%ALT_TXT%% Bet at 5dimes

Summer 2019 Saratoga and Del Mar

Gandolf

Offensive Guru
New season at the Spa, with a new racing schedule. Instead of 6 days a week they've cut back to 5 and extended the season another week. Should make reviewing the pps a little less taxing with two dark days.

With NYRA finally opening their late pick 5 up to all ADWs, those races will be my main focus. Looking at tomorrow's opening day sequence (chance of rain is pretty high but assuming fast and firm):

Race 6 (5.5f on Turf) - Tough start to the sequence with state breds in an allowance turf sprint. About half the field has limited or no turf experience. The 1-1A entry will be competitive, and I like the outside horses 10 and 11, both show good early speed and have two of the best front-running jocks in the business. 4 and 6 are both interesting price plays, and the 9 is turning back and has a new trainer in Graham Motion, but will need to work out a trip. Need to spread in this one.

Race 7 (9f on Inner Turf) - The inner turf tends to favor front runners a little more with the tighter turns. There's a clear favorite here in the 4, who's turning back in distance and dropping in class for Mott. Last win was last summer at the Spa, she's been hanging ever since. I like the finishing ability of the 5 and 11 and will use both here.

Race 8 (6f Stake for 2 YOs) - Always a cool opening stake featuring a bunch of first out winners looking to take the next leap. O'Neill has a couple of speedballs in here (1 and 5) from Cali, Todd is usually strong in this one and has a pair entered (2 and 9). And Wesley Ward has a nice looking filly who won for fun after a lunging start. Another one where you need to spread a bit.

Race 9 (5.5f Turf Stake for 3 YOs) - Need a single somewhere to keep this affordable and this spot is as good as any to take a stab. #4 ran a hole in the wind last time at Santa Anita and anything close should win here with ease. 6 and 10 are two interesting runners that have been super quick on dirt but are both trying turf for the first time.

Race 10 (8.5f Inner Turf Maiden Claimer) - Head scratching finishing field of 12 with five dropping from the straight maiden ranks and a pair of first timers, including one from perennial leading trainer candidate Chad Brown. Like #4 from Weaver who just missed at this level last out and is second off the layoff, a strong angle for this trainer. Also can't leave out the Kitten's Joy #8, who attended a fast-paced race, nearly won a long stretch duel and should have gotten a lot out of it. Would usually include Chad at every opportunity but his record with maiden claimers is one of the few weaknesses he's shown.

1-1A, 4, 6, 10, 11 / 4, 5, 11 / 1, 2, 5, 8, 9 / 4 / 4, 8
 

RBTrojan

Well-Known Member
Looking forward to your insight. I play on occasion but definitely more of a weekend warrior than anything. Occasionally get some good inside info. Best of luck with your plays...
 

Gandolf

Offensive Guru
Scratches knock out the 4 in the 6th and 8 in the 8th from my ticket. Will add the 9 in the 6th.

1e, 6, 9, 10, 11 / 4, 5, 11 / 1, 2, 5, 9 / 4 / 4, 8

Looking doubtful for me to play though as thunderstorms loom and they're holding the MTOs open in anticipation of going off turf..
 

Gandolf

Offensive Guru
They just scratched the MTOs so we're diving in, $60 play for Pick 5.
 
Last edited:

Gandolf

Offensive Guru
Yikes, should just blindly bet Alvarado and rake in the dough. He's damn near break even on the year and he'll be under bet at the Spa.
 

Inspekdah

Friend of CTG
You ever been Gandolf?

Please keep these thoughts going. I'm about 20 minutes away and love to tail.
 

Gandolf

Offensive Guru
6th, 7th and 10th are off-turf today, the stake in the 9th stays on. Will have to see the scratches to see if its worth playing today. Might just save the bullets for another day.
 

Gandolf

Offensive Guru
Going in cheap for some action, intrigued that Weaver and Castellano are staying around in that chopped up finale, will single #2.

