The Jockey Club Tour on Fox makes it’s next to last stop on Sunday at Saratoga, where the Grade 1 $500,000 Sword Dancer will be the highlight along with the $100,000 Alydar.
The telecast will air from 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1, FOX Deportes, and FOX Sports Go, and on-air duties will be handled by Greg Wolf, Richard Migliore, Andy Serling, Simon Bray, and Maggie Wolfendale.
The telecast will feature a tribute to NYRA announcer Tom Durkin, who will be retiring August 31 after calling races at NYRA racetracks for 24 years. It will also spotlight 2-year-old colts Jess’s Dream and Cozmic One, the first foals out of Horses of the Year Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta, respectively. Both colts are currently in training at Saratoga Race Course.
The Sword Dancer drew a field of seven including the top two finishers of the Grade 1 United Nations, Main Sequence and Twilight Eclipse.
Shug McGaughey will saddle Imagining, who is looking to rebound off a sixth place finish in the Grade 1 Manhattan in his last start. The six-year-old won the Grade 1 Man O’ war in his previous start.
Check out my Sword Dancer analysis on Bleacher Report for my selections.
My Best Plays Report for Sunday includes my 10 strongest plays from Del Mar and Saratoga including all of the stakes action.
Here is a look at Sunday’s Alydar:
Saratoga Race 9 The Alydar (Post time 5:27 ET)
2 Dawly 3-1
1 Alpha 9-5
6 Stormin Monarcho 7-2
3 Farhaan 15-1
Analysis: Dawly stumbled coming out of the gate and was not a threat last out in a seventh place finish in the Salvatore Mile (G3) at Monmouth Park. The winner Itsmyluckyday came back to run a good second in the Whitney (G1) here while third place finisher Valid returned to win the Monmouth Cup (G2) in his next start.
The RRod trainee earned a career top two back in a sharp win at Belmont Park against Alw-3 optional claimers. The gelding has handled the main track here, the win coming against $100,000 claimers back in ’11. The main question mark is the distance, but he sure is bred to run all day, by Awesome Again out of a Tiznow mare.
Alpha makes his first start since February for the McLaughlin barn that is 26% (with a +ROI) with runners coming back off a +180 day layoff. Last out he tried grass for the first time but faded to finish fifth after opening up a clear lead early.
He has won four of his five starts over the Spa main track including last year’s Woodward (G1) and the 2012 Travers (G1). He has decent works on the morning tab and this looks like a good spot for his return, this race restricted to non-winners of a graded race this year. Main knock is going to be the light price.
WIN: #2 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 1,2 / 1,2,6
TRI: 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 meeting for just $59.95!