Trainer Graham Motion will send out Craftsman in Wednesday’s feature at Saratoga, the $100,000 Better Talk Now, which drew a field of seven that will go one mile on the inner turf.
The race is named after the Motion trained Better Talk Now, who won 14 of 51 career starts with earnings of $4,356,664. The gelding competed four consecutive years in the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1), winning in 2004 at odds of 28-1 and running second two years later.
The gelding ran in the Sword Dancer (G1) at Saratoga three times, winning in 2004, running second in 2008 and in is final career start ran second in 2009.
Motion will saddle Craftsman on Wednesday, the 4-1 third choice on the morning line. The colt won a Group 3 in Ireland as a juvenile and shipped to Southern California where he made four starts while under the care of trainer Simon Callaghan without a victory.
The colt was shifted to Motion and off a two-month break won the Nick Shuk Memorial at Delaware Park in his first start for his new trainer.
Motion has won three stakes on turf at the Spa meeting. He saddled Lake George (G2) winner Daring Dancer on July 23, won the Coronation Cup on July 30 with Stars Above Me, and won last Saturday’s Sword Dancer (G1) with Main Sequence. Motion has had four other stakes runners land in the money, all on turf.
The Chad Brown trained Storm Inti is the 8-5 morning line favorite. The colt ran third in the Sir Cat Stakes in his last outing. Pure Sensation is the 5-2 second choice and is coming off a victory in the Quick Call, which was his turf debut.
Let’s head out to the Spa for Wednesday’s featured race of the day:
Saratoga Race 9 The Better Talk Now Post time 4:49 ET
5 Craftsman 4-1
6 Storming Inti 8-5
7 Pure Sensation 5-2
2 Heart to Heart
Craftsman looks primed for a top effort here in his second start off a two-month break for the Motion barn. The colt won the Nick Shuk Memorial last out at Delaware Park, stalking the early pace and making a strong late run. It was not a real tough group but he was making his first start for the barn and this guy showed some quality overseas, winning a Group 3 in Ireland as a juvenile going seven furlongs.
The colt faces a tougher group here but looks up to it. Motion has won three grass stakes at the meeting including the Sword Dancer (G1) on Sunday with Main Sequence.
Storming Inti won the American Turf (G2) back in May at Churchill Downs, but came up short in his last two starts, a third in the Penn Mile and last out a third in the restricted Sir Cat here on opening day. The Sir Cat was restricted to non-winners of a graded stake on turf and it was a deep group. The winner Tourist came back to run second in the Secretariat (G1) at Arlington Park on Saturday and the runner up Ring Weekend won the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) back in March.
He was up on the pace in all four of his wins and while he is quick, there is plenty of speed in here to keep him company. He fits with his best and is in good hands with the Chad Brown barn, but his price may end up on the light side.
Pure Sensation won the Quick Call last out at 5 ½ furlongs in his turf debut for the Christophe Clement barn. The colt did not have an easy trip. The colt tracked the early pace from the inside, ran out of racing room entering the stretch and had to alter course to the outside after having to wait for some space. The colt showed a good burst of speed late and got his nose in front at the wire.
This will be his first start around two turns for a barn that is 29% winners (with a +ROI) moving runners from sprint to route. His pedigree leans more toward sprinting, by Zensational, a Grade 1 winner on the fake stuff sprinting, out of the stakes winner Pure Disco ($496,840) who also was best sprinting.
WIN: #5 to win at 3-1 or better.
EXACTA: 5,6 / 2,5,6,7
TRIFECTA: 5,6 / 2,5,6,7 / 1,2,5,6,7
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. Get the remainder of the meeting for just $59.95!