1, 2, 3 / 6, 9, 15, 16 / 2, 6 / 6, 7, 8 / 2
 

Gandolf

Offensive Guru
Devastating injury to Fight Night in the finale just a couple of jumps after giving his all right to the wire.
 

Gandolf

Offensive Guru
Saturday Late Pick 5:

Race 7 (6f statebred allowance) - always look for improving horses in these spots and #9 fits the bill having run a big effort last out in Delaware. #8 is logical and has red hot Junior Alvarado riding, and #2 is an interesting Finger Lakes shipper whose won 3 of last 4. #7 has the potential to leap forward with the switch to magician Navarro.

Race 8 (5.5f turf maidens) - small field but many with a chance. Chad has #2 trying turf for the first time. #7 was meant for turf for time out but ran a decent race in the slop. #6 showed a strong late kick in his debut, will need to use all 3 of these in their second starts. Overall the field is not accomplished so #3 has a decent shot first time out for Motion.

Race 9 (9f turf Grade 1 stake) - Rushing Fall looks like it will control the front end and Sister Charlie looks like the horse you'd want closing in this field of six. Mitchell Road has never finished worse than second and has been steadily brought up to this spot by Mott. Very good price to be had on her.

Race 10 (7f allowance) - biggest favorite in the sequence is #5 at 6/5, he's also 0 for 2 at the distance. If he doesn't win it'll be because #7 stole it on the front end or #8 rolled by late. Other long shot chance are #3 and #4.

Race 11 (1M inner turf claiming) - Chad and Castellano try to win the night cap with favorite #7, dropping to the claiming ranks, 2nd off the layoff. May have needed that race, he's been good on the inner turf and should be near the pace. #8 and #11 are two others with interest, the former having won 2 straight at this level, and the latter coming off a nice effort for Pletcher.

It all depends on which Chad to single: the maiden in the 8th, the heavy favorite in the 10th or the favorite running 2nd off the layoff in the nightcap. I'll take my chances with the turf router.

2,8,9 / 2,3,6,7 / 2,3,4 / 5,7,8 / 7
 

Gandolf

Offensive Guru
Ohhh that last race....7 bolted through the gate and was scratched kicking me over to Pletcher’s 11. Knew he was toast at the top of the stretch.

Had a pick 3 saver that used the 8 but damn it would’ve been nice to see the 7 run, he was keyed up and ready to run.
 
Last edited:

Gandolf

Offensive Guru
Just a little pick 3 today in Race 6: 1,4,5 / 1,2,6 / 6,8,11

May use some of those with the 4 and 6 in the 9th anchoring a Grand Slam bet. 4 is a solid favorite, so he'd bet a x2 bet.
 

Timh

CTG Psychiatrist - Dr. Tim
Great that you started this thread on the SPA Gandy! Look forward to following along. BOL
 

Gandolf

Offensive Guru
Wednesday 7/17 - Card is either super tough or fairly easy depending on your point of view. The finale is a dart throw with five first time starters, two others trying turf for the first time, and one returning who's an uninspiring 0 for 3. The other races each have a horse that sticks out but then several others who could contend. The threat of rain this afternoon also adds an element of randomness.

Race 6 - #5 sticks out, boasting a class edge over the rest along with tactical speed that should sit her right behind the pace setters to have first run. #3 and #7 are both logical if the pace in this 12 horse claiming turf sprint gets too hot, which is entirely possible.

Race 7 - Chad Brown first timer #6 is getting all the buzz here, but I wouldn't sleep on his other firster, #9. It's a pretty good group of maidens overall, and #2, #5 and #12 all have decent efforts in their pps that could win here.

Race 8 - #7 sticks out as a quality horse with possible lone speed. The seven furlongs is an issue though. #1 and #2 are both reasonable choices with the class to corral #7 late.

