Jeff Siegel’s Blog: What You Need to Know for Saratoga – Friday, July 29, 2022

By Jeff Siegel, Handicapper & Analyst

(For additional commentary, follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing).



Third Race – Post: 2:11 ET
Top Pick: 3-Fingal’s Cave (5/2)

Unbeaten in two starts against state-bred rivals, this sophomore filly tackles open company today and will need to improve accordingly, but we suspect she’ll have it in her. The daughter of Carpe Diem captured her first two outings by a combined 17 and one-half lengths, and in both cases won with plenty left to indicate today’s two-turn trip should be well within her range. She has displayed the versatility to make the running or stalk and pounce depending upon the race flow, so regular rider Jose Ortiz can assess the pace and choose his strategy. Though morning line favorite (6/5) Insignia is certain to receive plenty of play, we’ll prefer the better price and hope to get close to the morning line of 5/2 that this David Donk-trained filly is listed at.

Race: Post: 2:00 ET
Top Pick: 8-Be Better (4-1)

After finishing a distant third in his only start as a 2-year-old, this son of Uncle Mo has returned a vastly improved performer, showing two highly rated wins at Monmouth Park with speed figures that are good enough win at this level on this circuit. The talented sophomore employed a second flight, stalking style before blasting home in his most recent victory against a strong field for the level, so with another forward move he should be more than capable of extending his win streak to three. Creative Minister, the third place finisher in the Preakness Stakes-G1 before coming home unplaced in the Belmont Stakes-G1, is the logical 2-1 morning line favorite but we question whether he has the upside that Todd Pletcher’s colt has, so at or near his morning line of 4-1 Be Better should be exactly that.



(Races 1-5)
1st race: 5-Sidekick; 2-Golden Alchemist
2nd race: 5-Media Sensation; 2-Seanan; 7-Lookin Grand
3rd race: 3-Fingal’s Cave; 7-Insignia
4th race: 10-Tis a Pity; 4-Blame It On Mary; 12-Fontanafredda; 11-Happy Hill Lili
5th race: 10-Sweeping Giant; 5-Gut Feeling

(Races 6-10)
6th race: 7-Acoustic Ave; 10-Bobby the Tank
7th race: 8-Be Better
8th race: 1-Lyrical Poet; 2-Xy Speed; 10-Chuck Willis
9th race: 9-Baltasar; 2-Life Changer
10th race: 6-Stellar Mars; 12-Mia at Midnight; 10-Built Different




Fingal’s Cave (July 21, Saratoga, 6f, 1:13.2b). Grade: B+
Mostly on her own throughout, final quarter in :25.1 in solo six furlong main track breeze for D. Donk. Undefeated in two starts when facing state-bred foes – both runaway victories – and shouldn’t have any issues with two turns. Numbers say she can act with open company.
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With Know Name (July 223, Saratoga, 4f, :48.2bg). Grade: C+
Ridden most of the way while slightly best inside Decanted (same time) and far clear of Fire Baron (4f, :50hg) in team gate drill for M. Maker. Hadn’t shown much in previous drills, juvenile son of Sharp Azteca was better today but certainly isn’t any world beater.
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Acoustic Ave (July 21, Saratoga, 4f, :47.3bg). Grade: B+
Broke sharply and was the better of the two in company outside Disarmed (same time) in quick gate drill for C. Clement, stride for stride most of the way before gradually pulling clear late in the final stages, actually breezing a full five furlongs in 1:00 and small change without being asked for his best. Son of Maclean’s Music should be a live item vs. New York-bred foes based on this drill.
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Creative Minister (July 23, Saratoga, 5f, 1:00.3b TT). Grade: B+
Breezed over a training track listed as good outside Wolfe County (same time) and was stride-for-stride throughout, never really asked at any stage, final quarter mile in in a smart :24.1. Found the Belmont Stakes’ trip of 12 furlongs out of his element but can snap back with a return to a middle distance. Workmate went quite well, too.
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Be Better (July 22, Saratoga, 4f, :49.1b). Grade: B
Breezing outside Promise Keeper (same time), :37.2 from the quarter pole out to the 7/8 pole on our watches, stride-for-stride every step of the way for T. Pletcher. Uncle Mo colt may be a tad lazy in the morning, but his afternoon form is improving and impressive. Gets a class test in the Curlin Stakes and we suspect he’ll pass it.
View Workout Video



Lyrical Poet (July 22, Saratoga, 5f, 1:00.1b TC). Grade: B+
Broke off about three lengths in front of high class Golden Pal (5f, :59.3b TC) and finished a neck in front in sharp work for both, breezing most of the way and galloping out with something left (‘Pal under stout restraint through the lane). Ex-claimer continues to improve, freshened since April but seems plenty fit and ready.
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Jeff Siegel’s Blog: What You Need to Know for Saratoga – Friday, July 29, 2022

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