Saratoga Thursday: Most Hated Favorite Dakota Gold Returns

By | July 20, 2022

One of the most infamous horses makes his Saratoga debut. Dakota Gold is the heavy favorite at 4-5 in the Rick Violette Stakes.

Breeders’ Cup 2021

Horse racing fans need no reminder of the Friday finale at the 2021 Breeders’ Cup. As the horses were going into the gate #2 Albahr reared and tossed the jockey. As the animal got trapped under the starting gate, the alert gate crew allowed #1 Modern Games to escape through the front as #3 Dakota Gold was backed out to avoid exposing them to injury.

All three of the inside runners were fancied on the tote. Roughly 5 minutes later it was announced that Modern Games would also be scratched. Many thought perhaps because he had been kicked by the #2 or because he had broken through the gate. Regardless the two favorites were out. All bettors who had used the #1 and #2 in pick bets (pick 4, pick 5) were moved to post time favorite #3 Dakota Gold.

Second Life

Rumblings started to come through as they got the horses ready for the reload that a mistake had been made. The original distinction that #1 Modern Games should be scratched was incorrect.

However, in the interest of betting integrity the rules state that when a horse is incorrectly scratched he or she can only run for purse money and are not eligible for the pari-mutuel wagering public.

Modern Games would run, but his backers would still be stuck with the backup Dakota Gold

A Bad Beat

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf | Video Credit: NBC Sports

Getting scratched to the post time favorite is a fairly regular occurrence in horse racing. There is no shortage of stories of bettors who ended up on horse they didn’t like because of scratch.

This beat stung a little more though.

In the race Dakota Gold ran an even 5th. Meanwhile #1 Modern Games romped by open lengths. You’ll forgive horseplayers who have just a little trouble digesting short prices on Dakota Gold after such an experience.

Thursday Full Card Analysis

Saratoga- Race 1

Post: 1:05 PM ET; $105k Maiden Special Weight going 6 furlongs on dirt; Entries: 6

  • #1 DRINK THE WIND (3-1) gets the top selection. He may get the absolute dream flow of the race in this spot. This one has the perfect run style for this type of race and may just get the perfect trip here.
  • #5 CITIZEN MACK (10-1) should be competitive in this spot. He is one that could get a nice setup at a price.
  • #6 UP TO THE MARK (6-5) is probably best to put underneath on most tickets. He has to be respected going out for the combination of Pletcher and Ortiz.
  • #4 BE THERE (30-1) seems like the top that is running for the minor placings, but could get up for a piece to sweeten the payouts.

Selections: 1 – 5 – 6 – 4

Saratoga- Race 2

Post: 1:39 PM ET; $75k Starter Handicap going 1 1/8 miles on dirt; Entries: 6

  • #5 PERCEIVED (2-1) gets the top selection. He may get the absolute dream flow of the race in this spot.
  • #6 PALACE COUP (7-2) appears to be a major player in this race. He should be in the right spot to be in with a chance late. The dirt played well to this type of runner last weekend.
  • #4 NO BURN (3-1) feels like a fringe contender in this spot. He has races good enough to beat this group. This one has proven to be able to handle these conditions in previous starts.
  • #1 GRUMPS LITTLE TOTS (7-2) feels like a fringe contender in this spot. He is a hard knocking horse who has a history of running his best efforts race after race.

Selections: 5 – 6 – 4 – 1

Saratoga- Race 3

Post: 2:15 PM ET; $55k Claiming going 1 1/16 miles on turf; Entries: 9

  • #5 ICARUS (2-1) gets the top selection. He has races good enough to beat this group. This one has the perfect run style for this type of race and may just get the perfect trip here.
  • #6 ST. JOE LOUIS (8-5) should be competitive in this spot. He has to be respected going out for the combination of Brown and Ortiz. This one has speed figures to be a major player.
  • #7 AL’S PRINCE (6-1) should be competitive in this spot. He should be in the right spot to be in with a chance late. This one has proven to be able to handle these conditions in previous starts.
  • #1 I AM THE LAW (10-1) should be competitive in this spot. He goes out for Terranova and Rosario. On the turf that never hurts.

Selections: 5 – 6 – 7 – 1

Saratoga- Race 4

Post: 2:49 PM ET; $83k Maiden Special Weight going 5 1/2 furlongs on dirt; Entries: 8

  • #6 CLEAR THE DECK (9-2) gets the top selection. He has races good enough to beat this group. This one could get the right setup in this race.
  • #1 RUN POPPY (5-2) appears to be a major player in this race. He has some of the top speed numbers in this lightly raced crew. This one has been really solid in recent starts and should be ready to run a big one here.
  • #2 SMART PRIZE (7-2) should be competitive in this spot. It would be somewhat surprising not to see this one in with at least a chance in the final stages.
  • #4 KBCYA LATER (10-1) seems like the top that is running for the minor placings. His path to the payouts will be in the trip he works out.

