Lead Pony Challenge Saturday Picks (Round of 16)

For the ChicagoNow readers, here's what The Author is selecting in the Lead Pony Challenge. Details are given in the post "Odds and Ends".  The contest uses $20 mythical Win, Place, Show wagers for scoring.  A primary and an alternate selection are used, ponderings are only offered for the primary selection.

Saratoga Race 7: The selection is #5 DREAMING OF CARA, 12-1 ML. Not often do you get Ramon Dominguez on a double digit morning line horse in New York, especially a horse on grass hailing the North Light-Danehill sire line. Although she's 1-5 on the turf, the best efforts (including her only turf win) have come on the tighter turns at Aqueduct. Think getting away from Belmont will be beneficial. (Alternate: #3  DRAW IT)

Saratoga Race 9: The selection is #4 DREAM PIECE, 6-1 ML. Think the filly and mare turf group all year has taken turns and drawn straws for its victories. Let's try a new face at nine furlongs on less-than-firm turf. Three back she was third in Canada on yielding ground, and even though she was 8th last time, that was against G1 males in Singapore. Fourth in a French G3 two back going 1 1/4 miles on swampy turf.  (Alternate: #6 HUNGRY ISLAND.)

Saratoga Race 10: The selection is #8 PROSPECTIVE, 12-1 ML. Toss out the two Churchill starts and the Keeneland effort against Dullahan and Hansen, and there's hardly a blemish left. While I don't think he's a Grade 1 horse, this G2 didn't come up terribly strong. I also like the rider switch to Velazquez, who should be able from the outside to let the inside speeds go on their merry way, and get a good trip behind the speeds (TEETH OF THE DOG, NECK AND NECK) to the inside, similar to his runner up effort in the Davis this past winter. (The alternate is #1 ALPHA.)

Good luck!

Filed under: Del Mar, horse racing, Saratoga

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