Spa selections 2022: Saratoga picks August 28

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)!

  • Direct the Cat returns with flair
    Direct the Cat, last year’s champion 2yo WV-bred filly, returned to action June 20 with a sharp score, and owner-trainer Cyndy McKee is thinking big.

Race 7 – Claiming 35000n3L

1. #2 Freedomofthepress (5-2) – Was favorite last time in an open allowance, and should improve with the class drop but needs to be more forwardly placed

2. #6 Summer at the Spa (6-1) – Made a solid closing move last time in a state-bred allowance, and one of his better efforts with a slightly better break put him in the mix here

3. #3 Train to Artemus (3-1) – Got a better post draw last time and took advantage against similar claiming company, and can do so here if she stays forward

4. #1 O’Gotten Girl (4-1) – Has run against better horses than this for most of her career, and won in her only try dropping into claimers so could show similar improvement again

Race 8 – Better Talk Now Stakes

1. #4 Wit (9-5) – Might be a bit over-bet considering this field has some interesting runners at a price, but building off his Hall of Fame puts him ahead of the rest

2. #1 Legends Can’t Die (5-1) – Won over this track last time in a gate to wire effort, but even if he might not get those fractions, still looks like a good play to finish well

3. #7 Napoleonic War (2-1) – Nearly won a grade II two back and drops from a grade I, but there may be some prices who have more upside here even if this one can win

4. #8 Riot House (8-1) – Camp David is interesting switching to turf dropping from the Matt Winn, but this gelding has won two in a row on the turf and is trending up here

Race 9 – Grade I Ballerina Handicap

1. #2 Obligatory (7-2) – This filly by Curlin may just get the best set up in here with plenty of others vying for the lead, and should be good value for Juddmonte Farms

2. #1 Ce Ce (2-1) – Seems like the best in here especially if she gets the right stalking trip, but others offer better value in this spot

3. #6 Travel Column (12-1) – Ran impressively first time for Bill Mott, with a chance to build off that effort at a nice price and comes off a sharp four furlong work

4. #5 Bella Sofia (7-2) – Her speed is enough to make it impossible to ignore her, even with Lady Rocket breaking to her inside, she will need to break well have winning chances

Race 10 – Maiden 105k

1. #12 Java Buzz (4-1) – Has run two seconds at Saratoga going this distance, and even with a tougher outside post, might have enough class to best this group

2. #11 Matt Doyle (10-1) – First time turfer adds lasix and get Jose Ortiz here, plus comes out of a maiden where he finished second to Early Voting

3. #9 Upper Level (8-1) – Will need to go out with a bit more modest of fractions this time if he wants a chance to win, but still has more speed than the others and could hit the board

4. #4 Steady On (5-1) – First time starter by Pioneerof the Nile comes off a bullet workout and has a bit more upside than some lightly raced ones in this field

  • Tiz the Law
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