We're dedicating today's opening column to the memory of Sonny Sarrica. Sonny was a Saratoga resident, fan of all things horse racing related ( including this prose ), and an all around gentlemen. 

He now has the best seat in the house. 

Today's Beatable Favorite(s): None

I'd like to leave this bit of info here for y'all. When we're using the DRF Formulator platform while writing our columns, if we say "Sprints", for the most part we mean any one turn race, and when we say "Routes", we mean any TWO turn race. ( For example, we consider a 1 1/8th mile race at Belmont an elongated sprint, and a 6 1/2 furlong race at a Charles Town a route. ) We feel this way, because in our eyes, it's the number of turns that necessitate more energy than being relaxed on a straightaway. Sometimes the sample size for our study can be too large to manually break down, so there may be a few from one category in another, but usually the end result is pretty much the same. Additionally, when it comes to layoffs, we consider more than 50 days in a dirt to dirt scenario a layoff, more than 58 days in D to T or T to D a layoff, and more than 67 days in a turf to turf deal a L/O. Furthermore, if we amend our selections for a wet track, and the track becomes fast, our original selections are in play.


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Saratoga - 7/15 - Opening Day


Race  1




Aaaaaaaaaaaand, they're OFF at Saratoga !!

#8 EKHTIBAAR didn't show a whole heck of a lot when facing similar at Philadelphia Park 16 days back, but eight year old had posted decent figaros in three of four just prior to that, and is 2:1-0-0-1 over this oval. Slightest of edges in a wide open opener to the meet.  #2 PLAYWRIGHT turned in an awful effort in his first start off the claim for Schettino, but goes long today, and happens to have a 3:1-1-0 ledger when going from one turn to two. Gelding could use with some pace ahead of him. #5 CHARLIE'SARCHANGEL was a decently clear runner up when going against slightly tougher at CD three fortnights ago, but despite that, is dropped for the fourth straight time in his first start for the new outfit. The good news tho, is that this clan is a snappy 9 of 23 with freshly purchased mid level dirt stock who were in the money 34-50 days in the past & are 8-1 or beneath ( positive return on investment ). 


Race  2


2.Prima Della


#9 SPEEDOMETER was steadied down on the inside when starting things out at CD last month, but overcame that ( and some greenness ) to secure 10% of the pot that day. Filly gets a much better draw this afternoon, and "The As-Man" is a nifty 4-7 with locally based second time starting 2YO's who crashed the fiesta < 38 days in the past ( ridden by Ricardo ), and the mutuels for that sampling were $6, $3, $4 & $7. #3 PRIMA DELLA is a $225,000 bred animal owned by Platts & trained by Potts who brings along a snappy 399 Tomlinson figure for today's distance as well as a bullet from the gate -- which ALWAYS merits inclusion for a firster. #6 SEDUCE was a lively runner up when showing directly behind a next out winner ( who improved by 10.2% in the Beyer department ) down in Wilmington first time out, and picks up Johnny for the New York foray. 



Race  3


2.Point Me By

3.Alley Oop Johnny

#10 TREASON ( which excellent turf pedigree ) was shockingly sent off at the better part of 25-1 when beginning his working life on 6/12, and although we don't like "Missing the wedding & going to the funeral", we'd be remiss to toss here, especially with a switch to Jose, and the fact that the initial result was likely not an aberration. Mild choice. #6 POINT ME BY is another who returned to his barn a victor after his initial trip to the frontside, but contrary to the above, we feel this one may have outrun ( Or is it outran? We always get confused. ) his bloodlines a bit that June Day, so will slide beneath. #12 ALLEY OOP JOHNNY is two of six at today's distance of ground ( "Ten square feet of grouuuuund. Our turf -- our little piece of turf." ) and owns an oh-fer-8 ledger @ other trips. That's reason enough to chunk in.  OFF TURF: 10-2(MTO)-7-12-1



Race  4 




#7 HOHOHOHO had some coal left in her stocking two back, when justifiably DQ'd beneath a bug at Belmont, but almost provided some redemption for her backers next time out, in leading most of the way before getting passed late in finishing 3rd. 12% barn does much better than that ( 7-19 ) with allowance turf stayers who were 1-2-3 less than 52 days back & are 9-1 or undah, and the returns for that survey were $10, $9 x 2, $6 x 2, $5 & $3. #9 KEMBA got her Polaroid taken the only time she was in a second off the L/O scenario on the turf, and said tally came right here on the Mellon. There was a 12 pt. improvement in said heat, and anything even close to that now, would make this one tough to down. #8 MOPOLKA didn't show much in her first start off the claim by Linda Rice ( who is appealing her license revocation by the New York State Gaming Commission, after being accused of getting inside information in regards to what horses were entering races she had in mind for her stock ), but has a strong, overall turf boxscore, and is eligible to rebound.  OFF TURF:2-1-4-(MTO)-6(MTO)-9  NOTE: AS OF 1:53 P.M. WEDNESDAY, DUE TO AN ERROR, OUR AMENDED SELECTIONS WILL BE 12-7-9.   NOTE: AS OF 11:59, OUR OFF THE TURF SELECTIONS WILL BE 9-10-5.



