The final week of racing at NYRA's palatial Saratoga Race Course is upon us, and that means that 5 straight days of racing is coming your way! Wednesday begins with a Pick 6 Carryover that already has a over $160k in the cargo hold. So, expect that to move up like gangbusters.
As for what remains, we have some excellent stakes competition, which will be highlighted by Saturday's running of the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup. That is just the tip of the iceberg though, because each day will bring some exciting Main Track action, and weather permitting, some excellent grass racing on the Inner and Mellon Turf Courses.
At HorseRacing.net/us, we will be with you every step of the way, as we head towards closing the Meet on Labor Day, Monday September 6th. Should be a rousing good time!
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.
The New York breds are out in force in this grass sprint. Even with some moisture on the Mellon Turf, it should have a good chance of going off. I see this contest as a 3-horse race between Tom Morley’s Social Whirl #9, Christophe Clement’s Tis a Pity #6, and Wayne Potts’ Athena Dancer #2. Out of these, I am bullish on Potts and his filly out of War Dancer. Getting 1st time Lasix should assist, and with Tyler Gaffalione riding as well as he is, I think this team looks primed for a score at odds that will start out hovering around 10/1. This one is rounding into form after making her debut at the Aqueduct Meet back in November of last year. She won a nice MSW70k on the grass, and clearly needed a race under her as she came off the bench at Saratoga. That 4th place was a good start to this cycle, and the price will be right for this well-bred New Yorker!
A survey of this next race on the docket could make one conclude that Joe Sharp’s Runnin’ Ray #3 is a proven winner against similar company. The gelding out of Street Sense won by a neck in the slop at Saratoga in late July. That was impressive considering before that he was in a Clm20k at Churchill … a contest that he won by a whopping 11-lengths! Can he make it 3 in-a-row? Not sure … Of course, Vindictive #6 might also be a player on the top of the tote after a blistering finish that saw the colt out of Uncle Mo rate nicely, and finish with a flourish at The SPA. That was a MSW100k go, and it showed a marked improvement from his debut. Did the distance move suit? The rider switch to Irad Ortiz? Whatever the case, I am going to choose to play against both of these presumed short-priced favorites.
Instead, I want to back Brendan Walsh’s ridgling out of Candy Ride (ARG), who looks like much more of a hidden gem. Business Model #5, a Godolphin homebred, made the trip from the Kentucky tracks (Ellis/Keeneland/Churchill) up to Saratoga, and it did not go as well as his connections would have liked. A 6th place ending, out of an 11-horse field on the step-up wasn’t atrocious, especially considering an ALLW103k is not an easy prospect. Looking at the bright side, a speed fig. of 94 was solid, and could show some excellent maturity. Walsh, who does not run that often at Saratoga, teams-up with Tyler Gaffalione, and they should improve. A price that hovers around 6/1 is a bet!
Wagering Recommendation: $2 Trifecta Wheel, 5 w 3/6 w 3/6 and/or 3/6 w 5 w 3/6
Race 9: Turf, 1 1/16th, With Anticipation S. (G3), $150k, 2
The Wednesday “Feature,” coupled with that budding P6 Carryover, should make for a nice handicapping experience when you arrive at this portion of the sequence. This Grade 3 event does not draw an overly impressive bunch of “turfers” top to bottom; however, as long as there are no abdications, we should “have us a race.” I am thinking that the Stuart Janney-owned Limited Liability #1 should get quite a bit of betting attention. HOF trainer Shug McGaughey has this one going well, and everything would speak to this colt out of Kitten’s Joy being game for another score after he broke his maiden on the grass at Saratoga in a MSW100k at the end of July. With Jose Ortiz up, McGaughey is hoping for a repeat at a much higher level.
I am going to respectfully decline to put my weight behind this one (and the Klaravich runner … this time around it is Portfolio Company #4 for Chad Brown), and instead look closely at Todd Pletcher’s Gooch Go Bragh #3. More reasonable at 4/1, this Todd Pletcher-trainee was good, but maybe not great on debut at Saratoga 7 August in a MSW100k. Like the others, this colt is going to try a tougher plain, but it might work out differently this time around. When this HOF conditioner and Luis Saez get together, they can be a turf juggernaut. This year the pair have contested some very difficult races, and I like the decision to go with the Meet’s Leading Rider. Saez has “eclipsed” all expectations, after many were ready to anoint Irad Ortiz as the “winner.” Not to be … Donegal Racing has a great history of beating the odds, and he might do it again in this Grade 3 battle.
Wagering Recommendation: $25/$50 WP #3
Race 10: Turf, 1 1/16th, MSW85k, F&M 3F NY Breds
Rounding out our selections for what is the 1st of 5 glorious days of racing, is this NY Breds contest. We should expect Jorge Abreu’s lot, the coupled entry of Acushia #1 and Cali Fitz #1A, to be heavily favored. The latter is the “AE,” so we shall see who ends up getting in. The former has 2 solid runs under her at Aqueduct and Belmont, so the “tri” will complete the NYRA line this time around. Using her underneath is a good plan, but I really like one shorter-priced entry, La Victoria #10, and one much longer, Killoean Rose #4.
The 1st mentioned is enticing because of Todd Pletcher and Joel Rosario working together. The Tapit filly has grass ability, and will be trying the stuff for an inaugural try. It could be just the ticket. As for the boxcar play, this filly out of Awesome Again is coming off her debut race for trainer Rob Atras. The 1st time Lasix and the addition of Ricardo Santana might make this one a winner. Atras is having a stellar Saratoga, after all … so, including this 3-yr-old sounds sensible.
Wagering Recommendation: $2 Exacta Box, 1/1A/4/10
Enjoy the final week of action from the SPA! The tradition at Saratoga Race Course marches on …