Saratoga Race Course – July, 18th 2020 Preview

What a doozy the first two days of this Saratoga meet have been. The Spa is officially back and so too are its unpredictable outcomes. With the exception of the Pick 6 / Late Pick 5 yesterday, it’s been damn near impossible to string together a solid 4 winners, and speed has NOT held up in the slightest either. Maybe we got used to the Belmont chalk or perhaps Irad’s hot streak came to a conclusion…but nonetheless, there was a LOT to learn from the past two days. 

It’s the first official Saturday in the Spa! Sadly, we may not be at the track itself but I hope you all have a hell of a day. Best of luck, let’s get to it.

Race 1 (1:10pm): Maiden Special Weight, 5½ furlongs on the dirt, 2 yr olds

Baby race to start the day here and not much experience to go off of either. Only a 6 man field and there really aren’t any horses I want to throw out, so if you’re playing the early Pick 5 this honestly could be an ALL race…however that’s not how I like to look at things, and I like to find winners – so let’s do that here. #6 Repo Rocks is a first time starter Mott horse and had one speedy workout on this Saratoga track on Sunday. Hoping this one stays at 2-1 because I think he could be the fastest one in this short race. I’m not against the ML favorite here #3 Mo Mischief, who gets Johnny V and comes out of the Pletcher barn for his debut. For what it’s worth, he was the most expensive of the group and sold for $500,000 back in March. Tough to be confident at all in this race, which is why I’m going to avoid the early Pick 5 and take on the Pick 4 starting in Race 2 instead. 

Race 2 (1:43pm): Allowance, 8½ furlongs on the outer turf, 3 yr olds and up

Actually liking this race here especially after considering how the track played out Thursday and Friday. #3 Winning Factor comes from David Donk’s barn and gets Jose in the irons. Last time out was just a few weeks ago at Belmont where he broke his maiden and put up a 76 Beyer – the second highest in the field besides the favorite. Jose was on him in that maiden win and this should be the perfect race for the 3, liking him at a mile and a sixteenth. #4 Battalion has done alright since his debut back in January; he improved when moving to the turf and has been running better almost each time out. He broke his maiden by a nose last time out but faces a tougher field here. Liking him for the value he offers at 8-1. Impossible to pass up on the favorite #1 Mr. Kringle too. He sits at 4-5 and clearly has the most experience on the turf of this group and has recorded consistently solid speed figs. Not loving the value, but this could be an easy one for him. Lastly, I’m going to throw #2 Quid into my Pick 4 card. He’s sitting at 20-1 ML and is coming off his maiden win as well. Now, he’s certainly outclassed in many ways here and hasn’t ran as well as the others, but if speed doesn’t hold up at all here I wouldn’t be shocked to see this one make a late run with Kendrick again. 

Race 3 (2:18pm): The Hall of Fame Stakes (G2), 9 furlongs on the inner turf, 3 yr olds

Ooo baby! We’ve got a stakes race early on and it’s a good one. The seven horse field should have some familiar names in it, as four of them have run in stakes races before. The favorite #7 Decorated Invader is 1-1 and rightfully so – he ran a killer last race in the Pennine Ridge (G2) putting up a 93 Beyer. Rosario is back on top looking to get the hat trick and I think he gets it here. If not the 7, then it should be the next favorite #5 Gufo, who has won four straight and has had speed figures of 91 and 90 in his last two, respectively. Would be surprised if it wasn’t one of these two. 

Race 4 (2:51pm): $32,000 Claiming, 6 furlongs on the dirt, fillies & mares 3 yrs old and up

On paper, the #1 Baby Boss should beat this field, but she’s coming off of a 7 month layoff here and drops to the claiming level. Tough to trust the favorite here. For value, #4 No Deal isn’t a bad play. She’s not the most consistent finisher but has a good opportunity to find herself in the money should she break early and maintain the pace throughout. If you really want value, #6 Just for Joy is 10-1 and is coming off a solid last race at Belmont where she was beaten by a nose by the 5 in this one. Same distance and condition here, and she makes her first start at Saratoga since her great performance last August. 

Race 5 (3:24pm): Maiden Special Weight, 1 mile on the inner turf, 3 yr olds and up

Not much experience all around here. I’m liking the 15-1 shot #7 Patriot Game, who is coming off a debut at Belmont a couple weeks back, where she finished in 8th. She showed some late pace in her debut and should benefit from the added furlong. Get’s blinkers here and will be more of a threat the second time around. #3 Summer Tone is somewhat similar to the 7 and is likely the better horse, and I still very much like him at 6-1 too. Had a decent effort last week at Monmouth and recorded a 73 Beyer. Blinkers on for him as well. If early speed plays then I like #6 Oak Hill, who sits at 3-1 and is looking to break the maiden today after a 2nd place finish in his debut. If you’re playing the 6, you should likely play #9 The Angry Man (nice) as well, who is the ML favorite and has similar numbers compared to the 6. 

Will be playing the Early Pick 5 for a small price. Not as confident in Race 1, and will be using a single in Race 3 to keep costs low. Late Pick 5 will be where the money is at. 

R1: 3/6
R2: 1/2/3/4
R3: 7
R4: 1/4/6/7
R5: 3/6/7/9
$64 ticket for a $.50 Pick 5.

No more analysis for the later races, but be sure to follow along with the action on our Twitter @SpaSaturdays. Let’s have a Saturday, ladies and gents! 

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