Race  5

1.Echo Zulu


3.Lady Scarlet

Employing the "Diamond in the Rough" theory with the #7 ECHO ZULU, as this one has a snappy 47 & 2 gate breeze nestled in amidst a handful of ordinary moves, and gal went for 6X the 50K stud fee at Keeneland last year. This one is a half to Grade One winner Echo Town, as well as Graded Stakes placed Unbridled Outlaw, as well as listed stakes placed Dragic. Additionally, mommy was three for three going short ( including a G2 ), and daddy was a monster. Oodles of things to like with this one. #5 OUTFOXED was bred for a mere $3,000 but went for a whopping 360 large a few months back, and could be any kind. #3 LADY SCARLET was a daylight clear runner up when starting her career in Kentucky about six weeks back and deserves your respect once again.  NOTE: AS OF 1:57 P.M. WEDNESDAY, WE ARE FLIP FLOPPING OUR TOP TWO SELECTIONS.



Race  6 

1.Five Alarm Robin 

2.Kitten by the Sea

3.Corey Scores 

#4 FIVE ALARM ROBIN hasn't been in action since early December, but Bay mare went coast to coast like butter and toast in her lone turf try off a respite and has been a part of the superfecta in three of her prior quartet of outings over firm ground. Price play in a deal with no true standouts. #5 KITTEN BY THE SEA fell short by only a neck in her one shot off the bench ( on this course, no less ), and happens to be one for two beneath today's pilot as well. Toss in a two for two mark when available for purchase. Logical contendress. #7 COREY SCORES rounds out the top three.  OFF TURF: 1-7-3(MTO)-2-10



Race  7

1.Bourbon Thunder

2.Southern District

3.Dack Janiel's

We have three decent sets of DRF Formulator statistics in play here, so without further "To do", let's get right to 'em.  #10 BOURBON THUNDER ( who has improved with with each & every start ) will be led over by a bossman who's won with half of his last six allowance dirt routers who were ITM 44-50 days in the rear ( $23, $3 & $9 ), and there are sun categories of of 1 for 1 with those going short to long, and 1 for 1 with allowance runners ( non overlapping races ). #2 SOUTHERN DISTRICT sure as heck appreciates the surface switch back in May, when procuring the sheepskin in a visually impressive performance, and Brown is a near poyfect 5:4-0-1 ( $10, $6, $5 & $4 ) with those going long on the sand who snagged their first win 51-73 days back. Included within that study are one for one marks with Irad, at this level, and in Toga town. #4 DACK JANIEL'S: Sisterson ( 12% on the norm ) is a cool 7 of 17 with allowance dirt routers off of 18-50 day L/O's ( 11-1 or under ). The payouts for that study were a healthy $23, $21, $17, $6, $4 x 2 & $3. 



Race  8 


2.Jaxon Traveler

3.Second of July

Today's co-feature is named after Quick Call, who was a fan favorite of many while on the track, and became a poster horse for thoroughbred aftercare and prisoner rehabilitation off of it, before passing away at the glorious age of 35. Look him up !  #6 FAUCI turned in quite the clunker down at the Shore on Sunday, and on the whole, hasn't been the same since leaving the Ward barn. That being said, colt had a nice placing on this course last year, and was photogenic the only other time she placed a hoof on firm ground. Entries for this race were drawn the same day of his last race, so who knows if he even faces the starter, so check the changes. #9 JAXON TRAVELER has yet to finish out of the exacta ( while never being worse than 4th at any point of call ), and the recent poly placing is encouraging, as we feel it translates to the turf nicely. Looking strong. #2 SECOND OF JULY ( the official day the Continental Congress declared its freedom from Great Britain ) can be forgiven the pre & post layoff jammies, ( as sometimes things go amiss in the former & maybe he wasn't fully cranked up for the latter ), & aside from those two, this one scored in both other outings, at monstrous prices of $139 & $33. Not hopeless.  OFF TURF: 7-1-8-6-3   NOTE: AS OF 2:01 WEDNESDAY, WE ARE AMENDING OUR SELECTIONS TO 3-6-9.  NOTE: AS OF 11:15, DUE TO A LATE SCRATCH THE #2 WILL BE OUR 3RD SELECTION.



