Spa selections 2021: Saratoga picks July 22
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 A.P. Smithwick Memorial Steeplechase Stakes
1. #4 Redicean (2-1) – Hasn’t run since August of last year where he nearly won a grade I at the Spa and has had a few strong efforts here
2. #6 Gibralfaro (9-5) – Hasn’t won in nearly two years, but a consistent finisher who is always in the mix and seems due for a good performance
3. #5 Galway Kid (7-2) – Ran well here last year, and despite two recent non-finishes, has a grade III win in March and the only with a win this year
Race 8 – OC 80000n2x
1. #5 Lovely Lucky (6-5) – Drops out of three straight graded tries, and a good mid-pack trip from Jose Ortiz should help this mare who is the only with a win at this distance of this group
2. #6 Mia Martina (3-1) – Her best style in this longer race would be to sit well off the leaders, where she has shown the ability to make big moves but runs out of ground which she gets here
3. #1A Birdie Queen (12-1) – Gets first time lasix after shipping up from Peru where she had decent success including a strong win at a mile and a quarter on the turf in September
Race 9 – Alw 103000n1x
1. #5 Portilla (6-1) – Broke her maiden first time out, then followed up with a solid fourth, should be one who likes the added distance at a good price
2. #3 Ice Princess (8-5) – Has a good jockey and trainer and the best back-class of the field, but struggles to win even if she is very likely to hit the board and may be over-bet
3. #1A Played Hard (3-1) – This filly by Into Mischief stretched out last time to break her maiden in style, and could be dangerous with the right early set up and slow pace
Race 10 – MC 40000
1. #8 Ob La Di (12-1) – Her first try on the turf and at this distance led to a near victory, getting this grey filly at a decent price in an underwhelming field is a good play
2. #12 Stella Mars (3-1) – Clearly runs better on the turf and softer surfaces, plus will keep Rosario and can win with a repeat of last race
3. #2 Orma (6-1) – Social Whirl will try to wire this field but always seems to fade late, so take a shot with this mid-pack closer who improved last time out and gets Saez in the irons
The fourth Kentucky Derby future wagering pool will kick off Friday, and 2yo champ Forte is the top individual choice on the morning line.
We provide full-card picks and analysis for this afternoon’s races at Laurel Park.
We provide picks and analysis for this evening’s card at Charles Town Races.