Spa selections 2022: Saratoga picks August 17

In Spa Selections, Saratoga correspondent Joseph Aiello provides Saratoga picks for a handful of key races at Saratoga, including all of the exciting stakes action!

Follow along all meet with all the exciting action (and good betting opportunities)!

Race 1 – Grade I Jonathan Sheppard Handicap

1. #1 Down Royal (9-2) – A winner of her last three, including the Grade I A.P. Smithwick earlier this meet, this mare is in top form with a good chance here

2. #6 Snap Decision (6-5) – This gelding has run well at Saratoga in the past, and comes off a non-hurdle race at Colonial where he finished a near third

3. #5 Redicean (15-1) – Definitely has the class to contend here, consistently taking on the top graded company in hurdle and steeplechase races and is a solid finisher

4. #7 Chief Justice (10-1) – Finishes in the money in over half of his starts, with a near loss last time to Down Royal by a neck, and a nice wire to wire win in April

Race 7 – Maiden 83k

1. #2 Red Hot Chick (8-1) – This grey two year old should be going to the early lead with Luis Saez which makes her dangerous first time out at this distance

2. #7 Crypto Mama (3-1) – Finished second by four lengths in her debut, but probably still needs to take a slight step forward to be a winner here

3. #5 Amazon Barbie (5-1) – Gaffalione and Catalano have won on their only mount together this meet, and team up with this filly by Bernardini who comes off a bullet work

4. #8 Happy Warrior (8-1) – Castellano and Morley have been sharp this meet, especially with longshots, and this first timer should be a fair price on the board

Race 8 – Alw 95000n1x

1. #2 Silken Dollar (3-1) – Hasn’t run her best the last two, but Saez being aggressive here should put this filly in the mix at this distance

2. #6 Mia Bea Star (3-1) – Only three wins in over thirty career starts, but hits the board in nearly half of her races so one that should be close here

3. #5 Caramocha (7-2) – Seems to run her best at eight furlongs, but still one that might need to have a career best effort to be a winner even in this group

4. #1 U Guys Are No Fun (5-2) – This Finger Lakes shipper hasn’t run well in her two at the Spa, but has good speed figures compared to this field and gets Rosario here

Race 9 – New York Stallion Series Stakes

1. #8 Dakota Gold (3-5) – The classiest of this field by a good margin and the most accomplished, this one should win here barring a rough trip

2. #3 Shinsun (8-1) – Has shown some solid turn of foot closing in his two tries, but might need a bit more pace than is in here to chase

3. #5 Marinara Sauced (5-1) – Chad Brown trainee has been in the mix in his three races, but might be another that would benefit from more distance or a faster pace

4. #6 Silent Running (30-1) – Probably not a winner considering he hasn’t broken his maiden yet, but has improved drastically on turf and could round out the top four at a price

  • Tiz the Law was much the best in the Travers Stakes at Saratoga. Photo by NYRA.
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