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Forego, Woodward Headline Saratoga’s Saturday Card

Posted by Pete Mitchell on 9/3/2010 5:18:52 PM
  • Who: Thoroughbreds – Vineyard Haven, Girolamo, Bribon, Big Drama, Quality Road, Mythical Power
  • What: Horse Racing Betting Tips – The Forego, The Woodward
  • Where: Saratoga
  • When: Saturday, September 4th

The quality of competition will be extremely high this Saturday at Saratoga, as a pair of Grade 1 events has attracted several of the nation’s top equine athletes. Quadruple Grade 1 winner Vineyard Haven heads the 31st Running of The Forego, and he’ll be joined by stablemate Girolamo, a very talented runner in his own right. Big Drama and Bribon, second and third, respectively, in last month’s A. G. Vanderbilt, loom as the main threats to the favored entry. One race later, triple Grade 1 winner Quality Road appears to tower over his opposition in the 51st Running of The Woodward, so the trick there may be to identify some value underneath in the exotics.

While Vineyard Haven does not have an edge in terms of Beyer Speed Figures (lifetime best of 104), he does possess a significant tactical advantage, as the only true speed horse in the race. Furthermore, when he gets to the front, he’s virtually impossible to catch, having relinquished the lead just once in his career. The track and distance also suit him just fine. If for any reason Vineyard Haven falters, don’t be surprised if stablemate Girolamo is right there to pick up the pieces. Girolamo hasn’t raced since last year’s debacle in The Breeders’ Cup Classic on Santa Anita’s Pro-Ride surface, but note he has fired fresh in the past, winning his career debut by open lengths and likewise his 3YO bow even more impressively. I’ll bet the #1-entry to win at odds of 7-5 or better, and key the entry on top of #2-Bribon and #3-Big Drama in the exacta.

Unlike The Forego, in which the talent level of the competitors is fairly close, The Woodward features one of the top horses in training in Quality Road vs. a half-dozen lesser lights. Sure, Mine That Bird was last year’s upset winner of The Kentucky Derby, but he hasn’t won since, and has yet to respond favorably to the trainer change from Woolley to Lukas. Convocation looks like the logical second choice based on his sharp recent form, but he has yet to win a stakes race, let alone a Grade 1. I’m intrigued by #7-Mythical Power (12-1 morning line). He makes his Saratoga debut for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, and gets the riding services of the immensely talented Garret Gomez…note the jockey/trainer combo is clicking at an astonishing 38% with a positive ROI of $2.05. Mythical Power is a multiple Grade 3 winner, and he’s been working swiftly on the Saratoga main track. His connections didn’t ship him to “The Spa” for the mineral baths…I’m betting a straight 3-7 exacta…#3-Quality Road over #7-Mythical Power.

Those are my horse racing betting tips for this weekend. Best of luck and happy gambling!

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