Race 9 - #6 is a prohibitive favorite dropping down from graded stakes into this optional claimer. Hasn't won in over a year though so can he be trusted? #7 has efforts that would win here, #2 is quick early and could sneak off. If they all go with him early then #5 is capable to of rolling by them all late. Tricky race, could play one, two or all four.

Race 10 - Just a maddening finish as noted above. Scratch of 1-1a opens the door for #9 to be a significant favorite as a wire candidate. #3 could also leap forward in her first turf effort. #4, #6 and #7 look like the best of the first timers in this maiden turf sprint.

Going A/B today with plays on all A, 4A/1B and 3A/2B. Drop it all if rains washes anything off turf.

Rc 6 - A:5, B:3.7
Rc 7 - A:6,9, B:2,5,12
Rc 8 - A:7, B:1,2
Rc 9 - A:6,7, B:2,5
Rc 10 - A:3,9, B:4,6,7
 

Gandolf

Offensive Guru
Yeah they just took everything off the turf, no playing for me today. Tomorrow I'll be golfing, so Friday will be the next opportunity. Best of luck to anyone who plays!
 

Gandolf

Offensive Guru
Missed out on Hofburg's return yesterday, a solid win against a small field that should set him up for a run in the Travers.

Saturday's card is being postponed and will be run on Sunday with a couple of extra races thrown in.

On to today's late pick 5:

Race 6 (8.5f Turf Allowance) - Looks like a lot of speed signed as a favorite #7 will go early and 1, 8 and 12 should keep him company. Like the chances of #11 sitting just behind this pack to get first run, with 2 and 5 charging late. Longshot chance on #10 in just his third race, will have to leap ahead but is capable.

Race 7 (11f Opt Claimer on Inner Turf course) - Pace advantage for #10 for Clement, could get loose. If he can't make the distance then the two Todd's #7 and #9 are most likely. For a price also like #3 who's won at the distance and fits the class level.

Race 8 (6f Opt Claimer) - really tough race to separate, can make a case for everyone. Punting with the top two choices #3 who should have a good stalking trip, and #2 returning from 10 months off for a barn that can get them cranked up from the bench. But #4, #5 and #6 all figure to have a good shot.

Race 9 (1 mile Grade 3 Stake on Inner Turf) - three Chad Brown entries (#1, #4, #7) in the field of six, have seen that before with the longest of the three winning (the Manhattan right before American Pharoah's win in the Belmont). Will use them all. Saver bet on #2.

Race 10 (9f maiden claimer) - have to bite on the even money favorite for Pletcher, #6, who is one of two dropping from the maiden ranks and has finished in the money in all five starts. Willing to single the finale again to use others earlier.

Will use A/B's today, playing an all A ticket and four A's/one B.

Rc 6: A-2,5,11 B-10
Rc 7: A-3,7,9 B-10
Rc 8: A-2,3 B-4,5,6
Rc 9: A-1,4,7 B-2
Rc 10: A-6
 

Gandolf

Offensive Guru
Big scratches take the 6 out of the final and all but the 3 Chad horses out of the 9th. Subbing 5 and 8 into the finale:

Rc 6: A-2,5,11 B-10
Rc 7: A-3,7,9
Rc 8: A-2,3 B-4,5,6
Rc 9: A-1,4,7
Rc 10: A-8 B-5

Set of plays for $50:
All A Pick 5: 2,5,11 / 3,7,9 / 2,3 / 1,4,7 / 8
3A/1B Pick 4s: 3,7,9 / 4,5,6 / 1,4,7 / 8 & 3,7,9 / 2,3 / 1,4,7 / 5
 

Gandolf

Offensive Guru
Saratoga Sunday Late Pick 5 - The Saturday card was pushed back a day which is good since I'd already handicapped it. Shuvee was added as the finale, which has a couple of obvious favorites. Chad Brown figures to be busy as he has decent chances in all five races.

Race 9 (8f Turf Allowance)- Plenty of pace signed on to this one, so closers should have their way. #10 looks like the best finisher, with #3 also strong. Can't leave Chad's #1 off the ticket as he's in good form. Also #2 worth watching for Mott.

