AGOS Horses to Watch & Trip Notes – Aug. 26

AGOS Horses to Watch & Trip Notes for AGameofskill.com visitors

August 26th Edition

DEL MAR

WARREN’S SHOWTIME (Race 1 @DMR, August 21, 2019) How much was the best was this favorite in the opening race?  The turf runner was blocked badly on the far turn until the top of the stretch, but when an opening finally occurred, the 2yo daughter of Clubhouse Ride exploded with a strong run to draw off.   Has a future on the lawn for trainer Craig Lewis.

SARATOGA

SOMBEYAY (Race 7 @SAR, Aug. 2, 2019) – Pletcher runner relished the switch to firm turf (off yielding in prior) and the stretch out to one mile.  3yo ran huge, looking like a winner in deep stretch before getting nailed by a determined Casa Creed.  This guy should be super tough in 6f to 8f turf stakes on firm ground.

HAPPEN (Race 9 @SAR, Aug. 2, 2019) – Euro import  for O’Brien had no chance facing the likes of Concrete Rose when allowed a ridiculously slow pace up front.  War Front filly showed class overseas and deserves another look in a reasonable spot.

AGOS Horses to Watch & Trip Notes – Aug. 13

Saratoga canopy walk throughAGOS Horses to Watch & Trip Notes for AGameofskill.com visitors

August 13th Edition

SARATOGA

CLEON JONES (Race 1 @SAR, July 28, 2019) – Expensive two year old in training purchase looked beat turning for home but unleashed a powerful late run (12.1) to not only get up but be drawing off impressively at the wire.  Tale Of The Cat 2yo could be a stakes runner for Englehardt.

FREAKY STYLEY (Race 1 @SAR, July 24, 2019) – Trainer Jorge Abreu had this firster ready to go in debut but he broke slowly (spotted 1 1/2 lengths to field) out of the gate.  Despite the tough 7 furlong distance he rallied well to finish 2nd to the winning Chad Brown horse.

IRISH MIAS (Race 6 @SAR, July 24, 2019) – 2yo son of Sky Mesa finished very well in debut and was the only threat to the gate-to-wire winning favorite.  This was on dirt, but his dam loved the turf and he is a half to a turf winner of over $90k.

ROMANTIC PURSUIT (Race 10 @SAR, July 28, 2019) – Maiden winner tracked the pace and took over turning for home.  In the final 1/8th she was super game to hold off several challengers.  Well-bred filly for Godolphin has a future.

SHENNAN (IRE) (Race 4 @SAR,  July 25, 2019) – Foreign invader for Mark Casse was likely compromised by the slow pace and heavy downpour conditions.  Given strong Euro form in Ireland, this well bred colt deserves another chance against similar.

PUTTHEGLASSDOWN (Race 8 @SAR, July 27, 2019) – PA bred son of Violence broke open the gate prior to the start. He finished very well in this 6 furlong 1x behind the speedy Jason Servis runner who helped set the pace.  Has run very well in all three Saratoga starts.

KEOTA (Race 1 @SAR, July 31, 2019) – This Lonhro filly was overbet off the claim by Jason Servis for Michael Dubb.  She stayed in after the race was taken off the turf but she despises the main track.  Look for her back on the grass in her second start for Servis.

MASCHA (FR) (Race 7 @SAR, July 31, 2019) – Margin of victory was deceptive as this Chad Brown import was much the best in this 1x entry level allowance.  Ran a close second to Homerique overseas and that one is a Grade 2 winner and Grade 1 placed for Brown in the States.

KLICKITAT (Race 10 @SAR, Aug. 1, 2019)- ran second to a stakes-placed turf runner in career debut, running a big 2yo fig, and finally got back on the grass her 10 months later.  Making first start for Jerkens, the 3yo just missed late to a logical winner that dropping in from open company.  Major contender next time out at same level.

