Spa selections 2022: Saratoga picks August 26

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 – Seeking the Ante Stakes

1. #5 Miracle (2-1) – Maple Leaf Mel definitely had the better debut, but this could be one to benefit from her getting pressed by others and sitting off the leaders with winning chances

2. #3 Maple Leaf Mel (4-5) – A repeat of her only try with similar fractions and little pressure puts her in the winning circle among this group, but faces more pressure here

3. #2 Les Bon Temps (8-1) – Didn’t finish as strongly in his first stakes effort as he should have, but might’ve just been too close to a quick early quarter which caused him to fade late

4. #1 Song Parody (7-2) – This filly by Practical Joke will likely try and take the lead from Maple Leaf Mel, and may need to do so to have a chance to hit the board

Race 3 – Albany Stakes

1. #1 Price Discipline (7-5) – Might end up favorite over the more accomplished Barese because of the connections, but should be second choice but better suited for this distance

2. #4 Barese (8-5) – Anything over even money seems like good value for this colt who has run against much better than Price Discipline, even if this isn’t his ideal distance

3. #3 Montebello (5-2) – Should clearly be on the early lead in this one, but needs to go a bit further and might not be able to slow the fractions down after a quick start like last time

4. #5 Bossmakinbossmoves (8-1) – Made a nice closing move last time but may prefer a softer track, still one that needs plenty of pace to break down to have a chance here

Race 5 – Fleet Indian Stakes

1. #5 Venti Valentine (9-5) – This filly by Firing Line will get played based on the company she has raced against recently, but probably needs someone to press Fingal’s Cave to win

2. #2 Fingal’s Cave (4-5) – A winner of all three tries convincingly and the distance doesn’t seem to be an issue here, but should face more pressure than last time

3. #1 Let Her Inspire U (4-1) – Has been post-time favorite in all five of her races, and can either try to get the lead here or sit off Fingal’s Cave for a good stalking trip

4. #4 Galaxina (8-1) – Has already won two state-bred stakes races, but maybe a step below some others coming from Finger Lakes and benefitting from slower paces

Race 7 – Funny Cide Stakes

1. #1 Acoustic Avenue (5-2) – Impressive to win by seven in his debut, and should have enough speed to hold off the others early with a chance to go gate to wire

2. #5 Andiamo a Firenze (4-5) – Faded a bit in the Grade III Sanford, but came out of that effort with some sharp workouts and will be a top contender if he vies for the early lead

3. #4 Donegal Surges (4-1) – Won by five lengths first time in a bit slower race than some others at six furlongs, but still gets the edge over the rest based on that trip

4. #2 I’m Wide Awake (8-1) – One that maybe improves with a bit more experience after a tough Sanford effort where he didn’t break sharply, but still needs to get better to win

Race 8 – Yaddo Handicap

1. #6 Make Mischief (9-2) – This one goes dirt to turf for the first time but appears to have some early speed that could be dangerous in here especially if the pace isn’t very fast

2. #7 Marvelous Maude (3-1) – Takes a step up in class but won her only try over this turf course last time and should have the right running style to be a factor here

3. #5 Runaway Rumour (5-1) – This filly by Flintshire hasn’t hit the board since October, but there is reason to believe she will improve enough off the class drop to be in the mix

4. #10 Classic Lady (5-1) – Obviously the post isn’t ideal, but Rosario and Clement should still have this mare in the top grouping as she has been consistent at hitting the board

Race 10 – West Point Stakes

1. #7 Cross Border (9-2) – Hasn’t been his sharpest this year which isn’t a good sign at eight years old, but might get the right set up sitting in third or fourth in a race which could be fast

2. #5 City Man (8-5) – Won this race last year and comes off a career best race in the Grade III Forbidden Apple, and will need a similar effort to be a winner here

3. #3 Somelikeithotbrown (7-2) – May let Jerry the Nipper go early considering the removal of blinkers here, but still a threat with his speed even if he doesn’t hold on late

4. #2 Jerry the Nipper (8-1) – His try first time on turf was extremely sharp, and could be a sign of things to come for this gelding by Liam’s Map who should be good value and has early speed

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