How to Bet the Saratoga Special

Eight two-year-old colts will speed 6 1/2 furlongs on the Saratoga main course on Saturday in the $200,000 Saratoga Special Stakes (G2). The race that was established in 1901 has historically produced impactful horses and sires, and two winners in the past seven years have gone on to later pick up Classic victories — Union Rags (2011) and Exaggerator (2015).


As many as five in the field could view for the early lead in the Saratoga Special, with Green Light Go, Tuggle, Long Weekend, King Snake and Iberico all flashing big gate presence to this point.

Noose, who was super impressiver winning from off the pace at Churchill Downs, could benefit most if the quintet tangles early and often.


$20 Trifecta Key 3 with 1,5 = $40

Here is the 2019 field:

NOOSE (#1) (4-1) – Eddie Kenneally pupil was ultra-sharp at first asking with a powerful tally from off the pace. The April foal was in traffic until the turn for home in his debut offering, and he powered clear in a swift and professional fashion in the stretch. More Than Ready colt fired a bullet half-mile most recently and will retain the services of Corey Lanerie.

ZYRAMID (#2) (5-1) – Steve Asmussen trainee is the lone runner in the field with local experience following a maiden win in July. $275,000 son of City Zip is out of really nice mare and has plenty of room for improvement. Ricardo Santana Jr. picks up the ride aboard the contender.

GREEN LIGHT GO (#3) (2-1) – Stronach homebred dazzled on debut at Belmont Park with a 3 1/4-length score, and he was further flattered when runner-up Another Miracle graduated at The Spa in his comeback race. Bay colt earned a substantial 93 BRIS Speed number for his work and he has sizzled in the mornings with a pair of bullet drills in the interim. His :46.34 breeze here was impressive.

TUGGLE (#4) (9-2) – $160,000 son of Point of Entry made good in a first offering when leading throughout at Belmont. The Jeremiah Englehart charge was backed at 6-5 odds in his tally and has trained steadily since for a barn having good success at the meeting. Luis Saez will be sending the prospect from the break once again.

LONG WEEKEND (#5) (6-1) – Son of Majesticperfection ran his foes off of their respective feet in a debut waltz at Churchill Downs for Tom Amoss. $225,000 juvenile purchase has been eyeing this race ever since with four local morning drills, including a swift four-furlong move here most recently. Kentucky-bred picks up pilot Joel Rosario for his stakes debut.

KING SNAKE (#6) (8-1) – Jack Sisterson second-timer missed by a nose on the Polytrack at Arlington in his unveiling. Well-meant son of Elusive Quality was heavily backed that day and returned with two sharp morning moves at Keeneland in preparation of this assignment. Jose Ortiz riding adds to the appeal.

PERUVIAN BOY (#7) (10-1) – Tapiture colt ran down the aforementioned at Arlington last time and will hope to do the same in his third lifetime showing. April foal will have to get faster to be a factor in the stretch against this bunch, however.

IBERICO (#8) (15-1) – Florida-bred brings 4 1/2-furlong speed from the Sunshine State to the dash. Antonio Sano pupil draws widest, but he put it all together in his third lifetime showing and could be a menacing pace presence today. Chestnut colt will have Tyler Gaffalione on board.

PHOTO: Noose (c) Coady Photography/Churchill Downs

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Saratoga Scouting Report: Kentucky Horses for Saturday, August 10

With Churchill Downs coming off perhaps their strongest spring meet in history, the horses based in Kentucky should perform even better than they have in years past.

Chances are, in many cases, they won’t get the respect they deserve. There is value to be had, but on the flipside, some of the Kentucky invaders might not be as good as they look on paper.

That’s what I’m here for.

For the entirety of the Saratoga meet, I will provide “scouting reports” for the Kentucky-based horses – good, bad and indifferent.

Horses are listed in order of preference, with a short comment playability notation in the wrap.

Race 8 – LONG WEEKEND (#5) (6-1)

Bet down to 8-5 favoritism, this son of Majesticperfection inherited the lead early, dictated terms through even splits over a racetrack that favored inside speed, had full command off the turn while in hand, and was shown the whip late in what was essentially a public workout.

Comment: Tough to gauge off the debut win. His main rival that day was the highly regarded Dennis’ Moment, who lost the rider after clipping heels. That colt has since returned to break his maiden by 19 1/4 lengths at Ellis Park. This colt didn’t have to run that fast to win his debut for fun, so chances are he has more to give. Just how much remains to be seen. Chances are he’ll offer a little value against these. Must use in the multi-race wagers and might be worth an intra-race play at fair odds.