History, excitement and food. A perfect trifecta at Saratoga Racetrack

Saratoga_NatMuseumofRacing and HallofFame

copyright AGameofSkill.com

Going to Fenway Park and the Baseball Hall of Fame is a treat that all baseball fans should try to do during the summer months. If you are a horse racing fan, […]

My advice: Set aside a day and take the 3 1/2-hour ride to Saratoga. You can drive yourself or take advantage of the bus tours offered in the area.

Go up early and spend a few hours at the Hall of Fame and rewatch some of the classic races, such as Secretariat’s 31-length victory at the 1973 Belmont Stakes, which secured “Big Red” winning the sport’s first Triple Crown in 25 years.

After enjoying your stay at the Hall of Fame, head one mile to the track and take in the eclectic surroundings that make Saratoga so unique.

Horse players come in all shapes and sizes. Wealthy people dressed as though they just walked off the set of “The Great Gatsby” or the everyman hoping to cash in on a five-figure superfecta. The concessions are outstanding to hold you over until you head out to a delicious meal at one of the many restaurants in the area.

AGOS Horses to Watch & Trip Notes – August 2

AGOS Horses to Watch & Trip Notes for AGameofskill.com visitors

SARATOGA

SHE’S A JULIE (Race 13 @SAR, July 21, 2019) – This honest filly from the Asmussen barn spotted weight to the top two finishers but held on well for third in this Grade 1 stakes.  She can dangerous next time in a better spot.

BLUE GEM (Race 1 @SAR, July 21, 2019) – 3yo looked really good winning first time off the claim for trainer Steve Asmussen, who dropped him from 30k to 16k.  Should be able to take a logical step up in class next time out.

OFF THE RECORD (Race 7 @SAR, July 17, 2019) – Firster took a lot of money and ran to it.  Son of Distorted Humor was very professional coming up the rail to win going away in this off-the-turf maiden special weights event.  Brisset barn doesn’t usually have them cranked up first time out.

MY SASSY SARAH (Race 10 scr @SAR, July 17, 2019) – Michelle Nevin firster was scratched when this race was taken off the turf.  She is a half to two nice turf winners, and the dam won on the grass as well.  Granddaughter of War Front should love the sod.

SHANCEALOT (Race 11 @SAR, July 28, 2019) – Juice.

LUCKY MOVE (Race 3 @SAR,  July 25, 2019) – Marshall Gramm’s Ten Strike Racing runner was claimed two back and then shipped to New York to take advantage of the lucrative state-bred program.  The mare rewarded this smart move with a powerful, off-the-pace victory in this 1x, optional $25k race.  Loves 9 furlongs and can be a threat at the next level.

DEL MAR

NOLDE (Race 8 @DMR, 7/17/2019) – Son of Pioneerof The Nile is a strong closer on the grass for trainer John Shireffs.  Sophomore colt just missed to favorite in the Oceanside Stakes on opening day.

ORIGINAIRE (IRE) (Race 7 @DMR 7/18/19) – Zoffany colt was squeezed back at the start of this race, but recovered under Mike Smith to unleash a big late run and score with something still left in the tank.   Impressive.

AGOS Horses to Watch & Trip Notes – July 22

AGOS Horses to Watch & Trip Notes for Agameofskill.com visitors

SARATOGA

MORNING GOLD (Race 1 @SAR, July 14, 2019) – Ken McPeek firster came in off a solid work pattern and ran a big race when 2nd to the Pletcher-trained favorite.  5 lengths clear of the show horse in a rock solid debut.

BLAME THE CAKE (Race 4 @SAR, July 14, 2019) – Firster for Ian Wilkes (7% win, 19% itm) was a $190,000 Ocala purchase.  Made a big run to take the lead and looked like a winner in deep stretch when he got run down by a sharp Jason Servis firster that was given a brilliant ride by Irad Ortiz.

CATCH A BID (Race 8 @SAR, July 14, 2019) – This is a rising star for Chad Brown.  Her career debut was awesome and then she ran a big 2nd here to a Grade-3 placed runner in Varenka, while well clear of the show horse.   Could be a very solid multi-race key next time she runs.