Race  9 

1.Happy Soul

2.Pipeline Girl

3.Velvet Sister

#7 HAPPY SOUL has been positively scintillating in both starts on a fast track, winning 'em each by a pole, and the workouts since the Astoria score tell us that there's still some starch left in the collar. From a "trainer's stat" perspective, W.W. is a tight three for five with dirt sprinters at this level who scored 34-50 days in the past, and those winners came back $3, $9 & $6. Grab her by the tail to get the pasta. #3 PIPELINE GIRL got up in time to best maidens down in Louisville, and could pose a threat should the top choice get hooked early on. #4 VELVET SISTER got away with a ridiculously slow 23 & 4 2nd quarter in the maiden breaker three dozen days back, and as we all know that ain't happening today, this half million dollar purchase has obviously been well meant & can't be left out in her first shot against winners.   NOTE: AS OF 2:05 P.M. WEDNESDAY, WE ARE AMENDING OUR SELECTIONS TO 7-2-4.  NOTE: AS OF 11:18, DUE TO A LATE SCRATCH THE #1 WILL BE OUR 3RD SELECTION.



Race  10

1.Big Georges Kingdm



You can feel free to draw an upwards arrow alongside the P.P.'s of #10 BIG GEORGES KINGDM, as this one is figuring things out as he goes along, and is a touch better bred for the green than the brown he's been racing on thus far. Sire was 7:4-3-0 on the turf & poly ( banking more than eight million ), and that one's father was a turf specialist, going 11:9-1-0 over the stuff. This one's dam never set foot on it, but her father was two for two on the gramma, and there may be some decent value here. #4 ATHENRY had some trouble in the most recent and gets some improvement in the saddle. #2 DANZIGWITHTHESTARS came along honestly enough in the ( wide ) initial routing attempt, and can take step forward for today's 3rd off the layoff shot.  OFF TURF: 2-7-1-3-10  NOTE: AS OF 11:22, DUE TO A LATE SCRATCH THE #8 WILL BE OUR 3RD SELECTION. 


Graded Stakes ( Current ): 4-25        ( $34.60 )   Beatable Favorites    0-1      ( 0% )  Favorites  Win %:     10-25    ( 40% )

Belmont               ( Final ):  67-444   ( $534.40 )    Beatable Favorites    7-27  ( 25.9% ) Favorites   Win %:    171-444 ( 38.5% ) 

Aqueduct Spring  ( Final ):  16-95     ( $118.70 )    Beatable  Favorites     0-6   ( 0% )     Favorites   Win  %:   51-95     ( 53.7% )

Aqueduct Winter ( Final ):  86-464  ( $989.40 )    Beatable  Favorites    5-15( 33.3% ) Favorites  Win %:   162-464 ( 34.9% ) 

Aqueduct Fall      ( Final ):  28-175   ( $454.00 )    Beatable   Favorites     1-9  ( 11.1% ) Favorites Win %      56-175   ( 32.0% )

Graded Stakes    ( Final ):  10-54     ( $122.40 )    Beatable Favorites       0-1   (  0% )    Favorites Win %:     17-53     ( 32.1% )

All Triple Crown, Breeders' Cup, Selected Grade 1's and Travers full days  ( These are also counted in the "Dirt Tracks" category ):

( 2013-2020 Final ) 74-465  ( $703.70 ) Beatable Favorites: 18-57 ( 31.6% ) Favorite's Win %: 140-414 (33.8%)  +/-: -24.3% against a 16.8% takeout  

Polytracks   2013-16 (All Final): 85-568          ( $819.20 )  Beatable Favorites : 15-68      ( 22.1% )Favorite's Win %: 163-587       ( 27.7% ) +/-: -27.6%  against a 15.6% takeout

Dirt Tracks  2013-21 (All Final):2923-15087 ($25,472.60)  Beatable Favorites : 371-1361( 27.3% )Favorite's Win %: 5706-15169 ( 37.6% ) +/-: -15.5%  against a 16.8% takeout

Cumulative Stats    (All Final): 3008-15655 ($26,291.80)   Beatable Favorites : 386-1429( 27% )   Favorite's Win %: 5889-15756 ( 37.4% ) +/-: -15.9%  against a 16.6% takeout