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
John Piassek handicaps Sunday’s 8-race card at Laurel Park!
We provide picks and analysis for this evening’s card at Charles Town Races.
It’s our Race of the Week, and today we video ‘cap the eighth race from Laurel Park, a contentious second-level allowance.