Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Saratoga 2014: The Lake George Stakes Preview - Day 5 of 40

After a day off to reflect on the first weekend of racing, Saratoga's back with ten races on Wednesday, including a steeplechase to begin the card.  Don't forget that steeplechase races this year will be run at 12:25PM on Wednesdays and Thursdays, allowing the first flat race to be run every race day at 1:00PM.

The Wednesday feature is the Grade 2 Lake George Stakes, a race that has routinely fed horses into the Lake Placid Stakes during closing week of the meet.  Seven horses will take to the post in the feature, led by favorite A Little Bit Sassy. One thing to note is the lack of Main Track Only horses, which could be a factor should nasty weather hit the Race Course prior to post time.

Race 9 - The Lake George Stakes (Grade II) - 3YO Fillies - 1 1/16 Miles (TURF) - Post: 4:42PM


DARING KATHY: This filly is five for six, with one blemish on her record coming in the Pica Slew Stakes on the dirt at Calder Race Course back in February.  In that race she hung near the pace but tired out and finished 7th.  She regained her winning ways with her first trip to the turf in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Gulfstream, and has since rattled off back-to-back stakes victories at Gulfstream Park.

In her last race, the Honey Ryder Stakes at 1 1/16th Miles on the turf, she won convincingly by 3 3/4 lengths to prompt her step up in class. 

DARING DANCER: Could moisture be a problem for Daring Dancer?  That's something the connections want to know after a dud in the Wonder Again Stakes where she finished 5th as the odds-on favorite.  The turf was rated good then, but it wasn't her first time running on a non-firm going.

She stalked early and grabbed the lead in the far turn in her other good-rated turf race, an allowance race at Churchill Downs.  Her other two victories, a Maiden Special Weight in Maryland and the Appalachian Stakes at Keeneland, where both on the firm grass.  

So it's possible that Daring Dancer just had a bad race.  But with a chance of storms, especially around the time the race is supposed to be ran on Wednesday, wetness could play a factor.

DUFF ONE: Duff One is only two for eight lifetime, and has hit the board only one other time in her career.  She raced in the P.G. Johnson stakes for juvenile filly turfers last year, finishing second.  Her inconsistencies makes her a tough bet, especially since she has done no better than 5th in a graded stakes race.  

SWEET ACCLAIM: Sweet Acclaim gets the interesting connections of Chad Brown and Javier Castellano, which immediately makes this a horse to watch.  But Sweet Acclaim has only won one race lifetime, a Maiden at Great Yarmouth in England.  Sweet Acclaim was the runner up to Daring Dancer in the Applachian Stakes at Keeneland, and recently has finished third in the Wild Applause Stakes at Belmont Park.  

SPEED SEEKER: Speed Seeker romped in her debut, entering the Woodbine stretch in the lead 6 lengths in front on her way to a 7 3/4 length win in a hand ride by jockey Luis Conteras.  That immediately got Joan Scott thinking about the next level for aptly-named Speed Seeker.

LITTLE JOURNEY: In nine starts, Little Journey has never missed the board, finishing 1st, 2nd or 3rd in all her starts.  However, she has never won at a level above Allowance.

She has raced twice on the U.S. grass, finishing 3rd at Churchill Downs before a third place finish in the Grade 1 American Oaks at Santa Anita.

A LITTLE BIT SASSY: She failed to fire in her lone race at Saratoga Race Course, a 5 1/2 Furlong Maiden on the turf where she finished last of eight.  She made a move she would soon regret last time out in the Regret Stakes, bumping into Kiss Moon on her way to victory, prompting a disqualification by the Stewards that left her with a fourth place finish.

A Little Bit Sassy has won two races, and finished second twice during her six race career.

ANALYSIS: Rain might have an impact on this race, as there's a strong chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon caused by increasing humidity and an approaching cold front.  Because of that, bettors might be wise to keep an eye on the sky.  

Daring Kathy has consistency, coupled with John Velazquez in the saddle.  That leaves her with some potential.  A Little Bit Sassy could also make things interesting if she can keep straight and off the inquiry board.

Horses like Little Journey and Sweet Acclaim have potential, but also have question marks because of their lack of success in stakes races.  Speed Seeker's lone race also shows potential, but we're left with the question of whether or not she can handle stakes competition.

My Picks: 1-5-7

Mythical Bet
Current Bankroll: $91.20
$2 WIN, PLACE, SHOW #1 ($6)
$5 SHOW #5
$1 TRIFECTA 1/5-1/5-7 ($2)
$1 EXACTA BOX 1/5 ($2)
Total Wagers: $15.00
Remaining Bankroll: $76.20

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