Saratoga & Del Mar Scouting Report: Kentucky Horses for August 4

Profile Picture: Joe Kristufek

August 3rd, 2021

Saratoga and Del Mar Scouting Report: Kentucky Horses

It’s a light day for the Kentucky invaders at Saratoga, but there a few who are worth a second look.

Due to a complete revamp of the turf course, the Churchill Downs backstretch is completely vacant this summer, and many of those horses have taken up residence at Saratoga.

As the racing analyst at Churchill Downs, it’s my [Joe Kristufek] 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.

Race 2

#1 Okie Roughneck (30-1 ML) – Stretch C in multi-race wagers if you’re against the logicals  

Unraced at two, this now four-year-old gelded son of Orb ran only once as a sophomore. Bounced around at the start, he lost five lengths and then failed to make any sort of positive impression thereafter. Off more than a year, he drops in class and must be treated like a first-time starter all over again.

#4 Leading West (5-2) – Gimmick player; willing to fade in multi-race wagers

Winless from 11 starts, this four-year-old son of Distorted Humor has done most of his recent work around two turns on turf. He ran twice last September at Churchill, and hasn’t been seen since. On Sept. 1 over 10 furlongs on dirt, he was a bit rank into the first turn and was shuffled back early over a racetrack that slightly favored speed. Hung five wide on the turn for home, he failed to make a serious effort thereafter. Three-plus weeks later routing on turf, he raced four wide on the backstretch while chasing slow fractions. Hung five wide when all-in on the bend for home, he was checked late and stayed on. He hasn’t run in more than 10 months, but the recent work pattern is forward.

Race 7

#3 Convection (9-2) – Win contender; A in multi-race wagers  

Off a dominant win against $30K maiden claimers on debut at Keeneland, this sophomore son of Commissioner stepped up into a $50K N2L claimer at Churchill. Facing five rivals as the 7-5 favorite in the slop, he was hustled out of the gate. He sat an advantageous, catbird’s seat trip behind an honest pace, ranged up four wide while still in hand on the turn and proved best late. Claimed out of that race, he was entered back in a first-level allowance that was washed off the turf. Off two lengths slowly, he sat near the back of the pace behind a hot pace, but did no running thereafter. He’s posted a trio of pointed works since and fits very well under today’s conditions. I find it interesting that Tom Amoss once again enters back on turf, which leads me to believe he seeking out a kinder surface.

Race 9

#3 Ever Dangerous (4-1) – Gimmick player; willing to fade in multi-race wagers

When last seen on April 30 at Churchill, this four-year-old son of Kitten’s Joy was sent off as the lukewarm 2-1 favorite against six rivals at this level. Bumped slightly at the start, he enjoyed a pocket trip behind a slow pace thereafter. The 8-1 front runner took the field gate-to-wire, and after making a run at him in the stretch, this guy evened out a bit late to finish third. This appears to be a better race for the level than the one he exits and he does have some rust to shake off.