AGOS Horses to Watch and Trip Notes – Aug 8

Complimentary horses to watch and trip notes for Agameofskill.com visitors

DEL MAR

WARREN’S CANDY GIRL (Race 1 at Del Mar, July 30) – Turf runner made a powerful late run to take over at the top of the lane and draw off to an impressive win.

SARATOGA

FULL COURT PRESS (Race 13 at Saratoga, August 1) – bumped hard start and then raced wide throughout most of the running.  Drew off strongly in the lane and won this race despite wide trip.  Tom Morley runner could win back in the right spot.

CREATE AGAIN (Race 6 at Saratoga, July 29) – Peter Walder runner was boxed in during most of this race despite the short, four-horse field.  When he finally got clear he couldn’t run down the horse who dictated the pace.  Solid effort for potent new barn and should prove tough in similar spot.

AGOS Horses to Watch and Trip Notes – July 27

Horse Racing Fans at the Saratoga Clubhouse Rail

Fans at the Saratoga Clubhouse Rail

Put these Horses to Watch and Trip Notes from A Game of Skill in your Stable Mail or StableAlert service.

SARATOGA

WAR SMOKE (Race 1 at Saratoga, July 17, 2021) – Trip notes saw this first timer run huge. Squeezed badly at the start, and then unleashed a big late run.  The son of War Dancer got bumped and knocked off stride by the winner when both were rallying in the final 1/16th of a mile.  He is a half to 3 turf winners.

MISSPELL (Race 3 at Saratoga, July 17) – Got hit hard at the start of the race.  She recovered with a huge late and just got nosed out.  It was the first start since September for the Chad Brown filly who showed a lot of talent last year.  She was getting Lasix for the first time here.   Figures to break through her conditions very soon.

DANCE CODE (Race 9 at Saratoga, July 17) – Lost all chance at the start of the G3 Sanford Stakes but came on late to finish a very game third, despite being well beaten by winner Wit.  Showed a lot of talent in this loss.

TOO SEXY (Race 6 at Saratoga, July 16) – Clement runner looked like one that had trouble finding the winner’s circle but now she has won two of her last four races.  She was much the best in this entry level allowance race, overcoming trouble in the stretch to win going away in this turf sprint.

AGOS Horses to Watch & Trip Notes – July 15

Saratoga canopy walk throughComplimentary horses to watch and trip notes for visitors of AGameofSkill.com

ELLIS PARK

ORCHESTRATION (Race 5 at Ellis Park, June 2, 2021) – Bounced around at the start and then unleashed a huge late run to get up for 2nd and blow past the winner just past the wire.  Big gallop out from the Chad Brown first time starter by Flatter.

SARATOGA

MAINSTAY (Race 9 at Saratoga, July 15, 2021) – In watching the head-on replay you will see that 2yo filly from the Robert Reid, Jr. barn stumbled badly from her two post.  However, she recovered like a real pro and ran a huge race to be 2nd to the second choice and wire-to-wire winner Pretty Birdie.  She was about 4 lengths clear of the show horse.

OMAHA CITY (Race 8 at Saratoga, July 15, 2021) – This talented turf runner finished extremely well to get up for 2nd in the Quick Call Stakes.  Trained by a 3% barn, this son of Temple City had not been out since mid April at Gulfstream.  Super honest and looks primed for top efforts at 6 1/2 furlongs or less.

EKHTIBAAR (Race 1 at Saratoga, opening day July 15, 2021) – The 8yo shipper from Parx showed a new dimension by rallying from off the pace.  Broke from a tough outside post in this 9 furlong dirt opener and was gained furiously on the leader in the lane, and that rival was drifting in and out in the final 1 1/16th.  This old timer loves Saratoga and could surprise at the same or similar level next out.

