Saratoga Picks: Whitney Stakes part of a stellar Saturday on August 6

One of the highlights of The Spa Meet arrives ... It is the Whitney Stakes, but that is not all that's on tap. Check out this stakes-laden LP4 ticket!
One of the highlights of The Spa Meet arrives ... It is the Whitney Stakes, but that is not all that's on tap. Check out this stakes-laden LP4 ticket!

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Saratoga Picks: Saturday, August 6, 2022

  • Race 1: 2-5-4-7
  • Race 2: 1-6-5-8
  • Race 3: 7-4-2-8
  • Race 4: 2-1/1A-8-4
  • Race 5: 8-1-4-6
  • Race 6: 5-1/1A-2-3
  • Race 7: 6-2-4-1
  • Race 8: 7-8-4-9
  • Race 9: 7-1-6-3
  • Race 10: 4-6-5-2
  • Race 11: 10-4-2-7
  • Race 12: 9-8-2-3
  • Most Likely Winner: Olympiad #4 (Race 10)
  • Best Value: Chi Town Lady #7 (Race 9)

Saratoga ... known affectionately as "The Spa" ... is positioned among the trees in Upstate New York. The celebrated track is ready for its 4th weekend of racing. The town north of Albany is bustling with activity and has what many consider the best competition of the entire year!

NYRA will continue to put forward another major stakes schedule, and with full fields, it should be another exciting go! We have a bevy of Grade 1 races on the card today ... including the Test Stakes, the Saratoga Derby, and of course, the Whitney Stakes, which is a Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" contest for entry into the Classic ... what a day!

At we have you covered, including all of the action! It is a good time for some of the best that North American racing has to offer. Stay tuned! If you're looking for picks elsewhere around the country this Saturday be sure to check out our free Horse Racing Picks via the gold button below. Don't forget to follow us on Twitter ... Horseracing_USA !!!

Horse Racing Picks

Late Pick 4 … Races 9-12

Race 9: Dirt, 7F, Longines Test S. (G1), $500k, 3F

One of the best horizontal sequences of the whole weekend is upon us … it’s Whitney Day! Right out of the gate, we find ourselves in the middle of a race that possesses a heavy favorite. Brad Cox’s stout-looking filly, Matareya #1, is going to be a short price on Saturday because she comes to The Spa riding a 4-win-streak. Those weren’t easy contests … how many 3-yr-old fillies can you name that have a G1, G2, and G3 set to their credit? Most bettors are going to “Single” this accomplished daughter of Pioneerof the Nile, and move along. Flavien Prat gets aboard once again, and no one would be surprised if she wins the Test for Godolphin. The only aspect that gives me pause is Echo Zulu … See, Steve Asmussen’s prized BC Juvenile Filly was injured during the post parade at Belmont, and never got to run in the Acorn (G1). That left Cox’s ace to face a weaker field. Maybe her “streak” is in jeopardy because that last effort was not that special. If she is vulnerable, I am interested in a runner that likes to come from off-the-pace, who can benefit from a meltdown. Adding Wesley Ward’s Chi Town Lady #7 makes a ton of sense. The filly by Verrazano has missed on a number of occasions, but she is not without talent. The Castleton Lyons homebred gets Joel Rosario, and that qualifies as a significant upgrade. She is going to get a chance to face Matareya #1 again … I wouldn’t count her out.

