Jeff Siegel: What You Need to Know - Saratoga | Friday, September 2, 2022

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Sixth Race – Post: 3:21 ET
Top Pick: 5-Banterra (3-1)

Two-year-old maiden returns for a barn that hits with a strong 23% with second timers, so we’re expecting this Steve Asmussen-trained state-bred filly to produce enough of a forward move to earn her diploma in what looks to be an average race for the level.  Second, beaten six lengths by Miracle (subsequently stakes-placed), the daughter of Practical Joke shows four nice breezes since raced, switches to Flavian Prat, and should be capable of producing a winning late kick.  At 3-1 on the morning line, she deserves strong consideration in the win pool and in the various rolling exotics.  

Eighth Race:  Post: 5:05 ET
Top Pick: 4-Dancing Buck (6-1)

In an abbreviated turf sprint for older horses that projects to have a soft early pace, this veteran gelding appears to have found a proper spot to spring a mild surprise.  The son of War Dancer is moving up in class following a pair of sharp wins and may be capable of winning this year’s edition of the Lucky Coin Stakes if he can secure a forward position – perhaps even on the lead – and then fight off the late runners.  Fresh from earning a career top speed figure, the Michelle Nevin-trained gelding really won’t have to improve much at all to extend his streak, so at 6-1 on the morning line he offers a reasonable gamble in the win pool and in rolling exotic play.  1-Big Package and 3-Proven Strategies can offer late threats off their best performances and worth including somewhere on your ticket.  


(Races 1-5)
1st race: 9-You’re My Girl; 5-Boy Is She a Lady; 6-Mim; 1-My Sweet Summer
2nd race: 3-Mail Order; 5-Mischievous Dream; 6-Ellanation
3rd race: 3-Tiz a Giant; 1-Good Medicine
4th race: 8-Mosienko; 4-Khali Magic
5th race: 1-Eylara; 6-Classic Colors; 4-Control Function

(Races 6-10)
6th race: 5-Banterra
7th race: 5-Topic Changer; 3-Fieldstone
8th race: 4-Dancing Buck; 1-Big Package; 3-Proven Strategies
9th race: 6-Angitude; 9-Smash Ticket; 10-Union Lake
10th race: 6-Conquist; 8-Curlin’s Wisdom; 9-Dreampoint




Mim (August 28, Saratoga, 5f, 1:02.2b).  Grade: B-
Breezing throughout and slightly best outside Binsky (same time) for L. Rice, eager in the final furlong while not being let run, final quarter mile in :24.4.  Hard to gauge how much sprint speed she has but looks to have at least some ability and should be more than fit by now.  
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Ensemble (August 19, Saratoga, 5f, 1:02.2b TT TC DU).  Grade: B-
Asked and ridden through the lane but went well enough for B. Walsh in solo training track turf drill while far outside around dogs.  Probably has some improvement in her, might be most effective if held up early and allowed to run late.  
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Control Function (August 26, Saratoga, 4f, :50.1b).  Grade: B+
Was sharp in easy main track breeze while much best over Santa Giulia (same time) for C. Brown able to go faster if permitted. Lightly raced filly returns after several months on the sidelines, looks better now than in the winter.  
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Transient (August 14, Saratoga, 4f, :50.2b TT TC DU).  Grade: B-
Just galloping in solo breeze around dogs on training track turf course for S. Joseph, Jr., final quarter in :24.4 looking fine.  Main concern was that she never switched leads.  Been away since last November, seems fit, was a once-paced stayer last year.
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Santa Giulia (August 26, Saratoga, 4f, :50.1b).  Grade: C+
Clearly second best behind Control Function (same time), finishing more than a length behind under light coaxing (workmate hard held, never allowed to show speed), fair to moderate for C, Brown, final quarter in :25.3.  Doesn’t act like a dirt horse.  Hard to get excited about.  
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Stonewall Star (August 26, Saratoga, 4f, :49.3b).  Grade: B-
Maybe slightly second best inside Red Butterfly (same time), final quarter in :25 flat, not really asked much but not showing a whole lot of spark, either.  Probably would prefer to see one first based on this drill.  
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Banterra (August 22, Saratoga, 5f, 1:03b TT).  Grade: B-
Always breezing while stride-for-stride outside Powerful (same time) for S. Asmussen, final quarter in :24.4 looking good and eager.  Beautiful mover by Practical Joke was a beaten favorite in her debut in late July but it would be surprising if she doesn’t improve off that effort. Not a particularly quick sort, should improve as the distances increase.  
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Pretty Miss Keens (August 25, Saratoga, 4f, :49.3bg).  Grade: B-
In blinkers, solo gate work for G. Weaver, broke sharply and was ridden a bit most of the way in steady move looking okay while gearing up for debut.  No world beater but appears to have some run and may be competitive in moderate state-bred company.
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Security Code (August 21, Saratoga, 4f, :49.1b).  Grade: B
Broke off a few lengths behind Wave Action (4f, :49.4b) and was asked to close the up gap through the stretch while under pressure but made little headway (workmate breezing), final quarter in a moderate :25.1.  Certainly was hoping for better after promising debut run.  
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Wicked Halo (August 22, Saratoga, 4f, :49.2b TT).  Grade: B-
Was asked a bit through the lane in solo training track drill for S. Asmussen, final quarter in :24.3, okay move, not great.  Freshened since early July, expected a bit sharper move.  
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Angitude (August 20, Saratoga, 5f, 1:00.4b).  Grade: B+
Broke off a few lengths in front of high class Cyberknife (5f, 1:00b) and wound up more than a length back at the wire but was under strong restraint every step of the way and actually looked very good, final quarter mile in 24.3 (returned to breeze a bullet five furlongs in 1:00 flat the following week).  Has plenty of speed and probably is most comfortable sprinting.  Ready to produce a forward move for B. Cox.  
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Union Lake (August 21, Saratoga, 5f, 1:00.3b).  Grade: B
Slightly best inside Pinehurst (same time) for J. Terranova, not really asked much, final quarter in a sharp :23.4, strong throughout.  Looks to be improving with each race and work.  Tough on the raise.  
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Nyshares (August 12, Saratoga, 4f, :50.2b TT TC DU).  Grade: B-
Niggled through the lane outside Feathers Road (same time) and was slightly second best, fair to moderate for Linda Rice.  Not a speed type, for sure.  May have a small look vs. soft New York-bred foes.  
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Conquist (August 19, Saratoga, 5f, 1:01b).  Grade: B
Ridden in the closing stages to draw clear from Abundant Honor (5f, 1:01.2b) for J. Kimmel, okay drill for daughter of Nyquist, final quarter mile in :25.1.  Seems about the same.  
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