America Best’s Guide to the Saratoga Race Course Meet

With more than 150 years of history, it’s no wonder that Saratoga has picked up a couple of nicknames along the way. The track’s two most used are The Spa and The Graveyard of Champions – and the latter isn’t nearly as dire as it sounds, so don’t worry! The nickname refers to the fact that some of the most famous racehorses in American history have lost races at Saratoga: Man o’ War, Secretariat, American Pharoah, and Gallant Fox, just to name a few. In fact, local lore tells us that Saratoga gifted sports with the term “upset,” since that was the name of the horse who defeated the mighty Man o’ War. It’s just one reason that bettors love the races at Saratoga so much: when favorites lose, savvy gamblers win big.

Get 10 Tips to Beating Saratoga

The track and town are colloquially called The Spa because the city sits on top of natural springs with waters rumored to bring good health to humans and horses. Saratoga became a playground for the rich throughout the Gilded Age thanks to the mineral water and the race meet, and there are still bathhouses and drinking pavilions galore throughout the town.

When: July 15 to Sept. 6

Saratoga is called the “Summer Place to Be” for good reason: the meet lasts from mid-July through Labor Day, and it draws vacationers and racing industry professionals throughout the season. Saturdays tend to have the most prestigious races, and the highlights of the 2021 meet are below…

Racetracks Announced for NHC Tournament in Las Vegas

NTRA NHC logoLEXINGTON, Ky. (Friday, June 25, 2021) — Seven North American racetracks, including premier summer-time race meetings Del Mar, Saratoga and Monmouth Park, make up a menu from which all mandatory and optional races will be selected when the world’s richest and most prestigious handicapping tournament – the NTRA National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), presented by Racetrack Television Network, Caesars Entertainment and Bally’s Las Vegas – is contested Aug. 27-29, 2021. The official NHC 2021 racetracks are Del Mar, Ellis Park, Golden Gate Fields, Gulfstream Park, Monmouth Park, Saratoga Race Course and Woodbine Racetrack.

This year’s NHC, which includes more than 600 entries, was originally scheduled to be held February 9-11, but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic and was rescheduled for late August. The total cash and prizes to be awarded at the 2021 NHC are estimated to be nearly $3.8 million, including an estimated $3 million in prize money.

“The menu of racetracks represents the best possible mix of quality racing and geographical diversity,” said NTRA Chief Operating Officer and NHC Tournament Director Keith Chamblin. “Del Mar and Saratoga, which on Saturday, Aug. 27, will feature six Grade I events headed by the Runhappy Travers Stakes, highlight the racing, but it will be great to introduce Ellis Park, Monmouth Park and Woodbine to NHC contest play.”

The three-day NHC requires players to make mythical $2 win and place wagers on eight mandatory races and 10 optional races on each of the first two days. The top 10 percent of players achieving the highest bankroll at the conclusion of the first two days will advance to Sunday morning’s Semi-Final round which will consist of 10 optional plays. The top 10 players following the Semi-Final round will advance to Sunday’s Final Table where they will compete in seven mandatory races to determine the National Champion. The winner will receive $800,000 and an Eclipse Award as the Horseplayer of the Year.

The NHC is the most important tournament of the year for horseplayers and is the culmination of a year-long series of NTRA-sanctioned local tournaments conducted by racetracks, casino race books, off-track betting facilities and horse racing and handicapping websites, each of which sends its top qualifiers to the national finals. There are no buy-ins to the NHC. Each year, the NHC winner joins other human and equine champions as an honoree at the Eclipse Awards. The NHC is presented by Racetrack Television Network, Caesars Entertainment and Bally’s Las Vegas.

For more information on the NHC Tour and a complete contest schedule, visit NTRA.com/nhc.

ELIGIBLE TRACKS FOR 2021 NHC IN LAS VEGAS*

Del Mar

Ellis Park

Golden Gate Fields

Gulfstream Park

Monmouth Park

Saratoga Race Course

Woodbine Racetrack

* Subject to change

Saratoga Race Course Sees Horses Back in Barns

Saratoga Race Course welcomes horses back; fans up nextThe barns were nearly empty.

That will change soon enough.

The seats were empty.

That will change on July 15.

Thoroughbred training began at Saratoga Race Course this weekend, and, on Monday morning, several horses from James Bond’s barn galloped over the main track, while renovation work continues at the Oklahoma Training Track on the other side of Union Avenue.

