Saratoga juveniles Saturday, August 9

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TwinSpires Staff

August 9th, 2014

We return from a brief hiatus with a pair of Juvenile races to preview at Saratoga.

Race 4: Maiden Special Weight at 5.5 furlongs on the dirt.

Todd Pletcher trains both the Morning Line favorite Two Weeks Off and the Morning Line second choice Dada Maino. Clocker reports clearly indicate that Two Weeks Off is the better chance of the two. In fact, Two Weeks Off and Dada Maino reportedly worked in company on July 30 with the former clearly outworking his stablemate.

Pletcher has dazzling stats with two-year-old debuters on the dirt at Saratoga, and there's a lot to like about Two Weeks Off in terms of his pedigree for a debut sprint. Indeed, Two Weeks Off sold for $320,000 as a yearling, making him the second most expensive of 71 Harlan's Holiday yearlings sold at public auction in 2013.

The dam of Two Weeks Off is an unraced daughter of Elusive Quality. She is a half sibling to both Royal Haven and Belterra. Royal Haven (by Hail Emperor) was a classy type who won 16 of the 32 career dirt sprints. Belterra (by Unbridled) was a perfect 3-for-3 at age two, including a decisive victory over Take Charge Lady in the Grade 2 Golden Rod at Churchill Downs.

From a betting standpoint, the best strategy appears to accept the fact that Two Weeks Off should be tough to beat, and instead oppose her stablemate Dada Maino in the exotic wagers.

Fortunately, there are three debuters in this race who have quite a bit of appeal. Those three are Requite, Da Jenius, and Call Daddy.

Requite is a preposterous 8-to-1 on the Morning Line. He owns stellar workout reports for trainer George Weaver and is bred sensationally for a debut sprint on the dirt. Requite is by red-hot freshman sire Warrior's Reward, whose progeny are an impressive 6-for-11 (55% wins and $4.04 ROI) as first-time starters. The dam of this horse is a daughter of Carson City out of a Meadowlake mare. It doesn't get much better than that for a debut sprint pedigree. The only discouraging thing is that Requite debuts without lasix.

Da Jenius is a daughter of the wickedly fast Madcap Escapade. One of my personal favorites, Madcap Escapade was dismissed at 16/1 odds in her debut, and won by 10 lengths, going six furlongs at Gulfstream Park.. In her next start Madcap came back and torched the field in the Old Hat by almost a dozen lengths. She was assigned a sensational 109 BRIS speed figure and 108 Beyer Speed Figure for that victory. Her Lifetime past performances are attached

Finally, Call Daddy is a precociously bred debuter for Mitchell Friedman. He also has impressed in the morning, and draws an ideal post position for this type of race.


1st: Two Weeks Off

2nd: Requite

3rd: Da Jenius

4th: Call Daddy

Race 6: Maiden Special Weight at 8.5 furlongs on the Mellon Turf Course:

This is a spot where both Morning Line favorite Cool Comfort and Morning Line second choice Designed For War do not look like anything to fear. In the case of Cool Comfort, she competed against members of her own sex, sprinting on the turf last time out. She barely managed to edge an 18-to-1 shot for second, who had ugly Monmouth dirt form for low-profile connections. Marooned on the outside, with Abel Lezcano up, there's not much to get excited about regarding Cool Comfort.

Designed For War is bred well for grass, and has trained fairly well into this for Pletcher. However, this son of excellent sire War Front only fetched a meager $125,000 at the Fasig Tipton Florida Sale and that was after showing himself well in the under-tack show. Pletcher stats are far less impressive with debuters on the Turf at Saratoga, and there's no good reason to accept a short price on Designed For War, that I can uncover, anyway.

The top selection in here will be 12-to1 Morning Line King of New York. There's certainly a lot to like about this horse, from a pedigree standpoint, as it relates to today's race. King of New York is a half sibling to Waterway Run, who won her career debut in England at 14/1 odds and eventually developed into a Grade 3 Turfer over here. King Of New York is sired by Street Boss, who has a fantastic strike rate with juvenile debuters, as well as with first time turf runners.

There's also things to like about fellow longshots Summer Dancer and Dubai Sky. The former has trained quite well, attracts Jose Lezcano, and is 15/1 on the Morning Line. The latter is a full sibling to the sensationally talented Twirling Candy. He must overcome Bill Mott's poor record with juvenile debuters, however.


1st: King of New York

2nd: Royal Squeeze

3rd: Summer Dancer

4th: Dubai Sky