Saratoga Saturday: Jockey Club Gold Cup Analysis

Chris Adams

The Saratoga meet is winding down. This Saturday features 4 stakes including the Flower Bowl and the Jockey Club Goal Cup.

Saratoga Weekend Outlook

Saratoga’s weather can always be a little touch and go. This year has been particularly frustrating for turf players who have seen over 3 dozen races come off the grass.

Good news is in sight however. Saratoga Springs appears to have a stretch of sun coming up with moderate temperatures that should allow for all races to remain on the turf on Saturday.

Saratoga Saturday Analysis

Race 1

Post: 12:35 PM ET; Purse: $85,000 Maiden Special Weight, 5 1/2 Furlongs on Turf; Entries: 15

With lightly raced horses on the Saratoga turf kicking things off, #9 SHERIFF BIANCO seems to have the best edge in this race based on speed, stamina, and class. #8 B C GLORY DAYS may be able to get the best of the race flow in this spot. #5 WAR SMOKE has great connections and could be rounding into form. #12 SUIT OF ARMOR is well bred and could get the job done in this spot.

  • Selections: 9-8-5-12

Race 2

Post: 1:10 PM ET; Purse: $48,000 Claiming, 1 1/8 Miles on Dirt; Entries: 9

#3 GRUMPS LITTLE TOTS has the top power rating in the group and has kept great company of late. #5 LEGIT could be a dangerous runner here based on the pace advantage the horse seems to have in this spot. #6 HEAVY ROLLER seems to be on schedule and could be cycling up to a top performance. #8 ASHAAR could perform well here given the horse’s record at the distance.

  • Selections: 3-5-6-8

Race 3

Post: 1:43 PM ET; Purse: $100,000 Maiden Special Weight, 7 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 7

#7 PIPELINE is the class of the field and will look to use his stamina to bottom out this field in the lane. #4 UBIQUITOUS seems to fit this race on speed figures and race flow. When a horse runs the best numbers and has a run style supported by track profile, they can be extremely dangerous. #6 CODY'S WISH shares the best record at the distance with #4. #5 BALTASAR Is coming into the race in good form.

  • Selections: 7-4-6-5

Race 4

Post: 2:16 PM ET; Purse: $103,000 Allowance, 5 1/2 Furlongs on Turf; Entries: 9

#7 RISKY MISCHIEF is the best bet of the day on the Saturday Saratoga card. If this one shows up, everyone else is running for 2nd. #6 HARPER'S IN CHARGE has a shot with a forward running style in a paceless turf sprint. #2 FORT DRUM has been good at this distance and has to be respected. #9 MEET THE BEAUTY could take a step in the right direction in this race.

  • Selections: 7-6-2-9 (Best Bet #7)

Race 5

Post: 2:47 PM ET; Purse: $250,000 Prioress S., 6 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 6

#6 SOUPER SENSATIONAL is the best based on power ratings and speed figures. #5 AMENDMENT NINETEEN is also a major player with great connections and top class figures. #2 EDIE MEENY MINY MO could get the right set up here and has been good at 6 furlongs on dirt. #1 OXANA also has a great record at 6 furlongs and is rounding into top form.

  • Selections: 6-5-2-1

Race 6

Post: 3:22 PM ET; Purse: $100,000 Maiden Special Weight, 1 1/16 Miles on Inner Turf; Entries: 13

With all of these Saratoga maiden races, watch the board to see if anyone is taking significant money. That may indicate smart money knows something. #9 OHTWOOHTHREEFIVE rates out well in a lot of statistical categories, but runs here against lightly raced horses who lack data for side by side comparison. I give the edge to the horse’s experience. #6 ANNAPOLIS is bred to love the surface and is dangerous. Early in the career connections can play a major role in how quickly horses get good. If that’s that case, #2 I'LL FIGURE IT OUT is extremely dangerous. #8 NYQUEST NIX looks like he could be ready to pop a big one.

  • Selections: 9-6-2-8

Race 7

Post: 3:53 PM ET; Purse: $100,000 Maiden Special Weight, 7 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 11

#3 TEN GAUGE is in good form and has been running against really good horses thus far in the career. #10 BRIGADIER GENERAL has the top speed figure in this group and has a real shot. #4 MISBEHAVED is well bred for today’s conditions. #8 GALT hasn’t done anything wrong and is worthy of a use underneath.

  • Selections: 3-10-4-8

Race 8

Post: 4:27 PM ET; Purse: $200,000 Saranac S., 1 1/16 Miles on Inner Turf; Entries: 7

#1 PUBLIC SECTOR looks really good in this spot and is the classiest horse in the race. #4 NEVER SURPRISED has a speed figure edge and could be in a good spot to get the jump late. #6 MOHS is in good form and could get the best of the race shape. #3 HE'SPUREGOLD is a negative handicapping play as he has done little to disqualify him from contention.

  • Selections: 1-4-6-3

Race 9

Post: 5:01 PM ET; Purse: $90,000 Allowance, 1 1/16 Miles on Turf; Entries: 11

#10 ENGLISH BREEZE looks formidable on paper with edges in speed stamina, and class. She may also have a pace edge and get the best of the race shape. This is one of the tougher favorites to beat on the Saratoga card. #3 LOOKIN TO FLY has the top breeding rating and record at the distance. #6 JUST OK IS NOT OK goes out for top connections and should not be discounted. #7 FREEDOM MACHINE feels like a horse ready to step forward and could be a player underneath.

  • Selections: 3-6-10-7

Race 10

Post: 5:37 PM ET; Purse: $103,000 Allowance, 6 1/2 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 12

#9 CROWDED TRADE has an edge in class and may just outlast this group. #7 HOOPLA has had success at the distance and should enjoy the race shape. #8 BABY YODA has been trending in the right direction and is at the right distance today. #3 DUCALE has a speed edge on this group and is a major player.

  • Selections: 9-7-8-3

Race 11

Post: 6:11 PM ET; Purse: $600,000 Flower Bowl S., 1 3/8 Miles on Inner Turf; Entries: 7

The first of 2 stakes races on Saturday’s Saratoga card will be on the inner turf. #3 WAR LIKE GODDESS has been very good of late and has the best speed and rating in the group. #4 MY SISTER NAT is another one that is cycling up and will be played equally with the #3 on every single one of my tickets. #1 LA SIGNARE could have a pace edge with a great late kick home. #7 COASTANA has been good at the distance. A jump up would be required to get by the top 3 here.

  • Selections: 3-4-1-7

Race 12

Post: 6:46 PM ET; Purse: $1,000,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup S., 1 1/4 Miles on Dirt; Entries: 6

This race comes to Saratoga after previously being run at Belmont Park. #4 HAPPY SAVER has this field covered in many of the handicapping pillars. If the #4 doesn’t fire #1 FORZA DI ORO has a speed edge and is proven at the distance. #2 MAX PLAYER could have a good run with the pace of the race. #6 FOREWARNED may get the best run based on the way the track has has been playing so far this meet.

  • Selections: 4-1-2-6

All of the action from Saratoga can be viewed on the Fox family of networks. Check the NYRA schedule for broadcast details.

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