Saratoga Scouting Report: Kentucky Horses for Aug. 15
In what is a light Sunday for horses who last raced in Kentucky, Li’l Tootsie, who actually made her last start in the Indiana Oaks (G3), is somewhat intriguing in her grass debut in the Galway S.
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.
#7 Skeptical (6-1 ML) – Gimmick player; B/C in multi-race wagers
In his career debut on June 18 sprinting on turf at Churchill, this gelded son of Congrats spied a slow pace and then moved up closer on the turn to press the leader. Hung three wide, this New Mexico-bred backed out tamely thereafter over a turf course that slightly favored speed.
#2 Baja Fog (6-1 ML) – Willing to fade in multi-race wagers
Off slowly losing five lengths in a turf sprint in her career debut at Churchill on May 20, this daughter of Street Sense was covered up at the rail and she failed to improve position. She dropped into a $50K claimer and sprinted on dirt just 11 days later, and this time was hustled out of the gate. Ridden along every step of the way, she stayed on to be second as the even-money favorite over a track that favored speed in what was a weak field, even for that level. Take note she’s a filly against the boys here.
#9 Kiss the Sky (3-1 ML) – Win contender; A in multi-race wagers
In his career debut on July 17 at Ellis, this $290K two-year-old in training buy enjoyed a catbird’s seat trip behind a slow pace. He rushed up between horses, settled in the pocket, and was racing on the wrong lead while climbing in the stretch. He leveled off late and finished well in what was a spotty effort. He ran a lot like a horse who wants turf, which is exactly what he gets today.
#3 Gimmick (12-1 ML) – Gimmick player; C in multi-race wagers
Hammered down to 1-2 favoritism in her career debut on May 20 at Churchill, this well-bred daughter of Into Mischief dwelt at the start, losing 15 lengths. She got back into the race, but at the five-furlong distance was never a real factor. Five weeks later, on June 25, she broke much better as the even-money favorite against 10 rivals. She pressed a fast pace and drew even on the turn, only to falter in the final furlong to finish third.
#1 Li’l Tootsie (12-1 ML) – Live longshot; B in multi-race wagers
I’m very familiar with this three-year-old daughter of Tapiture from her runs in in New Orleans and Kentucky, and it’s not difficult to see that she prefers sprinting. In the Eight Belles (G2) on April 30 at Churchill, she sat near the back of the pack while covered up at the rail, chasing a hot pace. Closer on the turn, she was hung wide. She made a bid, then evened out. Four weeks later, when dropped into a conditioned allowance on May 31, she was sent off as the 4-5 favorite against just four rivals. Racing in the two path while chasing a fast pace, she was nudged along entering the turn. In hand four wide on the bend, she was hand ridden to the lead as clearly best.
#3 Wink (12-1 ML) – Willing to fade
Bet down to 2-1 second choice in the Mamzelle S. on May 8 at Churchill, this daughter of Midshipman battled an honest pace, but began to fade on the turn and she shortened stride late. Like so many Wesley Ward trainees, she had success early on, but that most recent start leaves a lot to be desired.