Spa selections 2021: Saratoga picks August 21
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 3 – Smart N Fancy Stakes
1. #2 Lead Guitar (6-5) – This one depends on the break, but with the aggressive Saez in the irons, sitting close in third or fourth early will give this mare her best chance
2. #4 Piedi Bianchi (6-1) – This mare is dangerous here cutting back in distance to a race where she shouldn’t fade in the stretch as long as she sits off of Robin Sparkles early
3. #1 Robin Sparkles (1-1) – Won’t win here with the fractions from her last two, but if she gets away with more mild fractions and little pressure, she can go gate to wire
Race 8 – Clm 35000n3L
1. #3 Vulcan (6-1) – First time gelding and Cox trainee had a tough effort last time, but his two stakes tries before that were solid, and will be sitting second with a chance to pass in the stretch
2. #4 Identity Politics (9-5) – One that has winning troubles, and despite the class drop and connections, it seems like this horse that hasn’t won in two years will have difficulty here
3. #5 Charlie Five O (15-1) – Golani Brigade drops and has won both at Saratoga, but this colt has been a favorite in every race, and has potential to go wire to wire here with the right pace
Race 9 – Grade II Lake Placid Stakes
1. #4 Runaway Rumour (7-2) – This filly by Flintshire was closing in the stretch last time on Technical Analysis, and has been strong this year, so can win here with the right trip
2. #2 Technical Analysis (6-5) – Hard to avoid Chad Brown in a small turf field, especially coming off of last race and can win here with softer fractions and sitting off the leader
3. #6 Spanish Loveaffair (3-1) – Santana jumps off Runaway Rumour to ride this filly, who despite her struggles last time out, cuts back in distance and can be dangerous on a slow pace
Race 10 – Grade I Alabama Stakes
1. #7 Army Wife (6-1) – This race will mostly be decided in the first half, and if Played Hard tires along with Malathaat, this filly could give Michael Maker a highlight win for his successful meet
2. #6 Malathaat (1-1) – After a tough ride and finish in the Coaching Club, this filly should clearly be sitting in second or third early, with a better chance at winning here using that set up
3. #3 Clairiere (6-1) – Irad Ortiz should keep this filly off the leaders here and hope that Played Hard sets up enough pace to aim at for a finish into the money
Race 11 – Mdn 100k
1. #9 So Enchanting (3-1) – Lost by a neck last time, but has been improving and gets another shot at a mile after never finishing worse than third in four starts
2. #4 Split Then Double (5-2) – Didn’t make a big move in the stretch last time out, but has been close in three tries on the turf and was bet to favorite last time out
3. #5 Gailhorsewind (8-1) – Faded in the stretch last time, but gets more distance here and could try and close, but adds blinkers so likely to be involved early
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