Thursday, July 24, 2014

Saratoga 2014: The Quick Call Stakes (Day 6 of 40)

The cold front has passed on by and cooler weather will prevail for the first Thursday card of the meet.  The Thursday feature is the Quick Call stakes, a turf sprint for three year olds at 5 1/2 furlongs.

Don't forget that like the Wednesday card, Thursday's opener features a steeplechase and will run at 12:25PM, prior to 9 flat races beginning at 1:00PM.  As such, the early Pick-5 will be Races 2-6, and the early Pick-4 will be Races 3-6.

Race 9: The Quick Call Stakes - 3YO - 5 1/2F (T) - Purse: $100,000 - Post: 4:42PM

E T. Baird
R Albarado

Let's take a look at the field:

PURE SENSATION: This colt has a pair of Saratoga Race Course starts under his belt, in a couple Maiden Special Weights where he finished second.  He finished 5th last time out in the Woody Stephens Stakes, dueling for awhile before weakening at longshot odds of 47-1.

Pure Sensation tries to the turf for the first time in his career.

HARPOON: Harpoon broke his maiden the day after Christmas at Gulfstream Park, going 1 mile on the dirt surface.  After attempting to go the classic three year old route, Harpoon's dream of going to the Derby came to an end with a 9th place finish in the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct.  

He took to the turf in his next start, an allowance at Belmont Park.  He finished 5th in a miler on the turf, but then shortened up to 7 Furlongs his next start, finishing third to lead him to this spot.  

ESCAPIST: 2-for-2 after winning an allowance at Belmont Park, Escapist broke his maiden with a decisive 4 1/2 length victory at Gulfstream Park.  

GOOD BYE GREG: Good By Greg is another horse who is a perfect two-for-two.  He won convincingly as he was hand-urged to a 13 length victory at Arlington to break his maiden, and followed it up with a 5 1/2 length win at Woodbine as the odds-on favorite.  After two races on the All-Weather track, Good Bye Greg takes to the turf for the first time. 

FAVORITE TALE: This Pennsylvanian-bred horse faced some Amsterdam bound horses in the Woody Stephens at Belmont Park a couple starts back, where he found himself overmatched and finished 13th of 13 horses.  Favorite Tale finished 2nd to Coup de Grace, who is entered for the Amsterdam last time out in the Oh Say Stakes.  

Favorite Tale has won four races lifetime, but will make his debut on the grass for the first time in this race.

GLACKEN TOO: He cuts back in distance after a last place finish in the Manila Stakes at a mile on the turf.  Glacken Too has two victories to his credit, both at six furlongs and both on the dirt and not the grass.

His effort in the Manila Stakes was his first on the grass, and hopes that the cut back in distance after tiring out after six furlongs last time out will be to his liking.  If he can start cleanly, he might have a shot here. 

CHOCTAW CHUCK: Unlike some of his rivals, Choctaw Chuck has run on the turf before, in his second career start when he ran 4th of 5 horses in the Tyro Stakes at Monmouth Park, going five furlongs.  However, some of his placing is due to a bad start, stumbling and trailing throughout much of the race.

Choctaw Chuck is keen on running on the synthetic surface, winning three of four of his races over that surface at Presque Isle Downs in Pennsylvania.

ANALYSIS: Handicapping this race could be very tough because of the fact that several horses will be making their turf debuts in this race.  Choctaw Chuck has synthetic success, and has run on turf before.  You could make a case that his run in the Tyro Stakes should be thrown out because of his stumble, but that just means he needs to have a better start. 

Favorite Tale faced strong competition last time out, and suffered because of that when he finished 13th in the Woody Stephens.  Glacken Too has turf experience, and that could be a plus when trying to figure out who will win this race.  

Good Bye Greg's handling of his first two races, winning by a combined 18 1/2 lengths, should earn him some backing from the bettors in this race and he too could be a strong threat to win this race.  

Harpoon has connections - the Todd Pletcher/Javier Castellano combination should never be left unconsidered - and has turf experience too.  If he takes a liking to the distance drop, he could be a serious threat here.  

My Picks: 2-4-7

Starting Bankroll: $76.20
Winning Bets:
$2 Show #1: +$3.90
Bankroll entering today: $80.10
$0.50 Trifecta Box: 2-4-7 ($3)
$1 Exacta Box: 2-4 ($2)
$2 Win, Place: #2
$1 Place: #4
$5 Show: #7
Total Wagers: $15.00
Ending Bankroll: $65.10

REMINDER: The picks, and mythical bankroll bets, are for entertainment purposes, and FOX Sports Radio 1230, its sponsors and sister stations will not be held responsible if these are used for gambling purposes.  Please gamble responsibly.

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