NOOSE (#1) (4-1)

In tight while racing in the pocket behind a contested pace in his debut, he was forced to steady along much of the way. Loaded on the turn, he found a seam, took over, won under a mild hand ride and galloped out strongly.

Comment: He was eager to go on debut, but the trip didn’t allow it. With all of the speed signed on here, that experience and the ability to overcome adversity should serve him well. He’s a must use in the multi’s.

Race 10

NOTE: In her career debut on May 30 at Churchill, La Chancia (#3) (5-2) was super live on the tote. Off slowly losing seven lengths, she moved on the turn through traffic, rallied off heels and sustained her bid over a racetrack that was severely inside speed bias. She then overcame trouble to break her maiden at Belmont Park. She is squarely the filly to beat here.

DIAMOND CRAZY (#) (12-1)

To the delight of the Nexus Racing Club, Dallas Stewart had this gal ready to fire off the bench. Sitting the pocket trip behind a contested pace, she moved to threaten on the turn while still in hand. With clear aim and her sights set on the leaders, she extended her stride nicely and won going away.

Comment: Scratched on July 24, this Louisiana-bred is a half to Saints Fan, who had a very promising career cut short. This is a solid step up off the maiden claiming win, but it doesn’t appear to be the strongest race for the level and she has improved with every start. If you’re not inclined to single La Chancia, then I would certainly consider using this gal.


Enjoyed an advantageous, pocket trip behind moderate fractions on June 13. Was all in off the turn for home and failed to respond.

Comment: Impeccably-bred daughter of Tapit out of 2011 Horse of the Year and champion older female Havre de Grace ran three promising races to begin her career, but disappointed in the return run with no visible excuse. This isn’t the strongest race for the level, so she’s likely to be over-bet. I’d be willing to fade her.

PHOTO: Saratoga scenic (c) NYRA/Coglianese Photography

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Frank’s Rockette, Long Weekend juvenile debut winners to watch

A pair of stakes races for two-year-olds will take place on Saturday at Churchill Downs. The $125,000 Bashford Manor (G3) is for the boys, while the fillies will compete in the $125,000 Debutante. While they only ran in maiden events, we witnessed two youngsters over the weekend that would have been formidable foes in the upcoming stakes races.

In the 1ST Race on Friday, Frank Fletcher’s homebred FRANK’S ROCKETTE put on quite a show for conditioner Bill Mott. The daughter of Into Mischief went postward as the 5-2 favorite in a cast of well-bred fillies and left little doubt who was best.

The bay broke alertly and tracked the pace while in close range early on. Given her cue by jockey Julien Leparoux nearing the turn for home, Frank’s Rockette was on level terms at the top of the stretch and demolished her foes late to the tune of an 8 3/4-length waltz. The Kentucky-bred earned a strong 93 BRIS Speed figure for her work, and she could be a force in the two-year-old division this campaign with expected growth.

Frank’s Rockette is from the same female line as the routinely brilliant Indian Blessing. The two-time champion notched five Grade 1 victories and retired with a 16-10-5-0, $2,995,420 career line.

A two-year-old colt was unveiled in the 2ND Race on Sunday beneath the Twin Spires from the barn of Tom Amoss. The Kentucky-bred LONG WEEKEND was sent off at 8-5 in his debut, and the son of Majesticperfection gave his rivals little chance.

Breaking best beneath Miguel Mena, Long Weekend was two lengths clear at the first call, four lengths best at the top of the lane, and then cruised home a most facile winner. The bay colt registered a solid 81 BRIS Speed figure, but he had plenty left in the tank late and his conditioner spoke very fondly of him prior to his debut performance.

Long Weekend is bred to be a dynamic one, too. His dam, the stakes-placed Liza Too, counts herself as a half-sister to a pair of Grade-1 winning sprinters. Paulasilverlining made good in the 2017 Humana Distaff (G1) and Madison (G1), while Dads Caps took the 2014 and 2015 editions of the Carter H. (G1).

It is obviously too early to predict what each of these impressive juveniles will evolve into. But they are in the right hands to make their presence felt in 2019 and beyond. Don’t take either of this duo lightly when they face stakes foes in their next assignments.

Frank’s Rockette (c) Coady Photography

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