Saratoga continues to be a very tough place to play. I managed just 8 winners in week two after having 13 in week one but I had a heartbreaking 17 second place finishes. If even half of those could have been winners it would have been a much better week for me. Once again my second choices performed much better as they accounted for 16 wins. Had I focused on my second place picks as my primary wagers I'd be up to 31 winners at the meet. But it's not so easy to simply take your second place horses the reason you picked them second is because you think they're not as likely as your primary pick.
My use of the average composite speed rating which I'll now call the Kennedy Speed Rating (KSR) has helped me to get a bit of a clue in the tough claiming events. It has also helped put me on track to some nice wagers. I did not hit any of the 7 trifecta's that I played this past week but I missed several of them by just one placing. I'm definitely going to continue along the same vein this coming week. Just to give you a brief idea of what the KSR is it's simply a combination and average of each horses applicable speed figures. Beyer's, BRISnet Speed Figures and DRF Speed Ratings are used and compared against the field averages to come up with one number. That number is supposed to represent a certain horses speed relative to the rest of the field. If the number is 100.00 or greater I assume the horse is fast enough to win the race. Over this past week I've rated 39 races at Saratoga and 160 horses were apparently "fast enough". A win wager on those 160 horses would have made a $43.90 profit (+13.72%) .
With this angle in my corner I'm basically trying to pick from a basket of about 4 horses per race. I'm hoping that gives me a leg up on some winners. In those 39 races as well the 100+ horses have swept the trifecta 11 times and the exacta 18 times so that's kind of what I've been aiming at with my spot plays. The trick is that with a $50 per day average it's tough to get money down on all the trifecta possibilities on the card. I've been mostly trying to pick out the best ones but it hasn't quite landed for me yet.
Week 2 saw a bunch of nice performances by some of the biggest stars in the game. Fabulous Strike and Elusive Heat looked wonderful as did Bribon in his first turf race for many years. He had not been all that great on Turf during his limited exposure in the past but he sure liked it on the weekend. He earned a nice 103 Beyer for the score and it puts him right in the mix with the best milers out there.
Godolphin has been having a pretty fair meet after winning a G-1 with Seventh Street in the first week they took another G-1 with Flashing in the Test. Godolphin loves to win at Saratoga, keep a special eye out for the horses they have coming back from long layoffs. Girolamo was very impressive on Sunday and Pyro nearly got it done in the meets first stakes race.