Spa selections 2019: Saratoga August 23

by | Aug 22, 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 3 – Fleet Indian Stakes

1. #5 Behind the Couch (5-2) – Will need to sit mid pack and hope for others to weaken late, but picks up leading jockey Jose Ortiz and should like distance

2. #2 Newly Minted (6-5) – Switches back to dirt which she prefers, and should be able to handle the added distance as long as she isn’t pressed to go out too fast

3. #4 Wait a Minute (6-1) – Maybe not quite as fast as some others, but still won a race by twenty three lengths and has a huge advantage if she can get away early

Race 5 – Yaddo Stakes 

1. #6 Munchkin Money (3-1) – Nearly ran down Fifty Five two back, and is the most likely to have a crack at edging her out at the wire in this field

2. #1 Fifty Five (1-1) – Comes out of a Grade III she nearly won, and is the clear best horse here and should win if English Soul collapses at the end

3. #3 Wegetsdamunnys (5-1) – English Soul has had some issues holding onto leads, and this filly shows a strong closing kick plus likes racing at the Spa

Race 7 – Seeking the Ante Stakes

1. #6 My Italian Rabbi (2-1) – Repeat of last race where she ran down Fierce Lady will likely occur here, with added distance and more pace pressure on the leaders

2. #5 Fierce Lady (1-1) – Still the best speed in this race, but would need little to no pressure up front to steal this from My Italian Rabbi

3. #2 Big Q (6-1) – Gets a nice drop from an open Grade II, and also gets Lasix first time making her a good candidate to improve 

Race 8 – Funny Cide Stakes

1. #4 Mission Wrapitup (5-1) – Maybe just didn’t like the slop last time, but this first time gelding can win if he stalks the two leaders and takes over in the stretch

2. #3 City Man (3-1) – Bet to favorite last time and was coming home fast, and should like the added distance for this strong jockey trainer duo

3. #6 Theitalianamerican (10-1) – Cleon Jones deserves a look at a number, and Sky of Hook is more obvious, but this ridgling should run his best here on a drier track

Race 9 – West Point Stakes

1. #3 Offering Plan (8-5) – Should be speed to close into and plenty of other questions with this field means this likely favorite should be able to win here

2. #4 Rapt (12-1) – Hasn’t won in two years, but has been putting in solid efforts and at the very least is a good play to find his way into the money

3. #8 Dot Matrix (9-2) – Three front runners to his inside may have trouble hanging onto the lead, so take this closer who has been bet to favorite his last four tries

Race 10 – Albany Stakes

1. #2 Bankit (7-2) – This colt needs to break better than he has in the past, but the added distance and good record at Saratoga should help him run well

2. #7 Not That Brady (5-2) – Should have the lead early, and will hang on for second if he gets soft fractions and isn’t pressed by Kazmania or Just Right

3. #1 Daddy Knows (12-1) – Will prefer the distance stretch more than the others here, being the only one in this field to win at a mile and an eighth and has a versatile running style