Saratoga Racing Picks
Race 9 - Waya Stakes
FOOLS GOLD (PP: 7 ML 5-1) will try to defend her title in the Grade III, Waya Stakes. The ninth on Toga’s Saratoga card is a long one, 3 1/8 turns for 1 ½ miles on the inner turf course. Last year, FOOLS GOLD co-piloted the Waya until the final turn, running second almost all the way around the track before hitting the gas. She’ll likely take the same path today.
OLYMPIC GAMES (PP: 5 ML 4-1) has been the runner up in her first two US races. She’ll be charging late in her third start in the states. Trainer Christophe Clement wins round threes at 23% but has been even better at Saratoga during the current meet, hitting wins at 33%. That’s strong! Clement’s horse ran the highest, last race speed figure and any improvement should be enough for a winners’ photo session.
MRS. SIPPY (PP: 1 ML 6/5) tried Saratoga’s inner turf in her first US start after starting her career in Britain and France. She won at 1 3/8 miles. Since then, she finished ninth by 11 lengths and second by ¾ length, from the most recent back. The five-year-old mare had trouble at the start in the two non-wins, hopping at the start and brushing the gate.
BEAU BELLE (PP: 2 ML 10-1) is a horse for the course. She has two wins on her resume, both at Saratoga. She has zero, zip, nada wins anywhere else in 18 races. She finished second in her only other Toga go. She’ll could try lead the field from gate to wire and could pull it off with the right pace.
MY SISTER NAT (PP: 4 ML 2-1) is yet to win since arriving from France. She has a pair of seconds and thirds in her five US starts. She’ll be charging late in her second start after a long-time in the barn. Trainer Chad Brown scores at a strong 26% in round two and MY SISTER NAT’s history suggests she’ll take a step forward today.
And the aforementioned, defending champ FOOLS GOLD.
Win: #5 OLYMPIC GAMES
Exacta Box: #1 MRS. SIPPY, #2 BEAU BELLE, #4 MY SISTER NAT and #5 OLYMPIC GAMES.
Race 10 - Longines Test Stakes
White-haired, uber trainer Bob Baffert has another fantastic filly. GAMINE (PP: 5 ML 3/5) pulverized the competition in two of her three starts, winning her last race by an astounding 18 lengths. She’s improved race after race after race. If that trends continues, she could make E-Z work of this group too.
VENETIAN HARBOR (PP: 6 ML 8/5) had trouble at the start of her last race, getting bumped. Playing bumper cars might have taken something out of her. She finished second as the horseplayers’ pick to win. Nonetheless, she put one of the top, last race speed figures in the books and trainer Richard Baltas bounces back to win at 29% the next time out with beaten favorites.
MRS. DANVERS (PP: 3 ML 8-1) has raced four times and collected a top-three check in all of them with a win, two seconds and a third. Her trip to the winners’ circle came at Saratoga in her second career start, following a third place in her debut, also at the SPA. She’ll need to improve a touch to get at the top two but appears to have the goods. Besides our top pair, she’s the only other to hit triple-digits on the speed gun.
Win: #5 GAMINE
Exacta: #5 GAMINE to finish first with #3 MRS. DANVERS or #6 VENETIAN HARBOR to finish second.
Race 11 - Travers Stakes
Saratoga is known as the Graveyard of Champions. It’s definitely been the Graveyard for Travers Stakes’ favorites for the past seven years as none of last seven post-time favs ran on to be Travers’ champs. You can win the Triple Crown, but the Travers? No way! Even the mighty AMERICAN PHAROAH failed as the chalk in the Travers, collecting place money in 2015.
The distance and surface should favor patient rides in race 11.
TIZ THE LAW (PP: 6 ML 1-1) could be the best three-year-old horse on the planet and is currently the top choice to win the 2020 Kentucky Derby. He’s going to have to overcome the curse of the Travers’ favorite. The son of CONSTITUTION should get the right trip for Saratoga and has the top numbers in the field by a landslide.
COUNTRY GRAMMER (PP: 2 ML 6-1) likes to go long. His two wins came in his two longest efforts. Today, he’ll run his longest race yet. Trainer Chad Brown’s horse tried Saratoga for the first time in his last outing, winning the Grade III, Peter Pan Stakes with his best speed number. He figures to be even better in his second go over SPA dirt and in his third start after a layoff.
UNCLE CHUCK (PP: 3 ML 5/2) is not all that patient. He likes to be near or in the front and just outrun the competition from post to pillar. That’s what he’s done in his first two starts, making them look too easy in big wins as the heavy favorite in both. With just a pair of races on his resume, he could have the most upside for this crew, but frontrunning might not be the way to go in the Travers. Just two of the past 10 champs went wire-to-wire.
Positioning is going to be the key for MAX PLAYER (PP: 4 ML 6-1). If he’s close to the leaders coming out of the final turn, he has the late surge necessary to run by them all at the wire. It will be a different story if he lags the pack and needs to make up more than three lengths in the stretch.
Win: #2 COUNTRY GRAMMER – got to keep the upset streak going!
Exacta: #2 COUNTRY GRAMMER or #6 TIZ THE LAW to finish first with #2 COUNTRY GRAMMER, #3 UNCLE CHUCK, #4 MAX PLAYER or #6 TIZ THE LAW to finish second.