The barns will continue to fill up this spring, and the Oklahoma is scheduled to open for training in a few weeks. The New York Racing Association, meanwhile, expects to get guidelines from the state soon, perhaps this week, on what procedures and protocols it will need to follow to let spectators attend the races again.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced [on April 14th] that racetracks in New York could re-open to 20% capacity as of this Friday, which means that Saratoga fans, shut out of the track in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, will be able to attend the 2021 meet. The familiar sight of horses on the track Monday will be joined by the familiar sound of fans when the 153rd meet opens on July 15, a welcome development for those who race, as well as those who watch…

Download Rich Nilsen’s 10 Tips for Beating Saratoga

Alabama Stakes Set for August 15 at the Spa

 

The year 2020 will be the only time the Travers has been run before the Kentucky Derby and the only time The Alabama has been run before the Kentucky Oaks.

By Art Parker

Like the Travers Stakes, the Alabama Stakes is one of the great historic races held annually at Saratoga. Like the Travers it is run at 1 ¼ miles and usually one week before it. This year the Alabama will be run on August 15th, a week after the Travers due to COVID-19 rescheduling. The Alabama is restricted to three year old fillies.

walking horse through Saratoga crowdThe Alabama was first run in 1872 making it one of the oldest races for females in America and the longest continuously run stakes race for three year old fillies. The race is named in honor of William Cottrell of Alabama. The race is named in honor of the Confederate Captain who was heavily involved with thoroughbred racing and breeding before and after his service in the Civil War. When approached by the Saratoga Association in 1872 about having a race named in his honor, he declined and requested the race instead be named for his home state of Alabama. Cottrell used his activity in racing to help and mend relations between the North and the South after the Civil War.

While the Kentucky Oaks stands as the female version of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, the Alabama is the female edition of the Travers Stakes, which is open to all 3-year-olds at Saratoga.

The great filly Go For Wand set the stakes record in 1990 for the Alabama at 2:00 4/5 minutes.

Jockeys Jorge Velasquez, Jerry D. Bailey and Mike Smith have all won five Alabama Stakes.

Many great fillies have won the Alabama such as:  Elate, Songbird, Royal Delta, Silverbulletday, Heavenly Prize, Sky Beauty, Open Mind, Shuvee, Gamely, Vagrancy and Beldame to name a few.

Only four fillies and have ever won the Kentucky Oaks and the Alabama Stakes: Open Mind, Make Sail, Princess of Sylmar and Blind Luck.

The year 2020 will be the only time the Travers has been run before the Kentucky Derby and the only time The Alabama has been run before the Kentucky Oaks.

The purse for the 2020 Alabama is $600,000.

Did you miss?

Handicapping Tip #60 – Watch ’em and Learn

Historic Travers Stakes Set for August 8

by Art Parker

The Triple Crown races and The Breeders’ Cup provide the greatest amount of historical talk when it comes to American thoroughbred racing. When Saratoga rolls around every August a treasure trove of racing history is re-opened, and its importance is second to none.

Saratoga is known for many great graded stakes that always play a role in the various division championships. Of all the races at Saratoga there are two that stand out from the standpoint of importance and historical significance. These two races are the Grade One Travers and the Grade One Alabama. In some ways these races restricted to three year olds serve as the “Derby and the Oaks” at the Spa.

The Alabama will be a topic next week. For now, all eyes are on the Travers, which will be run August 8th.

The Travers is the signature event at Saratoga and has often been referred to as the “Mid-Summer Derby.” The inaugural running was in 1864 and was named for William R. Travers, the president of the old Saratoga Racing Association. It was only fitting that his horse won the first running of the Travers.

The Travers is run at the Kentucky Derby distance of 1 ¼ miles. The race has been run at different distances but the current distance has not changed since 1904.

Since 1961, the colors of the Travers winner have been painted onto a canoe which sits on a pond in the infield. The canoe itself has been a fixture at the track since 1926.

