Saratoga Wednesday Picks & Betting Analysis for August 18

Trainer Wesley Ward figures prominently in the Wednesday 'feature' at Saratoga, the Bolton Landing S. See what his chances are like, plus all of our expert selections.
Trainer Wesley Ward figures prominently in the Wednesday "feature" at Saratoga, the Bolton Landing S. See what his chances are like, plus all of our expert selections.

Another week at wonderful Saratoga breaks, and time is ticking ... Travers Week is just around the corner.

As for the Meet, the Jockey/Trainer Standings remain fixed. Luis Saez may have taken a day to travel to Arlington Park to ride in Chicago, but he continues to hold the top rider position. Trainer Mike Maker also continues to hold his own, and that speaks to his conditioning ability. The stretch run is going to be something, as we head towards Labor Day!

Our turf-man will be with you every step of the way! Watch the weather forecast because race conditions will be affected, as we have rain in the forecast almost everyday this week. Stay tuned ...

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

Horse Racing Picks
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Race 7: Dirt, 6½F, St.ALLW50k, F&M 3+

This ALLW Co. dirt sprint brings together some older fillies and mares that will try to get to the front, while others will look to make a big run. If there is a trainer who is red hot, but isn’t Pletcher, Brown, or Maker, then that nod goes to Phil Bauer. In 13 starts during the Meet, his barn already is 13/3-3-0. Last out, this Mineshaft filly, Bayshore Foxes #1, was 2nd in a Clm40k. I don’t think that she ran particularly well, but it was on a good track at 1 1/8th. This cutback could be interpreted as a positive, but I am choosing to look elsewhere based on the odds.

For a useful alternative, I am much more interested in the new member of John Toscano’s outfit. Chloe Rose #5 is a filly out of Twirling Candy who ran nicely on last time at The SPA. That was a Clm32k, and a 2nd in that race was excellent for Mike Maker. Though her new barn is not that accomplished, I think this is still a major acquisition. I would not assume that she could not game with the likes of this crowd. Getting Joel Rosario is a mighty solid move, and he has a horse under him that can get home from off the pace. The price will be magnificent at 6/1.  

Wagering Recommendation: $100 Bankroll, Graduated Wager, WPS #5 ($10-W, $15-P, $75-S)

 

Race 8: Turf, 1 Mile, Clm40k, 3+

If you are after a live long shot, then let’s get to it … This turf race has some major opportunities because it includes some live ones that could really bring some big payoffs. My top selection is Jim and Susan Hill’s Troubling Moon #11. Out celebrated sire Into Mischief, this gelding is dropping out of some classy Kentucky races at Keeneland and Churchill Downs. Those did not develop into wins, but Rusty Arnold is using that experience to his advantage.

Looking over those 2 races, there were some salty foes that were routing on the grass that day. At KEE, Midnight Tea Time is a veteran of many wars, and Bye Bye Melvin is a seasoned router. At Churchill, the 6-yr-old faced winner, Kentucky Ghost, and Glynn County, who just contested the final edition of the Arlington “Million.”

I like the rider choice of Jose Lezcano because he is continually underestimated on the grass. His riding ability is still present. Let’s use this one on top, and roll a few others like Taos #1, Seismic Wave #5, and Parlor #6. Those runners have “turf” written all over them. But I still like my long shot. It will be a major score …

Wagering Recommendation: $2 Trifecta Box, 1/5/6/11

 

Race 9: Turf, 5 ½F, Bolton Landing S. $120k, 2F

The “Feature” on this opening Wednesday is a tough little “Non-G” where some young fillies will be contesting this 5½F extravaganza. I am pretty impressed with this group because there are some that already have some valuable experience. Of course, when it comes to 2-yr-old grass sprinting, no conditioner can equal Wesley Ward. He has a hot hand in here with several entries (2 MTOs), and I like the look of Poppy Flower #5. She is out of Lea by way of First Samurai, and Ward’s frontend training really shown through last time at Belmont in a MSW90k. Jose Ortiz rode her to a 2-length victory, which was validated by her odds. If she is ready to take a step forward, then she could be formidable.

I do not care for her odds, and I think she is destined to be over bet. I would much rather take a shot with Mark Casse’s Fulminate #8. The Eclipse Thoroughbreds part-owned filly is a half sis to Got Stormy, as they have the same sire. That grass miler has become a legend already, and this one showed promise, breaking her maiden on debut. Building on that MSW70k at Gulfstream, she has all the tools she needs to win in this spot. Getting Luis Saez is the best news ever. His riding on the green continues to inform us about his budding abilities. If I could get 7/2 on this one, I would bet her all the way to the window … and then some. She has the legs, and a HOF conditioner in her corner …

Wagering Recommendation: $25/$50 WP #8

 

Race 10: Dirt, 6F, MC40k, 3+ NY Breds

The finale on the Wednesday card is this tough little NY Bred race to crack. What makes it difficult is the fact that there is a truly heavy favorite that has notched a 1/1 on the M/L odds. The former George Weaver speedster, Clever Humor #1, was good last time out, coming in 2nd to Quick Return in an MC40k event back when the Meet first opened last month. One would think that Brittany Russell, who travels up from her base in Maryland could get even more from her new acquisition. She has 2 wins out of 7 tries so far @The SPA, and she is always looking for more. Luis Saez will team-up with her once again, and they do not do this often because of their respective spheres of influence. When they do though … watch out!

I do not fancy the thought of trying to beat a 1/1 entry that is that low, but I cannot stand the thought of backing one at such a short price. It just is not worth it. What I want to do is tip an entry that has some upside and one that has better value on the tote. Out of the rest of this lot, I like the look of Capt’ Remington #4. Here is a gelding out of Central Banker that received a break in early July. He went to the bench for Michael Miceli, and that was the proper choice. Rested and ready, he appears to have some quality works under him. Coming to Saratoga for the 1st time should do him good, and Dylan Davis is going to have the mount. His riding can be creative, and every now and then, he can scoop up a race against a heavy favorite. I trust his ability in sprints, and at 15/1, this one is a major price play.

Wagering Recommendation: $2 Exacta Cold, 4 w 1

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Enjoy some action from the SPA! The tradition at Saratoga Race Course marches on …

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