Spa selections 2023: Saratoga picks august 20

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 – Bolton Landing Stakes

1. #2 Crown Imperial (7-2) – Was gaining a bit on Amidst Waves last time, and gets another half furlong to close into plus has steadily been improving in three tries

2. #3 Amidst Waves (8-5) – The likely favorite who has won both of her turf starts, this two year old filly should be near the lead with Irad Ortiz riding for George Weaver here

3. #4 Gram (7-2) – Keeps Rosario for Clement and will put in a ground saving trip as one that is trending in the right direction with some strong late moves already and is a winning threat here

4. #5 She’s Fire (4-1) – Maybe a notch below these other three, but has some upside here if she gets to the lead and is able to control this race with softer fractions

Race 8 – Mdn 136.5k 

1. #2 Magico (3-1) – Finished a distant second in his debut, but this colt by Good Magic sold for over half a million and still has high hopes coming off a layoff from early July 

2. #5 Quality Chic (8-1) – No longer in the barn of Kenneth McPeek, this gelding by Quality Road has had plenty of tries to win at this level, but at the very least should be in the mix here

3. #7 Digitize (5-2) – This Klaravich and Brown runner has the edge on these being a bit older at four, coming off a year plus layoff and trying a manageable seven furlongs here

4. #9 Black Rain (9-2) – This first timer has the connections of Irad and Pletcher, but has a tough outside post and another first time starter in Lord Vicente who has potential 

Race 9 – Clm 35000n2L

1. #3 Quality G (3-1) – Four for five in the money on turf and three seconds at the distance, this Pletcher trainee has the right running style to take advantage of this field with a stalking trip 

2. #10 Forwardly (5-1) – Chad Brown drops this runner into claiming company after some solid yet unspectacular results against better horses, and has a chance despite a tougher post

3. #9 Java Buzz (7-2) – Appears to frequently fade late in his stretch runs, with five places in eleven starts but should be on or near the lead and in the mix at the end 

4. #2 Empire Attraction (4-1) – Drops from a lower level optional claimer, but despite little class for this one, his race two back could be enough to win here if Irad gives him the right trip

Race 10 – MC 30000

1. #2 Conquist (9-2) – Seems to be primarily geared towards turf, but the big plus for this one will be running at six furlongs after mainly racing at a mile plus which was a bit too far

2. #9 Chalky Cat (5-2) – Drops from state bred maidens into this maiden claiming class, and despite some distant finishes, some class relief may be enough to give him winning chances

3. #3 Two Chuckles (10-1) – Adds blinkers and had a decent race at this distance last time, but would likely need to take a step forward to find himself in the winner’s circle here

4. #10 Mudville Nine (4-1) – Watch Hill could be worth a play as a first time starter, but this gelding by Hard Spun improved greatly last time dropping into maiden claiming company

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