Saratoga scouting report: Kentucky horses for July 28
Led by the millionaire Bell’s the One, Wednesday’s featured Honorable Miss H. (G2) at Saratoga has a distinct Kentucky flavor. The impressive winner of the Roxelana last out, the eight-time winner appears to be a bit of a standout in this spot. She’s worth considering as a single in the multi-race wagers, although I do give Miss Mosaic a longshot chance.
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 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.
#3 Madison’s Luna (4-1 ML) – Win contender; A in multi-race wagers
Off an 11-week layoff on June 26 at Churchill, this six-year-old gray gelding broke alertly from the gate. Covered up at the rail while stalking a fast, but controlled, early pace, he was forced five wide on the turn for home. He finished well, but wound up third behind a 31-1 gate-to-wire winner. Like so many of the other Phil Bauer runners, he’s fresh for Saratoga, and the barn has done predictably well so far.
#4 Rocking the Boat (5-2 ML) – Secondary win contender; A/B in multi-race wagers
This seven-year-old gelding ran twice at the Churchill Downs spring meet. Off a three-month layoff on June 5, he broke alertly and enjoyed a perfect pressing trip through even fractions. He made a bid off the turn for home, but was caught for second. Three weeks later, he ran a very similar race. Once again he broke alertly and pressed a fast, but controlled, early pace while three wide. He had aim off the turn but was held off by the winner while finishing second.
#9 Witez (8-1 ML) – Secondary win contender; B in multi-race wagers
This consistent four-year-old filly ran twice at the Churchill Downs spring meet, both races at nine furlongs on turf. On May 21, she broke alertly and enjoyed a pocket trip behind tepid fractions. Held up and then checked off the turn, she re-rallied late in what was a better effort than it looks. Sent off as a 13-1 overlay under the same conditions in her subsequent start, she stalked an even pace, popped out off heels off the turn, made a bold move in the stretch to the lead, and then held safe.
#10 Unitedandresolute (8-1 ML) – Willing to fade
I’m very familiar with this sophomore son of Violence from his runs in Kentucky and New Orleans. He’s sprinted on turf and dirt with an equal amount of success, but recently Tom Amoss has prioritized the grass. Most recently against just four foes at Ellis Park, he stalked a quick and contested pace from an advantageous catbird’s seat position. He passed a tired one late for second while failing to threaten the winner. He is what he is, and several of today’s rivals appear to have more upside.
#9 Bell’s the One (7-5 ML) – Top win contender; potential single in multi-race wagers
This millionaire five-year-old mare ran twice at the Churchill Downs spring meet. In the Derby City Distaff (G1) on May 1, she hopped at the start, losing four valuable lengths. Covered up at the rail, she failed to threaten thereafter, finishing fourth behind Gamine. In her follow-up start six weeks later, she got stuck in a claustrophobic spot between horses early on. She advanced quickly into a fast pace while four wide, had aim late, led, and outfinished the classy Sconsin late.
#8 Miss Mosaic (15-1 ML) – Live longshot; B in multi-race wagers
A turf/synthetic horse earlier in her career, this five-year-old mare has taken her game to a new level since switching over to the dirt. Breaking from the extreme outside post in the field of 11 over seven furlongs on May 23, she stalked a hot pace while three wide over a racetrack that slightly favored speed. She advanced steadily while in hand, and led at the top of the stretch at odds of 44-1, only to be nailed late by the even-money favorite. She proved that effort was no fluke in her follow-up start. Sent off at 26-1 against five rivals in the Roxelana, she sat in the pocket behind a hot pace. Tugging early on, she got stuck behind a wall of horses on the turn for home and then stayed on nicely behind a classy top pair.
#1 Ain’t No Elmers (6-1 ML) – Gimmick player; C in multi-race wagers
In what was her second career start with blinkers on June 17 at Churchill, this four-year-old filly broke very alertly from the starting gate. She cleared the field in hand and set a fast pace while loose on the lead. In hand on the turn, she was roused at the top of the stretch. She drifted a bit while drawing away and was kept to task.
#2 Reagan’s Edge (6-1 ML) – Willing to fade
Off a seven-month layoff on June 24 at Churchill, this four-year-old filly was sent off as the 2-5 favorite. Off slowly losing a couple of lengths at the start, she was covered up at the rail while stalking a fast pace. All in on the turn, she passed a tired one for third while failing to threaten the top pair. In a perfect world, she wins the N2X prep at Churchill and runs back here. She disappointed off the bench, but lands in this stakes anyway. She’s capable of better, but I needed to see more.
#7 Boldish (8-1 ML) – Tough to gauge; sneaky use in multi-race wagers
In his career debut and lone two-year-old start on November 28 at Churchill, this Dialed In colt trailed near the back of the back behind an even pace from the two-path. He made a bold move while four-wide on the turn and stayed on late. Off a 6 1/2-month layoff in his follow-up start, he saved ground at the rail early behind a fast pace and made a move into contention nearing the turn. In tight between horses, the chart says he “clipped heels,” but watching the replay several times, I’m not 100% sure if he did or didn’t. Either way, he stopped badly. He drops in for a tag for first time for the turf debut, and could go either way.