PODCAST: We Welcome Maggie Wolfendale

Horse Racing Radar
Rich Bieglmeier
Rich Bieglmeier is a Staff writer for Horse Racing Radar
Friday, July 30, 2021
Fox Sports and NYRA Paddock Analyst and host Maggie Wolfendale joins The Player's Edge Podcast to fill us in on all things Saratoga. She shares her picks and analysis for the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap, the Bowling Green Stakes and if Essential Quality can be beat in the Jim Dandy Stakes.

Maggie also shares a few secrets on how to pick sprinters and what the legs say about turf races. She also lets us in on some Saratoga insights, straight form the track.

If you plan on playing Saratoga on Jim Dandy Saturday, you better listen.

Make sure you follow Maggie on Twitter:




Terry "Hollywood" Hay's Handicap

Race 8 - Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap

Race Scenario: Strike Power, Special Reserve and Firenze Fire will go for the lead. Mischevious Alex will stay close to the leaders and close in the stretch. Whitmore either will close from mid-pack or deep and win the race.

#6 – Whitmore is an elder competing against horses half his age but has competed against the best of the best recently and has not embarrassed himself. He is a Grade 1 winner and during his career has finished 78% of the time in the money, winning 33% of his starts – Today's distance is right in his wheelhouse where he has finished in the money in 24 out of 26 starts winning 50% of those races.

#2 -Mischevious Alex is two wins out of two starts at today's distance. He has the best dirt Speed among today's starters, earning the highest Beyer number. He ran third in his last race at a mile but shortens up for today's contest which is the distance he relishes.

#9 – Special Reserve has won two races in a row and is going for a hat trick. He has the highest last race speed rating among the starters and his early speed running style helps chances.

#3 -Firenze Fire is another older horse competing in the race but is in top form and is cutting back to 6 furlongs where he has won 54% of his starts. He has Jose Ortiz in the irons who has been hot in last 7 days (37 10-7-5).

Race 9 – Jim Dandy Stakes

Race Scenario: Weyburn and Dr Jack will go for the lead. Masqueparade will stay close to the leaders and close in the stretch. Essential Quality and Keepmeinmind will close from deep and Essential Quality will win the race.

#5 – Essential Quality is near perfect only losing the Kentucky Derby. The derby is a stampede and caused him plenty of excuses as he was bumped at the start and came wide into the stretch – There is plenty of speed in the race which I think will set it up for his running style of coming from behind.

#7 – Masqueparade has won two races in a row and is three for five in his short career. He has a fast workout on 23Jly at Saratoga 4f ft - 47:2 B 3/87

#4 – Keepmeinmind will be closing from deep to catch any leaders. He has several bullet workouts in preparation for this race.

Race 10 – Bowling Green Stakes

Race Scenario: Channel Maker will go to the lead. Channel Cat and Cross Border will stay close to the leader and close in the stretch. Moon Over Miami and Shamrocket will close from a little deeper. I think Moon Over Miami will win.

#7 – Moon Over Miami just missed in the Grade 1 Manowar and will make amends in the Grade 2 Bowling Green. He has the highest last race speed rating in the race.

#2 – Cross Border likes the distance winning 100% of his starts at today's distance. He loves Saratoga winning five out of six starts. He has a good Trainer/Jockey combination of Michael Maker and Luis Saez.

#8 –Pletcher Todd brings Shamrocket to the race with Irad Ortiz, Jr. in the irons. Shamrocket is having a good year finishing in the money five out of six races.

#5 – Channel Maker is back from the middle east where he will try and resume his front running style winning ways. He has the best turf speed among today's starters.

Play: $.50 Pick 4-Cost: $72.00

·         Race 8: 2, 3, 6, 9

·         Race 9: 5

·         Race 10: 2, 5, 7, 12

·         Race 11: 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 12

Race 9: $10.00 Exacta 5 with, 4, 7- Cost: $20.00

Race 9: $4.00 Exacta 4. 7 with, 5- Cost: $8.00

Swiss Army Shawn's Selections

Race 8 - Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap

RACE SUMMARY: A bunch of speed in here as I could see over half the field trying for the lead here. That could favor Whitmore who will be coming late but at Saratoga on the dirt you want to be close to the lead from the beginning.

#9 Special Reserve- Might be the speed of the speed out of the gate. He has won 4 of his last 5 races with the other being a second. You'll get value here too as this horse will be the 3rd or 4th choice. He has raced all over and been competitive everywhere. He is 5 for 11 at the distance.

#6 Whitmore- This has definitely not been his best year, but he is always there at the end and will get plenty of pace to run at here. Loves this distance winning 13 of his 15 career wins from this distance. He also has a win at Saratoga in the past.

#2 Mischevious Alex- Another horse with plenty of speed that I think will at least hang on to be in the exotics. Last race stretched out to a mile now cutting back to 6 furlongs where he is 2-2. That angle is also 26% percent for trainer Saffie Joseph Jr.

$20 win #9
$5 EX 2,3,9/6
$2 PK3 6,9/5/1,2,6

Race 9 – Jim Dandy Stakes

RACE SUMMARY: The 3 inside horses are speed here and I would expect #3 Weyburn to get it out of the gate. #4 Keepmeinmind will be last out of the gate and will look to close. The #2 Essential Quality can run any which way here.

#5 Essential Quality- Outclasses this field by far. Only career loss was the Kentucky Derby. Can run any trip he wants probably sits behind two of the inside horses and should win pretty easily. This is a prep for the Travers.

#3 Weyburn- His early speed should really help him here in a short field and at a speed friendly track. First time Irad Ortiz Jr. will be aboard.

#2 Masqueparade- WIll be close to the pace from the get-go. He loves the distance and goes for three in a row at this distance.

