For Monday, I'll look at Race 5, Signature Stallion overnight stakes at a 1 1/2 miles on the turf for fillies and mares. At first glance, it doesn't take much handicapping skill or experience to come up with the most logical winner - Communique. I'll get back to her in a minute or two.
First off, there are two distances I demand experience - 7 furlongs, due to its unique route/sprint distance and 1 1/2 miles simply because of its demands on stamina. Looking at this field there are only three horses to have raced at 1 1/2 miles: Jazz Jam, Zaskar and Communique. Beyond this much needed experience and/or success I look at the pace of the race. In this instance I will include one horse yet to run at the distance, Winsome Ways, simply because her jockey, Edgar Prado, might find himself alone on the the lead.
To the contenders:
- Communique has all the back class in this group. She was a close second in last year's Beverly D. Stakes. Since then, she has finished third, sixth, tenth, second and fifth in four graded and one listed stakes race. Far from consistent, she should romp on past performance alone, still...
- Jazz Jam made an inspiring 1 1/2 mile start in Keenland in October, her second in the States. She went coast to coast in that start, but has yet to duplicate that performance in two starts since.
- Winsome Ways is 4-for-11 on the turf, but has yet to go beyond 10 furlongs. If Jazz Jam doesn't show up, she could get loose and make every pole a winning one. I like her chances due to the likelihood of inheriting an uncontested lead.
The Play - Winsome Ways to win for $20 and a $1 Exacta box 1-5-6 as back up.
Now that I'll be putting my plays into print, I will follow these bets from now until the end of Saratoga's meet to track how I do.