Race 10 (7f Optional Claimer) - Tough race to figure, pace is murky so need to spread throughout different running styles and stick to horses that have shown they can handle the quirky distance. #9 could be controlling pace and had won 4 of 9 at the distance. #2 in good form and is 1 for 1 at 7f. #8 looks like the best closer of the bunch and is in good form. #7 is another Chad horse that's 2 for 5 at the length and should be running late.

Race 11 (5.5f Turf Stake) - originally the Saturday feature, going with the logical battle tested #5 and the Chad's #4 on the distance cutback. Several others wouldn't surprise, including #3 and #6.

Race 12 (8.5f Turf Allowance) - Mixed bag here with half the field looking for their second win in anywhere from 10 to 44(!) starts. Best form belongs to #4 who is 2 for 5 and one last out. #11 also in good form but at 1 for 27 is hard to love. Chad has an unusual choice in here, #8, who has run OK but only on dirt and is still a maiden.

Race 13 (9f Grade 3 Stake) - Big fan of She's a Julie and she should be in good position here sitting just behind Golden Award (#5) and Skeptic. Wow Cat (#5) comes off an 8 month layoff for Chad but has fired fresh before.

1,2,3,10 / 2,7,8,9 / 4,5 / 4,8 / 1,5
 

Gandolf

Offensive Guru
Little bit of rain tapering off tonight, will be gorgeous tomorrow and all week at the Spa, figuring Fast and Good for Wednesday, with firm turf by the end of the week.

Race 6 - Tough late pick 5 opens with a ridiculous maiden turf sprint with five firsters and another three making their turf debuts. Will need to watch the board for betting clues if playing. #1 and #10 both showed good early speed in their debuts on dirt and have the pedigree to make the surface switch. Of the firsters #7 for Wesley Ward has been working well. Watch the board on #3 and #6 to see if either of Motion's starters gets some play off their double digit odds.

Race 7 - Plenty of speed signed onto this statebred turf stake, but its on the inner so speed should do OK. #5 tries the switch to turf and the stretchout to two turns and if he can carry his natural dirt speed and class onto the grass he'll be tough to beat. #3 broke his maiden in a restricted stake and is also trying two turns. #8 and #9 figure to be running late.

Race 8 - Mia Mischief looks like the controlling speed in this Grade 2 stake and she ran well at the Spa last year at age 3. She's been even better this year. Feel like Chalon was better last year when she was a surprising second in the filly and mare sprint. Pacific Gate is 0 for 6 in graded stakes but could benefit from the furlong cutback. The mystery horse is Ours to Run, who's won 6 straight on the Louisiana circuit and has been tremendous this year.

Race 9 - Tough to figure turf sprint field of nine. #4 should be the one to catch and has a pair of wins at the distance. Favorite #6 will need some pace to run at but is capable. #1, #7 and #8 all logical.

Race 10 - Massive field of 13 betting interests in this 7 furlong allowance leads to many choices again. #2 and #5 are a couple of prices that have been keeping good company. #3, #9, #11 and #12 all come in 1 for 1, any of them could jump up here. Saver ticket on the 1/1A entry at 15/1.

At first glance without scratches I think we see good price opportunities in the last two races, so we'll single in the two stakes and hope to get lucky:

1,7,10 (and maybe 3 or 6) / 5 / 4 / 1,4,6,7,8 / 2,3,5,9,11,12
 

Gandolf

Offensive Guru
Race 6 moved to off the turf, brings MTO #11 into the mix. Will have to see how scratches play out.
 

Gandolf

Offensive Guru
Scratches knock a bunch out of Races 6 and 10 and my single out of Race 7. Reconfigured Pick 5:

1,11 / 3,8,9 / 4 / 1,4,6,8 / 2,3,5,11,12
 

Gandolf

Offensive Guru
Another stakes sprint stolen on the front end by the longest shot on the board, last week turf, this week dirt.....yeesh.
 

