Saratoga 7/27: Grade 2 Honorable Miss Features Small, Talented Field

By | July 26, 2022

The Grade 2 Honorable Miss at Saratoga drew only 4 runners. However, like many of the short fields at Saratoga this summer, the field does not lack quality.

The Debate About Field Size

Field size is an important part of the betting product. In a parimutuel market, more betting interests means more ways for the money to be spread around. This in turn leads to fewer odds on favorites and better value on winning tickets. The more options people have, the more they will be wrong.

Exception to the Rule

Field size definitely needs to be addressed by the sport. Too many 7 horse fields cheapen the betting product and diminish opportunity. However, when it comes to stakes races there is a little less concern.

Stakes are supposed to feature the best of the best. It isn’t about how many horses enter, but which one’s enter. In the superstar divisions it is less important to have meaningless filler and more vital that the elite runners get a chance to showcase their talent.

Shuvee

Last weekend’s Shuvee stakes from Saratoga featured Malathaat and Clairiere in an excellent showdown. Crazy Beautiful, a very talented horse, put up a fight but was no match. In the end fans were treated to the two best horses fighting it out to the wire.

Honorable Miss

The Wednesday feature followed in the footsteps of the Shuvee just drawing a field of 4 runners. Nevertheless, the field is loaded with quality in Kimari, Frank’s Rockette, and Bella Sofia. Only Amadevil seems like a rank outsider.

Saratoga’s Response

The New York Racing Association has responded in kind. While they would likely prefer a bigger field, they have over the past two weeks, simply moved the marquee event to the early pick 5 sequence leaving the popular late pick wagers with plenty of betting choices.

Honorable Miss Full Card Analysis

Saratoga- Race 1

Post: 1:05 PM ET; $70k Allowance going 2 1/16 miles on hurdle; Entries: 9

  • #1 ANCIENT TIMES (4-1) gets the top selection. He has races good enough to beat this group.
  • #3 BEE MAJOR (6-1) appears to be a major player in this race. He has to be respected going out for the combination of Young and Beswick.
  • #2 PROVEN INNOCENT (5-1) is in with a shot here. He goes out for the Fisher barn and gets Bargary in the irons. This one has races to be a player here.
  • #7 STATE OF AFFAIR (5-1) feels like a fringe contender in this spot. This one has the top overall power rating in the group.

Selections: 1 – 3 – 2 – 7

Saratoga- Race 2

Post: 1:39 PM ET; $32k Claiming going 6 furlongs on dirt; Entries: 6

  • #6 BIG TONY’S GIRL (5-1) gets the top selection. She shouldn’t have trouble with the 6 furlong distance. This one has the perfect run style for this type of race and may just get the perfect trip here.
  • #3 BASTET (8-1) should be competitive in this spot. She may be able to benefit from the setup in this race. This one makes sense on speed figures.
  • #1 KNOT ANYMORE (1-1) could be in with a shot in this race. She goes out for the Russell barn and gets Franco in the irons. Manny has been extremely good on his mounts since the Belmont Park meet.
  • #5 BELLS ON HER TOES (3-1) isn’t without hope. She has been really solid in recent starts and should be ready to run a big one here. This one has to be respected going out for the combination of Baker and Davis.

Selections: 6 – 3 – 1 – 5

Saratoga- Race 3

Post: 2:13 PM ET; $88k Maiden Special Weight going 5 1/2 furlongs on turf; Entries: 8

  • #2 DISARMED (8-5) gets the top selection. He has to be respected going out for Christophe Clement. Joel Rosario gets the leg up here and on turf that’s worth a lot.
  • #6 WEYHILL FARM RD. (7-2) appears to be a major player in this race. He has races good enough to beat this group. This one has been really solid in recent starts and should be ready to run a big one here.
  • #8 SHORTSINTHEWINTER (5-1) could be in with a shot in this race. His previous effort should provide a good foundation to improve in the second start.
  • #1 TWENTY SIX BLACK (4-1) could be in with a shot in this race. He is well bred for this spot.

Selections: 2 – 6 – 8 – 1

Saratoga- Race 4

Post: 2:49 PM ET; $200k Honorable Miss H. going 6 furlongs on dirt; Entries: 4

Bella Sofia wins the test at Saratoga
Bella Sofia | Coglianese Photo
  • #2 BELLA SOFIA (1-2) gets the top selection. She has the perfect run style for this type of race and shouldn’t have trouble finding the path to the wire.
  • #4 KIMARI (4-1) appears to be a major player in this race. She will look to be involved from the start and could try to sneak away.
  • #1 FRANK’S ROCKETTE (2-1) should be competitive in this spot. This one seems to fit well enough here. She gets a weight break on the top 2 picks.
  • #3 AMADEVIL (12-1) is probably best to put underneath on most tickets. She seems like a cut below.

