini-turnback to a mile. Drawn outside, he will be coming late, his best game and that of rider Joel Rosario, aboard for both wins on the page.
MOST PROBABLE WINNER: Mira Mission
EARLY LINE VALUE: Atone
STRAIGHT AND EXOTICA: Atone to win at 9-2 or greater. Exacta Box 1-3-8. Exacta Box 3-8-10. Trifecta Box: 1-3-8-10
CORONATION CUP STAKES Race 8
The Skinny: If it’s a turf sprint, and it’s Saratoga, you know the field is loaded and contentious. But it does appear Ward’s Twilight Gleaming (2-1) has a solid edge based on the class she showed when second at Ascot as a juvenile. Did we mention she was 2-1 in a 21-horse field? Presently, she comes off a win in a listed stakes at Churchill Downs.
After that you will need a blanket to cover the contenders; we have five other fillies open. Marisa’s Lady (8-1) earned excellent performance figure on Tapeta, has speed, the pole and Carmouche. Artos (10-1), second in another CD listed, is forward looking. Derrynane (5-1) will benefit from her last and has won here. Static Fire (8-1) is fast and versatile and 2-for-2 lifetime, dark horse here. Poppy Flower (6-1) jumped up on turf in second start this year in Maryland; Mott taps Jose Ortiz.
MOST PROBABLE WINNER: Twilight Gleaming
EARLY LINE VALUE: Static Fire
EXOTICA: Exacta Key-Box 3 with 1-4-6-7-8. Trifecta and Superfecta Key: 3 over 1-4-6-7-8
Per usual, when more than one horse is listed in a categories, they are listed in preferred order. Exotic bets suggested at minimums available, straight wagers in $2 units.
All Diary entries–just as we have done on our Saturday Tote Busters selections, are live columns, to be updated as needed