Time flies when you are having fun, and the betting at Saratoga comes to a close on Monday with the final day of the 40-day meeting, which features the $150,000 Glen Falls (G3) and the $300,000 Hopeful (G1).
The Glen Falls drew a field of eight if it stays on the turf, and there are six main-track-only entrants in case the race gets washed off the turf. The turf was labeled as good on Sunday, but here is a 60% chance we are going to see more rain on Monday.
The Alan Goldberg trained Tannery is the 2-1 morning line favorite and is coming off a fourth place finish against the boys in the Sword Dancer (G1). Three back the filly won the Sheepshead Bay (G2) at the 1 3/8 mile distance and did it over soft going.
The final Grade 1 of the meeting is Monday’s Hopeful, which drew a field of 10 two-year-olds that will go seven furlongs on the main track.
Saratoga Special (G2) winner Corfu is the 2-1 morning line favorite for trainer Todd Pletcher, who won this race last year with Shanghai Bobby and also saddled Circular Quay, who won the race in 2006.
Pletcher has clinched the trainer title for the fourth year in a row. He goes into the final day of the meeting with 35 winners from 125 starters and earnings of $4,319,197.
Next in line is Chad Brown, who will finish second for the third straight year. Brown has won with 24 of 87 starters at the meeting.
The jockey title was decided when Joel Rosario went down with a broken bone in his foot on the day before the Travers (G1).
Javier Castellano has pulled away with 61 winners from 313 mounts, with John Velazquez second with 45 winners from 235 mounts. Rosario will end the meeting with 41 winners from his 221 mounts.
Ken and Sarah Ramsey ran away with the owner’s title, with 22 winners from 92 starters at the meeting. Second is Drawing Away Stable and David Jacobson, who have won 11 races.
We have a four day break after Monday and the Belmont Park Fall Championship meeting will get underway on Saturday.
Let’s head out to Saratoga for Monday’s featured race of the day:
Saratoga Race 9 The Hopeful G1 (4:50 ET)
9 Strong Mandate 6-1
8 Wired Bryan 7-2
4 Corfu 3-1
6 Big Sugar Soda 4-1
Analysis: Strong Mandate is coming off a good looking maiden score where the colt took the field gate to wire racing down along the inside on a day that the racing strip was favoring outside stalkers and closers. The $200,000 Keeneland purchase has a nice pedigree, by Tiznow out of the stakes winner Clear Mandate ($1.08 million) who has dropped nine winners including a pair of stakes winners, top earner Newfoundland ($677,534). The Coach Lukas pulled off the upset last Saturday in the Travers with Will Take Charge and has won this race six times in his Hall of Fame career. An off tack likely moves this guy up as well as he is bred top and bottom to handle the off going.
Wired Bryan makes his third start at the meeting here after getting beaten a nose last out to Corfu in the Saratoga Special (G2), the winner taking full advantage of an inside speed favoring racing strip. Two back the colt won the Sanford (G2) despite acting green and erratic drifting in and out but still winning by 5 1/4 lengths. The colt came back with a bullet breeze for the Michael Dilger barn, a former assistant to Todd Pletcher.
Corfu is one of three in here sent out by Pletcher, who has won this race twice including last year with Shanghai Bobby. The colt took advantage of a speed favoring surface to hold off Wired Bryan by a nose in the Saratoga Special in his first go against winners. He took the field gate to wire two back in his debut as the big chalk. No doubt the colt is talented but his price may end up on the short side here.
WIN: #9 to win at 4-1 or better.
EX: 8,9 / 4,6,8,9
TRI: 8,9 / 4,6,8,9 / 4,6,7,8,9
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