WINIFRED J (Race 2 @SAR, July 13, 2019) – Ed Barker filly likely needed race in her first start since early February. This was a tough spot but she ran a good third.  She’s a half to one winner, who was a grass horse.  Look for this Blame filly back on the turf, sprinting or on the stretch-out.

DECORATED INVADER (Race 6 @SAR, July 13, 2019) – Looked sharp when finishing 2nd in debut for West Point and partners.  Clement runner is a half to two turf winners and he was up against it facing a very slow pace in this race.

CHURCHILL DOWNS

BASIN (race 1 @CD, June 14, 2019) – This talented 2yo from the Steve Asmussen barn ran a strong 2nd in a key race field, losing by a nose to G3 Sanford winner By Your Side.   Was 3-4 wide throughout but finished strong.

Download the 9 Keys to Beating Saratoga

“I’m not a horse racing fan” – Another Reason to Dislike Cuomo

Cuomo explains his Saratoga absence

ALBANY — There appears to be a simple answer behind Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s absence from the Saratoga Race Course: He would rather spend his time elsewhere.

Asked Monday morning about the Times Union’s story last week detailing his decision not to visit the “summer place to be,” the governor stressed his support for the New York Racing Association, which operates racing at Saratoga, Belmont Park and Aqueduct Racetrack …

But as to a possible visit, he said, “I’m not a horse racing fan, per se.”

On opening day at the track last week, Cuomo was participating in the 2019 Catskill Challenge Motorcycle Ride.

You Can Beat Saratoga

by Rich Nilsen

There are several facets of Saratoga that every handicapper should know, and there are some solid strategies that I recommend for beating the upcoming 2019 meet which begins earlier than ever this year, July 11, and runs through September 3.  If you apply these nine steps, you’ll be putting the percentages in your favor over 95 percent of the wagering public who have no game plan and approach each day at the Spa haphazardly.

 

Key # 1 – Understand How the Tracks Play

On most days the Saratoga main track plays very kindly to speed horses. It can be very difficult to make a wide move on the turn for home, sustain that run and get up for the win. The predominant speed bias, of course, is more prevalent the shorter the distance, but on many days, the tracks favors early speed or tactical speed in all of the dirt races.  For example, in 6 furlong races last year, 38% of the winners won gate-to-wire.  That’s a typical Saratoga meet where nearly 4 out of every 10 six furlong races are won on the front end.

On the Saratoga main track, making a three to four wide move around the far turn is very difficult for most runners to sustain.  Always be on the lookout for horses that suffer from that type of trip with the hopes of scoring with them at a price next time out. See Key #7 below.

In my opinion the two turf courses can be very inconsistent, especially from one year to the next. Just because the inner turf course favored speed and tactical speed in one mile races last year doesn’t mean that is going to happen this summer. In general, both turf courses give the edge to closers, but there are plenty of races and plenty of days when that is not the case.

ProfitWhether it is the weather or some other factor, the turf courses can suddenly begin to favor early speed and it is vital that the handicapper keeps their eyes open to this short-term bias that can last one week or more.  You can “make” your meet if you spot the turf bias early enough and capitalize.

Do beware of the inside posts in the 5 ½-furlong turf sprints. It is well known that the rail (one post) can perform very poorly in turf sprints. If the inside horses don’t break sharply and demonstrate good early speed, they can get shuffled back and subsequently boxed in during the cavalry charge to the turn.  As a result, middle posts are often the best draws in these swiftly-run, short races.

Tactical speed is also very important. One surprising trend three years ago was that closers fared remarkably well in these short turf sprints.  In fact, over half of the winners in 2016 were Pressers (mid-pack runners) or Sustained types (closers from the back.)  Watch closely in the first week or so to see how the turf sprints play.  It may not be what you expect.

Be alert because there is always a range of days at Saratoga when the speed bias not only disappears, but the track begins to strongly favor closers. This is one of the most important times of the meet for the serious player. Just like with the turf bias mentioned previously, if you catch on to this reverse bias early enough you could make your entire meet in a matter of a few days.  It will happen, because it seems to every year, so keep an eye out for it.

