Saratoga Picks & Betting Analysis for September 3
Saratoga Race Course hurtles towards its final 4 days of celebrated racing. As we handicap and offer our selections, there will be some excellent races headed your way on the Main Track, and over the Inner and Mellon Turf Courses.
A reminder ... at HorseRacing.net/us, we will be with you every step of the way, as Labor Day, Monday September 6th marks Closing Day! Today, we find ourselves in the midst of a 10-race card that is sure to bring some major value at the betting windows. Have a look at all of our selections, and targeted analysis by our resident turf-man, J.N. Campbell.
If you're looking for picks elsewhere around the country this Friday be sure to check out our free Horse Racing Picks via the gold button below.
Race 7: Turf, 1 Mile, AOC80k, 3+
At this point in The SPA Meet, we should have a handle on just who has run well in these OC80k events. Only a pair of these Thoroughbreds entered here are vets of these types of races (either on the dirt/turf) at Belmont and Saratoga, and those nods go to Mike Maker’s Chocolate Bar #1 and David Donk’s Winning Factor #3. Out of these, I much prefer Maker’s runner because the son of Cairo Prince has really not had much of an opportunity to run on the grass recently. Consistently in-the-money for Michael Dubb and Co., I think we can expect Ricardo Santana to give him a good trip. As for Donk’s well-bred entry out of The Factor, he might enjoy the experience of a turf cutback, after previously competing in much longer races.
Considering these 2 is an excellent idea, but I also have to mention Christophe Clement’s Voodoo Zip #4 and Chad Brown’s Principled Stand #5. The former is out of City Zip for West Point Thoroughbreds, and Terry Finely makes some fine choices when it comes to picking investments for his clients. When an excellent conditioner like Clement, and a superlative jockey like Joel Rosario get together, they can be quite a juggernaut. Just look at those gaudy numbers when they pair up! Coming to Saratoga for the 1st time, I would expect this to be a fairly nice outing. When it comes to taking money, Brown’s colt out of Kingman (GB) will be near the top of the tote. It’s the triumvirate of Brown, Irad Ortiz, and Klaravich … need we say more? Lightly raced, this 4-yr-old is ratcheting up the class ladder, and that will make him exceedingly dangerous. If he remains around 9/2, that might be too good a price to pass up.
Wagering Recommendation: $25/$50 WP #5
Race 8: Dirt, 7F, ALLW90k, 3+ NY Breds
New York’s finest Thoroughbreds are set to have a go in what amounts to a short route … 1-turn for all the ALLW marbles. The money wagered on this race will most assuredly flow towards Gold Panda #1. The Baker Barn enjoyed seeing this one pull away late in a MSW85k contest at The SPA back on 19 August. If the gelding out of Goldencents can put up those kinds of speed figs again, then this competition may well be over in the first couple of furlongs with Joel Rosario up once again.
He might be “up” but I am not, especially when it comes to this one’s 5/2 price. Instead, let’s back a runner like Philip Bauer’s Luna’s in Charge #5. Not only is this gelding out of Take Charge Indy, but he has the look of one that is always on the verge of a breakout. I know his record is not particularly impressive … 1 win in 17 tries. Let’s not forget that his conditioner has put together a nice Meet at The SPA for himself. Once again, he employs Tyler Gaffalione, and his riding continues to be impressive. This one is a bet!
Wagering Recommendation: $2 Exacta Box, 1/5
Race 9: Turf, Lucky Coin S. $120k, 4+
The anchor to the Friday program is this race … the Lucky Coin. When it comes to a favorite, deserving or otherwise, then that will probably fall to Wesley Ward’s Maven #8. The gelding out of American Pharoah is back on the turf contours after running last time in the very difficult King’s Stand (G1) at Royal Ascot. Americans supported the Ward contingent, but the Kentucky-based trainer did not have the overall success he has enjoyed in years past. With John Velazquez making the trip, he was 11th out of 16 in the end. I always think that coming back to the states from running overseas is a very difficult ask ... Thoroughbred jetlag, perhaps? For that reason alone, I am going to spurn this Ward burner, and look to Christophe Clement’s Maxwell Esquire #5. The colt out of Discreet Cat is up for a contest like this one, and I imagine that since he has experience/success at Saratoga (3/1-2-0) that can help in a spot like this one. I would think that the addition of Irad Ortiz once again could lead to a score. Those OC100ks that Clement entered him at Belmont earlier in the summer will come in handy. His conditioner has this homebred ready for action!
Wagering Recommendation: $100 Bankroll, Graduated Wager, WPS #5 ($10-W, $15-P, $75-S)
Race 10: Turf, 1 1/8th, MSW100k, F&M 3+
The final race on the Saratoga card before we head to the final push over the weekend, is this deeper turf route for aspiring 3 -yr-old fillies. Most of these have some races under their saddles, but it is hard to tell whether their level of fitness is up to scratch. I want a runner who has at least 1 race in her pocket during The SPA Meet. For some added value, maybe also one that is stepping up in class.
When it comes to a top selection, I am pretty keen on one of Kenny McPeek’s charges. Salit #6 last ran in an MC75k contest back on 13 August. The American Pharoah filly ran pretty well, and finished 2nd. That was her 1st race in over a month and a half, so coming back into MSW Co. sounds like a logical move. Her conditioner has had a tough go in New York this summer, but that doesn’t mean that we should look elsewhere. He runs a professional operation, and I think Junior Alvarado always gets overshadowed by flashier jocks on the grass. At 12/1, this is a true price play.
I want to also include a couple of other picks, in order to round out some exotic tickets that I will be constructing. For instance, Todd Pletcher’s Lady Valentine #4 was in the money last out in a MSW100k, and the Into Mischief pedigree should help her shine through. Let’s consider her … the nice turf bloodlines, Flintshire (GB), that can be found in Gailhorsewind #1 for new trainer Lands Trites, and finally, Christophe Clement’s Sitting Pretty #2. She got her debut out of the way at Saratoga back in late July, and even though the result was less than savory, experience counts. With Tapit in her background on the dam side, she could be an interesting one as Joel Rosario gets the call. That is a true rider upgrade from David Cohen.
Those will make for an intriguing wager when this tote starts to flicker on the last Friday race of the year at The SPA!
Wagering Recommendation: $2 Trifecta Box, 1/2/4/6
Enjoy the final week of action from the SPA! The tradition at Saratoga Race Course marches on …