Saratoga Pick, Indiana and Colonial Downs Best Bet July 29, 2020

Colonial Downs Pick

A new week is here starting off with my Saratoga pick and Indiana and Colonial Downs Best bet. With Saratoga beginning a five day week, they have a stakes feature, the restricted DayAtTheSpa where I have a slight lean to War Canoe turning the tables on Classic Lady. Colonial Downs also has a pair of restricted stakes. Let’s look at some races:

Saratoga 3rd: Stormy Derby Day has tactical speed 1:54 pm Et

The Saratoga 3rd is a $40,000 claimer for fillies and mares three-year-olds and up who have not won two races going 1 1/16 miles on turf. Perhaps Super Cute will take to turf and she goes out for a trainer in Christophe Clement who has been on fire at the meet. Between Clement and her new rider Irad Ortiz Jr, however, she figures to take plenty of money because of those connections which will limit my curiosity. In order to win she will have to improve and attaching a claiming price for the first time in her turf debut isn’t a confident sign. 

Saratoga Pick July 29

(AP Photo/Hans Pennink)

With her best race morning-line favourite, Five Alarm Robin is a strong contender but don’t trust her to deliver that today. She is making just her second start of the year and her first in five months. She needed to go the Meadowlands and devalue to the $20,000 level to break her maiden last year. She got a new trainer for her last start in Gary Sciacca who decided to run her on dirt for the first time and it turned into a horrible experience where she did not finish the race. Would rather watch Five Alarm Robin put in a good effort for her new trainer, especially today when she is off a layoff than bet on it. 

Positive Skew showed marked improvement last time but she is pace dependent and without any clear front runners, don’t think the race sets up for her. She is the alternative, however.

The horse I want is Stormy Derby Day (4-1 ML). Without any confirmed speed won’t be surprised to see her set the pace and wire the field the way she did two starts ago. She did show some rating ability in her first two starts and gets a massive jockey upgrade to Jose Ortiz. Last time she got the wrong trip chasing three wide and think she’ll bounce back today.

Indiana 3rd: Tiz Taken Back should improve in second start back 3:16 pm Et

The Indiana 3rd is a $10,000 claimer for fillies and mares three years old and up going one mile on turf. I’m against morning-line favourite Little Code who got an ideal set up last time in a weak field at Ellis Park. The pace collapsed while the favourite got squeezed on the inside when trying to rally. Little Code, on the other hand, was clear of trouble on the outside, in the right spot early rallying from off the pace. I’ll bet against another perfect situation.

Perhaps Violation will handle the stretch out running at today’s one mile distance for the first time and she has handled turf previously. Find it hard to trust her however as she has been scratched out of races twice this month and now devalues significantly. Just two starts ago her current connections claimed her for $25,000 and today she is in for $10,000.

The horse I want is Tiz Taken Back (8-1 ML). Can forgive her last race, a sprint at Belterra off a long layoff, as it was probably a means to an end. Especially when looking at her other mediocre sprint races. Her route form from last year is good enough to win and she performed very well when in straight claiming events as she is today.

Colonial Downs 3rd: Captain Hardship finds right group 6:26 pm Et

The Colonial Downs 3rd is an allowance for three-year-olds and up going 1 3/16 miles on turf. Your morning line favourite is Farmington Road who was last seen competing in the grade one Belmont and several other stakes on dirt. His dam tried turf multiple times and did not win on the surface. Both her wins came in off turf events. He meets older horses and tries a new surface for the first time. Being trained by Todd Pletcher only means that he will take plenty of money and as the likely favourite, I’m not that curious to see if he can run on turf.

Keeneland PIcks and PredictionsPerhaps Singapore Flash will win and he gets jockey Trevor McCarthy who won four races yesterday to take the call. He won last time at Laurel but he beat a weak field and I don’t want him off that performance. While he has only raced eight times and may still be improving, he looks a tad slow. This is also the longest distance he has competed at and I’m not curious in finding out if he can get it.

The issue with the rest of the field is they are light on wins and have had their chances. I’m against J Beresford Tipton for that reason and because his losses have come at very short prices with him losing his last three races all as the favourite. 

Captain Hardship (5-1 ML) is my play. Yes, he is light on winning form and lost his last race as the favourite. It was a better performance than what he had been showing previously and he now makes his third start of his form cycle something he’s doing for the first time since 2018.

If you throw out his two races at Tampa Bay Downs in the winter with the first being off a long layoff and both being at distances that are too short, he has plenty of back races that would be capable in this spot. While he is light on winning form, which of those races in New York and Kentucky against better horses was he supposed to win? Today seems like an ideal spot to back him.