Saratoga: Exotic wagers to play in the H. Allen Jerkens
The H. Allen Jerkens (G1) might not be the biggest race taking place on Saturday at Saratoga, but the 7-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds has drawn the deepest and most competitive field.
Among the 11 entries are six stakes winners, including #6 No Parole (9-5), who is undefeated in five starts sprinting. The speedy Tom Amoss trainee was a particularly impressive winner of the 7-furlong Woody Stephens (G1) at Belmont Park, where he led all the way to score by 3 3/4 lengths.
But No Parole enjoyed a perfect trip in the Woody Stephens. He escaped with an uncontested lead, through modest fractions of :22.31 and :45.01. He had plenty of speed left for the run down the homestretch and sprinted the final 3 furlongs in :36.40.
There’s no guarantee No Parole will receive a similarly favorable setup in the H. Allen Jerkens. He’ll be facing 10 rivals instead of four, many of them talented speedsters in their own right, so the pace figures to be contested. And if the early tempo is quicker, then #4 Echo Town (9-2) and #7 Shoplifted (12-1) — who finished second and third in the Woody Stephens — will have an opportunity to turn the tables.
Echo Town and Shoplifted were the early trailers in the Woody Stephens, so the slow pace was detrimental to their chances. Echo Town managed to gain some ground down the homestretch, and Shoplifted unleashed an eye-catching move on the turn and flattened in the lane.
Both Echo Town and Shoplifted bring serious back class. Echo Town posted a 103 Brisnet Speed rating (the highest in the Jerkens field) when he finished second in the Bachelor S. at Oaklawn Park, while Shoplifted rallied to finish second in the 7-furlong Hopeful (G1) at Saratoga last summer.
I’m especially keen to back Shoplifted, since he rallied from farther behind Echo Town in the Woody Stephens and endured a much wider trip.
Shoplifted has trained sharply since. He blazed a bullet 5 furlongs in :59 3/5 July 20 at Saratoga, so this talented son of Into Mischief should deliver an improved run if he gets a fair pace to work with.
A win bet on Shoplifted at 12-1 is an obvious play, but I’m just as interesting in shooting for a huge score with exotic wagers. Let’s key Shoplifted in the exacta and trifecta, with Echo Town, No Parole, and the quirky American Pharoah (G1) winner #2 Eight Rings (8-1) in the remaining slots.
$12 to win on #7 Shoplifted
$2 exacta: 7 with 2,4,6 ($6)
$5 exacta: 2,4,6 with 7 ($15)
$0.50 trifecta: 7 with 2,4,6 with ALL ($13.50)
$0.50 trifecta: 2,4,6 with 7 with ALL ($13.50)