OTB Race Previews
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Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 2 Bernard Baruch Handicap comes our way from Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York this Saturday, August 31. Horses three years old and upward will be after the winner's share of the $250,000 purse when they go 1 1/16 miles on Saratoga's turf track.
The Bernard Baruch has attracted a field of seven older entries for race 8 on Saratoga's Saturday card. Post time is 4:35 PM. Here is a brief look into the past performances of all seven combatants for this Grade 2 stakes.
Silver Max - won six straight between March and July of 2012 including the Grade 3 Transylvania Stakes, the Grade 2 American Turf Stakes in wire-to-wire fashion and the Grade 2 Virginia Derby - nobody could touch him! He hasn't been the same since the Virginia Derby however - he was a disappointing fifth as 2-1 favorite in the Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes in August at Arlington Park, ninth in the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf mile in October and was fifth in the Grade 3 Appleton Stakes at Gulfstream March 30 after five months away. But he bounced back in a big way with a win in the minor Opening Verse Stakes June 1 in gate-to-wire fashion by 9 1/2 lengths at Churchill Downs and last time out was another win by 5 3/4 lengths in the Grade 3 Oceanport Stakes at Monmouth July 28 after an OK third in the Grade 3 Cornhusker June 29. He has won two of his last three starts and looks good ahead of the Bernard Baruch. He makes his first ever start at Saratoga Saturday - from the outside post as the 9-5 morning line favorite.
Za Approval - raced in stakes company for the first time in the Grade 3 Canadian Turf Stakes February 23 and finished fourth but followed that with a very nice win in the Grade 3 Appleton Stakes at Gulfstream March 30 and another Grade 3 score - the Red Bank Stakes at Monmouth May 18. Last time out was another very good result - a second in the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile at Hollywood Park June 29. He has won three of his last five starts all this year for trainer Christophe Clement and enters the Bernard Baruch in terrific form. Za Approval is second choice on the morning line at 3-1 odds despite trying 1 1/8 miles for the first time and departs from post 6.
Tetradrachm - Bill Mott trained gelding is coming off a $100,000 Allowance Optional Claiming score by three lengths on this track August 3 in his first outing for his new trainer after a pair of seconds in Allowance races. His only stakes action came in January - an eighth in the Grade 3 Colonel Bradley Handicap at Fair Grounds. He has five wins, three seconds and a third place finish in 16 career starts and steps up in competition Saturday. He departs from post 5 with Javier Velazquez in the saddle at 7-2 odds.
Turallure - looked terrific in 2011 and won this race last year only to follow it with a win in the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile - the last time he tasted victory. He followed that with a pair of good seconds including the 2011 Breeders' Cup Mile. He took some time away but has failed to re-find his form since. He failed to place in five straight starts before a second last time out in an Allowance Optional Claiming July 24. He has shown terrific form in the past but is the 6-1 fourth choice. Julien Leparoux will be in the saddle from post 3.
Bernard Baruch Handicap betting at Saratoga Race Course with OffTrackBetting.com
So Long George - raced for the first time in stakes company in the Grade 3 Valedictory Stakes here in December and finished fifth but followed that with an Allowance Optional Claiming score. Last time out was his first ever stakes score - a terrific win in the Grade 2 Nijinsky Stakes at Woodbine July 21 after an OK fourth in the Grade 2 King Edward Stakes on this track June 23. He has won two of his last three starts and enters in his career-best form at 8-1 odds.
Paris Vegas - finished seventh in this race in 2011 but has struggled against top competition since. He has just two wins in two years - an Allowance Optional Claiming here last August and an Allowance at Pimlico in April. Rosie Napravnik will be in the reigns from the rail at 12-1 odds Saturday.
Willyconker - Irish trained gelding burst on to the scene last winter with a win in the Grade 1 Frank E. Kilroe after a second in the Grade 2 Arcadia but hasn't been the same since. His last three graded stakes races have resulted in a ninth at the Mervin H. Muniz in April 2012, a tenth in the Grade 2 Arcadia Stakes in February of this year and last time out August 10 in the Grade 2 Fourstardave on this track. He does have two Allowance Optional Claiming scores this year but has placed in just one of his last five starts overall. He is the longest shot in the field at 20-1 odds and starts from post 4 Saturday.
Race 8 on Saratoga Race Course's Saturday card with a Post Time of 4:38 PM.
|1||Paris Vegas||R. Napravnik||T. Voss|
|2||So Long George||E. Wilson||J. Charalambous|
|3||Turallure||J. Leparoux||C. LoPresti|
|4||Willyconker (IRE)||I. Ortiz, Jr.||E. Guillot|
|5||Tetradrachm||J. Velazquez||W. Mott|
|6||Za Approval||J. Bravo||C. Clement|
|7||Silver Max||R. Albarado||D. Romans|
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