Our lead horse racing handicapper previews Thursday's meet at Saratoga.
RACE 1 – Pick #2 Pravalagina (5-1 ML) - Click here to bet with TVG
Led every step of the way to win the Peapack Hurdle Stakes at Far Hills in October as the favorite when making US debut. Makes first start since then for new trainer Jack Fisher, who trained Snap Decision to victory yesterday in his prep for the Grade 1 New York Turf Writers later in the meet. She gets weight off as being the only mare in the race filled with geldings. She will try to replicate her US debut and lead every step of the way versus these for the victory.
RACE 5 – Pick #6 Irish Front (9/2 ML) - Click here to bet with TVG
Has been working well for first start since setting the pace and tiring to fourth over this course at this distance and level when making career debut in August. Now switches to Irad and looks to be the speed of the speed in this race. Todd Pletcher wins at 28% with horses coming off a layoff of six months or longer in the past year. When you add the condition of maidens making their second career start to that query, the number goes up to 38% (3 for 8) the past year and 42% (16 for 38) in the past four years.
RACE 6 – Pick #8 Simplicity (4-1 ML) - Click here to bet with TVG
Stakes placed runner in France at this distance has been working steadily for seasonal and US debut for new trainer Christophe Clement. She came from off the pace in her starts in France and she should do the same here. She probably bled in her French starts so she needed to come to North America to get Lasix and get an oppportunity to get black type as she prepares for the breeding season next year. Despite being trained by Clement, she might be going off higher than her morning line at post time.
RACE 9 – Pick #6 Captain Scotty (9/2 ML) - Click here to bet with TVG
It is not often we see a bullet work of :33.80 handily, but Captain Scotty did that on July 19 at Monmouth Park. Now Peter Miller ships him to Saratoga, where he will be the speed of the speed and attempt to upset the Chad Brown trained Honest Mischief. He won his last start in a dirt sprint in North America three back and he has finished in the money in dirt sprints in his last eight Northern American dirt sprint starts. Miller knows how to get the most out of his sprinters and he is willing to lose him for $80,000 to gain the victory.