Spa selections 2023: Saratoga picks September 1

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 III Saranac Stakes

1. #2 Carl Spackler (4-5) – Probably one that gets over-bet so it would be good to look elsewhere, but still the most likely as a grade II winner last time

2. #1 Taking Candy (8-1) – Comes off a sharp bullet work and a nice win last time out over this track at this distance, and is trending in the right direction entering into this tougher field

3. #5 Activist Investing (7-2) – Bet to favorite in three of his four starts for Chad Brown and Klaravich, this colt’s most recent race gives him a chance if he can build on it here

4. #4 Yacowlef (12-1) – Racing in North America for the first time, adding distance on what will be a softer turf course shouldn’t be an issue, and getting Rosario on the turf helps his chances

Race 8 – Clm 25000n2L

1. #8 Forced Ranking (7-2) – Hasn’t raced in nearly two years for Klaravich and Brown, but is a top contender if he returns to his form from his most recent effort

2. #5 Gun Maestro (6-1) – Has been in the mix a few times this year, and has shown some early speed which could be a weapon here in an underachieving field

3. #2 American Law (5-2) – Should benefit from the class drop, and has a few solid efforts at this distance plus has hit the board at a good clip against better groups

4. #4 Fight Fiercely (6-1) – Morning Cup seems like one that always fades in the stretch despite some early speed, so this colt with Rosario could be moving into the top four late

Race 9 – OC 45000n2x

1. #1 Icy Flavor (5-1) – This first time gelding comes off a layoff from November, but has shown some of the most speed of anyone in this group and gets Irad Ortiz here

2. #8 Disarmed (7-2) – Could run with Icy Flavor and Disco Deano early, or sit right off the leaders with Rosario who has gotten the most out of this colt recently 

3. #5 Feathers Road (10-1) – Won last time on an off surface, but will likely return to turf here if the race stays on and should be one that is close late even if he doesn’t win 

4. #3 King Moonracer (9-2) – Has finished in the money in half of his turf tries lifetime, but might need a torrid pace to be able to close late in the stretch at this distance

Race 10 – Clm 16000n2L

1. #9 Deputy Connect (7-2) – This Brad Cox trainee hasn’t had his best efforts in back to back tries here this meet, but drops into claiming company as a threat if Geroux keeps him forward

2. #8 Proven Hope (8-1) – Nearly won last time out albeit in a slower effort, but has fared well at eight furlongs and has some form from early this year that puts him in the mix here

3. #7 Excess Demand (12-1) – If you disregard his last race on turf, this colt might be one to show some early speed and has a race from May that would be good enough to win here

4. #10 Justice Department (3-1) – Chad Brown tried this gelding on turf last time which didn’t go well, but switching back to dirt and adding blinkers might be enough to have winning chances

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