Understanding how these tracks play and staying alert for short-term changes to the predominant biases is critical for the Saratoga horseplayer.

The 9 Tips to Beating Saratoga by Rich Nilsen – click here to download

Other Handicapping Articles:

Horse for the Course

Tickets for ‘The Stretch’ at Saratoga Racecourse Go On Sale Today

The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will welcome the general public to purchase full-season ticket plans at The Stretch for the 2019 meet at Saratoga Race Course beginning Thursday, February 28 at 1 p.m.

The Stretch – which debuted in 2018 and is located in the grandstand at the Top of the Stretch – is a private hospitality area featuring modern and upscale amenities in a casual environment with breathtaking views of thoroughbreds rounding the final turn.

Reserved seating options at The Stretch available for seasonal plans include middle dining tier tables ranging from six to eight seats; reserved bar seats; and premium reserved seats. Full-season plans can be purchased exclusively through the NYRA Box Office by phone at (844) NYRA-TIX, via email atboxoffice@nyrainc.com or at www.nyra.com/saratoga.

Season ticket holders to The Stretch enjoy exclusive access to a full-service bar, kitchen and concessions, high-definition televisions and video screens, touchscreen tablets, special events, and private restrooms. Guests also enjoy a relaxed dress code at The Stretch.

“The Stretch was tremendously popular in its inaugural season,” said NYRA Senior Vice President and Chief Experience Officer Lynn LaRocca. “Based on the outstanding feedback we received last year and the robust pace of season ticket renewals, we expect this premium hospitality area to be in extremely high demand for the 2019 meet. We encourage fans to act now to secure their spot in The Stretch for the upcoming season.”

All season plan holders to The Stretch will automatically be enrolled in the Saratoga Season Perks program, which includes discounts on-track and at participating off-track locations, including local restaurants, merchants, service providers and entertainment venues. Discounts at participating partners are valid from June 1, 2019 through March 31, 2020 with a Saratoga Season Perks card.
Stretch season ticket plan holders will also be guaranteed a Saratoga premium giveaway on the day of the giveaway. Season plan holders must be present at Saratoga Race Course and redeem the giveaway by the designated time.

Weekly ticket plans for The Stretch will go on sale to the general public beginning Tuesday, April 9. Single day tickets for The Stretch will go on sale Tuesday, April 16. Inventory may be limited and is based on availability.

The 40-day meet at historic Saratoga Race Course will begin on Thursday, July 11 and run through Labor Day, Monday, September 2. Following opening weekend, Thursday, July 11 through Sunday, July 14, racing at Saratoga will be conducted five days a week, Wednesdays through Sundays. Closing week will run Wednesday, August 28 through Labor Day, Monday, September 2.

Source: NYRA

1863 Club to Debut at Saratoga Racecourse in 2019

The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) announced that it formally broke ground on the 1863 Club at Saratoga Race Course on Tuesday, September 4, one day after the conclusion of the 2018 summer racing season.

The 1863 Club is the official name of the new permanent building to be located at the site of the current At the Rail tent at Saratoga Race Course. The name recognizes the year of the first organized thoroughbred race meeting in Saratoga, which took place over the course of four days in August 1863.

“Following this year’s introduction of The Stretch in the Grandstand, we are excited to announce plans for the 1863 Club which will be located at the end of the Clubhouse and will add another chapter to the enhanced guest experience at Saratoga. The three-story, air-conditioned building will provide new and different options for guests, including a banquet area on the first floor and a bar and dining club on the second level, which will be connected to the Clubhouse via a walkway. The third floor will feature true luxury boxes offering outstanding sight lines of the entire track,” said NYRA CEO & President Chris Kay. “The 1863 Club, named after our first racing meet in Saratoga, continues our commitment to providing racing fans with upgraded amenities while honoring the look and feel of this historic venue.”

