Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:03 AM

At the Gate - Thursday

Not a bad day on Wednesday with four winners on top on the 10-arce card although we whiffed on the feature, the With Anticipation where I went with Swamp Rat and his ran to his name.

The finale turned out nicely as Whiskey Run took the field gate to wire as my top pick and returned $15.20 and we knocked down the recommended exacta with 19-1 longshot The Sheik of Araby running second the entire trip with the $2 exacta coming back at a hefty $365.50.

Our pal Irad Ortiz Jr. was aboard my second choice Pirelli Tower and we needed him to pass the 17-1 Constant Knight in deep stretch to catch us a big trifecta but he could not get the job done.

Ortiz is the leading rider at the Spa meeting, but he has been riding like he has rocks in his pockets over the past week.

Thursday’s feature is the $100,000 P.G. Johnson for juvenile fillies going 1 1/16 miles on turf drawing a field of nine with two main track only entrants.

Chad Brown sends out the 5-2 morning line favorite Mintd, who makes her U.S. debut. The filly was last seen running second in the Tipperary Stakes going five furlongs in her first start against winners.

We have backed a few too many from the Graham Motion barn this meeting and he is having a tough meet, winning with just two of his first 36 starters with eight seconds and thirds. He sends out longshot Varenka and I think we have a shot of popping a good price in the race.

The 10-race card looks as if it will start off chalky but in four of the remaining eight races on the card my top pick is listed at 10-1 or greater on the morning line.

To purchase my Saratoga Report and Best Plays Reports for Thursday click here .

Here is the opening race from Saratoga to get the day off to a good start:

SAR Race 1 Clm $25,000 (1:00 ET)
#3 Satin Sheets 2-1
#6 My Won Love 5-2
#5 Unrepented 5-1
#2 Timely Tradition 3-1

Analysis: Satin Sheets came off a two month break last out at this level and just missed by a neck in a game effort in her first go off the claim by the Gullo barn. She was claimed for $14,000 two back from Asmussen out of a win versus non-winners of three. She makes just her third start since March for a sharp barn with new claims and she looks capable of handling this group.

My Won Love stalked the early pace, altered course to the outside and could not make up any ground late in a third-place finish at this level last out. The mare was a good second two back two back at a mile against open $25,00 foes. Her last win came four back where he won a starter stake at the Big A in March. He fits well in this spot although she tends to land for minor shares.

WIN: #3 to win at 2-1 or better.
EX: 3,6 / 3,5,6
TRI: no play

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Saratoga:

SAR Race 9 The P.G. Johnson (5:40 ET)
#9 Varenka 15-1
#7 Mintd 5-2
#4 Miss Technicality 4-1
#10 Chocolate Kisses 7-2

Analysis: Varenka stretches out to a route here after a promising third in her debut at Laurel Park going 5 1/2 furlongs. The filly stalked the early pace, split foes and finished up with some interest for third. The winner Elsa came back to run third in the Bolton Landing here while the runner up and fourth place finisher both came back to graduate next out. Motion is having a tough meeting but stepping this gal right into stakes company as maiden bodes well he thinks this gal has some talent. She is bred to be a good one, out of the stakes winner Dynamic Cat ($134,490) who has dropped five turf winners along with four stakes winners, top earner Dynamic Holiday ($267,126).

Mintd makes her U.S. debut here for the Brown barn that is 22% winners with runners making their first start in North America. She broke her maiden in her third career start coming at Listowel then ran second in the Tipperary Stakes in her most recent start. Five local drills and a tough call how much ability this gal might have.

WIN: #9 to win at 10-1 or better.
EX: 7,9 / 4,7,9,10
TRI: 7,9 / 4,7,9,10 / 1,4,7,9,10

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.

R2: #8 Carom 8-1
R3: #1 Naples Legacy 10-1
R5: #8 Bid You Adieu 12-1
R6: #4 Altar Boy 8-1
R6: #11 Zefiro 8-1
R7: #6 Tapit Tango 8-1
R8: #11 Forever Daisy 15-1
R9: #9 Varenka 15-1
R10: #12 Chasindamoney 15-1
R10: #11 Santo Antonio 10-1

Good luck today!

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