In a partnership with Thorofan, we'll be offering Bankroll plays for each day of the Saratoga meet. Each day, we'll take fifty dollars ($50.00) and use it throughout the card and try to turn it into bigger money. The goal is simple: end the meet with more than we started. A scorecard will be maintained at the bottom of the post.
We remind that picks will be voided in two scenarios: 1) the selection (or part of it) scratches and the picks are not updated to reflect it and 2) the race changes surfaces. Saratoga is famous for its pop-up thunderstorms that deluge in an hour, go away, and leave an off-the-turf card in its wake.
An agreement wasn't in place between all parties for day 1. So our piece will be a day behind the current day of the meet. July 27, which is covered below, is Day 8 of the meet.
Day 6 Recap: Yuck. When the Darley entry went one-two, that ruined our wagers. Even though one was disqualified, the other went up. We get zippo, and not the lighters.
Now that we have a new fifty dollar bill to spend, let's go!
Two reminders before sketching our plays. First, note that the G1 Diana and the G2 Jim Dandy will be televised on the NBC Sports Network from 5:00 pm ET to 6:00pm ET. Second, our bankroll plays to this point have focused on one race per day. For this bankroll, the play will be split between two races.
Saratoga Race Course -- Race 5 -- G1 Prioress -- Six Furlongs on dirt -- post time 3:03 pm ET
The selections for both races are in short fields, but if you take a stand against a favorite you can set yourself up to cash. Plus, $6 winners in a five horse field pay the same as $6 winners in twelve horse fields.
Back to the Prioress. There looks to be a lot of speed in this event, and SO MANY WAYS appears to want to take back and make one run. It didn't work last time in the Iowa Oaks as she was speed that went two turns. It did work in the Eight Belles two back. Discard the two two-turn races and she has four wins and a third going one turn. And two of those four wins came last year at Saratoga in graded races. Trainer T. Amoss is also 36% wins, 67% in the money on turnbacks to sprints. KAUAI KATIE is another that's reducing the distance, as last time she chased MIDNIGHT LUCKY in vain in the G1 Acorn at a one-turn mile. KAUAI KATIE is brought to you by the potent Velazquez/Pletcher jockey/trainer team. She's speed of the speed (exhibit A: the Old Hat earlier this year), but how fast can she go without a free ride on the front and have other quick fillies caught up to her? Still, she's been brilliant around one turn and could be a defensive use. WILDCAT LILY ships north from Calder. Don't be fooled by the slow clock times there as that's a deep surface that rarely yields fast times. Won the G3 Azalea last time and two back annexed its local prep. One rub on her is she's front end speed, which could mean she's dueling on the front end with KAUAI KATIE. But if the Calder track has toughened her up as it has others in the past, perhaps she hangs around longer than a typical one-way pace factor would.
#5 SO MANY WAYS (3/1)
#7 KAUAI KATIE (1/1)
#2 WILDCAT LILY (4/1)
Longshot: Wiseguys will come together to use SO MANY WAYS to upset KAUAI KATIE. But #3 JU JU EYEBALLS (12/1) has a similar pattern of rallying off the pace, doing so last time in the Just Smashing at Monmouth. That's traditionally a kind surface to speed, so perhaps new pilot J. Lezcano can sit off the speed? And get first jump on the closers?
Saratoga Race Course -- Race 9 -- G1 Diana -- 1 1/8 miles on Inner Turf -- post time 5:12 pm ET
What follows is for turf only. DAYATTHESPA is an early scratch, and note that LAUGHING is cross entered to the G3 Matchmaker on Sunday on Monmouth Park's Haskell Day program.
CENTRE COURT ran an okay fourth last time in the G1 Just A Game around a one-turn mile at Belmont. All of CENTRE COURT's best recent races have been around two turns, as seen in wins in the Mrs. Revere, Honey Fox, Jenny Wiley. And she can handle ground with give (see: the G1 Jenny Wiley) or not (see: G2 Honey Fox). Cross-entered LAUGHING won the G3 Eatontown last time at Monmouth, and projects as the speed of the speed with DAYATTHESPA not in the field. Goes second off the layoff in this spot. Trainer shows a strong ROI in graded stakes. If the inner turf is kind to speed, she deserves a hard look. STEPHANIE'S KITTEN, after an up-and-down year at three, put together two wins in the G2 Distaff Turf Mile on Derby Day and beating CENTRE COURT in the G1 Just A Game last time. Both wins this year came on non-firm courses, however. Should a downpour occur, this one moves up.
#5 CENTRE COURT (5/2)
#4 LAUGHING (12/1)
#2 STEPHANIE'S KITTEN (8/5)
Longshot: The dimwit above stole my idea, so I'll just drown my sorrows with another round at Shake Shack.
Day 6 Wager: Part one is simple: In the Prioress look for SO MANY WAYS, a two-time winner over the local dirt course last year, to get a pace set up from KAUAI KATIE and WILDCAT LILY. We'll use half of the $50 on her, going heavy to win but with a small place ticket in case she gets caught in traffic trouble.
Now to part two, the Diana. Although CENTRE COURT is the top selection, we'll wager on the race only if the turf is "FIRM". LAUGHING moves up as controlling speed in a short field, and 8/5 morning line favorite STEPHANIE'S KITTEN perhaps prefers a little moisture in the ground. If it's firm we'll box the top two and double back to play LAUGHING, who has as as much of a chance to win as CENTRE COURT in this group on firm ground as possibly lone and definitely controlling speed. (Should the turf not be rated firm, the wager is voided.)
--$20 to win and $4 to place on #5 SO MANY WAYS ($24)
Race 9 (Firm Turf only):
--$10 Exacta Box of CENTRE COURT and LAUGHING ($20)
--$3 Win and $3 to place on LAUGHING ($6)
- Day 6 Investment: $50
- Day 6 Return: $0.00
- Total Return: $166.00
- Total Investment: $300
- Meet ROI Entering day 3: -44.67%
- Meet Profit/Loss Entering Day 3: $134.00 loss