Kristufek's Saratoga Scouting Report: July 31 Kentucky Horses
The Coronation Cup for sophomore filly turf sprinters is the featured race on Friday’s Saratoga card. She’s My Type is the lukewarm favorite, and there are a pair of Kentucky invaders entered and I’ve got a good line on both.
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 Fashion Mo 10-1 ML
On May 30 at Churchill, Fashion Mo broke from post 11 of 12. Out the back early while chasing into a slow pace, she was hung five wide on the turn for home and failed to make a serious impact over a turf course that slightly favored off-the-pace types. Six weeks later at Keeneland, she enjoyed a pocket trip through slow fractions in a compact field and raced evenly to the wire. This doesn’t appear to be the toughest field for the level, but there’s no reason to think this gal will step up her game enough to get the job done.
#6 Sursum Corda 9-5 ML
Off a seven-week layoff on June 25 at Churchill, Sursum Corda was covered up at the rail towards the back of the pack while chasing into even fractions. Steadied on the turn for home, she was hung five wide on the turn and then leveled off nicely in the stretch. She finished best of all, but the advantaged winner simply got the jump on her. Just 15 days later at Keeneland, she had a clear trip early while last in the compact field of seven while chasing into a slow pace. Forced six wide on the turn, she once again leveled off nicely in the stretch and finished best of all, but it was simply too late, once again behind an advantaged winner. She’s proven over distance on turf, but I’d favor #3 Prairie Wings over her. For multi-race wagering purposes, I’d recommend singling the #3, OR locking the race up by using #3 and #6.
#2 Lady T N T 7-2 ML
Off a nine-month layoff on June 28 at Churchill, Lady T N T sat an advantageous, catbird’s seat trip behind a hot pace. She was hung three wide on the turn, and flattened in the stretch over a racetrack that favored outside closers. She won her only previous start at Saratoga, so perhaps she was pointed to this spot all along. Her form has been up and down since the beginning, and I prefer others here. Willing to fade in a short field.
#2 Pepper Pike 12-1 ML
In what was his second start back off an 11-week break on June 5 at Churchill, Pepper Pike was covered up at the rail while chasing an even pace, and he failed to make an impact. He’s not really bred for it, but one of his two career wins did come on grass. That being said, several others look better on paper.
#4 Blanket of Roses 9-2 ML
Off a three-month break on June 11 at Churchill, Blanket of Roses was out the back in a compact field while chasing a tepid pace. Hung five-wide on the turn, she only managed to pass a couple of tired ones late. The top two from that race are stakes caliber, and she ran ok. In a race where I don’t trust the favorites, I wouldn’t be against using her at a square price.
#2 Karak 6-1 ML
In an off-the-turf sprint off a three-month break on May 16 at Churchill, Karak was hustled away from the gate to press a fast pace. She couldn’t keep pace with the top pair late, but held on fairly well for third. Others have a recency, and perhaps even a talent edge. I’ll stand against and take my chances.
#3 Fly So Pretty 8-1 ML
Off a six-month layoff on May 16 at Churchill, Fly So Pretty was bumped at the start, losing two lengths. She sat at he rail near the back of the pack, and failed to make an impact. She must have trained well upon returning to Woodbine in order to get a shot here. Both of her wins have cone on turf, but she would need to run faster than she ever has in order to be competitive here, and that’s a tall ask. Pass.
#3 Lido Key 5-2 ML
On June 19 at Churchill, Lido Key lost two lengths at the start, chased a pedestrian pace in a bunched up pack while three wide. She was hung seven wide on the turn, and then failed to menace late over a turf course that favored off the pace types. Three weeks later at Keeneland, she sat a stalking trip on the rail chasing an even pace in a compact field. She enjoyed a dream run at the rail, but failed to seriously threaten. She’s probably not as good as she looks on paper, but she does fit well under starter allowance conditions. I’d use her, but in more of a defensive manner.