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Today’s NY Hot List races to watch – SATURDAY, August 30, 2014 at Saratoga

By Bob Ehalt and Shawn Rychling

Hot List Key:

A: A preferred horse to watch                         B: Secondary horse to watch
*C: Went down 2 or more betting notches and finished 1st through 3rd
*D: Went down 2 or more betting notches and finished 4th or worse
* – 4 or more betting notches if 11-1 or more.

2nd race – (8) Evolution (A) was hard ridden while wide and in traffic last time and still got the lead late before fading to third. Moved forward nicely from the debut and will be ready to roll for third career attempt. (4) Two Weeks Off started slowly when brushing the gate in his first try and is eligible to improve. (1) Da Jenius ran evenly and just behind our second choice in what was also a career-debut for him.  Figures to benefit from the added distance. (6) Gold Shield goes out for Shug who is winning more often lately with his first-time starters and 7 furlongs seems like a good distance for this guy.

8th race – (6) Miss Behaviour (B) could not get to the front from wide post in the Test, but rated just outside and ran a strong second.  Shortens up off that effort and should be fit and will likely try to get the early lead where she has been tough to catch. (8) Princess Violet (B) has two wins and two seconds in short career and two defeats were to graded-stakes winners, including Untapable most recently. Probably needs to gun for the lead with our top pick to her inside, which may result in interesting speed duel. (5) Sweet Whiskey has been able to stalk and rate and that may be the best strategy in this race. (7) Tea Time has been able to sit just off some quick paced leaders – albeit less-talented foes – and come on to win. She will be flying under the radar here as well for the uber-competent and underrated Michael Matz.

10th race – (8) Clearly Now (C) is difficult to pick against here coming in off the track-record performance in the Belmont Sprint and bullet work a week ago. However, the 2-month layoff and first start at the Spa makes it close to a tossup with our second choice. (6) Palace (A) was uber-professional in winning the Vanderbilt with a career top figure and his two wins over this track are big positives compared to our top selection. (10) Confrontation (C) just keeps improving and is 3 for 3 at Saratoga as he goes out third off a layoff.  A big forward move and victory would not be a shock. (7) Falling Sky fits in best-of-the-rest category, but (9) Weekend Hideaway is on a form upswing and we’ll have both horses on the backend of our exotic tickets.

11th race – 61st running of THE WOODWARD, Grade I – (6) Zivo (C) has won six consecutive races and closed like a rocket to catch (4) Moreno in the Suburban.  This race is a furlong shorter, but he has been able to close at a mile distance as well, so the one loop around the Spa oval should not be an issue.  The problem will be hoping someone goes with Moreno and softens him up. (2) Itsmyluckyday – second in the Whitney – looks like the one to try as he adds blinkers for this one.  Rest assured, these jockeys won’t let Moreno get the easy lead he got in the Whitney so someone figures to be out there. But if not, Moreno could easily wire the field once again. In his victories, (8) Last Gunfighter (B) has sat back and come from off the pace, so he may be in the mix if there is a pace meltdown. (7)Norumbega (D) has done the same, but is more of a plodder and lacks the turn of foot to catch a horse like Moreno with only 9 furlongs to work with. He does add blinkers which may help him stay toward the front early. (1a) Romansh (D) has been a popular wiseguy pick of late and took a tumble on the toteboard just before the Whitney. He took a bump at the start of that race and then had to go 6-wide on the far turn so maybe he improves with a better trip.

Best bets: Miss Behaviour (8th); Clearly Now (10th); Best value: Evolution (2nd); Zivo (11th)

No. Name Letter/
last race
Today’s Race Comments
(12) Royal Squeeze B on 8/9 1 AE; Horrid trip hurt chances in last
(8) Evolution A on 8/2 2 Should fire his best in third start
(1) Readthebyline B on 7/25 3 Offers some value on class hike
(8) King Thief B on 8/6 4 Steps up off bad trip in debut
(4) Regulus D on 8/14 6 Showed some staying power last time
(12) Pretension C on 8/9 6 Speedster takes big class hike
(3) Hope Cross A on 7/25 7 Ran on well once clear last time
(14) Engaginglee A on 7/26 7 AE; needs 2 scratches to draw in
(6) Miss Behaviour B on 8/2 8 Much to like off game effort in the Test
(8) Princess Violet B on 6/28 8 Two defeats were to stakes winners
(1) Orient Harbor B on 8/9 9 Eligible to improve 2nd time vs. winners
(3) Gratitude A on 7/18 9 Needed last race off 2-month layoff
(11) Hot Squeeze A on 8/21 9 Much to like off two straight wins
(6) Palace A on 8/2 10 Professional win in last on career best
(8) Clearly Now C on 7/5 10 The one to catch off huge win
(10) Confrontation C on 8/8 10 Has 3 for 3 mark at Saratoga
(1a) Romansh D on 8/2 11 Compromised by horrid trip last time
(6) Zivo C on 7/5 11 Will be praying for early speed duel
(7) Norumbega D on 7/5 11 Is 2 for 2 lifetime at Saratoga
(8) Last Gunfighter B on 8/2 11 Has shown ability as a closer
(8) Iron Power B on 8/9 12 Strong 2nd despite stumble last start
(15) Classic Sense C on 7/28 12 MTO; unlikely to start


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