Spa selections: Saratoga July 25

by | Jul 25, 2018 | Breaking, Handicapping

Pret Say Eye

Pret Say Eye was antsy early, strong late for trainer Lacey Gaudet (left) at Saratoga in 2016. 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, including all of the exciting stakes action!

Race 1 – Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes

  1. #6 Mutasaawy (5-2) – Has won twice at the distance and in only try at the spa, finishing has been an issue recently, however
  2. #2 Officer Sydney (3-1) – Won two of his last four, and should like the softer turf surface from rain this week
  3. #1 No Wunder (7-2) – Ran in a mile and a half race last time out, so the return to over two mile hurdles should help this gelding improve

Race 6 – OC 62500n2x

  1. #3 Heartspoke (9-2) – Gets an advantage over the others if the track remains wet, will likely take the lead with Pray for Leslie and look to hold on in the stretch
  2. #5 Pray for Leslie (8-5) – Purrfect Miss has better connections to her inside and more class, but this filly by Bernardini has the speed and should adjust better to the conditions
  3. #1 Play Unified (6-1) – Last race was impressive, but this mare seems completely reliant on her break, if she gets out early and can stalk, watch out for her in the stretch

Race 8 – OC 40000n2x

  1. #1A Fox Rules (5-2) – Gets slight edge over Mo Diddley and Mascarello simply due to running style and ability on off tracks
  2. #2 Mascarello (6-1) – Bullet work and coming off a win; much cheaper than field, but good success at track and distance
  3. #4 Mo Diddley (3-1) – Bet Morrison on an off track and play Converge here on a yielding surface, but this Casse trainee has shown the most and should close with Royal Blessing late

Race 9 – Grade II Honorable Miss Handicap

  1. #3 Kirby’s Penny (5-2) – Wesley Ward trainee has been in cheaper races than most of this crowd, but coming off a Grade III win and having won both tries this year is a good sign
  2. #1 Vertical Oak (8-1) – Bet this filly if she goes off over 5-1; should be stalking Kirby’s Penny and can take over in stretch run as long as pace is modest
  3. #6 Finley’sluckycharm (8-5) – Will need someone else to push the frontrunners such as Thirteen Songs if she breaks, but is a good bet to make a move right behind the leaders late