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Wise Dan and Drum Roll the Weekend Plays

Posted by Pete Mitchell on 8/10/2012 5:25:02 PM

Who: Thoroughbreds – Data Link, Wise Dan, Spurious Precision, Shanghai Bobby, Drum Roll
What: Horse Racing Betting Tips – The Fourstardave Handicap, The Saratoga Special
Where: Saratoga
When: Saturday and Sunday, August 11th and 12th

There’s high-quality stakes action at Saratoga this weekend, with the Grade 2 Fourstardave Handicap and the Grade 2 Saratoga Special headlining the Spa cards on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Both races present interesting handicapping challenges. Let’s dig into them below.

Wise Dan is that rare animal who has won graded races on dirt (Grade 1), polytrack (Grade 2) and turf (Grade 2). He’s arguably better on the latter two surfaces, so he’ll be especially tough in the grassy Fourstardave. Trainer Charlie Lopresti reports that Wise Dan is doing super, and that latest bullet breeze (1st of 52) on the Saratoga Training Track lawn provides ample evidence. Wise Dan’s tactical speed should put him in a stalking position just off the speedy Get Stormy and perhaps Yield Bogey, who’s stretching back out. Regular pilot John Velazquez retains the mount. Data Link has blossomed as a 4YO for trainer Shug McGaughey, and will be making his characteristic charge from the back of the pack. He’ll be spotting 2 pounds to Wise Dan, however, and will have trouble catching that rival, who is a powerful finisher in his own right. I’ll bet on #2-Wise Dan to win at odds of 3-2 or better.

Based on Beyer Speed Figures, it would appear that the Saratoga Special boils down to #3-Spurious Precision (5-2, 91 Beyer) and #6-Shanghai Bobby (2-1, 93 Beyer). That’s not necessarily the case, however, as two-year-olds can improve dramatically from race to race. Spurious Precision is the only member of the field with a race over the track, so he’s got a bit of a homefield edge. Interestingly, the other runners raced at Belmont Park, Philadelphia Park, Woodbine and Monmouth Park last out, making this a fascinating handicapping puzzle. I’m going to take a shot with the “other” Pletcher runner, #7-Drum Roll. He fetched $300,000 in March of this year, so there’s obvious quality. He ran to his 4-5 odds in his unveiling, pulling away to a 2 ¾-length victory at Monmouth Park after encountering trouble at the start. He’s on the outside here, so Pletcher “go to guy” Velazquez should have some options early on. I’ll bet on #7-Drum Roll to win and place at odds of 4-1 or better. I’ll also key him first and second in exactas and tri’s with the 1,3,4,6. A $1 Exacta 7/1,3,4,6 plus the reverse 1,3,4,6/7 costs a total of $8. A $1 Tri 7/1,3,4,6/1,3,4,6 plus a 1,3,4,6/7/1,3,4,6 costs a total of $24.

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


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