We continue to rebound from a sluggish start -- inching our way back to a respectable percentage of winners-on-top. On Friday, four winners on top [3rd, $3.50; 6th, $5.40; 9th, $10.60; 10th, $6.70). Plenty of action with the gimmicks, including a cold exacta in the 3rd [$9.00/$2]. Reverse exactas in the 1st [$29.60] and 7th [$12.00]. Plus, top pick over third pick in for the exacta in the 6th [$25.80].
Attendance was a solid 24,509 and the weather was picture perfect: Sunny with temps in the mid 70s.
Cat's a Rockin...Low percentage trainer is a negative. Outside post is no bonus. But give this one a tepid nod on good form since springtime.
Rockhewn...Also going well since May. Ran third in a similar event here on 7/29. Faded slightly that day so added furlong can't help.
Harmony Hall...Won the 7/29 race -- just not sure he has the look of one that can string two together.
Point Blake...$600K purchase in March. Debuting for Pletcher. Should go well.
Maxey Boy...Solid effort in first start and might rate higher if not for jock who is cold at the meet.
Electricity...Regally-bred runner could be any kind from Phipps/McGaughey. Might improve down the road though.
Congo King...Finished last year facing the likes of Bluegrass Cat. Good second in 2006 debut. Fast grass work in prep for this is interesting.
Oz...Good effort last time in first off of the bench. Could be set to pop a big one today.
Political Force...Behind top pick last time -- but should benefit from that race.
On the Catwalk...Drops in for a tag and could be the one to catch.
Verona Dale...Improved nicely when moved to turf.
Sweetsouthernheat...If the Beyer in last is to be believed -- and it looks a little like an aberration -- she'll be tough.
Say Revain...Third to some next-out winners in debut here last September. Off since but is eligible to come back running.
Liberation Day...Decent third in first start. They're always capable of moving way up in their second start.
Mr Component...Couple of nice works leading into this.
Hunting Hillbilly...We had him on top in the first race of the 2006 Saratoga season and he closed well after getting off poorly and making a big move on the final turn. Should get a decent price again today and is capable of surprising with a clean trip.
Seeking the Glory...Drops off of two good efforts for $50K and looms the one to beat.
Forget the Judge...Behind top pick last time but had some traffic trouble. Typically contends at least for a piece.
A Nice Splash.
SEVENTH RACE - AG Vanderbilt Hcp G2 $200K
Mass Media...Upset the G1 Forego here last year and is capable of duplicating that effort here.
War Front...Looks like the one to beat -- but has developed a habit of running second this year.
Afrashad...Makes stakes debut but looks ready for the assignment.
Bishop Court Hill.
Democrat...Lightly raced with improving numbers. If that improvement can continue here he looks capable of scoring vs this bunch.
He's a Lumberjack...Tossed a clunker in last time -- but PPs indicate he's not really stakes-material at this stage of his career. Should go well with return to this level.
Sly Diamond Jim...Should benefit from his latest.
NINTH RACE - Sword Dancer G1 $500K
Relaxed Gesture...Just missed in this race last year and current form is solid.
Grand Couturier...These Euro imports are always dangerous.
Wild Desert...Solid on dirt. Has done well on grass before. Looks like the distance won't be a problem. Wouldn't be a shock.
Blue Rider...Toss the latest -- all the turf efforts have been pretty good. Good enough to score here.
Dancing Forever...Big improvement in his second start. A repeat puts him in the thick of this.
Rhyme Nor Reason...Numbers have improved with each start and think he's more talented than his record indicates.
League of Nations.
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