Spa selections 2022: Saratoga picks August 27

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 4 – Grade II Ballston Spa Stakes

1. #2 Lemista (3-1) – With less speed here, Technical Analysis is likely to leave, which sets up well for this mare who ran much better last time by stalking the early leader and can do so here

2. #5 Technical Analysis (1-1) – Has the big advantage of being what seems to be the lone speed here, so if Jose Ortiz controls the pace, this filly should be able to hold off the others

3. #4 Fluffy Socks (7-2) – Hasn’t been winning outside of a grade II in October, but pretty consistently hits the board and can do so here with Irad Ortiz Jr. in the irons

4. #3 Our Flash Drive (4-1) – Ran well in the De La Rose three weeks ago, and already had won two grade III races, so one that can be bet to upset if the price is higher than this

Race 5 – Grade I Forego Stakes

1. #5 Cody’s Wish (7-2) – Winner of five of his last six, this one seems like the next best to Jackie’s Warrior, and has improved with his stalking style which should have him near the lead

2. #3 Jackie’s Warrior (1-2) – This is a much tougher spot than the Vanderbilt, but he still wins easily if the fractions are modest, otherwise this race could set up for a long-shot closer

3. #6 Pipeline (8-1) – For Jackie’s Warrior to lose, Cody’s Wish and this colt may need to apply some early pressure, with this looking like one who will improve with distance relief

4. #4 Two Three Zone (12-1) – Has looked impressive since switching into the barn of Raymond Handal, taking well to the Saratoga track last time and working well recently too

Race 8 – Grade I H. Allen Jerkens Memorial Stakes

1. #6 Jack Christopher (6-5) – Still ran very well in the Haskell despite it being too far for him, and should be sitting off Conagher with every chance to pass in the stretch with his class

2. #1 Conagher (7-2) – This race could shape into a stretch battle between Jack Christopher and this likely leader if the pace isn’t too fast, and this colt may be best at seven furlongs

3. #9 Accretive (9-2) – This gelding’s sire, Practical Joke, won this race five years ago, and this may be a good spot if the top two go out too fast providing winning chances from off the pace

4. #8 Gunite (6-1) – Gets the slight edge over some promising long-shots like Actuator, but this might not be the best spot for him with the two speeds even if he has run well at the Spa

Race 9 – Grade I Personal Ensign Stakes

1. #2 Search Results (7-2) – The key for this filly will be how fast Letruska goes early, if she is able to sit in second off a more modest pace, she can win at good value

2. #3 Clairiere (6-5) – Seems like the best one going of the bunch right now, as this filly by Curlin has taken a step forward this year and is a top win contender here

3. #1 Letruska (3-1) – Last year, this mare would have been favored among this field, but now at this distance, she needs to go around a forty-seven half to wire this field

4. #5 Malathaat (5-2) – Might be overlooked because she couldn’t get by Clairiere in back to back efforts, but still can win with a fast pace as she prefers distance more than the others

Race 10 – Grade I Sword Dancer Stakes

1. #8 Soldier Rising (15-1) – Not quite as classy as most others, but has put forth two of his best races at the right time and has run well at this distance

2. #6 Gufo (9-2) – One that should improve going a mile and a half, he hasn’t been as sharp recently but adds blinkers and shouldn’t be as far back this time

3. #1 Adhamo (7-2) – Adds an extra furlong from his last race victory, and just seems to be rounding into form for this race by not dropping back too far in the early goings

4. #3 Broome (3-1) – Channel Maker has been running well recently too and can be considered, but this six year old has versatility here that some others do not have

Race 11 – 153rd Grade I Travers Stakes

1. #8 Zandon (5-1) – The connections had this colt by Upstart aimed for the Travers since the Derby trail, and even if this doesn’t appear to be the ideal distance or pace set-up, he should improve with a mid-pack trip as opposed to the Jim Dandy, and might be a sneaky good value here to finally get past Epicenter for the first time

2. #6 Epicenter (7-5) – This colt by Not This Time has clearly separated himself from the top three year olds this year, but still faces challenges here being that he will likely need to be more forward even if he has the versatility to best this field both ways, with the results coming down to Joel Rosario’s timing and aggressiveness in this spot

3. #1 Cyberknife (7-2) – Tough of what to make of this colt by Gun Runner who has two Grade I wins including an impressive Haskel last time, but it still might take his best and then some to be a winner here even if he employs a running style that has him sitting in third or fourth early with what should be a ground-saving trip along the rail

4. #5 Artorius (9-2) – Can make a case for the big longshots to close and hit the board, but if Early Voting isn’t able to handle the lead, this inexperienced colt by Arrogate may find himself in the perfect stalking position to take a step forward like his sire did six years ago, although this one could be feast or famine with the step up in class

Race 12 – Maiden 88k

1. #2 Feathers Road (7-2) – This gelding by Quality Road seems due for a win and has run much better on turf, but will need a good set up to rate here

2. #7 Heymackit’sjack (3-1) – Adds blinkers which is a plus considering his best efforts have come with forwardly-placed trips, so look for a potential gate to wire ride in this one

3. #4 Empire Sky (4-1) – Two thirds in two races, but ran in open maidens at Monmouth showing good enough turn of foot to be involved late in this state-bred group

4. #1 Kreesa (5-1) – Give a play to this first timer by Big Brown who trains in the Donk barn and gets Velazquez here who has won with Donk already this meet

Race 13 – Allowance 115000n1x

1. #1 Parnac (3-1) – Rosario and Clement team up with this filly who ran a sharp speed figure first time in North America, but might need more pace to aim at than is in here

2. #2 Invincible Gal (5-2) – Certainly has more class than the rest here which is a plus, but never seems to win and frequently finishes second, but she should hit the board

3. #9 Miss Tapirado (5-1) – This sneaky mare by Tapit took a clear step forward last time being positioned mid-pack and off the pace, and can compete and win building off that effort

4. #4 Wicked Groove (8-1) – Has won her only try at this distance, and even if she has slightly less class than others, seven for nine in the money on the turf should put her in the mix

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