Saratoga G2 Lake Placid Preview
Welcome to The Spa! We are officially underway at Saratoga, the summer place to be. However, the atmosphere is a little different this year as the current covid protocols have prohibited fans from attending the races. Nevertheless, we still have some outstanding racing to look forward to, including today’s Grade 2 Lake Placid Stakes for 3-year-old fillies going 9 furlongs on the inner turf course. Let’s take a look at the race.
The morning line favorite #8 Cat’s Pajamas makes some sense here, as she has looked like a new animal since switching to the Graham Motion barn and being placed on turf. Unbeaten in 2 starts on grass, she gets the litmus test today as she steps way up in class. She owns more tactical speed than most of this field, which could prove to be a huge asset in a race that seems devoid of early pace.
#2 Blame Debbie is the other logical horse who may get involved in the early pace scenario. While she is technically winless on turf through 2 tries, she was only beaten a neck last out going a distance that might just be a little too far for her. The winner of that race, Civil Union, came back to win a 12-furlong stakes race at Belmont next out, suggesting she lost to a quality filly. Rosario lands elsewhere, but the hottest hand of the meet so far belongs to Jose Ortiz, who ends up getting the mount.
#4 Queen’s Embrace is a win machine, posting a 5/8 lifetime record including 3/5 over the turf. However, she jumps into the deep end of the pool today after beating up on lesser foes at Monmouth last out. A repeat of her last makes her dangerous here, but wheeling back on just over 2 weeks rest off a career best effort suggests a regression may be more likely.
#5 Key Biscayne is the most intriguing longshot of the race. At first glance, this filly looks hopelessly overmatched. However, she has had a series of nightmare trips in her last few starts, most recently last out when she lunged at the break and ducked in at the start, was hung 5 wide through both turns, and still put in a respectable effort to get within 3 lengths of the winner. Arindel rarely ship outside of Florida, so it’s interesting to see her end up in this spot and attract the services of Manny Franco. An outright win may be asking a lot, but she may very well be dismissed as the longest price on the board and have a sneaky good chance to round out the exotics at a huge price.
The play: In a race devoid of speed, I’m going to play against short-priced deep closers such as #3 Lashara and #6 Stunning Sky. #8 Cat’s Pajamas is likely the horse to beat, with the best speed figures and a favorable pace scenario, but #2 Blame Debbie is an upset candidate. #5 Key Biscayne could come running late to pick up the pieces for third.
Exacta key box: 8/2,4,5
Trifecta: 2,8 / 1,2,4,8 / 5
Credit to NYRA for the photo.