Spa selections 2019: Saratoga August 21

by | Aug 20, 2019 | 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 – Michael G. Walsh Novice Stakes

1. #6 Arch My Boy (5-2) – Finished a narrow second to Redicean last time, who is running in the John’s Call, so should be a top contender here

2. #5 Sportswear (3-1) – This gelding by Frankel has been strong in three straight, including two wins, and should continue to improve for trainer Jonathan Sheppard

3. #3 Cite (9-2) – Could be a tad too far for this gelding by Blame, but two wins in three tries at Saratoga and a good jockey trainer combo give him a chance

Race 2 – OC 25000n1x

1. #4 Team Win (8-1) – Only one here to win an allowance race, and should be a fair price in a small five horse field

2. #1 South of the Shore (8-5) – Seems somewhat obvious running second to Alabama winner Dunbar Road last time, but four seconds in five tries and layoff issues makes this tough

3. #5 Smooth With a Kick (7-5) – Mo Moxie could find her way into the money, but a strong win at this distance last time makes this other Chad Brown trainee a top contender

Race 4 – John’s Call Stakes

1. #1 Highland Sky (5-2) – Red Knight might get overbet, and in a race like this, a jockey familiar with this gelding and one that has run against the best should win if moved earlier

2. #6 Nakamura (4-1) – Another race four days after a good victory must mean this gelding is in top form, and with Castellano timing should not be an issue

3. #4 Pillar Mountain (5-2) – Despite sitting well back against weaker last race, a victory was never in doubt, and Rosario will try and charge late at the end with more distance to run into

Race 9 – Alw 80000n1x

1. #8 Six Percent (5-1) – Keeps Javier Castellano and switches back to his preferred surface with some decent pace here

2. #9 Samay (6-1) – A bit cheap coming from Finger Lakes, but at least has been winning, nearly beating similar here last year

3. #3 Our Last Buck (8-1) – Amundson ran well last time and gets Jose Ortiz, and Thorny Tale deserves a look, but this gelding comes from an open company allowance and goes back to dirt