Monday, July 21, 2014

Saratoga 2014: Day 4 of 40

After a competitive weekend that saw Stopchargingmaria return to her winning ways in the Coaching Club American Oaks, and Big Trouble cause big trouble in the juvenile standings, we slow things down as we wrap up the first weekend of racing at the Spa.  

Nine races await visitors today, including the Shine Again Stakes for older fillies and mares.  The race, which is for horses who haven't won a graded stakes in 2014, brings back two familiar names at Saratoga by way of Grace Hall and My Miss Aurelia.  Grace Hall was winner in the Spinaway in 2011, and My Miss Aurelia was victorious in the Adirondack that same summer. 

Race 8: The Shine Again Stakes - 4YO&UP F&M - 7 Furlongs - Post: 4:42PM


Here's a look at the whole field:

TOASTING: Toasting last appeared in the Ruffian Stakes at Belmont Park back in May, where she finished 5th.  Never involved, Toasting didn't show signs of belonging with the likes of race-winner Fiftyshadesofhay.  Toasting last found the winner's circle at Gulfstream Park, winning an allowance race there.  Toasting's last win in a stakes race was in the Dream Rush Stakes, her only stakes victory.

Toasting made three appearances at the Spa, in two Maiden Special Weights in 2012 and in the My Flag Stakes last summer.  

GRACE HALL: The Vanity Stakes runner-up to runaway winner Iotapa comes back to the course she raced and won on back in 2011.  There she won the Spinaway Stakes by 1 3/4 lengths for her lone Grade 1 victory in her career.  She went on to finish second behind My Miss Aurelia in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at Churchill Downs, and finished third in the Kentucky Oaks.

She has failed to hit the board only three times in her career, the latest being her effort in the 2013 Apple Blossom at Oaklawn, which was her last race before a year's layoff.

BRIDGEHAMPTON: Bridgehampton is a lightly raced filly, only making six career starts.  She's won every other race, last time winning the My Juliet Stakes at Parx in Philadelphia.  To date that is her only stakes win, but she came close to winning the Grade 3 Victory Ride at Belmont Park last year, losing the lead in the closing seconds.

MY MISS AURELIA: My Miss Aurelia is undefeated at Saratoga in three tries.  She broke her maiden back in July 2011, staying close to pace-setting Delightful Magic before pulling ahead in the stretch.  It would be the first of six straight wins for My Miss Aurelia, including the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies where she beat Grace Hall.  She returned to Saratoga in 2012 to win the Mandys Gold Stakes, then nailed another Grade 1 stakes by winning the Cotillion Stakes at Parx.

She would be the second place finisher to Royal Delta in the 2012 Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic (Distaff), and after a couple third place finishes, she was shelved.

Her last race was March 2013, when she finished third in the Azeri Stakes at Oaklawn Park.  

ANGEL'S GLORY: Angel's Glory has appeared in two stakes races, in the Red Cross Stakes at Monmouth last year where she finished 2nd, and this year in the Awesome Feather Stakes at Gulfstream Park in Florida.  

Her last win was in an Allowance Optional Claiming, where she beat four other rivals at Monmouth back in August 2013.  

BETTER LUCKY: Better Lucky was a neck short of a graded stakes win on the turf two years ago when she finished second to Centre Court in the Lake George Stakes.  She would have a harder time in the Lake Placid Stakes, and earned her first Grade 1 victory in the Matriarch Stakes at Hollywood Park.

After a 8th place finish in the Just A Game stakes at Belmont Park earlier this year, she'll be making a surface switch.  She's not a stranger to the dirt surface, winning two of her first four races on the dirt surfaces of Aqueduct (Inner Dirt) and Belmont Park.  But this will be Better Lucky's first stakes race on the dirt.

Race Analysis: My Miss Aurelia returns to racing, and that usually fires a question mark whether or not she will be able to return successfully.  She has a good resume, especially at Saratoga Race Course, but being sidelined might effect her today.

She'll be in the mix, along with Grace Hall and Better Lucky, but I don't see her winning the race today.  Grace Hall lost convincingly in her last start, and it's important that she forgets that runaway romp at Santa Anita if she's going to win here at Saratoga.  

Those two horses have the advantage over the others with victories at the Spa.  Better Lucky has never raced on the Saratoga dirt, only racing on the turf course as a three year old.  The surface swap for Better Lucky has me intrigued.

This is a field where any of these three horses could refuel their career and get themselves back to graded stakes glory.  Bridgehampton has the best chance of the other three running this race to strike an upset, with Angel's Glory clearly overmatched for the firepower presented in this race.  In a better field Toasting could find stakes glory, but against three graded stakes winners, might find herself running to complete the Superfecta.

My Picks: 2-6-4

Mythical Bet
Current Bankroll: $85.00
$4 PLACE: #6
$2 TRIFECTA: 2/6-2/6-4 ($4 total)


Disclaimer: The Mythical Bet is for entertainment purposes only and should be used as advice.  FOX Sports Radio 1230 and its affiliates, partners, and sister stations will not be held responsible for using our picks and advice for gambling purposes.  Please gamble responsibly.

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