Spa selections: Saratoga August 31

by | Aug 31, 2017 | Breaking, Handicapping | 1 comment

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 P. G. Johnson Stakes!

Race 6 – Alw 85000n1x

  1. #7 Rate for Me (6-1) Back-to-back wins and strong performances for this George Weaver trainee
  2. #11 Banana Thief (4-1) Finished strong three weeks ago at the Spa, and could find himself in winner’s circle with similar closing kick
  3. #9 Grand Asset (5-2) Hold Me Black has her best races on dirt, and dirt-to-turfer Royal Asset is intriguing, but this gelding has jockey-trainer combo winning almost half their races together this meet

Race 7 – Mdn 73k

  1. #12 Summer Mischief (7-2) Assuming he doesn’t get hung wide on race to clubhouse turn, this colt should at least finish in money
  2. #10 Appealing Briefs (3-1) A little bit of a seconditis issue here, but still has the best race over this track of the field
  3. #9 Gosilently (6-1) Coming over from Indy which has not boded well for horses this year, but take a shot with this unknown over more likely Ides of Arch

Race 8 – Alw 75000n1x

  1. #8 Jupiter Rising (7-2) Pletcher’s first try with this grey gelding as his trainee and coming off a strong race where he picked up ten lengths
  2. #9 Ode to the Hunt (10-1) Violette chooses to place leading jockey Jose Ortiz on this mount over the his other entry who ran better last time out, which may be telling
  3. #6 Storm Prophet (5-2) Can’t count out other Violette entry, but this gelding by Tale of the Cat has improved with trainer switch to Linda Rice, and should be in money

Race 9 – P. G. Johnson Stakes

  1. #1 Mentality (5-2) Interesting move taking blinkers off, but was most impressive last time out in field and will win if she adjusts to distance stretch well
  2. #3 Orbolution (2-1) The dominant duo has cooled off a bit, but still have the filly to beat in this try
  3. #5 Romantic Babe (9-2) Manny Franco had a huge day yesterday and has been riding terrific, so give him the edge over Irad Ortiz on Life Time Citizen who hasn’t won for trainer Philip Serpe this meet

Race 10 – Clm 16000n2L

  1. #4 Bunyaan (5-2)Clear best in rough group and will win unless someone overperforms
  2. #5 Right Ben (10-1) Wins with repeat of race two times back and with soft fractions
  3. #1 Delta Outlaw (4-1) Saratoga Charlie, Aberdeen Way, and Sky Fiftyfive are so inconsistent, so just go with this first time gelding coming off a year long layoff who has shown some consistency in his career