Spa selections 2018: Saratoga August 4

by | Aug 3, 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 5 – Fasig-Tipton De La Rose Stakes

1. #7 On Leave (3-1) – Has had some trouble winning in the past, but seems to like the mile distance the most in this field and has run well over this track as well

2. #1 Uni (5-2) – Has won her only try this year while posting some impressive speed figures in a few graded tries; should be sitting off leaders and run strong late

3. #8 Bletchley (10-1) – Pas de Soucis has more speed and a win over this track, but this Casse trainee has more class and the ability to close if the pace heats up

Race 8 – Grade I Longines Test Stakes

1. #3 Alter Moon (4-1) – Hoping Classy Act applies enough pressure on Mia Mischief to allow this filly to pass by both in the stretch

2. #6 SeparationofPowers (7-2) – Hasn’t put together her talent yet, but a change of running style last race may help this Chad Brown trainee close into a hot pace

3. #8 Minit to Stardom (6-1) – Taking a bit of a shot here on the undefeated filly by Star Guitar who also needs Classy Act to wipe out Mia Mischief to take over in the stretch

Race 9 – Grade I Whitney Stakes

1. #6 Diversify (7-5) – Don’t particularly love this gelding in this spot especially since he has had trouble at this distance, but has proven he can go this far unlike Mind Your Biscuits

2. #2 Backyard Heaven (9-2) – Also not sure what to think of this colt by Tizway due to last start, but he should be off the leaders Dalmore and Diversify and could win with the right pace

3. #7 Good Samaritan (12-1) – Take this colt or McCraken as a longshot closer who could spell trouble for rest if Dalmore pressures Diversify and Mind Your Biscuits can’t handle the distance

Race 10 – Grade III Fasig-Tipton Waya Stakes

1. #2 Mom’s On Strike (3-1) – Already a winner of three this year including a Grade II, this mare by First Dude sees Adam Beschizza return to the irons from out of town

2. #5 Santa Monica (2-1) – The Jose Ortiz and Chad Brown combo hasn’t been as hot this year compared to most, but they have not lost together when racing this mare

3. #8 Lottie (4-1) – Tricky Escape gives a better chance to win, but if this mare is a number, play her to find a way in the money

Race 11 – Fasig-Tipton Lure Stakes

1. #2 Ticonderoga (5-1) – Colt by Tapit has run down Voodoo Song before, and Castellano can be very good at timing his move in the stretch run

2. #8 Voodoo Song (5-2) – This four year old colt had an unbelievable meet at the Spa last year winning all four tries, but too much front end speed will make a fifth win extremely hard

3. #6 Ballagh Rocks (4-1) – Run in a ton of graded races including five grade ones last year so step down in class and running style is a big plus