Curlin Stakes exotics plays for Saratoga July 29
#1 Western River (8-1): Cross-entered in the Jim Dandy (G2) on Saturday, trainer Rodolphe Brisset opted to race in Friday's Curlin rather than face the likes of Preakness winner Early Voting and Kentucky Derby placegetters Zandon and Epicenter. Two back, Brisset's Tapit colt came home fourth by 10 lengths to We The People in the Peter Pan (G3) at Belmont after stumbling at the start, and finished another 2 3/4 lengths behind second-place finisher Golden Glider, who re-opposes here. Western River dropped down in class to face allowance foes at Churchill Downs next out and romped to a 5 1/4-length victory in the 1 1/2-mile test on June 18.
#2 Gilded Age (10-1): Following his 13th-place finish in the UAE Derby (G2), Gilded Age rallied to win an allowance optional claimer by a head at Churchill. The Bill Mott pupil showed a strong kick in the final furlong to reel in the leader on the wire. He'll face tougher company in the Curlin but can hit the board with his late speed.
#3 A.P.’s Secret (8-1): The well-related colt failed as the favorite last out in the 1 1/16-mile Texas Derby, finishing 3 1/4 lengths behind King Ottoman. Two back, he sat just off the pace and finished fourth in the Wood Memorial (G2) to Mo Donegal while posting a 105 Brisnet Speed figure at today's distance, the fastest dirt speed among today's field. Trainer Saffie Joseph is a 26% winner with horses coming off layoffs of two to three months, and a 31% winner with horses beaten as the favorite. Manny Franco back in the irons could give A.P.'s Secret a chance to reach the winner's circle in his first start at Saratoga.
#4 Make It Big (15-1): Following his poor showing in the Sam F. Davis (G3), Make It Big was sent to Todd Pletcher's barn and will make his first start in more than five months. The dark bay drops in class but his recent speed figures are lacking.
#5 Golden Glider (8-1): The Mark Casse trainee finished last of eight in the Belmont S. (G1) after placing a distant second in the Peter Pan. Tyler Gaffalione will pick up the mount and is 2-for-6 when paired up with Casse over the last two months.
#6 Wolfe County (30-1): The Medaglia d'Oro son posted an 89 BRIS figure at 1 3/16 miles when winning a maiden special weight at Churchill last out. The dark bay makes a big move up in class for Kenny McPeek, a 26% winner in non-graded stakes but just a 12% winner with horses making their third start off a layoff.
#7 Creative Minister (2-1): McPeek's other runner is the star of the field. The Creative Cause colt flashed triple-digit BRIS figures in his last three starts, two of which were Triple Crown races. The 1 1/2-mile distance of the Belmont proved too much for the gray colt, but he placed in the Preakness, 3 1/2 lengths behind Early Voting. Dylan Davis will pick up the mount in Creative Minister's fifth career start.
#8 Be Better (4-1): Coming off back-to-back wins at Monmouth, Be Better moves up in class for Pletcher and will ride under Luis Saez, a 17% winner this meet. The Uncle Mo three-year-old clocked a 94 Speed figure in a 1 mile, 70-yard allowance, which he won by nearly six lengths last out.
#9 Artorius (7-2): Leading trainer at Saratoga, Chad Brown, and top jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. pair up here with the lightly raced Artorius, who has a win and a second in two career starts. The Arrogate colt posted a 102 Late Pace rating and finished with a 95 BRIS figure when breaking his maiden in a one-mile dirt race at Belmont last out. Brown is a 27% winner in non-graded stakes and a 23% winner to start the meet. Ortiz has won 20% of his races at the Spa this summer and has gone 38 10-6-3 over the last seven days.
Curlin Stakes exotics wagers
- $10 exacta: 7 with 3, 5 ($20)
- $2 trifecta: 3, 7 with 3, 5, 7 with 1, 3, 5, 7 ($16)
- .50 cent superfecta: 3, 7 with 3, 5, 7 with 1, 3, 5, 7 with 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 9 ($15.50)