Gandolf

Offensive Guru
Key factors I noted (AFTER THE FACT) in those two longshot sprint winners:

1) Stakes races so you have to give a benefit of the doubt to longshots....they can be entered with purpose. With sprints the class rating doesn't matter as much as speed and pace.
1a) Despite lower speed numbers, #5 yesterday was 3 for 4 at the distance, with a top speed number that was only a few points below par. He fit the race parameters.
1b) Similar story with the turf sprint, #7 was 2 for 5 at the distance, with a top speed number within 6 points of par and 2nd best at the distance.
2) The Quirin numbers and pace placements were favorable
2a) #5 in the dirt sprint had a Quirin number of 8, with next best a 5. He was a lone speed candidate.
2b) #7 in the turf sprint didn't have a better Quirin number than the rest (his 5 matched 4 others for best), but he was the only E (early) rated horse with most of the rest as EP (early presser).
3) Both horses were trending up in form. While neither had a leading class rating, the class rating in their most recent race was the highest in their last 5 races, a sign that they were on the improve.
 

Gandolf

Offensive Guru
Fast and firm on Thursday, all races stay on their intended surface (Yay!).

Race 7 - Maiden loaded with firsters, only 1 horse has experience she didn't show much and has poor connections. Have to use Pletcher baby #2 although the works don't pop, and #11 draws in with good connections and a top new sire. #3 checks all the boxes, breeding, works and connections. #4 does as well. Watch the board for clues on who is getting played.

Race 8 - Scratch of #2 puts Chad's Euro shipper #7 into a single possibility. Was within 2.5 lengths of winner last time in a race that could be considered grade 1 caliber. Now gets Lasix and the Brown treatment. Need to worry about "the other Chad" #8 who won her debut at 4 and showed a nice finishing kick. #4 and #9 are the two potential pace setters, deserve respect and some fear if one gets a loose lead. #1 could get a great ground saving trip with Ortiz and has restricted stakes class.

Race 9 - Early pace edge in this stakes sprint(!) goes to #5 and #3 (15/1), although neither shows any of the factors I noted above. #6 has won last 3, the last just 11 days ago, and is running for the 4th time since any of the other five ran. Can you say fitness edge? #1 is the most consistent and has recently been keeping company at the Graded stakes level. #4 is 4 for 7 for Chad and ran very well last time, although it was in January.

Race 10 - #4 and #5 show the most turf class in this mile race on the inner, with #5 potentially a wire candidate. Chad brings #8 back to turf after an uninspiring dirt try, last turf race was 2 years ago. At 4/1 this would be his highest odds ever, not a good sign for a horse that is 2 for 9 lifetime.

Race 11 - Full field of 12 in this turf maiden claimer so we'll need good trips and maybe ground saved. #1 gets an upgrade to Alvarado and has run OK three times at this level (potential ground saver). #2 drops from maiden ranks and makes first try around two turns, also adds blinkers and gets a hot jockey, so there's lots to like. #3 is a Pletcher turfer who finished 4th as favorite last time despite a ground saving trip. Has a chance but skeptical and will be an underlay. #5 has tried twice to drop in maiden claiming ranks on turf and was washed into slop both times, now gets blinkers. #6 is retrying the class drop to maiden claimers which was unsuccessful four races ago, this time with a cold jockey. #7-#10 don't appear to figure at all. #11 damn near won a maiden claimer two races ago, missing by just a neck. Ran well off a short break last time, despite being wide the whole time. Will need to be sent early to save some ground. #12 is the only horse that hasn't tried maiden claiming ranks and Jose Ortiz stays with her, Far outside post with this closer will require her to rally from near last, a tall order.

