Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:03 AM
At the Gate - Saturday
We have a couple of Grade 1 races on tap at Saratoga on Saturday afternoon—the $1.2 million Whitney and the $500,000 Test and they are both intriguing betting races.
The Whitney drew a solid field of eight and the big question is whether Mind Your Biscuits can handle his first career trip around two turns. The multiple Garde 1 sprinter showed he could handle a one-turn mile, just missing in the Met Mile (G1) by a nose, and I think he can get the added ground and will not mind if the track is still wet.
Diversify is the 7-5 morning line favorite, coming off a career top speed fig winning the Suburban (G2) in a good looking effort. He comes back in four weeks and could regress off his big effort.
The Test drew a field of nine three-year-old fillies that will go seven furlongs on the main track. Mia Mischief is the 3-1 morning line favorite, but I am not sure she actually will be the favorite by post time.
I landed on Separationofpowes (7-2) who is better than her fourth in the Victory Ride (G3) suggests. She really looked good her last summer breaking her maiden in her debut and then running third in the Spinaway (G1). She followed those two starts with a win in the Friizette (G1) at Belmont Park going a one-turn mile.
She was fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) in her first go around two turns and she figures to move forwards in her second start off the layoff for the Chad Brown barn.
Saturday’s Best Plays Report includes my 10 strongest plays from Del Mar and Saratoga including the stakes action.
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Here is the opening race from Saratoga to get the day off to a good start:
SAR Race 1 OClm $62,500N1X (1:00 ET)
2 Souper Tapit 3-1
3 Bird's Eye View 9-2
6 Makarios 10-1
7 Holiday Stone 4-1
Analysis: Souper Tapit was bumped coming out of the gate, chased the early pace and held on gamely until late in a third-place finish at this level last out on the main track at Churchill Downs in a race washed off the grass. He has won on dirt and took a Grade 3 at Woodbine on the fake stuff and has run okay on turf, a third at this level three back at the Big A. The Casse trainee has worked sharply since his last outing and Johnny V. takes the call on the colt. One more shot on turf here.
Bird's Eye View prompted the early pace, took over the lead heading for home and got run down late in a runner up finish going 1 1/4 miles. The gelding beat Alw-1 optional claimers two back at 1 3/8 miles. He mixed it up in stakes company last year including a third in the Woodhaven. The cut back in distance here should suit him.
WIN: #2 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 2,3 / 2,3,6,7
TRI: 2,3 / 2,3,6,7 / 2,3,6,7,9
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Saratoga:
SAR Race 9 The Whitney G1 (5:46 ET)
4 Mind Your Biscuits 2-1
2 Backyard Heaven 9-2
6 Diversify 7-5
7 Good Samaritan 12-1
Analysis: Mind Your Biscuits makes his 23rd career start today, and it will be his first start going around two turns. The all-time leading New York bred earner is a very good sprinter but is coming off a game second in the Met Mile (G1) where he was beaten just a nose. It did not look like the deepest Met Mile we have seen but he was 5 ¼ lengths clear of third place finisher Limousine Liberal, who came back to win the Belmont Sprint (G2) and fifth place finisher Ransom the Moon returned to win the Bing Crosby (G1) at Del Mar in his next outing. Two back our top pick defied the strong inside speed bias to win the Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1) at Meydan, his second win in that race. He looks as if he can get more ground and has shown he can handle a wet track, with a pair of wins along with a second and a third in four career trips on off going.
Backyard Heaven ran huge beating Alw-1 foes in his first start against winners with a 108 Beyer and showed that was no fluke winning the Alysheba (G2) at Churchill Downs with a 105. He was sent off at 4-5 in the Stephen Foster (G1) and he just laid an egg, fading to finish a well beaten sixth. The colt has come back with four works and I am going to just toss that effort and look for a better performance today. The colt handled a wet track breaking his maiden over a main track at the Big A listed as good in his second career start and he has a solid off track pedigree.
Diversify was headed toward the Woodward (G1) but his connections think he bounced out of his huge win in the Suburban (G2) in fine fashion and now he comes back four weeks later. He earned a career top speed fig taking the field gate to wire and drawing clear to win by 6 ½ lengths. After his clunker in the Charles Town Classic (G2) off a five-month layoff he overcame a stumble coming out of the gate to win the state bred Commentator. It looks as if he will get some pace pressure and Irad could take him back with his passive riding style, and that might lead to a regression which makes him tough to play if all we get is the 7-5 morning line.
WIN: #4 to win at 2-1 or better.
EX: 2,4 / 2,4,6,7
TRI: 2,4 / 2,4,6,7 / 1,2,4,6,7
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Del Mar:
DMR Race 8 The Yellow Ribbon Hcp G2 (5:33 PT)
6 Storm the Hill 9-2
11 Cambodia 7-2
7 Madame Stripes 8-1
1 Beau Recall 8-1
Analysis: Storm the Hill was off a beat slow last out and it did not matter as she made a good late rally to win the Wilshire (G3) going a mile at Santa Anita. It was her first win since taking the Unzip Me last fall but her first start since landing in the D'Amato barn. She earned a career top speed fig and the extra half furlong here will suit her. She looks sharp enough to win right back.
Cambodia draws a tough spot as the defending champ, winning this race last summer at 5-2. She makes her third start off the bench here, a sixth in the Jenny Wiley (G1) and a seventh in the Just a Game (G1) last out although she was only beaten two lengths for the top spot. She is capable of better and after her win last year she earned back to back triple digit Beyers, winning the John C. Mabee (G3) and running third in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1). She is sitting on a good one here for Proctor.
WIN: #6 to win at 7-2 or better.
EX: 6,11 / 1,6,7,11
TRI: 6,7 / 1,6,7,11 / 1,4,6,7,11
These are price plays for exotic players looking to find a couple of extra contenders to use in their trifecta and superfecta wagers. Or for those with smaller bankrolls, you might want to get in a small win-place wager.
R1: #6 Makarios 10-1
R3: #2 Toga 10-1
R4: #6 Belleview Spring 12-1
R4: #8 Scatsuku 8-1
R5: #4 Pas de Soucis 8-1
R7: #7 Moon Colony 8-1
R9: #7 Good Samaritan 12-1
R11: #10 Blacktype 12-1
Good luck today!