Spa selections 2018: Saratoga August 23

by | Aug 22, 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 – Grade I New York Turf Writers Cup Handicap

1. #3 Iranistan (3-1) – Bet to favorite last time and narrowly beaten by Show Court, this gelding should return to his dominant wins here

2. #4 Show Court (4-1) – Won the Grade I A.P. Smithwick, and seems to like Saratoga winning twice in three tries since last year

3. #7 All the Way Jose (20-1) – Take a shot with this eight year old gelding who is coming from the Grade I A.P. Smithwick Handicap

Race 2 – Alw 90000n1x

1. #2 Tigalalu (9-2) – Unlike War Value, this Hennig trainee didn’t like the mud last time and should return to her first race dominance on a dry track

2. #3 War Value (5-2) – Not sure if her last try was due to the muddy track, but nonetheless it was impressive and cannot be ignored in a small field

3. #5 Untaken (10-1) – Distance last time was clearly too far, so a cutback and a return to form two races ago will allow this filly to close if the pace heats up

Race 7 – Alw 50000s

1. #4 Souper Echo (8-1) – Although last win was a maiden claiming race, it was the most impressive try of this field and with Jose Ortiz this filly could wire

2. #6 Dream Passage (3-1) – Switches back to turf and a distance that she prefers, plus keeps Joel Rosario in the irons

3. #1A Hoponthebusgus (6-5) – Not great last time, but gets bet to favorite often and can win with a more forwardly-placed ride

Race 9 – Riskaverse Stakes

1. #8 Sweet Sting (5-1) – Will need a little speed to close into, but has been in the most impressive fields of this group while still being competitive

2. #4 Tapit Today (3-1) – A little cheap for trainer Chad Brown, but a versatile running style will allow her to sit up on leaders or close from the back

3. #5 Monte Crista (9-2) – Ferdinanda deserves a play here as well, but this filly drops from a stakes and was bet to favorite in her last two