Palace Coup to strike for new trainer
Saratoga 18:39: Palace Coup 1pt win at 5/1
With a forecast suggesting thunderstorms in the Saratoga area today, it's possible the dirt races on today's card will be run a sloppy track.
Consequently, it's probably best to tread warily with today's bets, and I've tried to identify a couple of selections that shouldn't be fazed if we do end up on the slop.
Palace Coup goes first-off-the-claim for a trainer with a decent record with these types and he's one who won't mind should significant amounts of rain hit the track.
The son of Bernardini was an impressive winner in the slop at Churchill Downs in November, where he made all the running and was never seriously pressed to come home nearly 5 lengths to the good.
The third horse won next time, adding substance to the form.
Palace Coup followed that up with a pair of good runner-up finishes in a higher grade before proving a touch disappointing last time, though it's worth noting he was pressured on the lead that day.
He has a front-runner to his inside in this contest, but hopefully that will enable him to get a nice trip just to the outside while staying clear of the fierce kickback - something that was a notable feature of Saratoga's opening week.
Effective on both wet and dry tracks, Palace Coup should go well no matter what the weather does.
Siding with a newcomer in maiden
Saratoga 19:49: V Mart 1pt win at 5/1
Those with experience in this juvenile maiden don't make all that much appeal, so I'm expecting it to go to one of the first-time starters in the line-up.
The obvious starting point in a race like this is Todd Pletcher and he fields Forbidden Secret, though this one's workouts don't exactly jump off the page.
With that in mind, I'm siding with V Mart, who represents lower-profile connections but has been scorching the Monmouth Park track during the mornings.
It's noticeable that trainer Juan Avila has seen an uptick in the performance of his debutants over the last year or so, suggesting a move to purchase more precocious types.
This one is also sired by Hard Spun, who has a fine record with his progeny on wet tracks, so V Mart is unlikely to be inconvenienced if the rain hits.