Salvatore handicaps Saturday's 2-year-old maiden races at Saratoga
By Doug Salvatore
Today's card at Saratoga includes a trio of 2-year-old Maiden Special Weight races, all of which are carded in the Pick 5. Without any further ado, lets take a look at them from a betting standpoint.Race 1: Five of the nine horses in this race can be easily dismissed. We're left with four horses who are intriguing.
Race 3: Chad Brown has been absolute money in the bank with 2-year-old first-time starters debuting in turf routes at Saratoga. Not only does he win at a remarkably high percentage with that angle, but his winners pay fat prices, even as recently as last years meet.
With that said, I have to play against the Chad Brown debuter Life Imitates Art. The dam of this horse did not like the grass at all. Not only was she defeated both times she tried it, but in both instances, she thrived when put back on the dirt. After her first grass try, she returned to the dirt and won her next start by 18 lengths which was followed up with a 7.5 lengths romp. After her second and final try on the grass, she returned to win her very next dirt start at 10/1 odds. What's more, none of her foals have won on grass to this point.
I'm hoping that this is a situation where bettors go overboard on a horse who jumps out on paper as the obvious angle horse.
Both Todd Pletcher debuters have encouraging workouts and are offered at a generous 6/1 Morning Line price. Meanwhile, Swagger Jagger might end up offering the best value of anyone going first-turn for trainer Mike Maker.
1st: Jungle Jumble
3rd: Swagger Jagger
4th: Smarty Kitten
Race 5: Perhaps the best betting opportunity of today's baby races is right here. Crosstown Route debuts for Rick Violette Jr., who is my longtime idol when it comes to debut trainers at Saratoga. Crosstown Route is by champion sprinter Speightstown out of a mare who won her 2-year-old debut going five furlongs in Maiden Special Weight company at Hollywood Park.
Saratoga Mischief is the other interesting debuter in here. We should have a better read on him based on how his workmate Boalt Hall performs in the opening race.
Finally, two experienced horses merit consideration. Show Bound, who was second in the Bashford Manor against winners last time out. As well as Silvertown, who was third in his debut to the next-out winner of the aforementioned Bashford Manor.
1st: Crosstown Route
2nd: Show Bound
3rd: Saratoga Mischief