Spa selections: Saratoga July 31

by | Jul 31, 2017 | Breaking, Handicapping

Pret Say Eye

Pret Say Eye was antsy early, strong late for trainer Lacey Gaudet (left) at Saratoga last year. Photo by Teresa Genaro.

by Joseph Aiello

In Spa Selections, Saratoga on-site correspondent Joseph Aiello provides picks for a handful of key races at Saratoga. Today, it’s four races, including the $100,000 Coronation Cup Stakes.

Race 1 – Alw 85000n1x

  1. #4 Miss Kentucky (5-2) – Switch to turf is odd, but a possible lack of speed in this race means this filly by Blame may run away with it
  2. #2 Battlement (8-5) – Four year old from powerhouse Juddmonte Farms will win if True Charm provides enough speed
  3. #6 Pray for Bourbon (4-1) – Took forever to break maiden, but doesn’t need to be forwardly placed to win like others in field

Race 3 – Alw 85000n1x

  1. #1 Smile Big (5-2) – Best challenger to Moana as long as she doesn’t repeat a race from last year which saw her be disqualified from first to last in a 12 horse field
  2. #3 Moana (6-5) – Another three year old from the endless Pletcher barn ran in the Mother Goose and Black Eyed Susan this year and is class of field
  3. #5 Posse Needed (6-1) – A lot of questions for this Mark Hennig trainee including distance and a cold jockey, but broke her maiden in four starts as opposed to Blenheim Palace’s ten

Race 7 – OC 25000n1x

  1. #6 Minsky Moment (6-5) – Only win came on sloppy surface, but this colt wins this one by default in a weak field
  2. #4 Blame the Thief (5-2) – Will need to break well to compete, but switch back to dirt should help this Timothy Hills trainee
  3. #1 Royal Ekati (4-1) – Won his only race with jockey Jose Ortiz and has advantage over Winston’s Choice due to better class

Race 8 – Coronation Cup Stakes

  1. #8 Morticia (2-1) – Jose Lezcano keeps mount on filly who is simply a little faster than the field
  2. #2 Hidden Mystery (10-1) – Showed good explosion in stretch run of last race and has jockey trainer combo who have won almost 30% of races in past year together
  3. #5 Epping Forest (5-1) – Gets edge over Lady Alexandra thanks to win at distance and better jockey