Kristufek's Saratoga Scouting Report: Kentucky Horses for Aug. 9
Sunday’s featured race at Saratoga is the Alydar Stakes, and the likely favorite Endorsed looms squarely as the horse to beat.
As the racing analyst at Churchill Downs, it’s my job to provide information you can’t necessarily read in the past performances. I keep detailed track bias, pace and trip notes for every race, every day, and that information can prove to be quite valuable, particularly when horses travel from one circuit to another.
For the entirety of the Saratoga meet, I will provide “scouting reports” for the horses who raced in Kentucky in their most recent start.
#1 Smooth With a Kick 3-1 ML
Off a 5 1/2-month layoff on June 19 at Churchill, Smooth With a Kick lost four lengths at the break, and was in tight between horses in a bunched up group through pedestrian fractions. She was hung six-wide turning for home and made a bid, only to even out late while racing on the wrong lead. Returns to dirt, where she might be slightly better. She’s spotting the more talented Say Moi seven pounds. No thanks.
#3 Wild Love 8-1 ML
On June 26 at Churchill, Wild Love spied the pacesetter through slow fractions, took over off the turn, and was kept to task late while widening her margin of victory. That was a super weak race for the level, and she likely looks better on paper than she actually is. Single #2 Say Moi.
#8 Palio Flag 5-1 ML
On July 9 at Keeneland, Palio Flag was live on the toteboard in the field of 11. She broke very alertly, stalked a fast pace while in the clear three-wide, had aim off turn, and proved best late over a racetrack that slightly favored wide and off the pace types. She fits favorably in a highly contentious race. I’d certainly use her for multi-race purposes, and if the 5-1 morning line holds, I’d also consider wagering on her solo.
#8 City Man 7-2 ML
On July 12 at Keeneland, City Man stalked a slow pace while racing in the clear in the two path. Six-wide on the turn, he hesitated briefly in the stretch but then finished willingly to the wire. The New York-bred more than held his own against a solid field of G3 foes. Based on pedigree, I am a little concerned about the added distance. I think using #5 and #3 can lock it down, but this guy would be my next add.