Friday, September 2, 2016

Handicapper's Corner: 2016 Spinaway Stakes (G1)

Spinaway Stakes Looks Like Fun

By: John Caro, S. FL ThoroFan Member

Spinaway Stakes Grade I – Two Year Old Fillies – 7 furlongs - $350K

The Spinaway has been contested since 1881 and reflects the best two-year-old filly competition on the closing weekend at Saratoga. At seven furlongs it’s a stretch out that should be hotly contested. The weather should be great and the main track fast. 

Of the seven going today all but two have raced over the track. The remaining two; Pretty City Dancer winner of the Debutante at Churchill has worked over the track and You Know Too, second in a 50K stakes at Delaware has not seen Saratoga. The pace may be one of the fastest of the season with heat coming from several contenders. Closers don’t rule but, I think today’s race will be a closing dash to the finish line. 

#1 Sweet Loretta (5-2) – (Pletcher/Castellano) visually impressive in her last start at Saratoga going six furlongs in  the Schuylerville, she came from near last in a hot pace to win by 4 and a quarter. Following her home was Fun who was near last at the start and is the only other graded stakes participant in the field. Both are proven closers and are able to close on a hot pace. She holds the highest Bris (94) and E speed (92). The connections are at the top of their game, her middle move and ability to close into what is likely a very fast pace through 5 furlongs makes her my top pick. 

#2 Special Risk (20-1) – (Rodríguez/Rosario) Two races prior to Sweet Loretta’s win Special took second by a half in slower late fractions going 5&1/2. Her belated move came from a 4-5 wide and although Rodríguez and Dub won her on a sloppy track two years ago, I think the rest of the field is much tougher today. Her 76 Bris and 83 E-speed doesn’t encourage me either for this sprint. She is not in my top three and would use her in the bottom of the Superfecta, only.    

#3 Runway Doll (3-1) – (Asmussen/Ortiz,J.) Winning impressively on the lead in solid fractions she finished 13 lengths in front on a sloppy track. When challenged on the back stretch she pulled away and was given a single reminder after changing leads and hand risen to a great finish. She can obviously move well and would like to see what she does on a fast track. She is the heat in this race and the Ortiz boys have been at the top of their game. Respectfully, this is a contender and if she gets out on the lead my not be caught on a dry track (which is expected). Posted speeds of 90/89 and her improving works put her second for this one.

#4 Fun (12-1) – (Wilkes/Alvarado) She is graded stakes placed against Sweet Loretta and went wide on the later part of the back stretch after something seemed to compromise her after the start through a quarter mile. Her post position, Alvarado’s move with her in following Sweet Loretta through the final turn, along with her steady work through the stretch give me hope that she will show up for a lesser piece of this one. The middle move from 9 off the lead and the posted late pace figure doesn’t match the effort. She is a proven closer at six furlongs. I have to think she is capable of third or second if the pace is exceedingly fast.

#5 Cherry Lodge (2-1) – (Pletcher/Velazquez) She goes in this race with the least time off after a race she lead with the fastest split times of any runner in today’s event while finishing 5 ½ furlongs in 1:03.3 on the lead throughout. Velazquez is back aboard and choose (I assume) her over Sweet Loretta. Hard to argue with Johnny’s stats in sprints on the main track of 25% on the main track and 24.5% for sprints. Exceeding his next nearest competition by more than 10% for sprints. The additional 990 feet should not be a problem and we may see a slight change in tactics chasing the lead of Runway Doll. I like Cherry for second only because I believe Sweet Loretta can make the pace from the middle and move to close at the same point in the race into the stretch going longer.

#6 Pretty City Dancer (7-2) – (Cassel/Ortiz, I. Jr.) She is the most experienced girl in the race with three races, winning the Debutante 63 days ago. Winning her last two races the speeds posted and the pace line again don’t match the times posted and her position relative to the leader. The time is very good for a young two year old in a blacktype at Churchill. I would quibble about the speeds but, the middle times tell me she can be on or near the lead after three quarters and get it on with the cavalry to the finish. If the break hasn’t caused her a problem, and her works look solid, then I expect she will vie for second and end up third. 

#7 You Know Too (15-1) – (Gorham/Saez) I like this girl’s works as she goes forward, but she has been beaten by weaker and never seen Saratoga. Suez can pull off some good rides but again the competition today is fierce. She is not in my tops and I will throw her in the bottom of a Superfecta.

$8 Exacta  – 1 w 4,5,6,       $24
$0.50 Trifecta -  1 w 3,4,5,6 w 3,4,5,6    $6.   Buy as many as you like. I suggest 9 Trifectas at $0.50   $54
$0.50 Superfecta – 1 w 1,3,4,5,6 w 1,3,4,5,6 w 1,2,3,4,5,6,7     $24

Alternative Wager based on the ML Odds.
$46 win – 5
$37 win – 1
$9 Exacta Box 1,5


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