Saratoga Picks & Betting Analysis for August 26

Jockey Tyler Gaffalione was strong last week, as he and the other members of the jockey colony at Saratoga try to catch leading rider Luis Saez. It will not be easy ... check out these selections below!
Jockey Tyler Gaffalione was strong last week, as he and the other members of the jockey colony at Saratoga try to catch leading rider Luis Saez. It will not be easy ... check out these selections below!

Travers Week at Saratoga is in full swing as we head towards Saturday! In the meantime, we have some great racing on Thursday and Friday! The final push at The SPA is going to be fabulous, as we head towards Labor Day!

Our turf-man has you covered with selections for all 10 races, plus select analysis that outlines some best bets! Keep an eye on the weather because race conditions will be affected. Many of the grass races will be impacted, so stay tuned ...

If you're looking for picks elsewhere around the country this Thursday be sure to check out our free Horse Racing Picks via the gold button below.

Horse Racing Picks

Race 7: Turf, 1 1/16th, Clm35k, 3+

The turf beckons on this Thursday, and we are all hoping that the gloomy skies coupled with rain drops, steer clear of the northern part of the state. In this claiming event, we are facing a group of non-winners of 3 … hmm … what to do? The thing of it is in a race like this one, there is little in the way of a “deserving favorite” that one can uncover. Both Current #8, a former member of Todd Pletcher’s barn last year, and Montauk Summer #9 out of Christophe Clement’s midst, are 7/2 and 9/2 on the M/L. In summation, as I see it, they are decidedly vulnerable. Yawn … Instead, I much prefer the Mike Maker entry, Dante’s Fire #1. The gelding out of Temple City is used to these ranks, and he did not get to run on the turf last out at Saratoga, as it was an off-track. Getting back to the green should suit, and he has some back class that might be helpful. Runners that take precipitous drops are always suspect, so relying on one that is used to a certain level makes much better sense. Jockey Jose Ortiz is aboard once again, and his turf riding skills are above normal levels of sod subsistence. Maker continues to have a sharp Meet, so if you could get 6/1, it would be a deal.

Wagering Recommendation: $100 Bankroll, Graduated Wager, WPS #1 ($10-W, $15-P, $75-S)


Race 8: Dirt, 7F, AOC80k, F&M 3+

The 7F dash down the full backside of the MT is always an interesting one to contest because it is the “middle distance” between a sprint and a route—think middle child. Looking for those that want to go longer can be a trap, as can those that want to cutback. Theories abound concerning either of these “props,” so looking at other factors might be in order too. Thinking about those on the make, instead of this distance chatter, I like the look of the Ferraro Barn’s Easy to Bless #3. The filly out of Flat Out (who was a dandy mover and shaker himself) was 1st out for her new barn last time, and she won nicely in a ALLW103k @The SPA. That was a smaller field against 5 others, so the notch up here is not going to be a cakewalk. With Dylan Davis though, he can guide this one to victory, as his riding at times can be as aggressive as Saez or the Ortiz Bros. Using this one is essential. Pairing another lower priced sprinter is probably the right thing to do … and that makes me think that Horacio DePaz’s Whispering Pines #4 is going to be pretty game after running in a “Non-G” 120k race back on 4 Aug. Jose Ortiz knows this well-bred filly out of Uncle Mo, and she should be able to stay close. She can win this one. I like both these selections, and adding Chad Brown’s Union Maiden #7, an off the bench-type, could surprise everyone. That should round out the Trifecta that I have planned. Let’s see what happens next …

Wagering Recommendation: $2 Trifecta Box, 3/4/7


Race 9: Turf, 1 Mile, Riskaverse S. $120k, 3F

After the Wednesday that trainer Chad Brown had at The SPA (5 wins on the card), it seems highly likely that he is figuratively “on fire.” When that happens, everyone should be put on notice … in other words, watch out! The “Feature” on the Thursday card is a challenging contest for 3-yr-old fillies. On the grass, Brown has a terrible trio in here (I am using that as a compliment) … namely Rastafara #7 owned by Peter Brant, Amy C #9 of Dubb/Madaket, and finally, Minaun #11 from the keep of Bradley Thoroughbreds The first mentioned looks to be unbeatable in my estimation, and I would back her to the hilt. Getting Irad Ortiz makes the difference, we all know that, and she easily has the ability to step into this spot. As for the other 2, I am not against them necessarily because they are alums of the Lake George (G3). Neither ran particularly well that day against Technical Analysis, but they can right the ship of war today. Interesting that Brown utilizes the services of Ricardo Santana Jr. on the #11 … they rarely work together, so it will be something to see that outcome. Still, I am sticking with Ortiz … simple decision.

Wagering Recommendation: $25/$50 WP #7


Race 10: Turf, 5½F, Clm32k, 3+

If you perhaps thought that the some of the toughest races were behind us on the card, then think again … The finale is going to be a doozy of a go. Being sensible, you might want to take Mike Maker’s newest member of his barn … a gelding out of Into Mischief named Fast Getaway #3. Appropriately named, Maker knows how to adeptly make a claim … he does have that history. The best news of all is that Luis Saez gets the call, and we know how superbly his Meet is unfolding. Leading rider … turf … dirt … sprint … route … he can do it all. I think this runner gets over bet (underlay for sure), and for that reason I want to look elsewhere when choosing a horse on top.

Instead, I am wedded to an out-of-towner … Give me South Sea #5 from the Klesaris Barn who also brings along his jockey, Forest Boyce. The pair were down at Pimlico just 10 days ago, and clearly running back suits this conditioner’s plans. That OC25k resulted in a 3rd place finish, and even though that doesn’t dazzle, I like his frontrunning style. That can be a sharp sword in races like these, as he breaks hard from the 5-hole. The price on this one will be double-digits. You know you are getting a veteran horse with nice breeding—Juddmonte. Let’s roll …

Wagering Recommendation: $2 Exacta Box, 3/5


Enjoy some Friday action from the SPA! The Travers Day Eve at Saratoga Race Course has arrived …

Horse Racing Results