TODAY'S PAPER
80° Good Afternoon
80° Good Afternoon
SportsHorseracing

Steve Matthews' Saratoga selections for Friday, July 12

Best bet: MARCH TO THE ARCH (9)

Best value: FERDINANDA (3)

FIRST: Derby Memories drops and moves to dirt after making first start in nearly two years last time; crisp half-mile work last week seals the deal. French Revolution shows a pattern similar to top selection (price reduction and surface switch) and could be in the garden spot if pace meltdown ensues. Oso Negro compiled tight work tab for move to main track for Chad Brown; logical, short-priced player.

SECOND: The Happy Giant gets Lasix after being pace- and position-compromised last out; swift half-mile drill in the interim seals the deal. Overlord makes peak start of form cycle after logging rapid final fraction in last; very interesting. Klickitat owns speed and is training with a purpose for first start since December; worth long look at long price.

THIRD: Ferdinanda has trained strongly for first start since eight-week freshener; primed for breakthrough. Conquest Hardcandy, 1-for-1 on Spa sod, should be favorably positioned near the front in compact field. Dream Passage is riding a two-race winning streak for Brad Cox; could certainly take another.

FOURTH: Nolinski is speedy, rested and fired half-mile bullet for first start since gelded; wire to wire with aggressive handling. Big Muddy wheels back in a hurry after clear-cut score on the Fourth of July; very dangerous. Orpheus owns fast late-pace figures on best efforts; don't ignore.

FIFTH: Good Shabbos was a game second in heavily bet debut at Monmouth last month; experience edge is a key in a field of mostly newcomers. Lotta Ott is training swiftly for debut for Steve Asmussen; could be a runner. Apurate, by a high-percentage first-out sire, debuts for Todd Pletcher; charting a must.

SIXTH: Our Way is a two-time winner on Saratoga grass and is training sharply for first start since March; will need "A" game in competitive field. Applicator makes first start for Linda Rice after front-running victory in last; could easily pair up wins. Keep Quiet fires strong efforts with machinelike consistency; right in the thick of this.

SEVENTH: Noble Jewel tallied rapid late-pace and final figures when a determined winner in debut; more to come. Hollywood Cat, a winner in most recent on Monmouth grass, owns faster back numbers; big-time player. Something Joyful has trained well since non-stressful sixth in first start since seven-month layoff last time; forward move predicted.

EIGHTH: Danebury is fleet-footed and compiled eye-catching work tab for first start in more than a year; ready to roll. Irish Valor fired 5-furlong bullet since clear-cut win at Finger Lakes last time; gets added points from rail. Dreamzapper, another with bullet work since last start, is riding a forward line on the numbers; right in the thick of this.

NINTH: March to the Arch uncorked sustained rally when an eye-catching winner in last at Churchill Downs and outworked 89 rivals in a half-mile drill last week; fires another winning effort. Voodoo Song, 5-for-6 on Spa sod. is speedy and training swiftly for first start since November; very dangerous. Hembree notched quick final fraction when a hard-charging second in last; very playable. Offering Plan packs potent stretch wallop and hails from Chad Brown barn; need more?

10TH: Fight Night makes first start with maiden-claiming tag and logged solid work slate for barn (George Weaver) that focuses on Spa meet; call in wide-open nightcap. Freudycatfever, another that drops, adds blinkers after never getting into the hunt in debut last month; improvement expected. Prisoner's Dilemma has yet to take a backward step on the numbers; must be considered if able to escape AE list. Abby Normal was an improved third in last; don't ignore. Linda's Ballet was a subpar fifth in race taken off turf last time; return to grass is the key.

Comments

We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

New York Sports