Early ticket structure here, but may try to cut one or two in the 7th based on the board. 2,3,4,11 / 7,8 / 1,4,6 / 4,5 / 1,2.11
 

Gandolf

Offensive Guru
Friday - Race 10 moved off the turf, and among the many scratches in that race is the odds on favorite #16, the lone MTO! Will take a shot with the only maiden dropper to close out a difficult sequence. Toughest race is the 8th, where in addition to my picks #8 and #11 are also viable.

Late Pick 5 - 7,8,9 / 3,5,9 / 4,6,7 / 1,3,5,8 / 10
 

Gandolf

Offensive Guru
Late Pick 5 - The question is what to do with Mitole, single or play against. In the Graveyard of Favorites it should probably be he latter, but he's been too good and 6 furlongs is almost too easy for the Met Mile winner. Imperial Hint would be the play against.

4.5.7.9 / 1 / 1,2,5,8 / 4,5 / 4,5,6,12
 

Lloyd Braun

Well-Known Member
Mitole probably my favorite dirt horse for a while now, really tough to play against here, would use Firenze Fire if going to try to beat Mitole.

Pick 4 1,4/3,5.9,12/2.4,5/4,6,12
 

Gandolf

Offensive Guru
Back in action after a brief break....weather conditions have improved, finally fast and firm, hope it stays that way for awhile. Card looks a little formful, maybe that's a warning signal.

Race 6 - Scratch of #2 leaves this as a two horse race IMO, #1 as an early pace presence for Rudy Rodriguez and #3 coming to track him down. Going to single #3 as there is too much not to like: jockey upgrade, class drop, win at 9f, win at the Spa. #7 on the stretchout from sprints is the unknown quantity.

Race 7 - Tough group to separate, going with #5, #6, #7 and #9. Scratch of #3 drops one contender at least. #10 will be on the engine but I think he's catchable.

Race 8 - #5 for Chad is the clear favorite, while the entry 1-1A brings a pair of decent horses into the mix. #2 looks like the controlling speed so there's a saver ticket candidate.

Race 9 - Scratch of #7 makes this another two horse race between #1 Marconi and #8 Rocketry. Marconi has gotten the best of it on several occasions, but Rocketry may appreciate the extra distance better. #6 is a sneaky play for a price.

Race 10 - A hodgepodge of babies on the lawn, spreading out with #2, #3, #4 and #7.

3 / 5,6,7,9 / 1e,5 / 1,8 / 2,3,4,7
Backup jackpot ticket: 1 / 10 / 2 / 6 / 2,3,4,7
 

Gandolf

Offensive Guru
Race 6 - Scratch of #2 leaves this as a two horse race IMO, #1 as an early pace presence for Rudy Rodriguez and #3 coming to track him down. Going to single #3 as there is too much not to like: jockey upgrade, class drop, win at 9f, win at the Spa. #7 on the stretchout from sprints is the unknown quantity.
And its the "why is this horse in this race" #7 that proves best.
 

Lloyd Braun

Well-Known Member
World of Trouble scratched from the Troy today. #6 Leinster, a half to 2 time BC Turf Sprint winner Stormy Liberal, has gone 2-2 once finally put in at the right surface/distance by Rusty Arnold (D. Wayne is not the trainer he once was) and horses coming in from Churchill have been running really well at Saratoga this meet. Should get a great trip sitting right behind Pure Sensation and Rocket Heat. Not going get 15-1 ML especially with WoT out but 6-1 or higher on this one is worth a play in my book.
 

Lloyd Braun

Well-Known Member
4/5 in the early Pick 5 because I left out the TAP firster in the 3rd because he's been awful in these spots last 2 meets
 

Inspekdah

Friend of CTG
Ran into the shop took the 2 juicy priced favs in the 4th and keyed your horse in the 5th for a nice $65 $1 double. Had it a few times and some beer money on your 6 straight to win. Thanks!
 

Lloyd Braun

Well-Known Member
Going to fade Voodoo Song in the 6th, don't think he's the same horse since last August and there is other speed here to keep him honest. 1,2,3 ex/tri box
 

CTG Sponsors & Affiliates

Top