Saratoga Wednesday: Rick Violette Picks and Analysis

Chris Adams

Opening week of Saratoga produced some incredible performances. Week 2 of the boutique summer meet hopes to deliver more of the same.

Early Trends from Saratoga

Jockey & Trainers

Total number of wins are listed in parenthesis

  • Jockeys: Irad Ortiz Jr. (8), Luis Saez (8), Jose Ortiz (6)
  • Trainers: Steve Asmussen (4), Brad Cox (3), Bill Mott (3)

Post Position Stats from Saratoga

The first number with the parenthesis is the win percentage.

The second number in parenthesis is the percentage of runners that finished in the money. For the second calculation the total number of races is multiplied by 3 since three horses in each race finish in the money.

The New York Racing Association (NYRA) will frequently have scratches and coupled entries. This often means that the horse wearing the #2 saddle cloth could be breaking from the rail or from the 3 post. When analyzing post position, be sure to pay attention to which gate the horse will actually leave from.

Dirt Sprint (20 races)

  • Posts 1-3: 7 wins (35%-32%)
  • Posts 4-6: 6 wins (30%-45%)
  • Posts 7-9: 7 wins (35%-22%)
  • Posts 10+: 0 wins (0%-2%)

Dirt Route (6 races)

  • Posts 1-3: 2 wins (33%-22%)
  • Posts 4-6: 4 wins (67%-50%)
  • Posts 7-9: 0 wins (0%-28%)
  • Posts 10+: 0 wins (0%-0%)

Turf Sprint (5 races)

  • Posts 1-3: 3 wins (60%-33%)
  • Posts 4-6: 1 win (20%-33%)
  • Posts 7-9: 1 win (20%-27%)
  • Posts 10+: 0 wins (0%-7%)

Turf Route (3 races)

  • Posts 1-3: 2 wins (67%-22%)
  • Posts 4-6: 0 wins (0%-44%)
  • Posts 7-9: 1 win (33%-33%)
  • Posts 10+: 0 wins (0%-0%)

Inner Turf Route (7 races)

  • Posts 1-3: 4 wins (57%-52%)
  • Posts 4-6: 1 win (14%-24%)
  • Posts 7-9: 2 wins (29%-19%)
  • Posts 10+: 0 wins (0%-5%)

Run Style Stats from Saratoga

Everyone classifies running style a bit differently. Here are the designations used for these stats:

  • E=Early Speed: Horse was within 1 length of the lead at the first call.
  • S=Stalker: Horse was between 1 and 2.5 lengths off the lead at the first call.
  • M=Midpack: Horse was between 2.5 and 5 lengths off the lead at the first call.
  • C=Closer: Horse was more than 5 lengths off the lead at the first call.

Dirt Sprint (20 races)

  • E: 13 wins (65%-42%)
  • S: 3 wins (15%-23%)
  • M 2 wins (10%-17%)
  • C: 2 wins (10%-18%)

Dirt Route (6 races)

  • E: 1 win (17%-22%)
  • S: 5 wins (83%-33%)
  • M 0 wins (0%-39%)
  • C: 0 wins (0%-6%)

Turf Sprint (5 races)

  • E: 2 wins (40%-47%)
  • S: 0 wins (0%-0%)
  • M 2 wins (40%-40%)
  • C: 1 win (20%-13%)

Turf Route (3 races)

  • E: 0 wins (0%-22%)
  • S: 1 win (33%-22%)
  • M 2 wins (67%-44%)
  • C: 0 wins (0%-11%)

Inner Turf Route (7 races)

  • E: 2 wins (29%-24%)
  • S: 2 wins (29%-24%)
  • M 1 wins (14%-19%)
  • C: 2 wins (29%-29%)

This Week’s Saratoga Stakes Races

  • Wednesday: Rick Violette Stakes
  • Thursday: Stillwater Stakes
  • Friday: Lake George (G3)
  • Saturday: Caress (G3-Turf) & Coaching Club American Oaks (G1)
  • Sunday: Shuvee (Grade 3)

All races are available for wagering on online wagering platforms such as NYRAbets, TVG, and Twinspires. While all of of these platforms offer simulcast coverage, players looking for the official TV broadcast have a few options.

