Pair of Saturday plays at Saratoga

Profile Picture: James Scully

July 22nd, 2017

A nice card awaits horseplayers on Day 2 at Saratoga and I will recommend a pair of horses on the 11-race program. Both will be used prominently in any multi-race wagers.

Race 8 (5:02 p.m. ET) is a one-mile allowance/optional claiming event on the inner course and #7 Browse will make her second turf attempt for Shug McGaughey. To say the Medaglia d’Oro filly is bred for turf would be an understatement – her multiple graded stakes-winning dam has already produced a trio of grass winners including Grade 1 scorer Imagining – and the 4-year-old miss offered a stout finish after dropping too far back last time, racing last of 11 along the backstretch in a 7-furlong affair at Belmont Park on June 22.

Browse displayed good speed in her first seven starts on dirt so it was certainly surprising to see her early positioning last time. But one can appreciate the kick she displayed after turning for home, rallying past nearly half the field to be beaten only 2 ¾ lengths in sixth. She registered a commendable 99 BRIS Late Pace number and I expect a more favorable trip today, with Browse racing closer to the pace before offering her best beneath John Velazquez.

She may get bet down from her 12-1 morning line but Browse should still offer good value for straight wagers and vertical exotics.

Eight juveniles will contest race 9 (5:40 p.m.), the 6-furlong Stanford (G3), and #6 Baffin exits an outstanding debut win at Churchill Downs, romping by a 4 ¾-length margin while never being asked. A half-brother to a pair of stakes winners, the speedy colt is by the Grade 1-winning sprinter Justin Phillip, who is off to a fast start at stud with three winners, including recent stakes victor What a Catch, and a stakes runner-up maiden from his first crop.

Baffin can continue to flatter his sire in the Sanford. He’s been training at Saratoga since early July for Steve Asmussen (who also trained Justin Phillip) and drew well in post 6. Look for him to show high speed from the start with Ricardo Santana Jr. and I will tab the dark bay for a front-running victory.

Good luck!