The usual caveats and disclaimers apply about whether these will produce tangible value, but their morning-line odds are a bit high relative to their win chances. So here are the potential overlays in 10 Saturday stakes, in order of scheduled post time:
Saratoga’s 8TH, the Saranac (G3):
Vision Perfect (20-1) is much better than his seventh off a layoff in the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame (G2) implies. Trainer David Donk, who knows a thing or two about developing turf horses, told thisishorseracing.com that he was “a little bit rushed to get him ready” last time, but he has a “decent future.” A multiple stakes winner who was second to Imperia in last fall’s Pilgrim (G3), Vision Perfect boasts the highest BRIS Speed rating on turf in this field. Not as gaudy on the morning line, Money Multiplier (6-1) did well off a pedestrian pace when a fast-finishing second in the Kent (G3) and ought to get a more favorable pace set-up.
Monmouth’s 10TH, the Boiling Springs (G3):
Jellicle Ball (6-1) was beaten only a length in her U.S. debut in the Lake George (G2) at Saratoga, where she was stuck on the inside and may not have felt particularly comfortable about striding out in the circumstances. The combination of a possibly easier spot, and a different trip, could do the trick for the well-bred daughter of Invincible Spirit. Regarded well enough by previous trainer John Gosden to attempt the 1000 Guineas (G1) at Newmarket (as a respectable 7-1 chance), Jellicle Ball was subsequently fourth in a pair of summer stakes to Osaila and Blond Me. Both of those are bound for next Saturday’s Sands Point (G2) at Belmont. So new trainer Graham Motion has astutely gone the other way.
Gulfstream’s 10TH, the Susan’s Girl:
This might well turn out to be a pretty formful race, but I can’t resist mentioning Charming Fantasy (15-1) from the Bill Kaplan barn. When this daughter of Leroidesanimaux bobbled a couple of strides out of the gate in her debut over five furlongs on turf, she looked done. Yet under considerate handling, she made a sustained move from last and kept on for a relentless third, a length shy of second. The winner, Poison Art, is entered in the Kentucky Downs Juvenile Fillies. With a clean start, two extra furlongs to work with, and plenty of speed to chase, Charming Fantasy has intriguing potential. Judging by her works on the Gulfstream dirt, capped by a five-furlong drill in :59.83, the flashy chestnut appears to handle it.
Kentucky Downs’ 7TH, the KD Juvenile Fillies:
In a field with a few well-bred types who could be anything, I’m taken with Apple Down Under (12-1). The well-named filly is by Australian supremo Lonhro and out of Miss Mary Apples, a Grade 2-placed juvenile herself who’s already the dam of two stakes winners (Dr. Diamonds Prize and Miss Red Delicious). The KatieRich Stables homebred won at first asking like a potentially good one: traveling strongly as she improved her position at Ellis Park, she unleashed the decisive move at the top of the stretch. She raced a bit greenly, as though in reaction to her sudden momentum, but soon righted the ship. The Mark Hubley pupil then held firm over the closing second, and there was a four-length gap back to third.
Saratoga’s 10TH, the Woodward (G1):
Protonico (12-1) might carve out the best trip of Todd Pletcher’s quartet. With serious speed in the form of Liam’s Map and another pace type in Coach Inge, he’s likely to revert to off-the-pace tactics that worked well last fall. The well-bred son of Giant’s Causeway was in career form this spring, but hasn’t been seen since, and was scratched during the post parade of his intended comeback in the August 2 Monmouth Cup (G2). It couldn’t have been anything significant, as he’s been training forwardly over the past month. If Protonico returns near the top of his game, his price will be a gift. Wicked Strong (5-1) was my overlay in the Whitney (G1) (and wound up fourth), and I still feel obligated to include him in this discussion, even though he’s a much shorter price. The main reason, aside from the fact that he’s historically gone well at the Spa, is that he blew out a more sedate :36.83 ahead of this race. Contrast that with his eye-popping :35.63 three days before the Whitney, which might have taken a little more starch out of him than I thought at the time.
Kentucky Downs’ 8TH, the KD Juvenile:
Cajun Schill (10-1) didn’t get a chance to run on turf until his third start, but the son of Artie Schiller showed just what he could do on the surface with a 5 1/4-length stroll at Gulfstream — easing down at the end. The Kaplan pupil has continued to train well on the dirt and gets an eye-catching jockey booking in Florent Geroux. One who could be sitting on a terrific turf debut is Red Hot Warrior (10-1), a ThistleDown maiden winner in his latest for Tom Amoss. Although he’ll need to step up off that at this level, the War Front colt may be vastly better on turf.
Saratoga’s 11TH, the Glens Falls (G3):
This might be “now or never” time for Bocaiuva (20-1), who’s yet to perform up to her French form in three U.S. starts. There were extenuating circumstances — 1 1/16 miles was always going to be on the short side for her, and what’s worse, she’s had troubled trips in all three (note the “steadied” comment like a sad refrain). The Teofilo filly finally stretches out to a more suitable 1 3/8 miles and gets a rider switch to Joel Rosario. Might we at last see the same Bocaiuva who missed narrowly in the Prix de Flore (G3), edging Sparkling Beam and leaving Regardez back in fourth? The Bocaiuva who was beaten two lengths by Lesstalk in Paris, and the same margin by Avenir Certain in the French Oaks (G1)?
Kentucky Downs’ 9TH, the More Than Ready Mile:
Green Mask (8-1) makes his first start back since a fantastic third in the March 28 Al Quoz Sprint (G1) on Dubai World Cup night, yielding only to Ireland’s remarkable Sole Power and Hong Kong’s rising star Peniaphobia. Although the Wesley Ward trainee stretches out, I’ve always believed he’s wanted more ground than a mere five furlongs. He’s won over seven furlongs and was a troubled fourth in his only prior try at a mile on turf, so it’s premature to offer a strong judgment one way or the other. The Mizzen Mast gelding definitely has the class, and I’ll give him the benefit of any question marks at the distance off the layoff — especially at the price, four times that of his more accomplished stablemate Undrafted.
Gulfstream’s 12TH, the Affirmed:
Brighton Lane (6-1) was literally out of the picture for almost all of the six-furlong Dr. Fager, but finished well late to grab third and maintained his strong progress to pass the winning Dream of Me on the gallop-out. That alone would make him the pick of Stanley Gold’s trio in here — even if he weren’t a full brother to multiple Grade 1-winning millionaire Jackson Bend. Better drawn in post 7 and adding first-time Lasix, Brighton Lane is eligible to improve over the added ground.
Del Mar’s 6TH, the Juvenile Turf:
Mr Notorious (12-1) hopes to provide a quick return on investment for DP Racing, which purchased him for the top price of $200,000 at Del Mar’s paddock sale, fresh off the plane. The French-bred has raced just twice in his homeland, both at the provincial La Teste de Buch. In his victorious debut, he beat Rougeoyant, subsequently the winner of two straight, including the Prix Roland de Chambure at Longchamp. Mr Notorious wheeled back 11 days later and finished second in a conditions race to the much more experienced Mister Leonard, who has since gone on to place second in a listed stakes. Mr Notorious has the pedigree for American success: he’s by Myboycharlie, the sire of Euro Charline, and out of a Hennessy mare. Second dam Trampoli and her half-brother Roi Normand both earned signature wins on the U.S. turf after plying their trade in France.