Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:03 AM

At the Gate - Wednesday

The feature on Wednesday at Saratoga as we enter the last week of action is the $150,000 With Anticipation (G3), a 1 1/16 mile turf event for two-year-olds.

Last year’s winner of the race was Catholic Boy, who has gone on to bigger and better things, winning the Belmont Derby (G1) and on Saturday won the Travers (G1).

A dozen were entered with four MTO’s so we will have field of eight lining up led by Skidmore runner up Swamp Rat, who is the 5-2 morning line favorite for trainer Phil Gleaves. The colt drew the outside post but with only eight going the draw should not pose a problem.

He came from off the pace in both of his turf sprints and looks as if he will handle the extra ground and he is bred to do so.

With six days left in the meet Irad Ortiz Jr. still has comfortable lead in the jockey standings with 45 winners, a dozen more than his brother Jose and Javier Castellano who are tied for second with 33 winners.

Irad went through a tough period last week that was hard for me to wrap my head around. Last Monday he won the sixth race and then lost with his next 35 mounts until finally winning a race this Monday.

Included in that total was a 0 for 12 Travers Day where he rode seven horses that went off at odds of 3-1 or less. During his losing streak he rode 18 horses that went off at 3-1 or less and could not get any of them home first.

Despite his rough week he likely will stay ahead in the jockey standings as we close out the meeting next Monday.

Chad Brown is well on his way to another training title at the Spa with 34 winners, doubling up on Todd Pletcher, who has saddled 17 winners.

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 Wednesday click here.

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

SAR Race 2 Md $20,000 (1:33 ET)
#3 Brooklyn Gerty 7-2
#6 Salt Pond 3-1
#7 Miss Kapinator 5-1
#8 Saturdays Vapor 12-1

Analysis: Brooklyn Gerty chased the early pace, bumped a foe approaching the eighth pole and weakened to finish fourth last out in her first outing off a 14-month layoff. She showed promise with a runner up finish in her debut last March and then was fourth behind Holy Helena, who is now a multiple stakes winner. Abreu does not have good numbers first off the bench here so this gal should show more here catching a pretty weak group. She is out of a Dixie Union mare that has dropped three other foals to race with just one winner.

Salt Pond caught a muddy track last out, setting the early fractions while in the four-five path, angled down to the two path and could not go with the winner late in a runner up finish in his second start and first for a tag. She was fourth in her debut on turf at Laurel Park two back, sent off at 18-1 in a field of eight. The filly is out of a Forestry mare that has dropped four other foals to race, all winners. The trainer picked up another win and is having an unlucky meeting going 2 for 26 with eight seconds and thirds.

WIN: #3 to win at 3-1 or better.
EX: 3,6 / 3,6,7,8
TRI: 3,6 / 3,6,7,8 / 1,3,6,7,8

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Saratoga:

SAR Race 9 The With Anticipation G3 (5:40 ET)
#9 Swamp Rat 5-2
#2 Joyful Heart 5-1
#7 Somelikeithotbrown 7-2
#1 Henley's Joy 9-2

Analysis: Swamp Rat stretches out to a route here in his third career start. He broke his maiden in his debut going six panels on grass at Belmont park and last out in the Skidmore here over good ground he came with a six-wide run to rally for the runner up spot. He has the pedigree to handle the extra ground, by Hat Trick out of a Smart Strike mare, her first foal to race.

Joyful Heart took the field gate to wire to break his maiden last out in his second career start going six furlongs on turf at Belmont Park. he had a clear lead in his debut and could not hold off the winner in a runner up finish to our top pick. This guy should be able to handle the stretch out. He is by Kitten's Joy out of the stakes winner Blue Heart ($487,051). Five of these are stretching out from sprints but there really is not a ton of pure speed signed up to go here. The Lynch trainee should be forwardly placed, and speed has been holding pretty well on the turf course over the past week.

WIN: #9 to win at 2-1 or better.
EX: 2,9 / 1,2,7,9
TRI: 2,9 / 1,2,7,9 / 1,2,3,7,9

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.

R1: #1 Ocean Ready 8-1
R2: #8 Saturdays Vapor 12-1
R3: # Sacrifice 10-1
R4: #9 Slewacandy 12-1
R5: #8 No Stone Unturned 10-1
R6: #7 Shanghai Glory 10-1
R8: #4 The Caretaker 8-1
R8: #1 Wicked Macho 8-1
R10: #10 Whiskey Run 8-1
R10: #9 The Sheik of Araby 15-1

Good luck today!

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