Racing Dudes Pick: #5 Palace Malice
Racing Dudes Long Shot: #4 Itsmyluckyday
1. Will Take Charge (KY) – The Dude’s favorite horse returns to the place that made him famous: Saratoga. He also lines up against what his probably his biggest rival: Palace Malice. The stage is set for an excellent race, and I believe it will be. Will Take Charge drew poorly for this one, so it will be important that his old friend Luis Saez gives him a good trip. There is no doubt the talent level is there, but can he beat an improving Palace Malice once again? The tables could be turned…or the coach might just pull a surprise once again.
2. Prayer for Relief (KY) – He’s an old war horse for sure, but him winning this race seems like a longshot. Expect him to give it a nice effort like normal, but I think we can all agree it’s been proven that he can’t compete at this level.
3. Moreno (KY) – His 2014 season has been up and down to say the least, but to the surprise of most that are reading this I actually see a lot of positives when it comes to him and this race. There is no question he’s ran his best races over the Saratoga race track, as he infamously came within a nose of winning the Travers last year. He also looked much more like his old self last time out in the Suburban, after running sporadic so far. He might be the right price horse to put in all exotics.
4. Itsmyluckyday (KY) – Has now put together three straight victories, but they’ve all came against much lessor competition. However, that doesn’t bother me as we’ve seen his class in the past when facing tougher. It can be argued that he’s better than he’s ever been, so I believe he has every chance to pull off a mild upset and get a career defining win.
5. Palace Malice (KY) – The current clear leader of the division looks to add to his already superb 2014 resume. He drew perfectly for this one, and you’d also have to think the Pletcher camp was smiling when seeing that Will Take Charge has drawn the rail. It could be time for Palace Malice to get revenge on Will Take Charge, as last year it was Will Take Charge that used Saratoga and the Breeders Cup to win three year old of the year. Deserving favorite should have every chance to win.
6. Departing (KY) – Has had all kinds of success running at the smaller tracks, but lacks a high quality victory at one any of the marquee tracks. His third place effort in the Stephen Foster was a decent sign that he’s ready to fire, but can he beat the big boys? Logical longshot but will need to step it up a notch.
7. Romansh (KY) – Just when you think this horse might be ready to pick up a big time quality win, he takes a step back. He was a really solid third in the Met Mile, then failed in the Suburban Handicap to finish fifth. He’s already proven several times he’s not in the same class as Will Take Charge and Palace Malice, so I don’t give him much chance in this one.
8. Golden Ticket (KY) – Nope…anyone who follows the site knows my total dislike of this horse. He’s failed like clockwork as a hyped horse, so maybe the only positive is he won’t be hyped in this spot.
9. Last Gunfighter (KY) – He’s been in trouble in tougher races throughout his career, but that last effort in the Suburban really has me concerned. Perhaps it was a freak race or a bounce, but it’s not a good sign as he goes into the deep waters today. Passing…