Spa selections 2021: Saratoga picks July 31
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 7 – Alw 103000n1x
1. #2 Invincible Gal (3-1) – First time lasix filly has finished a near second in four stakes races, and has her only win at the Spa so she seems due for a breakthrough win
2. #8 Love And Thunder (2-1) – Chad Brown trainee lost by a nose last time and definitely has the closing kick to win here, but could use some pace to aim at to win
3. #7 High Opinion (4-1) – Another one who has had some tough seconds, keeps Irad Ortiz and cuts back to a mile plus runs well on a good surface
Race 8 – Grade I Alfred G Vanderbilt Handicap
1. #3 Firenze Fire (3-1) – One that has been in top form and comes back down to his preferred distance, a versatile running style which could prove beneficial here
2. #9 Special Reserve (9-2) – Very good jockey trainer combo and is undefeated at six furlongs this year with some blistering races, should get a solid price due to step up in class
3. #7 Miles Ahead (12-1) – Sneaky good value for this gelding that has won half of his career starts and is five for seven at the distance plus comes off a win in his first graded try
Race 9 – Grade II Jim Dandy Stakes
1. #5 Essential Quality (1-2) – This isn’t his ideal spot, he probably prefers longer races such as the Belmont and will have a tough time topping that effort, but still the best despite the price
2. #4 Keepmeinmind (6-1) – Has had some extremely impressive works at Saratoga, adds Rosario, and has his best efforts ahead, but still could use more pace and distance than here
3. #2 Masqueparade (4-1) – Since breaking his maiden by disqualification, this colt has won two straight at this distance, including the Grade III Ohio Derby and should be in a perfect spot early
Race 10 – Grade II Bowling Green Stakes
1. #1 Channel Cat (5-1) – Will likely be on the lead with Channel Maker, and seems primed for a good performance after a disappointing showing in the Grade I Manhattan last time
2. #7 Moon Over Miami (7-2) – One that has struggled to win in the past, but three straight in the money this year and should be a good play to hit the board here
3. #3 Breakpoint (10-1) – Fourth by four in his first race outside of Chile where he was undefeated in five starts, but this Brown trainee gets much needed distance and should improve
Race 11 – Clm 25000
1. #3 Morocco (9-2) – Drops from an optional claimer and had been running well over the past year, with a couple of wins and a few others in the money
2. #8 Hieroglyphics (6-1) – Has won four of his last six, and despite typically running longer distances, this gelding has fared well recently going shorter and has three wins at Saratoga
3. #7 Tizzarunner (5-1) – Gets Irad Ortiz for Michael Maker, and is a consistent finisher with a strong closing kick but might need more pace than is in here to win
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.