The Grade One, $250,000 Three Chimneys Hopeful Stakes is the Labor Day marquee race for 2-year-old thoroughbreds at Saratoga but the $125,000 Simcoe Stakes at Woodbine appears that it will be a better wagering race.
Boys At Tosconova is the 8-5 morning line favorite in the Hopeful Stakes and heads a field of seven. However, three of those horses, Nacho Saint, Chipshot and Printing Press had been cross-entered and competed in the Sapling Stakes (G3) at Monmouth Park on Saturday.
Boys At Tosconova looks tough in this spot and most likely I’ll pass on this race. But if the odds stay where they are or go higher on Stay Thirsty (4-1) and Settle For Medal (12-1) I may play a small win, place wager on them.
Report Card Time heads a field of 12 as the 3-1 morning line favorite in what appears to be a wide open field of the Simcoe Stakes.
Report Card Time comes into the race with a 5 ¼ -length gate-to-wire win in a 6-furlong turf sprint at Woodbine on August 14. His sire, Kafwain, is a son of Cherokee Run and offspring of that sire line do pretty good when stretching out to middle-distance races. Of his 2-year-old racers, Kafwain has eight winners in 11 starters for 38 percent.
Two long shots that I like in this race are Runaway Whiz (15-1) and Gangster Rap (9-2). Both horses are sons of Old Forester who has four winners in 13 of his 2-year-old starters for 31 percent.
In his last race, Runaway Whiz rallied nicely in the stretch to finish in third place. His Brisnet Speed Figure (86) is tied as the fastest among the other starters. Runaway Whiz adds blinkers and he is ranked second on the Brisnet Prime Power. That’s an angle I like to play – a long shot ranked in the top three prime power numbers.
Gangster Rap comes into the race with a narrow three-quarter length loss in his 5 ½ - furlong maiden debut on July 25. Terry Jordan, who is 28 percent for the meet, takes over as trainer and steps up Gangster Rap into stakes competition for his second start.
Gangster Rap is tied with Runaway Whiz with an 86 speed figure and he is ranked second in the Prime Power rankings.
Another long shot I like, probably for the bottom of the exotics, is the 20-1 Hippolytus who was blocked at the top of the stretch in his last race but still managed to finish second – beaten by only 1 ¾ lengths. His sire, Philanthropist, has two winners in 11 starters for 18 percent.