Only ten Kentucky Derby winners have won the Travers. There was a long drought of Derby winners being unsuccessful in the Travers beginning in 1943. Shut Out won the Derby and Travers in 1942 and it was 51 years before the feat was achieved again. Sea Hero broke the long drought in 1993.

Affirmed, American Pharoah, Gallant Fox and Whirlaway are the only Triple Crown winners to race in the Travers. Of the three only Whirlaway, in 1941, became the only Triple Crown legend to win the Travers. Affirmed crossed the finish line first in 1978 but was disqualified, and his arch rival Alydar was elevated to first.

Many claim the 1962 Travers was the best race ever. Jaipur won by a nose-bob in track record time over the arguably more talented Ridan after a long nose-to-nose battle over the entire race.

The biggest upset came in 1930 when Triple Crown winner Gallant Fox lost to a 100-1 shot named Jim Dandy. The winner is memorialized with a race named in his honor and is normally a prep race for the Travers. Due to changes caused by COVID-19, the Jim Dandy Stakes will be run after the Travers on September 5, the same day as the Kentucky Derby.

In 2012 Alpha and Golden Ticket finished in a dead heat for first place – the only dead heat in Travers history resulting in two winners. Two canoes were put in the infield pond to commemorate the winners.

In 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah was in the race and was worn down in a speed duel with Frosted. Keen Ice passed the popular Triple Crown winner in a major upset.

In what was probably the best performance in Travers history, Arrogate destroyed the field by more than 13 lengths in 2016. The roan son of Unbridled’s Song is the only horse to eclipse the two minute mark and reported home in an eye-opening 1:59:36.

Some of the other greats to win the Travers are: Damascus, Point Given, Buckpasser, Thunder Gulch, Easy Goer, Forty Niner, Chief’s Crown, Gallant Man, Native Dancer and Man O’ War.

As of this moment, Tiz the Law, winner of the Belmont Stakes, is the favorite for the 2020 Travers. The purse for the 2020 Travers is $1,000,000.

Where to Watch the Horse Races Live in Saratoga

Great Offtrack Places To Watch Live Racing At Saratoga Race CourseRacing City Brewing has the largest projection screen in the area at 23×14 feet along with several TVs, and their spacious building is excellent for social distancing. The kitchen is currently closed, but they will allow guests to bring food or order takeout. They will have beer, wine, cocktails, non-alcoholic beverages, and small snacks available.

There is a $25 deposit to reserve the table, which is put towards the final bill. They will open at noon on all race days and plan to host watch parties on the weekends. Guests will be able to buy the Daily Racing Form, enroll in an online wagering account and fund their accounts for immediate use.

The Parting Glass

The Parting Glass opens daily at 11am ET and you can watch horse racing on their big screen while enjoying food and beer specials. Reservations are not necessary.

Horse Races Live At Saratoga:

National Museum of Racing Offers Online Educational Programs FREE

Saratoga_NatMuseumofRacing and HallofFame

copyright AGameofSkill.com

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. — The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame is offering a variety of online educational programming and social interaction for people of all ages.

These online programs include the popular Foal Patrol, #HistoryThroughArt and a downloadable 3rd Grade STEM packet.

Season 3 of Foal Patrol (www.foalpatrol.com) is in full swing, featuring six mares and the champion stallion Gun Runner. This one-of-a-kind interactive web project provides viewers a unique opportunity to learn about the breeding and foaling process and watch live as the mares give birth.

So far in Season 3, Magical World (Three Chimneys Farm, Versailles, Ky.), New Money Honey (Indian Creek Farm, Paris, Ky.), and Hall of Fame member Ashado (Gainsborough Farm, Versailles, Ky.) have delivered foals. Three more mares – Vaulcluse (Gainesway Farm, Lexington, Ky.), Alpine Sky (Old Tavern Farm, Saratoga Springs, N.Y.), and Emotional Kitten (Denali Stud, Paris, Ky.) – are participating in Season 3 and their progress can be viewed on their individual pages.

In addition to the live cameras, Foal Patrol Season 3 features an educational blog, information on horse anatomy and pedigree, horse behavior, nutrition, and links to racing industry resources.

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