NYRA will broadcast the production all of the races on their YouTube channel under the name Saratoga Live. The broadcast is also a viewing option through the NYRAbets and NYRA Now apps. Finally, most of the races are covered on the Fox family of networks, but can at times jump between channels during the broadcast.

Wednesday’s Card

With Saratoga Springs slated to get rain throughout the afternoon on both Tuesday and Wednesday, there is a pretty solid chance that the conditions may be changing throughout the day.

It does seem likely that at a minimum some of the turf races could end up switching to the main track. Always make sure to monitor changes and make adjustments to your handicapping as necessary.

Race Information

  1. $75,000 Jonathan Kiser Novice S., 2 1/16 Miles on Turf-Hurdle, Runners: 7, Post Time: 1:05 PM ET
  2. $32,000 Claiming, 6 Furlongs on Dirt, Runners: 6, Post Time: 1:38 PM ET
  3. $60,000 Maiden Claiming, 1 1/16 Miles on Turf, Runners: 10, Post Time: 2:15 PM ET
  4. $100,000 Rick Violette S., 6 Furlongs on Dirt, Runners: 5, Post Time: 2:49 PM ET
  5. $50,000 Maiden Claiming, 7 Furlongs on Dirt, Runners: 8, Post Time: 3:21 PM ET
  6. $80,000 Maiden Special Weight, 5 1/2 Furlongs on Dirt, Runners: 14, Post Time: 3:55 PM ET
  7. $52,000 Claiming, 1 1/16 Miles on Inner Turf, Runners: 16, Post Time: 4:29 PM ET
  8. $95,000 Allowance Optional Claiming, 5 1/2 Furlongs on Turf, Runners: 13, Post Time: 5:05 PM ET
  9. $110,000 Allowance Optional Claiming, 1 1/8 Miles on Dirt, Runners: 7, Post Time: 5:39 PM ET
  10. $50,000 Maiden Claiming, 5 1/2 Furlongs on Turf, Runners: 13, Post Time: 6:13 PM ET

Rick Violette Stakes

The Rick Violette Stakes is one of the many Saratoga races that features 2 year old competitors. Named for a famous trainer who passed in 2018, the stake is for New York bred horses only.

This race is a very interesting combination of horses. The morning line favorite is #5 Ready AP, who enters the race as the lone filly in a race of 5 horses. While colts often have a physical advantage at the older ages, those discrepancies are not as pronounced this early in their careers.

Two horses dueled once before in an off the turf event where #1 Run Curtis Run edged #4 Surprise Boss at the wire. The question with these two is are they meant to be turf runners in the long run? Given how close they were last out the 6 1/2 point odds difference on the morning line does seem extreme and may make Surprise Boss the better play.

#3 Coinage is an improving colt with a forward run style. Both he and #2 Barese have shown the ability to pass horses late in the lane. Visually it is hard to determine if they were finishing strong or their opponent’s were backing up.

This event feels like a price shopping affair where bettors are best served to put an acceptable price on their top choices and bet whichever falls to the proper price.

Saratoga Expert Selections (7/21)

The following picks are listed in order of preference and were made assuming some give in the ground. If horses scratch, the next selection would be elevated to the next position.

The picks are far less likely to be accurate if turf races moved off the grass.

The Selections

  1. Hurdle Race: No Selections
  2. 4-5-6-3-2 (Wide Open Race)
  3. 1-9-8-1a-4
  4. 3-5-1-4 (Live Long Shot: #4)
  5. 7-5-4-2-6
  6. 8-13-6-1-9 (Wide Open Race, Live Long Shot: #8)
  7. 7-14-12-10-3 (Best Bet: #7)
  8. 10-6-12-9-1 (Wide Open Race)
  9. 3-6-5-7-2 (Wide Open Race, Live Long Shot: #6)
  10. 4-3-9-5-7 (Wide Open Race, Live Long Shot: #9)

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