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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 14:03 PM

At the Gate - Thursday

We have no Triple Crown winner in Saturday’s $1.25 million Travers (G1) with Justify headed to the breeding shed, but we are left with a pretty darn good betting race.

Good Magic is the 2-1 morning line favorite among the field of 11 and is coming off a sharp win in the Haskell Invitational (G1) at Monmouth Park, but if you do not want to back the chalk there are plenty of interesting options.

Among them is the filly Wonder Gadot (5-1), who has beaten the boys twice already. She won the first two jewels of the Canadian Triple Crown—the Queen’s Plate and the Prince of Wales. However, the third jewel is 1 ½ miles on turf and trainer Mark Casse thought sticking to dirt was a better plan.

Gronkowski has now been in the Chad Brown barn for two months. The colt ran second in the Belmont Stakes (G1), beaten 1 ¾ lengths. He was more than 14 lengths back early at 25-1 and came running late in a good looking effort.

Brown has been very happy with the way this colt has worked and there is no telling just how good this guy might be.

Mendelssohn is another that did his best work overseas, winning the UAE Derby (G2). He tossed in a dud in the Run for the Roses, fading to finish last at 7-1, then was the beaten favorite when third in the Dwyer (G3) in his last outing.

Toss in Preakness runner up Bravazo and third place finisher Tenfold and Belmont Derby (G1) winner Catholic Boy, and we have a really good betting race.

There are six supporting stakes on Saturday’s 13-race card and four are Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” races.

Now is the perfect time to purchase my Monthly Package for just $99.95. It gives you a month of Saratoga (and then Belmont Park) and my Best Plays Report each Saturday and Sunday.

To purchase my Saratoga Report for Thursday click here.

Here is the second race from Saratoga (the opener is a jump race) to get the day off to a good start:

SAR Race 2 Alw $90,000N1X (1:33 ET)

3 War Value 5-2

1 Miss Mimosa 7-5

2 Tigalalu 9-2

4 Stormy's Song 6-1


Analysis: War Value took the field gate to wire to break her maiden last out here at nine furlongs in the slop, doing it while down along the inside on a day the outer paths were the place to be. She owns solid early and mid pace numbers and she may still have some upside as this will be her first go over a fast main track, her first two starts coming on turf. By War Front out of an A.P. Indy mare, distance is not an issue.

Miss Mimosa tracked the early pace and weakened to finish sixth last out going 6 1/2 furlongs and stretches back out to a route. She was beaten just a neck two back going a one turn mile and she was fifth three back at Keeneland going two turns in her first start against winners. Mott is 16% winners moving runners from sprint to route and this gal is out of an Alphabet Soup mare and should be able to handle the extra ground.

Wagering
WIN: #3 to win at 2-1 or better.
EX: 3 / 1,2
TRI: no play

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Saratoga:

SAR Race 9 The Riskaverse (5:40 ET)

8 Sweet Sting 5-1

9 Goodthingstaketime 7-2

5 Monte Crista 9-2

4 Tapit Today 3-1


Analysis: Sweet Sting stalked the early pace and finished up well for the runner up spot while unable to get to the much the best winner in the stretch. The winner was La Moneda, who came back to Alw-2 optional claimers in her next outing on July 22 while the fourth-place finisher Sister Sophia came back to beat Alw-1 foes here on Aug. 11. Two back she ran a decent third in the Memories of Silver in her stakes debut. The Jerkens barn has really heated up the past couple of weeks and is now hitting at a 28% clip at the meeting. This gal is out of the stakes winner Perfect Sting ($2.2 million), the 2000 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) winner who has dropped six other winners including four other turf winners along with a pair of stakes winners, top earner Smart Sting ($411,156).

Goodthingstaketime prompted the early pace, took over the lead and weakened in the stretch to finish third in the Lake George (G3) last out here. She has now finished in the money in four straight stakes, three of them graded since breaking her maiden. Two back she ran a good third behind Get Stormy in the Penn Oaks, that fill returning to win the Wild Applause and Ontario Cotillion (G3) in her next two starts. Her last three numbers fit well in this spot for the Abreu barn that is having a good meeting here.

Wagering
WIN: #8 to win at 7-2 or better.
EX: 8,9 / 4,5,8,9
TRI: 8,9 / 4,5,8,9 / 4,5,7,8,9

Live Longshots:
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.

Saratoga
R3: #1 Handsome Chewy 8-1
R6: #6 Won’t Burn 12-1
R7: #9 Angel Food 15-1
R10: #9 Showcase Mall 8-1

Good luck today!

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