Saratoga Saturday: Whitney and Test Analysis and Selections
The Saturday card at Saratoga features two Grade 1 events. The Whitney and the Test provide bettors with a star-studded weekend of racing.
With two of Saratoga’s signature events running this week there are a number of story lines that bettors should be aware of.
Asmussen Closes in on Training Record
Steve Asmussen has 25 runners at various tracks on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. As of the writing of this piece he sits only 2 wins behind the all-time mark. Ten of those runners will be at Saratoga.
Baffert’s Back at Saratoga
Court intervention has led NYRA to lift their ban on Bob Baffert. The trainer was banned after Medina Spirit tested positive for illegal medication. This weekend will mark Baffert’s first runners in New York since May.
Saratoga Jockey & Trainer Standings
Luis Saez holds a slight edge over the brother’s Ortiz for the jockey lead at Saratoga. The three have separated from Joel Rosario and Tyler Gafflione in 4th and 5th respectively.
Mike Maker has been the hot hand trainer at Saratoga this year. Heading into Thursday’s card he was the only trainer with double digit wins.
Saratoga Saturday Analysis
All races are available for viewing on the NYRA Youtube Channel and on TV via the Fox family of networks.
The selections below are listed in order of preference and under the assumption that the course will be fast and firm.
Post: 12:35 PM ET; Purse: 100K Maiden Special Weight, 1 1/16 Miles on Inner Turf; Entries: 10
In these 2 year old races, players are wise to watch the tote board and adjust accordingly. #5 Boston Flagship makes his 2nd start for Bill Mott. He doesn’t often have them cranked first out. #2 Dripping Gold is well bred for this spot. Shug usually takes his time so if this one starts taking money, back up the Brinks truck. #8 Speak Unity is 5-1, but gets Flavien Prat in the saddle on the inner turf and will be forwardly placed.
- Selections: 5-2-8
Post: 1:08 PM ET; Purse: 72K Claiming, 1 1/8 Miles on Dirt; Entries: 8
#4 Heirloom Kitten will be near the front with Jose Ortiz in the saddle. Also sitting on or near the lead should be #3 Zoomer with Joel Rosario on the mount. #2 American Tattoo will likely be sent to the front and if no one else goes, he could go wire to wire.
- Selections: 4-3-2-6
Post: 1:44 PM ET; Purse: 103K Allowance, 6 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 6
Irad Ortiz will ride for Jeremiah Engleheart on the #2 Tuggle. The favorite will look to stalk and pounce. Alternatives include #5 Dream Bigger, #3 Newbomb, and #1 Life Changer will all look to be on the lead. If they don’t burn each other up, any of them could be in with a chance.
- Selections: 2-5-3-1
Post: 2:18 PM ET; Purse: 85K Maiden Special Weight, 1 Mile on Inner Turf; Entries: 10
This race is for non-winners, but has a few experienced runners in the group which provides a bit more information as to what the race may look like. #2 Sportini is making his debut with Luis Saez in the irons. If he takes money, he is likely to win the race.
#3 Sandro the Great is 0-5 and will sit off the pace which hasn’t been ideal at Saratoga, but with so many horses without proven running styles, things could heat up and he could come late.
#9 Shutters and #10 Hot Doctor go out for great connections in Chad Brown and Linda Rice respectively. Both should be respected.
If the race comes off the turf, it goes squarely through the #4 Gold Panda.
- Selections: 2-3-4-9-10
Post: 2:52 PM ET; Purse: 100K Maiden Special Weight, 7 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 10
In yet another Saratoga 2 year old maiden race, the board will be the best tipster. However, I like #7 Stellar Tap for Asmussen and Santana at a good price of 5-1. #4 Martini’nMoonshine, #2 Brigadier General, and #3 KeepCalmCarryOn all have experience and could have an edge in the latter stages of the race.
- Selections: 7-4-2-3
Post: 3:24 PM ET; Purse: 120K Fasig-Tipton Lure S., 1 1/16 Miles on Turf; Entries: 12
Kicking off the stakes portion is the Lure Stakes. This race will display a bunch of horses with impressive resumes. In this race I like a bit of an upset with #7 Tell Your Daddy at 8-1 on the front end. #6 Midnight Tea Time and #5 Flavius will be sitting in the second flight and look to come flying home late.
If #2 Delaware can find his best late kick he might launch from deeper out and pass a majority of this field en route to victory.
- Selections: 7-6-5-2
Post: 3:58 PM ET; Purse: 250K Glens Falls S., 1 1/2 Miles on Inner Turf; Entries: 7
#5 My Sister Nat and #4 Orglandes both go out for Chad Brown and have a shot in this race. #3 War Like Goddess enters as the favorite and will join the Brown runners making a late run. #2 Temple City Terror will be ridden by Tyler Gafflione who can be aggressive on turf which is not always true of the New York jockey colony.
- Selections: 5-3-2-4
Post: 4:34 PM ET; Purse: 500K Longines Test S., 7 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 8
Everyone is going to have to prove they can beat #7 Search Results here. #8 Bella Sofia gets leading Jockey Luis Saez and will go for the lead. #5 Always Carina will be another that will try to wire the field with Prat riding for Chad Brown. #4 Obligatory would love to see them heat up on the front and come running late.
- Selections: 7-8-5-4
Post: 5:10 PM ET; Purse: 1M Saratoga Derby Invitational S., 1 3/16 Miles on Turf; Entries: 11
#6 Bolshoi Ballet ran one of the most impressive races at Belmont last out and will look to repeat here. Bill Mott gets his second start with #2 Du Jour who could look to bring them around on the front end.
Christophe Clement is one of the best turf trainers in the country. Although he’s off to a slow start compared to last year, he will win his fair share and has #1 Soldier Rising on the inside.
#11 King Fury was on the Derby trail, but always seemed to factor more on turf than dirt.
- Selections: 6-2-1-11 (Best Bet #6)
Post: 5:48 PM ET; Purse: 1M Whitney S., 1 1/8 Miles on Dirt; Entries: 5
#4 Knicks Go was disappointing last out, but will look to get back on track here. Godolphin has Essential Quality on the road to the Breeder’s Cup Classic and will look to stamp #5 Maxfield’s ticket here too. #1 By My Standards and #2 Silver State have an outsiders shot.
- Selections: 4-5-1-2
Post: 6:23 PM ET; Purse: 105K Allowance Optional Claim, 1 1/8 Miles on Dirt; Entries: 9
#2 Superfecto will look to take them wire to wire. He will likely be sent hard, but may encounter some company. #7 Lost in Rome may be one of those looking to give him a little pressure.
#1a Musical Heart is my preferred part of the entry, but is also the speed. If he can wire, great. If not, he may just set it up for the #1 Danny California and I’ll get paid either way.
#8 Chestertown was highly touted out of the sale with a ridiculous purchase price. He hasn’t really lived up to the bill, but he’s live here.
- Selections: 2-7-1a-8
Post: 6:55 PM ET; Purse: 103K Allowance, 5 1/2 Furlongs on Turf; Entries: 14
#11 Miner’s Queen presents Steve Asmussen yet another shot at the training record. #7 Time Limit gets the leading trainer and jockey at the Saratoga meet. Toss at your own peril.
#9 Spicy Marg and #6 Risky Mischief will both be in contention early and could be major players in the late stages.
Stay connected with Betting News for continuing coverage of the Saratoga summer meet.
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