The Early Races at Saratoga (1-3): Maidens and State-Breds

The pools will be a tad smaller than the rest of the day, but here’s a great chance to go after maidens and state-bred races on this marquee day. Granted, these are about as well-bred maidens as you’ll find anywhere. But, it’s still maidens and state-breds, so there’s usually some toss-outs and opportunities.

Race 1:

Three Alarm Fire came out sharp debuting at a mile at Belmont and showed great debut speed. Six weeks off, he’s been working well lately. Cosmic Gold goes for the very sharp Trombetta barn and could benefit from a pace battle up front. Plus, there’s always threats from the several expensive 2-year-olds, but unknown, first-time starters here, so price this risk accordingly.

Race 2:

Potthast goes for the sizzling Graham Motion barn and showed enough speed to win last time out.  His running line in that race suggests he could appreciate the stretch-out. There are still other contenders — and the stretch-out is always an unknown, regardless of your sire. But, it doesn’t feel like the deepest field, so I’d be happy with 3-1 for the win.

Race 3:

Ocala Jim is running quite well since entering the David Donk barn. I always like to see a horse responding to this change, and it’s promising to see the connections go for the slightly-larger purse here on Travers Day. Last time out, he beat his main rival here, Blue Pigeon, who was returning from an 8-month layoff. Blue Pigeon should be better today.

What I’m thinking of playing:

I’m considering playing a rather skinny P3 (but multiple times)with the above 5 horses.  I will also probably spread in the first a bit to tie with the other 2. I’ll also be looking to push these opinions out to the Pick 5, which spans races 1 through 5, and the early P4 on races 2 through 6. Good luck!

Image: Doug Kerr, Saratoga Springs. Copyright 2011.