Normally, we automatically analyze the best, classiest race on the card, which is the G2 Adirondack for juvenile fillies. Don’t have to be fancy in this spot.
A two-horse race on paper, Frank’s Rockette (2-1) is fastest, running off the screen on debut, earning the top Thoro-Graph figure. She was given recovery since the 5-furlong JUN 21 effort and returns here, Bill Mott adding Lasix.
But our choice is Magic Dance (7-5). Her two races give her an experience edge, she won the Debutante, moving up while stretching out, and gets a more favorable outside draw, giving Ricardo Santana options.
The $1-million Saratoga Derby for 3-year-old turf males drew a field of 11 going 1-3/16s miles and per usual, given the dynamics, it’s wide open. Out choice is Rockemperor (7-2), one of two Chad Brown entrants.
Racing last much of the way in his U.S. debut, he swung out very wide into the stretch, ducked in for a stride, costing momentum, gathered himself and finished strongly to finish third.
Today he gets a better draw, the mini-turn-back should strengthen his late kick, and the high turn of foot he demonstrated at Belmont should play very well on the very firm Saratoga turf. Johnny takes the return call. Need 3-1 for the win.
YESTERDAY: There is no way our price shot was going to beat the exacta finishers in the Test, but what Irad was doing that close to the pace with a filly who wants to make one run was puzzling. Thought she should have been third…
McKinzie ($3.70) was as good as Mike Smith was smart. Perfect handling, allowing Preservationist the front, easing back, and sitting of the Suburban winner in the clear.
Smith was very confident in upper stretch; you can do that when you’re sitting atop the best horse. Yoshida was his old self; a strong late run for place. He’s just not as fast as the winner.