Saratoga Picks: CCA rematch between Secret Oath and Nest on July 23

The Coaching Club Oaks is one of a pair of stakes races on the Saturday card at Saratoga. You will not want to miss any of the action!
The Coaching Club Oaks is one of a pair of stakes races on the Saturday card at Saratoga. You will not want to miss any of the action!

Saratoga Picks: Saturday, July 23, 2022

  • Race 1: 9-5-7-2
  • Race 2: 6-7-1-5
  • Race 3: 4-6-2-3
  • Race 4: 8-3-5-2
  • Race 5: 3-5-4-1
  • Race 6: 1-8-5-3
  • Race 7: 6-2-4-9
  • Race 8: 6-7-2-4
  • Race 9: 1-7-2-6
  • Race 10: 8-1-2-7
  • Race 11: 8-6-1-10
  • Most Likely Winner: Nest #3 (Race 5)
  • Best Value: Under Oath #6 (Race 8)

Saratoga Racecourse nestled in Upstate New York is already deep into its 2nd 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 season!

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

Race 5: Dirt, 1 1/8th, Coaching Club American Oaks (G1), $500k, 3F

Recent history tells us that heavy favorites in the CCA are vulnerable. Last year, Rob Atras’ Maracuja defeated Todd Pletcher’s Malathaat in what amounted to a major upset. This year we have a pair of co-favorites that will be doing battle for the 2nd time … D.W. Lukas’ Secret Oath #5 and Pletcher’s Nest #3 are deserving when it comes to the top spot on the tote. The are 3 other fillies drawn-in for this important stop for 3-yr-olds, but none of them have the ability of this pair of rivals. After what was a fabulous spring for both of them, they did battle down the stretch in the Kentucky Oaks (G1). Despite the wet conditions, Secret Oath #5, ridden expertly by Luis Saez, made a key move on the final turn to set-up the victory. A daughter of the now-deceased Arrogate, she has single-handedly revived “The Coach’s” career. If she has the opportunity to exhibit that big kick of hers, then she could be virtually unstoppable. I was impressed with her at Oaklawn, but Pletcher’s daughter of Curlin is my top selection. Even though she was defeated in the head-to-head battle under the Twin Spires, her “staying” ability was on full-display as she took on “the boys” in the Belmont Stakes (G1). Despite a tough start, she was incredibly game finishing behind Mo Donegal, and based on her form, the connections of Repole Stable and Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, she comes to The SPA ready to fire. Irad Ortiz gets back aboard, and he will have the chance to strike back in this rematch race. Here is the wager …

Wagering Recommendation: $100 Win, #3


Race 8: Dirt, 6F, ALLW115kn1x, 3+

It’s time to go sprinting on the Main Track at Saratoga, and even though there is a strong favorite in Chad Brown’s Klaravich-owned Highly Respected #7, that doesn’t mean the colt by Dialed In is a “sure bet.” He certainly is talented, and coming from a scorching barn like this one adds to the argument. However, in races at the ALLW Co. level like these, you cannot underestimate the power of the long shot. Brown and Irad Ortiz are always overbet, so naturally seeking value elsewhere makes sense. Taking on a runner that in 3 starts has never finished below “Place” is impressive to be sure. Still, the contrarian ‘capper in me much prefers the budding talent of Todd Pletcher’s Under Oath #6 and Al Stall’s Peaceful Waters #2. Both of these sprinters have different talents that make them inviting. The former is moving up in class from running against maidens, and the WinStar homebred was excellent at Keeneland in April. His Speightstown roots speak to superb breeding, and with Johnny V in the irons, he has a chance to take a step forward against this group. I am intrigued by Stall’s entry, simply because the Kentucky shippers have made some noise over the course of the last week. Allied Racing invested a pretty penny in this son of Dialed In, and his early speed could be a major asset, if Luis Saez can hustle him out of the gate in good order. Running against tough OC80k Co. at Churchill prepared him well for this ship. Let’s use both of these colts, plus Brown’s ace … what a speed ball duel this is going to be …

Wagering Recommendation: $2 Trifecta Wheel, 2/6 w 2/6/7 w 2/6/7


Race 9: Dirt, 1 1/8th, OC62.5kn2x, 3+

The 2-turn distance test at 9-furlongs is rolled out in this race … and it is going to be a barnburner. Older males have filled the entry box, and out of these 7 the one to look out for down the lane will be Chad Brown’s Stage Raider #7. Owned by Mr. John Gunther, this homebred is a colt that always puts on a great show. He has a strong class rating, and his excellent conditioner has tried him at Gulfstream, Keeneland, and Belmont. With a record of 6/2-3-0, it is hard to argue against his current level of fitness. Brown’s numbers are stout in spots like these, so finding an alternative will be very difficult. My sense is that I want to find a runner that can control the pace up front, and outlast them all going wire-to-wire. Michelle Nevin, a trainer who is looking for her 1st win of the Meet, has Uncle Moonlight #1 breaking from the rail post. Stepping up from ALLW Co., the Uncle Mo gelding is not too shabby an alternative. Ridden by Kendrick Carmouche once again, he knows what he has to do … get to the lead. If he can lockdown the times on the engine, then he has a chance to go the distance. There is nothing to say that this one cannot stretch out, and you know he is going to be a decent price. Money is going to flow towards the #7, and that will give Nevin’s entry the price edge. The bet is …

Wagering Recommendation: $25/$50 WP #5


Race 10: Turf, 5½F, Caress S. (G3), $200k, F&M 4+  

One of the “features” on this Saturday card is a turf sprint on the Mellon that will be extremely exciting to wager and watch. This is a strong field of 10, but we do have a likely favorite in Brad Cox’s Caravel #1. That’s probably warranted based on his win in the Intercontinental (G3) last time out at Belmont. Cox gets together with Tyler Gaffalione once again, and this pair will look to be getting to the winner’s circle like last time. I normally shy away from playing turf sprinters that are breaking from the rail because traffic troubles on the grass can become ever-present. A much better option for a number of reasons is Mark Casse’s Souper Sensational #8. The red dots will be donned by Dylan Davis, and win totals are accelerating at a nice clip. Davis knows how to work a pace, and navigate tough positions. The price on the M/L is 8/1, and anything around that on either side, looks like a bet to me. It is great to see this jockey work with the HOF trainer. The Royal North (G2), his last race, reflected his excellent breaking ability. What a grass race we have on our hands here!

Wagering Recommendation: $100 Bankroll, Graduated Wager, WPS #8 ($10-W, $15-P, $75-S)


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