Saratoga Wagering: Glen Falls, Hopeful Close Out Spa Meeting

© Cheryl Quigley |

The 40-day Saratoga meeting wraps on Monday with an 11-race card featuring a pair of graded stakes, the $150,000 Glen Falls (G2), and the $300,000 Hopeful (G2).

A field of six will line up in the Glen Falls, a 1 3/8 mile turf marathon for fillies and mares, with the Shug McGaughey trained Hit It Rich the 7-5 morning line favorite.

The five-year-old mare has won one of her four starts this year, the victory coming in the Orchid (G2) at Gulfstream Park on March 31.

The daughter of Smart Strike was third in the New York (G2) in her last outing on June 30 and returns here off a two month break with Javier Castellano in the irons.

Three are exiting the Waya Stakes on Aug. 6 which was won by Kissable, who is the 9-5 second choice on the morning line.

The Hopeful is the final juvenile race of the meeting, and leading trainer Todd Pletcher will send out a trio of runners as he looks to add an exclamation point on an outstanding meeting in which he comes into today having won 22 juvenile races.

Pletcher will saddle the entry of Lawn Man and Shanghai Bobby on behalf of the Starlight Stables, as well as sending out the Mike Repole owned Overanalyze.

While Pletcher has the trainer’s title wrapped up again this year, Ramon Dominguez completely ran away with the jockey title, adding six wins to his total on Sunday, and that was the second day this meeting he picked up six wins on one card.

He goes into the final day of the meeting with an all-time record of 66 wins, eclipsing the previous high of 64 wins set by John Velazquez in 2004.

Velazquez was the top jock here last summer, picking up 54 wins, while Dominguez was third in the standings with 47 winners.

Racing in New York goes dark after the 11th race today, with Belmont Park opening its fall championship meeting on Saturday.

After spending the past six weeks handicapping the Spa six days a week, I might actually get a nap in on Tuesday.

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Let’s head out to Saratoga for Monday’s featured race of the day:

Saratoga Race 9 The Hopeful G2 (Post time 4:52 ET)

4 Fortify   4-1

2 Lawn Man / 2b Shanghai Bobby   7-2

1 Bern Identity / 1a Vegas No Show   5-2

7 Overanalyze   3-1

Analysis: Fortify acted up in the gate pre-race, came away in good order tracking the early pace, made a good move around the far turn, took over at the eighth pole and drew away smartly with a  good looking win in his debut, winning by 5 1/2 lengths. The runner up returned to run fourth and the third place finisher third in his next outing. The colt came back with a bullet drill on Aug. 27 for the McLaughlin barn that usually moves them forward second time out. The Pletcher runners may garner more attention and we should get a fair price on this well bred colt. He is by Distorted Humor out of an A.P. Indy mare.

Shanghai Bobby is one of three in here sent out by the Pletcher barn that has won 22 juvenile races at the meet with just 60 starters, a 37% win clip. The colt was a good looking maiden winner in his debut, then came back to win the Track Barron at Belmont Park. The runner up Handsome Jack came back to finish second in the Sanford (G2) in his next outing on July 22. The colt owns the top last out speed fig and the barn has good numbers with runners coming back off short breaks. Entrymate Lawn man took the field gate to wire to break his maiden in his debut. Two have come out of the race to run back including third place finisher Honorable Dillon, a next out grad on her eon Aug. 25.

Bern Identity leads an entry sent out by the Kelly Breen barn. The was a much the best maiden winner two back in his second career start, and then won the Sanford (G2) with a good late rally in his stakes debut here on July 22. The fourth place finisher Brave Dave returned to win the Sapling (G3) in his next start on Sept. 2 at Monmouth Park. The colt has been working swiftly in the mornings here and Dominguez takes the call.


WIN: #4 to win at 5-2 or better.

EX: 2,4 / 1,2,4,7

TRI: 2,4 / 1,2,4,7 / 1,2,4,6,7

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