The 1863 Club will replace the seasonal tent and trailers located immediately adjacent to the end of the Clubhouse with a 36,000-square foot, three-story, climate-controlled building featuring differentiated hospitality options and modern amenities. In addition to the three floors of usable space for guests, a basement level will provide space for a fully appointed kitchen to service the building.

copyright AGameofSkill.comFans interested in being a part of the inaugural season at the 1863 Club are invited to contact the NYRA Sales Office by phone at 518-693-7655 or online at NYRA.com/1863Club.

The 1863 Club is the latest in a series of capital improvements at Saratoga Race Course designed to enhance the guest experience and provide amenities that are consistent with those available at first-class stadiums and arenas.

Saratoga’s newest hospitality area called The Stretch made its debut on opening day of the 2018 season. Located in the grandstand at the Top of the Stretch, The Stretch features modern and upscale amenities in a casual environment with breathtaking views of thoroughbreds rounding the final turn as they enter the dramatic stretch drive. Highlights of the area include new social boxes available in multiple configurations, a dining tier, reserved bar seats, and approximately 200 premium reserved seats. Guests at The Stretch enjoy exclusive access to a full-service bar, kitchen and concessions, state of the art technology, high-definition televisions, special events, and private restrooms.

The 40-day meet at Saratoga Race Course concluded Labor Day, Monday, September 3. For more information about Saratoga Race Course, visit NYRA.com.

Source: NYRA

AGOS Horses to Watch & Trip Notes – August 24, 2018

Free Horses to Watch for AGOS visitors.  Watch out for these horses next time out.

DEL MAR

YA GOTTA WANNA (Race 4 @DMR, 8/18/18) – Phil D’amato runner was loaded turning for home but Tiago Periera steadied him hard behind a tiring horse.  Recovered quickly but then swung out very wide in the lane, but by then, the winner Fashion Business was long gone.  Gelding finished with a huge rush and galloped out strong past the wire.

GULFSTREAM PAR

SWEET STORY (Race 9 @GP, 8/18/18) – live turf runner raced inside and was blocked turning for home. Jockey Jose Batista tried to find room up the rail at the top of the stretch but instead got bumped around pretty good.  Finally got clear late but had to settle for a close third in a better-than-it-looks performance.

SARATOGA

INTRODUCED (Race 4 @SAR 8/20/18) – Colts Neck Stable runner by sire El Padrino was purchased for $310,00 at Ocala and was well meant in debut.  Just went a little too fast early and that caught up with her in the final 50-100 yards of this 5 1/2 furlong turf race.   Should be able to dirt or turf.

FIERCE SCARLETT (Race 5 @SAR 8/10/18) – $320,000 Ocala purchase broke slowly in this 5 1/2 furlong turf race but still managed to finish sneaky well, finishing fifth beaten 1 1/4 for all the money.  Can win next out for Chad Brown.

PRECIEUSE ( (Race 5 @SAR 8/3/18) – This filly had not run since June of 2017 but she ran a big race off the layoff for trainer Chad Brown. The Irish bred 4yo filly should move forward off this performance in the De La Rose Stakes.

HERSH  (Race 6 @SAR 8/3/18) – second time starter for owner/trainer Dermot Magner made a huge move to blow by the field and draw off for an impressive score.  In the process she defeated a nice lightly-raced runner from Chad Brown’s barn.  Hersh had trouble in his debut and still ran 2nd, so this effort showed what he could do with a clean trip.

MUCHO  (Race 7 @SAR 8/3/18) – Big, strapping son of Blame looked like a monster in crushing a field of maidens at Saratoga that looked like a good and competitive field on paper.  Trainer Bill Mott may have himself a young runner with huge potential.

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WOW CAT (CHI) (Race 9 @SAR 7/29/18) – Leading trainer Chad Brown had stated prior to the G1 Shuvee that he thought the Chiliean champ would be a tad short going this distance on the dirt, but despite that, she was bet hard and heavy.  She did come up a little short to the eventual gate to wire winner and can move forward off this strong effort.