Spa selections: Saratoga August 26

by | Aug 26, 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 including the Grade 1 Travers Stakes!

Race 6 – Grade I Personal Ensign Stakes

  1. #4 Forever Unbridled (7-2) Songbird looked vulnerable last time in Delaware, and this mare by Unbridled’s Song could be the start of a career day for Joel Rosario
  2. #2 Songbird (2-5) Even with tight win against overmatched field last time, Hollendorfer trainee is still the one to beat
  3. #3 Going for Broke (5-1) Filly by Blame scratched out of feature race six days ago, and appears to be in best form of career with good chance to take down Songbird

Race 7 – Grade I Ballerina Stakes

  1. #4 By the Moon (3-1) Could have beaten Paulassilverlining last time out, and has been running well over this track
  2. #3 Paulassilverlining (2-1)Juddmonte mare has won four races in a row with a jockey-trainer combo that has won over 60% this year
  3. #5 Carina Mia (7-2) Just a tier below the other two and not necessarily running her best lately

Race 8 – Grade I H. Allen Jerkins Stakes

  1. #5 Ann Arbor Eddie (15-1) Tons of speed in this race would work at six furlongs, but the extra furlong allows this gelding to pick up pieces in stretch run
  2. #9 American Anthem (2-1) Smith and Baffert stole this race last year with Drefong, and could very easily do the same here with a hot pace from Phi Beta Express and Coal Front
  3. #1 Practical Joke (5-2) If pace isn’t too hot for front runners, look for Takaful to steal race, but assuming a mad dash, this colt by Into Mischief has right running style and has won all his races under a mile

Race 9 – Grade I Forego Stakes

  1. #6 Mind Your Biscuits (3-1) Runs well off layoff for Chad Summers, and should win if within range at the top of stretch
  2. #1 Stallwalkin’ Dude (8-1) Has run very well at Saratoga in the past, but this distance is just a little too far
  3. #4 Divining Rod (5-1) Drefong threw Mike Smith last time and won’t be good value, so look elsewhere for this horse by Tapit who is just hitting his stride

Race 10 – Grade I Sword Dancer Stakes

  1. #5 Money Multiplier (7-2) Javier Castellano leaves Sadler’s Joy to ride this ridgling who just won almost won this race last year
  2. #4 Hunter O’Riley (6-1) Ran a strong Bowling Green this meet and seems to enjoy this longer distance
  3. #2 Bigger Picture (8-1) Almost took down Hunter O’Riley in the Bowling Green, and gets back leading jockey Jose Ortiz

Race 11 – Grade I Travers Stakes

  1. #5 Good Samaritan (5-1) Showed his strong closing kick in impressive Jim Dandy for this turf-to-dirt colt, and gets edge over competition for strong performance over the Saratoga track this meet
  2. #10 Irap (8-1) Colt by Tiznow has been improving and should be placed perfectly a few horses off the pace to pounce at top of stretch, and gets edge over morning line favorite Tapwrit who has not been working strongly over the Saratoga track
  3. #12 Fayeq (30-1) Can’t ignore the two coming from the Haskell or West Coast, but if history proves right, it’s that horses that have run or worked well on the Saratoga track have huge advantages over better horses who don’t, which has led to the moniker ‘graveyard of champions’

Race 12 – Grade II Ballston Spa

  1. #5 Antonoe (3-1) Should have taken down Lady Eli in her last effort for Chad Brown, but Javier Castellano had to check after being pinned on rail
  2. #1 Lady Eli (4-5) This five-year-old mare still has some left in the tank, and is one of three Chad Brown trainees in this six horse field
  3. #4 On Leave (12-1) Dickinson wasn’t strong in her Diana try, but this four-year-old filly almost closed and won the DeLaRose three weeks ago