Leg 1: 1/7 (2-Deep)

Wagering Recommendation: $2 Exacta Cold, 7 w 1


Race 10: Dirt, 1 1/8th, The Whitney S. (G1), $1 million, 4+

The marquee event of the afternoon arrives, and even though there are others that are drawn-in for the G1 Whitney … this is about Todd Pletcher’s Life Is Good #6 versus Bill Mott’s Olympiad #4. This is the one we have all been waiting for! I am 100% impressed with Pletcher’s “LIG,” and there is no question that this son of Into Mischief has attributes in spades. Irad Ortiz rode him to victory in the Breeders’ Cup last November, and he always seems ready for action. The former Baffert runner that was injured on the Derby Trail long ago, has what I consider a major weakness … distance. I just do not believe that he can handle 1 1/8th or longer. I know he took on Knicks Go in the Pegasus WC, and won … but he is facing a horse of a different color this time around. Mott’s stellar router might be a son of Speightstown, but he has proved that he can stretch out to the great beyond. Even though he lacks a G1 win, he has built a strong resume over the past 6 months. Regular rider Junior Alvarado knows how to handle this one, and what I like is his tactical ability. Taking up a position just off a leader is his specialty, and if he can stick with Ortiz’s LIG, then he has a chance to dust him, once the top of the lane arrives. I am willing to put all my eggs in one basket, and bet this Mott colt to the hilt. This is his moment, and am supremely confident … yep, it’s a “Single” for me …

Leg 2: 4 (Single)

Wagering Recommendation: $25/$50 WP #4


Race 11: Turf, 1 3/16ths, Saratoga Derby Invitational (G1), $1 million, 3

In the short history of this race, there is some evidence that European turf specialists are ripe when it comes to the prospect of victory. Trust me, I am interested in North American grass runners like Todd Pletcher’s Grand Sonata #2 and Graham Motion’s Royal Patronage #7, but let me be clear … this race is between Charlie Appleby’s Nations Pride #4 and Aidan O’Brien’s Stone Age #10. I realize that both of these colts lost to Classic Causeway #9 in the 1st leg of NYRA’s “Turf Triple,” the Belmont Derby (G1). I regarded that victory as the “perfect trip,” and I do not believe that it can be replicated. When it comes down to choosing a winner between these 2 Euro “super barns,” I am partial to O’Brien’s entry. He is going to exhibit some impressive turn-of-foot down the lane with John Velazquez aboard. The HOF rider won this race for Aidan’s son, Joseph O’Brien last year, and could repeat as champion. This is going to be a blanket finish in this Derby … what a race!

Leg 3: 4/10 (2-Deep)

Wagering Recommendation: $100 Bankroll, Graduated Wager, WPS #10 ($10-W, $15-P, $75-S)


Race 12: Turf, 1 1/16th, MSW88k, 3+, NY Breds

The finale rolls into Saratoga with a group of New York breds that will be routing on the Inner Turf. When it comes to a top pick, I am pretty interested in the Bond Barn’s Biondi #9. This gelding by Sky Mesa is lightly-raced, but he already has a Spa start to his credit. Against similar company, he just missed the board on 15 July. There is a chance for improvement, and I would not bet against Luis Saez. He is one of the best when it comes to urging his mount on, deep in the stretch. If you could get 7/2 on this runner, that would qualify as an overlay. One of his rivals from that previous race is also entered, and for that reason, I want to include Todd Pletcher’s Your Mission #2. Well-bred by Noble Mission, he is another blade runner that does not have many starts to his credit. Still looking to break his maiden, it could happen late on Saturday afternoon. Last but not least … looking to strike a vein in the value department … I stumbled upon Joel Rosario’s ride, Dreampoint #8. The gelding by Point of Entry has 17 starts to his name … quite the opposite of the aforementioned pair. With 4 “Place” endings, he is still looking for that elusive score. Having a rider of this caliber in the irons can make a difference on the turf, and that is one of the many reasons why I wanted him included. With 3 very different horses in this slot, it should give us a great chance to get the ticket home! What a Whitney Day … the flowers are out!

Leg 4: 2/8/9 (3-Deep)

Wagering Recommendation: $2 Trifecta Box, 2/8/9


Ticket: 1-7 / 4 / 4-10 / 2-8-9

.50 Cost LP4: $6.00

Enjoy some action from the SPA! The tradition at Saratoga Race Course marches on … Be sure to follow us on Twitter … @Horseracing_USA !!!

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