At the Gate – Friday

Travers Day is on Saturday at Saratoga with six Grade 1 races including the $1.25 million Travers, but not so fast, Friday’s card is pretty darn good too.

Today is New York Breeders’ Showcase Day, with six stakes with purses in excess of $1.5 million, and we have quite a few good betting races.

The stakes action starts in the third race, the $100,000 Fleet Indian for three-year-old fillies with a field of six going nine furlongs on the main track. Newly Minted is the 6-5 morning line favorite with her main foe Behind the Couch (5-2).

The $150,000 Yaddo drew nine but likely will lose the even money favorite Fifty Five, who is also entered in Saturday’s Ballston Spa (G2), and there are two main track-only entrants.

That will leave six led by English Soul (4-1) and Mnuchin Money (3-1) who both return to the state bred ranks.

The $200,000 Seeking the Ante drew six juvenile fillies led by the top two finishers of the Stillwater, My Italian Rabbi (2-1) and Fierce Lady (1-1) who were separated by the slimmest of noses in the Stillwater.

A field of nine will go in the $200,000 Funny Cide for juveniles. The top three form the state bred Violette return. The race was won by Sky of Hook (4-1) who went off at 9-1 and won by a nose over Listentoyourheart (7-2).

The $150,000 West Point drew a competitive field of eight that will go 1 1/16 miles on the inner turf. Offering Plan is the 8-5 morning line favorite. The seven-year-old was seventh in the Forbidden Apple (G3) in his last outing.

The $250,000 Albany for three-year-olds going nine furlongs on the main track drew a field of 10 led by Not That Brady (5-2), who missed earlier this year in the Withers (G3) by just a head. He was second behind Bankit (7-2) last out in the New York Derby at Finger Lakes.

I will have my elections for the Travers in tomorrow’s column.

Now is the perfect time to purchase my Monthly Package. It gives you a month of Saratoga/Belmont Park Reports daily and my Best Plays Report each Saturday and Sunday.

To purchase my Saratoga Report for Friday click here.

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

SAR Race 1 Md Sp Wt (1:00 ET)
#9 Single Verse 4-1
#3 A Freud of Mama 10-1
#1 Deeply Analytical 5-2
#7 Jen's Battle 8-1

Analysis: Single Verse
caught a muddy track in a race taken off the turf last out in her debut. She was sent off at 12-1, prompting the early pace and was no match for a six-length winner in a runner up finish. This $145,000 purchase just may take to turf. She is out of the stakes winner Shared Dreams ($141,698) who has dropped four winners and three have won on turf, top earner turf stakes winner Brother O'Connell ($291,586). She adds lasix to the mix here and the experience should come in handy.

A Freud of Mama makes her debut for the Maker barn that is 15% winners with first time starters. She is by Freud out of a stakes placed Carson City mare that has dropped three foals to race, all dirt winners. Decent works including a good gate drill on Aug. 17. Saez takes the call and the 10-1 morning line looks fair enough to give this gal a good look in this spot.

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

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Saratoga:

SAR Race 9 The West Point (5:18 ET)
#8 Dot Matrix 9-2
#1 Therapist 5-2
#3 Offering Plan 8-5
#5 Mo Maverick 12-1

Analysis: Dot Matrix
is back with NY breds after a third last out at Indiana Grand in the Warrior Veterans as the beaten favorite. The gelding came off a nine-month layoff two back to beat Alw-3 optional claimers at Churchill Downs in a sharp effort. His last go against state breds came in the Kingston last may where he checked in fourth behind Offering Plan. He looks improved and appears to be sitting on a top effort here third off the bench for the Cox barn.

Therapist prompted the early pace and weakened to finish third last out against $100,000 optional claimers at Belmont Park. The winner Lucullan, who came back to win the restricted Lure in his next outing on Aug. 3. Two back he finished behind a couple of these in a fourth-place finish in this year's Kingston. The winner Gucci factor came back to win the Poker (G3) in his next start on June 16. The Clement trainee has won 7 of 13 career starts, all on turf and he has won four takes in open company. He looks like a legit threat in this spot.

WIN: #8 to win at 7-2 or better.
EX: 1,8 / 1,3,5,8
TRI: 1,8 / 1,3,5,8 / 1,2,3,5,8

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: #3 A Freud of Mama 10-1
R4: #7 Stone Hearted 8-1
R5: #9 Kressie 12-1
R6: #1 Brockmoninoff 12-1
R6: #5 Preferred Outcome 12-1
R9: #5 Mo Maverick 12-1
R11: #3 Curlin’s Legacy 10-1
R11: #10 Mr. Vincent 8-1

Good luck today!