The Todd Pletcher trained Palace Malice makes just his second start since getting beaten as the favorite in last summer’s Whitney (G1) when he takes on 11 foes in the $100,000 Alydar on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga.
The five-year-old is the 5-2 morning line favorite makes his first start since running third in the Diablo as the beaten favorite on May 10 at Belmont Park. That outing was his first since the Whitney last August.
Foot issues have kept the son of Curlin on the sidelines and the Alydar is the launching pad for what his connections hope will be a productive second half of 2015.
The Alydar is being used as a prep for the $600,000 Woodward (G1) at Saratoga on Sept. 5 with the ultimate goal a return to the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Keeneland on Oct. 31. He ran sixth in the 2013 Classic at Santa Anita.
After seeing the performance of Honor Code in yesterday’s Whitney, it looks like Pletcher put this guy in the right spot for his first start off a three-month break, but he faces a tough group for an ungraded stake.
Souper Lucky, Matrooh and Mexikoma are coming in off sharp allowance wins, and Golden Ticket and Mylute have some back class.
My Best Plays Report for Sunday includes my eight strongest plays from Del Mar and Saratoga. On Saturday, my results included Honor Code on top at $9.50 along with the exacta that paid $76.50. At Del Mar we nailed Warrensdollarsigns at $24.00 and the exacta which paid $305.60. We have the stewards to thank for that one.
The day at Saratoga started slowly but we knocked down the winner on top in the last three races, paying $9.50, $11.20 and $5.30 which produced a $1 Pick 3 that paid $100.50 and using my second choice Cavorting ($7.60) in the Test we hit the late Pick 4, which paid $433.00.
Let’s head out to the Spa for Sunday’s featured race of the day:
Saratoga Race 9 The Alydar (Post time 5:50 ET)
7 Souper Lucky 8-1
6 Palace Malice 5-2
12 Matrooh 4-1
11 Mylute 6-1
Analysis: Souper Lucky is coming off a sharp win last out against $40,000 optional claimers at laurel Park and looks to be sitting on a good one here as he steps back into stakes company. The Mike Trombetta trainee has spent most of his time in Maryland but he did break his maiden over the Spa main track back in ’13. He has earned triple digit Beyers in three of his last five starts and his 8-1 morning line looks fair enough. looks to have the best shot of beating the chalk here.
Palace Malice seems likely to get bet down from his 5-2 morning line. He did not fire his best last out in the Diablo in a third place finish in his first go off a nine-month layoff. He won four of his five starts last year including the Met Mile (G1). The Todd Pletcher trainee put in a bullet drill on Aug. 2 and looks ready to go, but his price is likely going to be on the light side in this spot.
Matrooh has won three of his four starts since coming to the U.S. and landing with the Chad Brown barn. He looks sharp enough to step up into stakes company here off good win last out against $100,000 optional claimers. The third place finisher in that race was Wealth to Me who won next out, but that victory was against $12,500 claimers on a Jacobson jam job.
WIN: #7 to win at 5-1 or better.
EX: 6,7 / 6,7,11,12
TRI: 6,7 / 6,7,11,12 / 1,6,7,11,12
Michael Dempsey’s Saratoga Special:
Get Michael’s full card reports for Saratoga includes his selections, analysis, fair odds line, and wagering recommendations. Get reports for the entire meeting between July 24 and Sept. 1. Michael’s Saratoga Report includes his selections, analysis, fair odds line, and wagering recommendations. Mike has been handicapping the New York Racing circuit on a daily basis for nearly three decades. Saratoga runs six days a week, Wednesday through Monday.