Friday’s Picks from Saratoga

We have a pair of graded stakes coming up on Saturday at both Del Mar and Saratoga, and while there is plenty of quality, there is not much quantity as far as field size goes.

At Saratoga we will have a field of just five in the $200,000 Ballston Spa (G2) with the Chad Brown trained Sistercharlie the 2-5 morning line favorite. The mare makes her first start since a third in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) last fall.

The $250,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (G1) drew a compact field of five, but it is a strong group led by Aristides winner Volatile (4-5) and Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3) winner Whitmore (2-1).

Del Mar is back in action and the feature on Saturday is the $150,000 San Diego Handicap (G3). Maximum Security (1-1) makes his much anticipated debut for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert. The colt was previously trained by Jason Servis, who was indicted in a doping scheme.

He was last seen winning the $20 million Saudi Cup (G1), a race that is now under investigation and the purse has not yet been distributed.

The stakes are light, but each track has 11 races on tap tomorrow so we should be able to uncover plenty of good betting opportunities.

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You can catch the action from Saratoga from 1:00 to 6:30 ET on FS2. In addition, you can stream the action on YouTube or by using the TVG App. The horse betting company based in the U.S. is offering a risk free bet up to $300 for new players.

Now is the perfect time to purchase my Monthly Package. It gives you a month of Saratoga Reports daily and my Best Plays Report which will include all the major Road to the Kentucky Derby prep races.

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

Saratoga Race 1 Analysis - 7/24 (1:10 p.m. ET)

SAR Race 1 Md $20,000 (1:10 ET)
#4 Hands Up 5-2
#5 Assume 4-5
#1 Scarlet's Song 10-1
#3 Quantum Computing 10-1

Analysis: Hands Up
exits a $75,000 maiden claimer at Churchill Downs going seven furlongs. The filly pressed the early pace and weakened to finish fourth. The runner up Our Secret Agent came back to graduate in her next start while the third-place finisher Wellington Wonder came back to run second in a state bred stake at Indiana Grand in her next outing. She cuts back to six panels here and drops into an easier spot here tagged for $20,000. She is out of a Forest Camp mare that has dropped four other foals to race, all winners.

Assume dueled for the early lead and weakened to finish third last out in the slop at Gulfstream Park. She drops in for a tag for the first time here for the Pletcher barn that is 31% winners with runners dropping from maiden special to maiden claiming. The cut back to is furlongs should suit her. She was a $300,00 purchase but now looks to have found the right level. The main knock is going to be the light price.

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Saratoga:

Saratoga Race 7 Analysis - 7/24 (4:40 p.m. ET)

SAR Race 7 Md Sp Wt (4:40 ET)
#2 Towering Gaze 5-1
#8 Snicket 5-2
#10 Quantitativbreezin 3-1
#7 Magnolia's Lady 9-2

Analysis: Towering Gaze
dueled for the early lead and weakened to finish fifth last out at Belmont Park going seven furlongs in her second career start. She was sent off at just under 8-1 in her debut where she made a good late run to finish third going six furlongs. I like the improved early zip last out and the cut back here to 5 1/2 may suit her. She is out of a Sky Mesa mare that has dropped five winners and three have won on turf and two are stakes winners, top earner Saratoga Treasure ($623,603). Among the top three in her this gal appears as if she is going to offer the best value for the top spot.

Snicket is coming off a runner up finish last out at Belmont Park going six furlongs. She tracked the early pace, came three wide in upper stretch and showed in nearing the 3/16's losing her momentum, then was herded out by a foe inside the final furlong. She was a game second two back in her second career start and first on turf, beaten just 3/4 of a length for the top spot. Cement is on fire, winning with 8 of his first 18 starters at the meeting. This gal is the logical one to beat here and just needs a cleaner trip. She is by Lemon Drop Kid out of a Stormy Atlantic mare that ash dropped two winners including one turf winner.

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 Scarlet’s Song 10-1
R1: #3 Quantum Computing 10-1
R3: #1 Stop War 8-1
R4: #1 Dirty Bird 10-1
R4: #4 Cotton Candy Cutie 10-1
R5: #4 Bustin Shuffle 12-1
R6: #3 Overjoyed 8-1
R8: #5 Chateau 8-1
R9: #3 Flap Jack 12-1
R10: #12 Mommie’s Jewel 10-1

Good luck today!