Spa selections 2020: Saratoga picks August 20
Ginger N Rye won the 2017 Smart N Fancy Stakes at Saratoga. Photo by Chelsea Durand/NYRA.
by Joseph Aiello
In Spa Selections, Saratoga on-site correspondent Joseph Aiello provides Saratoga 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. #6 Optimus Prime (9-5) – Ran a close second to Moscato last time out, but is one for one at this distance and won this race here two years ago
2. #5 Moscato (6-5) – Winner of two straight and comes out of six straight graded tries, this classy gelding still clearly has something left in his nine year old season
3. #8 Gibralfaro (10-1) – Also has good class and has fared well at this distance, this eight year old gelding offers good value and can finish in the mix
Race 7 – Tale of the Cat Stakes
1. #2 Stan the Man (7-5) – Class of the group dropping from a second place finish in a Grade II, a repeat of that performance will be too much for the others to handle
2. #4 My Boy Tate (2-1) – Closing style may come in handy if the pace gets too hot early, this gelding has finished first or second in every try at this distance
3. #5 Binkster (9-2) – Should get a better price than this for a gelding that has had winning issues, but puts in good efforts
Race 8 – OC 40000n2x
1. #2 Fetching (9-2) – This filly by Afleet Alex put in one of her best efforts two back at seven furlongs, so a distance cut-back could be just what she needs to improve
2. #4 The Important One (6-1) – Closed impressively with Joel Rosario on the turf last time out, and can show some of the same kick if the pace falls apart
3. #7 Lead Guitar (6-5) – Speightstown Gal was impressive last time out in defeat and may control things here, but this filly drops from a stakes try and looks primed for a good effort
Race 9 – Clm 25000
1. #1 Dark Money (7-2) – Runs best with a stalking trip, and can sit off of Foolish Ghost and other leaders to take over in the stretch
2. #6 Foolish Ghost (8-1) – Possesses the most speed in this field, and can win with an aggressive ride at a price if he holds off some others early
3. #2 We Should Talk (9-2) – Winner of his last three, this gelding is also best suited involved in the race early, and can certainly beat this field with a repeat of last race
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