A field of six New York breds will go 1 1/8 miles on the main track in the $100,000 Evan Ship, the feature on Monday’s 10-race card at the Spa.
The Richard Schosberg trained Readthebyline is the 9-5 morning line favorite off a gate to wire score against first level optional claimers going 1 1/16 miles on the dirt at Belmont Park. The colt earned a career top 103 Beyer Speed Figure in his win, his third in six starts this year.
The second choice on the morning line is the recent Mike Maker claim Groomedforvictory, who beat state bred second level optional claimers in his last outing. Maker claimed the eight-year-old gelding for $25,000 and steps him back up in class here with Joel Rosario getting the call.
Those two figure to battle it out early and I am looking for Awesome Vision to come from off the pace to score a mile upset.
After three days of the meeting it is no surprise to see trainer Todd Pletcher on top of the trainer standings with five winners from 10 starters.
Pletcher has already notched three stakes wins. He pulled off the hat trick on Saturday winning all three stakes. He saddledSilsita to win the My Princess Jess, and then won the Shuvee Handicap (G3) with Authenticity and the Coaching Club of America (G1) with Princess of Sylmar.
Three trainers have won two races, David Jacobson (2 for 8), Steve Asmussen (2 for 5) and Bill Mott (2 for 5).
Chad Brown, who finished second to Pletcher in the trainer standings the past two summers, is off to a slow start, winning with just one of his first 11 starters at the meet.
Phil Serpe and Bruce Levine have the most starts (eight) without picking up a win.
John Velazquez is leading all jockeys in wins with five, and despite stating last week that he would be more selective and not be accepting as many mounts at the meeting, he leads all jockeys in mounts with 25 after three days of action.
Rosie Napravnik and Javier Castellano have each picked up three wins from 23 mounts.
Of the jockeys with 20 mounts or more the two jockeys off the slowest are Jose Lezcano (1 for 24) and Luis Saez (1 for 22).
Let’s head out to the Spa for Monday’s featured race of the day:
Saratoga Race 9 The Evan Shipman Post time 5:20 ET
2 Awesome Vision 3-1
3 Readthebyline 9-5
5 Groomedforvictory 2-1
6 So Scott 6-1
Awesome Vision tracked the early pace and finished evenly last out in a third place finish in the state bred Commentator ‘Cap last out at Belmont Park. The colt has done his best work on the inner track winning four times and this is his first go over the Spa main track. He won the state bred Compelling Word three back in a deadheat coming with a late run and he should get a solid early pace to run at here. He beat Alw-1 foes in his lone go at today’s nine furlong distance and certainly is bred to handle it, by Awesome Again out of a Valley Crossing mare.
Readthebyline took Alw-1 optional claimers gate to wire last out and earned a career top speed fig in the outing. Her makes his stakes debut and goes nine furlongs for the f first time in his career. He has won going two turns and has enough pedigree, by Read the Footnotes out of a Slew City Slew mare. The gelding needs to avoid getting hooked up early by Groomedforvictory, who is stretching out from a sprint.
Groomedforvictory is coming off a victory against state bred Alw-2 optional claimers going seven furlongs at Belmont Park. He was claimed out of the racer by the Mike Maker barn that is 28% winners (with a +ROI) first off the claim. The eight year old has some back class, a stakes winner in 2008, 2009 and again in 2011. The old timer can handle the extra ground and the barn hits at a 23% clip moving runners from sprint to route.
WIN: Awesome Vision to win at 5-2 or better.
EXACTA: 2,3 / 2,3,5
TRIFECTA: no play
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 entire 40-day Saratoga meeting (July 19 to Sept. 2) for one low price of just $129.95!