Mark Milligan finished in profit at Saratoga last week and is back to analyse the first day of racing this week at the New York track...
"The daughter of Midnight Lute looks a really smart sprinter in the making and connections are already talking of stepping her back up into the Graded stakes ranks after today's assignment"
Saratoga 22:05: Smash Ticket 1pt win at 10/3
Smash Ticket kept some good company as a juvenile last season when trained by Todd Pincher and has strong claims of taking this allowance optional claimer as she goes for the Rob Atras barn for the first time.
Runner-up on her debut at Lone Star in the mud last summer, she quickly improved on that effort when shipping to Del Mar in July, where she romped to a 5-lengths win, with a subsequent winner back in third place.
Connections were buoyed enough by that to pitch her straight into Grade 2 company for her next start, where she ran creditably in third behind a Bob Baffert filly who romped home on the day.
We then didn't see Smash Ticket until her comeback run at Lone Star at the end of May, where she was seriously impressive in taking an allowance contest by 11 lengths in a very fast time.
The daughter of Midnight Lute looks a really smart sprinter in the making and connections are already talking of stepping her back up into the Graded stakes ranks after today's assignment.
Red tape means that she has to make her debut for a different barn today but it's certainly no negative that's she's joined Rob Atras, who is a high-percentage operator on the New York circuit.
Of the opposition, Mischievous Diane may emerge as the biggest danger.
This is another lightly-raced filly who has been very much on the upgrade, and she was impressive in taking a Belmont allowance contest on her most recent, though whether she's quite as talented as Smash Ticket remains to be seen.
Stall 1 has the potential to prove a bit tricky for our selection, but I'm confident she can overcome that and book her ticket back into a higher grade.