Selections: 6 – 1 – 2 – 4

Saratoga- Race 5

Post: 3:21 PM ET; $36k Claiming going 6 furlongs on dirt; Entries: 8

  • #4 GREATEST LOVE (3-2) gets the top selection. She seems to fit well enough here.
  • #5 DOMINEER (8-1) appears to be a major player in this race. She looks to be the class of the field.
  • #7 GUNS BLAZING (6-1) appears to be a major player in this race. She has races good enough to beat this group.
  • #6 SONG OF HONOR (8-1) should be competitive in this spot. She could get the right setup in this race.

Selections: 4 – 5 – 7 – 6

Saratoga- Race 6

Post: 3:55 PM ET; $83k Maiden Special Weight going 5 1/2 furlongs on dirt; Entries: 8

  • #8 JEREMY’S JET (8-1) gets the top selection. He looks to be the class of the field. This one has the perfect run style for this type of race and may just get the run of the race.
  • #7 THREE ZERO (6-1) should be competitive in this spot. He seems to fit well enough in this race. This one has been really solid in recent starts and should be ready to run a big one here.
  • #2 EE YAH (9-2) is probably best to put underneath on most tickets. He has proven to be able to handle these conditions in previous starts. This one has to be respected going out for the combination of Lucas and Ortiz.
  • #1 NOBLE CONNECTION (10-1) is probably best to put underneath on most tickets, but could put in a run worthy of a winning performance.

Selections: 8 – 7 – 2 – 1

Saratoga- Race 7

Post: 4:29 PM ET; $125k Allowance Optional Claiming going 5 1/2 furlongs on turf; Entries: 7

  • #6 BIG PACKAGE (3-1) gets the top selection. He seems to fit well enough here. This one may get the absolute dream flow of the race in this spot.
  • #2 PRINCIPLED STAND (5-2) appears to be a major player in this race. He should be in the right spot to be in with a chance late. This one makes sense on speed figures.
  • #3 MAXWELL ESQUIRE (5-1) should be competitive in this spot. He should be in the right spot turning for home.
  • #5 ARTEMUS CITYLIMITS (7-2) feels like a fringe contender in this spot. He has the top overall power rating in the group. The speed figures put this one in the mix.

Selections: 6 – 2 – 3 – 5

Saratoga- Race 8

Post: 5:05 PM ET; $95k Allowance going 1 1/8 miles on dirt; Entries: 7

  • #3 CARAGATE (2-1) gets the top selection. She may get the absolute dream flow of the race in this spot.
  • #2 CAPTAINSDAUGHTER (7-2) appears to be a major player in this race. She has been really solid in recent starts and should be ready to run a big one here. This one should be in the right spot to be in with a chance late.
  • #6 REIGNING CHICK (6-1) could be in with a shot in this race. The pace will need to setup just right, but there’s reason to believe that could happen in this spot.
  • #7 MIA BEA STAR (8-1) could be in with a shot in this race. She has the perfect run style for this type of race and may just get the perfect trip here. This one looks to be the class of the field.

Selections: 3 – 2 – 6 – 7

Saratoga- Race 9

Post: 5:39 PM ET; $125k Rick Violette Stakes going 1 1/16 miles on turf; Entries: 8

Dakota Gold wins at Belmont as a prep for Saratoga
Dakota Gold | Photo Credit Tropical Racing
  • #4 DAKOTA GOLD (4-5) gets the top selection. He has to be respected going out for the combination of Gargan and Ortiz. This one has the top overall power rating in the group.
  • #3 COINAGE (5-2) isn’t without hope. He seems to fit well enough here.
  • #7 PRACTICE SQUAD (9-2) is probably best to put underneath on most tickets. He looks to be the class of the field. This one should be in the right spot to be in with a chance late.
  • #5 TIMBUKTU (8-1) seems like the top that is running for the minor placings. He has proven to be able to handle these conditions in previous starts.

Selections: 4 – 3 – 7 – 5

Saratoga- Race 10

Post: 6:13 PM ET; $105k Maiden Special Weight going 5 1/2 furlongs on turf; Entries: 11

  • #4 SHACKLED BY LUST (12-1) gets the top selection. She makes sense on speed figures. This one has the perfect run style for this type of race and may just get the perfect trip here.
  • #2 SUGAR MAMAS CAKERY (8-1) appears to be a major player in this race. She has proven to be able to handle these conditions in previous starts.
  • #1 TELL ME WHEN (10-1) should be competitive in this spot. The run style makes this one a player here. This one has races good enough to beat this group.
  • #3 FACTOR THAT (8-1) should be competitive in this spot. She may get the absolute dream flow of the race in this spot. This one has already hit the board under these conditions and is worth a long look at a good price.

Selections: 4 – 2 – 1 – 3

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