Selections: 2 – 4 – 1 – 3

Saratoga- Race 5

Post: 3:21 PM ET; $115k Allowance going 1 1/2 miles on turf; Entries: 7

  • #5 DANTE’S FIRE (5-1) gets the top selection. He has proven to be able to handle these conditions in previous starts. This one has races good enough to beat this group.
  • #2 FORWARDLY (5-2) appears to be a major player in this race. He has to be respected going out for the combination of Brown and Prat. This one should be in the right spot to be in with a chance late.
  • #3 JARREAU (7-2) should be competitive in this spot. He has to be respected going out for the combination of Maker and Ortiz. This one has been really solid in recent starts and should be ready to run a big one here.
  • #7 HOMETOWN (6-5) is probably best to put underneath on most tickets. He shouldn’t have trouble with the 1 1/2 mile distance. This one comes into the race in really good form.

Selections: 5 – 2 – 3 – 7

Saratoga- Race 6

Post: 3:55 PM ET; $88k Maiden Special Weight going 6 furlongs on dirt; Entries: 13

  • #1 GAMBLING GIRL (7-2) gets the top selection. She has been really solid in recent starts and should be ready to run a big one in this spot.
  • #2 RECOGNIZE (9-2) appears to be a major player in this race. She has proven to be able to handle these conditions in previous starts. This one should be in the right spot to be in with a chance late.
  • #4 DANSEUR D’ORO (4-1) feels like a fringe contender in this spot. She has the pedigree to be a major player in this spot. This one has races good enough to beat this group.
  • #5 SILVER SKILLET (6-1) is probably best to put underneath on most tickets. She has to be respected going out for the combination of Clement and Rosario.

Selections: 1 – 2 – 4 – 5

Saratoga- Race 7

Post: 4:29 PM ET; $72k Claiming going 1 1/16 miles on turf; Entries: 6

  • #1 HATARI (9-5) gets the top selection. She has recent form to suggest she’s the right favorite in this spot. This one seems to fit really well here.
  • #3 VINTAGE GIRL (9-2) appears to be a major player in this race. She looks to be the class of the field.
  • #2 SPOOKY ROAD (6-1) should be competitive in this spot. She makes sense on speed figures.
  • #5 MIRTH ‘N MERRIMENT (2-1) could be in with a shot in this race. She has the top overall power rating in the group.

Selections: 1 – 3 – 2 – 5

Saratoga- Race 8

Post: 5:05 PM ET; $35k Claiming going 6 furlongs on dirt; Entries: 9

  • #8 O’GOTTEN GIRL (1-1) gets the top selection. She has races that would make her an easy winner here. This one looks to be the class of the field.
  • #5 PREPOSTEROUS (4-1) is probably the next likeliest winner. She shouldn’t have trouble with the 6 furlong distance. She will have to step forward to beat the top selection
  • #7 ANOTHERWORLDINSIDE (8-1) seems to be running for the minor placings in this contest. She should be in the mix turning for home.
  • #3 LADY YELLEN (10-1) is a longshot with a chance to outrun the odds here. She has to be respected going out for the combination of Rice and Ortiz.

Selections: 8 – 5 – 7 – 3

Saratoga- Race 9

Post: 5:39 PM ET; $125k Allowance Optional Claiming going 1 mile on turf; Entries: 9

  • #1 HIGH OPINION (7-5) gets the top selection. She has been running against really tough competition lately and should be well prepared here.
  • #5 MESSIDOR (2-1) appears to be a major player in this race. She has to be respected going out for the combination of Clement and Castellano.
  • #7 EVVIE JETS (6-1) isn’t without hope. She comes into the race having run some really great races against some quality horses.
  • #4 AMALFI PRINCESS (4-1) has a shot in this spot. She has to be respected going out for the combination of Maker and Saez. The Maker barn is starting to heat up. This one makes sense on speed figures.

Selections: 1 – 5 – 7 – 4

Saratoga- Race 10

Post: 6:13 PM ET; $105k Maiden Special Weight going 6 furlongs on dirt; Entries: 11

  • #11 AQUILA MOON (5-1) gets the top selection. On paper she looks the best of the experienced runners. She should benefit from the experience.
  • #2 ADAM’S ANGEL (7-2) could be in with a shot in this race. She makes sense on speed figures. This one goes out for the Mcgaughey barn and gets Saez in the irons. Mcgaughey typically brings horses along slowly so this one is likely to improve in start number 2.
  • #4 COURSE RUNNER (6-1) feels like a fringe contender in this spot. She is well bred for this spot. This one has been really solid in recent starts and should be ready to run a big one here.
  • #7 GLITTER UP (10-1) isn’t without hope. She has the pedigree to be a major player in this spot. She is the most experience runner in the field with 4 starts.

Selections: 11- 2 – 4 – 7

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