[intense_lead]Two punters, Vinny and Carlos, were standing at the paddock eyeing the eight colts being saddled for the finale and conversing on the merits of each.[/intense_lead] While perusing the dope on the 6-horse, a sharp looking runner, alert, on his toes, somewhat dappled out, Vinny asked, “Whatta ya thinka the 6?” Carlos, quipped, “Da 6? Looks good, but dat trainer couldn’t win a fixed race!”

Smart N Fancy - $100k

August 17, 2019

5 (1-1) Morticia looms a legitimate short-odds favorite. Last out facing some of these rivals, she was hard held, steadied and bottled up in traffic. Frustrated, trainer Rusty Arnold reunites Morticia with winning jockey Jose Ortiz in hopes of a cleaner trip.
7 (7-2) Oleksandra ships from Woodbine where she was bothered at the start, middle moved but weakened in the late stages. Owner Team Valor purchases athletic runners, and this lightly raced 5-yo mare has proven herself capable of competing with these. She has been racing at longer sprint distances and will appreciate the stronger pace of a 5.5f dash.
1 (4-1) Fire Key exits the same heat as (5) but enjoyed a perfect trip from outside horses. Under trainer Jim Ryerson, this former off-pace runner has employed stalking tactics to good advantage.
8 (9-2) Broadway Run exits the same race as (1) & (5). She adds blinkers and switches to hot turf jock Saez. It will take an improved effort to win.
9 (12-1) Ruby Notion jumped up at 27-1 to take the Caress at this course & distance in 2018. Rain in the forecast might result in some give to the surface to move her up again.

Lake Placid – G2 $200k

August 17, 2019

5 (2-1) Regal Glory looms the better of two from Chad Brown. She tipped out late with dead aim on today’s rival and mate (4) Blowout to get to the wire in time but without any doubt which was the better performance.
4 (5-2) Blowout made the lead in G3 Lake George but was unable to hold off (5) Regal Glory. This one should have the lead again. Will she hold off the cavalry?
1 (3-1) Varenka is an improving filly in the capable hands of Graham Motion, who is enjoying a good meet. She is a rear-half runner with the talent & ability to quicken. She will save ground under Javier Castellano and be the one to hold off in the lane.
6 (5-1) Feel Glorious will be back at a better distance today. She could not handle (4) in an overnight stake at Belmont over good going but did so at today’s distance in the Memories of Silver. The distance is to her advantage; firmer ground would help as well.

The Alabama – G1 $600k

August 17, 2019

1 (8-5) Dunbar Road is one of two from Chad Brown. She is a daughter of Quality Road. He was a multiple graded stakes winner on dirt including the G1 Florida Derby, Donn, Whitney and Woodward at 9 furlongs and two in-the-money finishes at 10 furlongs. Dunbar Road has the speed from her dam side and stamina through Quality Road to handle the distance.
7 (5-2) Point of Entry has the apparent advantage of a win and second at 9 furlongs, including over this track in the G1 CCA Oaks. This daughter of Curlin should have no problem with distance. The concerns are race dynamics and a pace that will favor front-half runners. Castellano will have to keep her closer to reel in the quality speeds.
2 (6-1) Lady Apple was no match for Serengeti Princess in the G1 Kentucky Oaks. She was smartly shipped and dropped in class and distance in capturing the G3 Iowa Oaks. Trainer Steve Asmussen knows how to prepare for this race as his horses are 2-0-1-1.
6 (8-1) Ulele finished behind (2) in the G2 Black Eyed Susan, not a particularly strong field. She will need a top effort to contend. Note that trainer Brad Cox had never had a dirt winner at this distance.
5 (10-1) Street Band, albeit 25-1, had excuses in the G1 Kentucky, breaking widest of all from post 12 and having trouble at the start. Trainer Larry Jones regrouped. Off a layoff since the Oaks, she crushed rivals in the G3 Indiana Oaks. Over the last five years, last out dirt route winners repeat at 33% for Jones, with 18% in graded stakes. Street Band has tactical speed and will be close enough to get first run on the leaders.