$10 ex 5/3
$5 tri 5/2,3/2,3

Race 10 – Bowling Green Stakes

RACE SUMMARY: Not much speed in this race at all. Looks like either the #1 Channel Cat or #5 Channel Maker gets the lead when they open the gates. A bunch of horses will be coming late but might not get enough pace to run at.

#1 Channel Cat- Won this race 2 years ago. Should be able to get a nice trip from the rail. I would expect him to be the early leader. Has won at Saratoga and won 2 of 4 at the distance.

#6 Red Knight- Has been in the exacta 16 of 25 career races. Has a win in 2 starts at Saratoga. Has finished second in 3 of 4 races at this distance. I like the addition of blinkers for the first time. Maybe he can be closer to the pace and close from there at a good price. Gets Tyler Gaffaloine for the first time as well.

#5 Channel Maker- You just wonder how much the trip out of the US and the layoff will affect him. Workouts since aren't all that great. If he runs like he did his last 3 races in the US he has a very good shot to win.

$24 win #1
$3 ex 1 /2,5,6

22 to 1 Tom's Tips

Race 8 - Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap

Strike Power and Special Reserve on the lead Mischevious Alex settling in nicely and Firenze Fire, Miles Ahead, Lexitonian, Montauk Traffic settling in with cover and the trailers are Whitmore and Three Technique. The first to move up is Mischievous Alex followed by Firenze Fire and Lexitonian with Whitmore getting under way a bit later. With the very fast pace, the closers are ready to pounce with Special Reserve trying to hang on.

2 – Mischevious Alex – he has the tackle speed to go onto the front at the first quarter of the race or get cover and make a move midway through the race. I don't really know if he is a miler or wants less ground to cover but his record at 6 furlongs is 2 for 2 wins. He continues to run against the best and I strong feel this is the right spot for his Saratoga win.

9 – Special Reserve – good speed (to say the least) and a good race to add bute at Prairie Meadows last time out. He's a fighter to the end. Now place him against some of the best 6-furlong horses and see if he can hold on. I think he can get a placing in this race.

6 – Whitmore – the Breeder's Cup sprint champion hasn't won this year. I think 7 furlongs is not his distance anymore but at 6 furlongs, he's has 26 starts 13 wins 9 seconds and 2 thirds. Wow. Thankfully for him, CZ Rocket is running at Del Mar right now. Ricardo Santana Jr. has 3 rides on the horse and he just missed (at 7 furlongs) at Churchill last time out. He's one of my favorites to watch run but I do pick against him (at times).

Race 9 – Jim Dandy Stakes

They don't call Saratoga the graveyard of favorites for nothing because Jim Dandy won over the overwhelming favorite and triple crown winner Gallant Fox in 1930 at the odds of 100-1. And this race is named in his honor. We have a worthy field with their prep race for the Travers. Who will lead, Essential Quality, Dr Jack, Weyburn or Masqueparade. Who sits and waits, Keepmeinmind and Risking Taking. Who wins?

2 – Masqueparade – I dismissed him in the Ohio Derby, and he beat my choice in the race. He wins at Fairgrounds in a maiden race via a disqualification. Ok so he really isn't a winner yet except by the stewards. Then he blows away a field a Churchill in at Optional Claimer. In the Ohio Derby, he's the favorite off that race and beats some pretty good horses. Not top on their 3-year-old class (not yet) but a good field. Now off a work at Saratoga of :47.2 breezing he goes to the big time. Another giant killer?

3 – Weyburn – ran his eyeballs out in the race at Monmouth vs the placed first Haskell winner. Was a giant killer in his own right winning the Gotham at 47-1? He will stay in contact with the front runners and will be finishing. Remember the James Jerkens father, Allen Jerkens, beat Secretariat with Onion at Saratoga in the Whitney. Is there a chance history repeats itself? Because we have a huge favorite in this race.

5 - Essential Quality – has only one, sort of, average race in the Kentucky Derby. Otherwise, he has a record of no defeats. Last time out, he again did what he had to do to win beating the very game Hot Rod Charlie. The time off will only help him here to win again but this is Saratoga.

Race 10 – Bowling Green Stakes

It's a nice field and I think the best race of the day. Channel Maker is your leader with Rockemperor trying to keep up. The rest of the field is jockeying for their best running position in this three-turn race. Who will win?

3 – Breakpoint – a Chilian import for Chad Brown that finished fourth his first start in the States. He broke slowly and was wide on the turn. He just wanted to add more distance? The owner/breeder Don Alberto has place other top horses with Chad Brown like Arlington Million winner Robert Bruce. If he's the real deal, he wins.

7 – Moon Over Miami – a dead closers will be 10 to 12 lengths behind the front runner. Like last time, he will be flying at the end. He lost to Channel Cat and Gufo last time. Pretty good run I would say. He gets a piece.

5 – Channel Maker – will be the front runner. He's been beaten by some of the best in Europe and in the States but always seems to be around at the end. If the rest of the field is out of gas, he can place. My only question is with the layoff and racing in the Middle East, will he need a race.

Rich's Ranks

Race 8 - Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap

#2 – Mischevious Alex 2-1

#6 – Whitmore 4-1

#3 – Firenze Fire 3-1

#5 – Three Technique 15-1

Race 9 - Jim Dandy Stakes

#5 – Essential Quality 1/2

#2 – Masqueparade 4-1

#3 – Weyburn 6-1

#4 – Keepmeinmind 6-1

Race 10 - Bowling Green Stakes

#2 – Cross Border 9/2

#1 – Channel Cat 5-1

#7 – Moon Over Miami 7/2

#5 – Channel Maker 5/2

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