The Grade II, $250,000 Bowling Green Stakes came up strong on a star-studded Saturday card at Saratoga. The Grade II Jim Dandy, Grade I Alfred G. Vanderbilt and Grade II Amsterdam are also part of the 11-race extravaganza, with the Bowling Green going off as Race 9. Post time for the 1 3/8-mile turf event is scheduled for 5:40 p.m. EST. We’ll focus primarily on the Bowling Green while discussing the other races in the FanXT Daily Fantasy Jockey game analysis!
#1 BIGGER PICTURE (7-2) is fresh off a course-record score in the Grade I United Nations at Monmouth Park. He shouldn’t mind the change in venue, as he already owns a win at Saratoga. Interestingly, that allowance win came over this 1 3/8-mile distance, which BIGGER PICTURE is 3-for-5 at. He could find himself on the lead breaking from the rail, as there’s little opposing early speed. Joe Bravo, who orchestrated BIGGER PICTURE’s perfect rail rally for the United Nations victory, returns to ride.
#2 FRANK CONVERSATION (6-1) is an interesting California invader. He’s run just twice this year, placing in a slow-paced allowance before finishing second in the Charles Whittingham to Ashleyluvssugar. He stands to benefit from the increase in distance under Mario Gutierrez, who ships in to ride.
#7 ASCEND (8-5, morning-line favorite) returns after surprising in the Grade I Manhattan Handicap on Belmont Stakes day. That race did not come back particularly fast and he’ll be asked to go an extra furlong today, so there’s reason for skepticism. However, Jose Ortiz sees fit to stay aboard ASCEND, who’s hit the exacta twice in four tries over this course.
#4 SADLER’S JOY (3-1) has regressed since winning the 1 1/2-mile Pan American three starts ago but merits consideration here. He’ll be stretching out to a more appropriate distance for his staying ability and lures Javier Castellano. He should also get a firm course to work with, which he seems to prefer.
The play: $1 trifecta 1,2/1,2,4,7/1,2,4,7, $2 exacta box 1/2 ($16)
DFJ analysis: Jose Ortiz has 10 mounts on Saturday, all of which are single-digit odds on the morning-line. His stakes mounts include Mo Cash (the Amsterdam), Limousine Liberal (the Vanderbilt) and ASCEND. Pay the big fee for Saratoga’s defending champion jockey.
Joe Bravo has just two mounts but is an appealing option to round out the stable with. Both starts are stakes opportunities; A.P. Indian in the Vanderbilt and BIGGER PICTURE in the Bowling Green.
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