by Brian Nadeau
August 23, 2018
Weekly Bankroll Builder—Saratoga’s Friday Pk5
Wednesday, August 22, 2018 by Xpressbet Race Chat Host Brian Nadeau
Travers Week is upon, so what better way to pad the bankroll than hit the Friday Pk5? Whereas in the past I’ve put together one caveman ticket on a small-scale budget, I’m now going to try and present a bit more of an in-depth play that will utilize backup horses and tickets, while painting a broader picture of a suggested play.
*** Please take note that this analysis is done upwards of 36 hours in advance, so obviously weather, track conditions and especially late scratches can and will have an effect. Please check back around 12pm Friday for an update. ***
Race 1: 2yo NYB MSW at 5 ½ furlongs on the Mellon turf
We start out the sequence with a real crapshoot, as the experienced runners haven’t shown a lot or have run predominantly on dirt, while the majority of the firsters look slow in the morning and potentially a race or two away from their best. I’ll split the difference in the A-slot and use #7 ANALYZETHISANDTHAT (9-2) and #3 PIPES (4-1), who have run best of those in the afternoon, and #6 QIAN B C (8-1), who is the only firster who has shown some serious zip in the morning. As an aside, pay attention to the odds on the firsters to see if anyone tips their hand on the toteboard.
Pk5 A horses (listed in order of preference): 7,3,6
I have a ton of respect for Jeremiah Englehart, which is why I’ll use #9 BOZZINI (8-1, who will make his turf debut after improving form on the main track. It’s tough to toss out a Rice entry that has the Ortiz brothers riding, but both #1 BEACHSIDE (5-2) and #1a SOUNDS GOOD (5-2) look very slow on paper and have done little to nothing in the morning to suggest they are ready for the afternoon. The same can be said for #8 WICKED GRIN (3-1), who is a giant underlay at this ML and figures to be much higher, since he’s worked slowly for Clement, who usually gives them one.
Pk5 B horses (listed in order of preference): 9,1E,8
Race 2: 3up NYB N1X at 6 furlongs
I’m looking for a price in Leg 2 and #6 SAMAY (6-1) certainly qualifies, as he hasn’t been out since his debut win at FL in September, though he comes in for Lecesse, who is a robust 33% off this extended layoff. Clearly #4 H Man (8-5) is the horse to beat off the Rodriguez claim and prior form, though it’s worth nothing the barn has been a bit icy at the meet.
Pk5 A horses: 6,4
Don’t sleep on #3 FREUD’S AFFAIR (10-1) just because he didn’t fire in his local bow; it was in the slop, for starters, and his prior FL form puts him in the mix here, and it’s a confident move that Progno runs him back here instead of back home. I’m not going any deeper, as there is a chance H Man is simply too good off the claim, and therefore using several wouldn’t be prudent.
Pk5 B horses: 3
Race 3: 3yo NYB 250k Albany at 1 1/8 miles
The feature got only seven but there are a few different ways to go, so it could still be a bit tricky. There does appear to be some speed, and at a demanding two turns on the main track—a trip not a lot of these seem like they’ll relish—I want a proven closer who can handle it, and that’s #1 EVALUATOR (3-1), who just missed over the track/distance against older in an NYB AOC and drew perfectly here as well. The best of the speed is #7 SEA FOAM (2-1), though this wide draw, short price and potential to get caught up in the splits temper the enthusiasm on a horse a lot will single.
Pk5 A horses: 1,7
The only other runner I want is #4 SPEKE (3-1), who seems to be a work in progress for Pletcher but is coming along, is tested over the track/distance, and doesn’t need the lead.
Pk5 B horses: 4
Race 4: 2yof NYB MSW at 1 1/16 miles on the inner turf
Contessa has terrible numbers with first-time starters, so to see #3 SHAK’S HIDDEN GEM (9-2) run a fast-closing 4th sprinting on debut says she has a lot of talent, and on the stretchout, from a perfect draw, she looks primed. The same can be said for #10 SHADY SHADY SHADY (5-2), who was 2nd on debut for Nevin, another very low percentage debut barn, though this post is a real worry. You can’t toss #7 MENSA MEMVER (3-1), a firster for Brown and Klaravich, who seemingly win two a day in these parts.
Pk5 A horses: 3,10,7
I’m apt to go it alone here with the A’s, as they seem a cut above and the rest don’t inspire much at all. If you’re going deeper, then #5 Seven Jewels (8-1) will likely be tighter second-out for Cox, and could like the turf too.
Pk5 B horses: NONE
Race 5: 2yof NYB 200k Funny Cide at 6 ½ furlongs
“Pace makes the race” comes to mind in the final leg, as several want to be on the lead, while #7 LA FUERZA (5-2) has come from off of it in both starts and wins. He’s the lone A, especially since the added ground figures right in his wheelhouse.
Pk5 A horses: 7
With that being said, there’s a ton a speedy talent, and #6 DUGOUT (3-1), #5 BANKIT (2-1) and #4 Bustin to Be Loved (9-2) all broke their maidens for fun and would be no surprise, though they appear to be destined for an intense duel early, which is why the latter, who will take all the worst of it down inside, isn’t being used. If it falls apart then #3 RED ZINGER (10-1) will come into play late, even though he’s still a maiden and finished well behind a few of these.
Pk5 B horses: 6,5,3
We’ll take a big swing here on a sequence I like a lot; the main A ticket is 3x2x2x3x1 for $18, and that’s our starting point. But by adding in our B horses in with the A’s in the other legs, we can get more coverage and allow for some margin for error too. As you’ll see below, the backups tickets allow for some added coverage without breaking the bank; if we played both the A’s and the B’s together, the ticket (6x3x3x3x4) would cost a robust $324, which essentially makes the stronger opinions the same as the weaker ones, whereas this is a much more reasonable $108. I’m also an advocate of playing you’re A ticket for $1 (or more), so you capitalize if you handicap it out of the park.
Main Ticket: 7,3,6 with 6,4 with 1,7 with 3,7,10 with 7 = $18
R1 B Backup: 9,1E,8 with 6,4 with 1,7 with 3,7,10 with 7 = $18
R2 B Backup: 7,3,6 with 3 with 1,7 with 3,7,10 with 7 = $9
R3 B Backup: 7,3,6 with 6,4 with 4 with 3,7,10 with 7 = $9
R5 B Backup: 7,3,6 with 6,4 with 1,7 with 3,7,10 with 6,5,3 = $54