Spa selections 2021: Saratoga picks July 28
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 – Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes
1. #6 A Silent Player (6-1) – Won on a soft surface last time and seems to be trending in the right direction, plus has consistently finished in his career
2. #3 The Mean Queen (6-5) – This five year old mare has two wins in two career starts, plus a strong closing effort after starting well behind last time out
3. #4 Fast Car (7-2) – Has maybe his best effort here last year, and despite recent struggles at the stakes level, is the only one who has won at this distance
Race 3 – New York Stallion Series Stakes
1. #6 Step Dancer (2-1) – Was more impressive than Ocala Dream last time out coming from ninth to nearly win, and gets an added furlong here plus broke his maiden at Saratoga
2. #4 Ocala Dream (9-5) – Winner of his last two after switching to a more forwardly-placed running style, and certainly has enough talent to beat this group
3. #2 It’s Gravy (12-1) – In the money in seven of nine starts, and despite not having his best effort last time in a switch to turf, keeping Rosario and stretching out bodes well for this gelding
Race 7 – OC 100000n3x
1. #5 Passing Out (5-2) – Hasn’t run since September, but this mare by Orb showed some strong efforts last year including a third to Rushing Fall in the Grade III Beaugay at Belmont
2. #6 Tamahere (8-5) – Could be over-bet because of the connections, but comes out of four graded tries and three grade I races, and despite inconsistency, good enough to win here
3. #9 Witez (8-1) – Might prefer to go a bit further, but has been a solid finisher on the turf, routinely hitting the board at solid prices, so take a play here
Race 9 – Grade II Honorable Miss Handicap
1. #9 Bell’s The One (7-5) – Might not be great value, but the class of the field who is four for four at this distance and should win if she gets a good break
2. #4 Lake Avenue (9-2) – The next best who gets a much needed cutback to six furlongs, has seemed to improve this year and is a good play to possibly upset the favorite
3. #1 Ain’t No Elmers (6-1) – Coming off a career effort where she went wire to wire at this distance in optional claiming company, can surprise and hold on in the money with the right trip
We provide picks and analysis for this evening’s card at Charles Town Races.
Happy DeFrancis Dash day! There’s 11 races on today’s card, including four stakes. John Piassek has the card covered here.
We’ve got Delaware Park picks and horses to watch for this afternoon’s racing program.