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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 13:53 PM

Saturday's Picks from Saratoga and Del Mar

The stakes look a little chalky at Saratoga and Del Mar on Saturday, but with the exception of Sistercharlie in the $200,000 Ballston Spa (G2), it looks as if we have a shot of beating a few of them.

One of the trickiest races is the $200,000 San Diego Handicap (G2) where Maximum Security is the headliner and even money favorite on the morning line.

The colt has won 8 of his 10 starts including the $20 million Saudi Cup (G1). He broke his maiden for a $16,000 claiming tag and has gone on to win nearly $12 million and that is with getting disqualified from his win in the Kentucky Derby (G1).

While his former trainer Jason Servis is waiting for his court date, indicted in a doping scheme, he makes his first start for new trainer Bob Baffert. He returns off nearly a five-month break and the question is whether Baffert can work his magic with this colt.

At a light price I’ll take a look at Midcourt, who is much better than his well beaten fifth in the Santa Anita Gold Cup (G1) in his last outing.

Volatile is the 4-5 morning line favorite in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (G1) at Saratoga. The Steve Asmussen trainee ran huge winning the Aristides at Churchill Downs and makes his graded stakes debut.

He faces a few tough customers in Whitmore, Firenze Fire and Mind Control, who have won a combined $6 million.

Mind Control is another runner that ran poorly last out that I am giving another look at. The Greg Sacco trainee fits with his best and should be a decent price in a small field.

My Best Plays Report for Saturday includes my nine strongest plays from Saratoga and Del Mar.

To purchase my Saratoga Report for Saturday click here .

You can catch the action from Saratoga from 1:00 to 3:30 ET on FS2 and from 3:30 to 7:00 ET on FS1. In addition, you can stream the action 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 opening race from Saratoga to get the day off to a good start:

Saratoga Race 1 Analysis - 7/25 (1:10 p.m. ET)

SAR Race 1 OClm $40,000N2X (1:10 ET)

6 Lovely La La 8-1

7 First Appeal 6-1

5 The Important One 5-1

1 Speightstown Gal 5-2


Analysis: Lovely La La
makes her second start off the bench here for the Nevin barn. This gal was previously with Chad Brown and was competitive at this level, landing in the money in five straight starts. Off the bench last out she tracked the early pace and tired to finish seventh. Willing to give her another look she can recapture her form from last year which would be good enough to beat this group. The barn is 23% winners with runners making their second start off a +180-day layoff.

First Appeal stalked the early pace while saving ground and finished up well for the runner up spot against $25,000 claimers last out. She was claimed out of the race by the RRod barn that is 17% winners first off the claim. She is back in with state breds here and was third at this level two back and second behind a repeat winner three back. She makes her third start off the bench and she should move forward off her last out for RRod who is having a better meet than Cox who is still looking to get off the duck.

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Saratoga:

Saratoga Race 10 Analysis - 7/25 (6:16 p.m. ET)

SAR Race 10 The Alfred G Vanderbilt Hcp G1 (6:16 ET)

5 Mind Control 6-1

4 Volatile 4-5

2 Whitmore 2-1

3 Firenze Fire 4-1


Analysis: Mind Control
came off a three month break last out in the Carter 'Cap (G1) in the slop after stalking the early pace while wide tired to finish a well beaten seventh. This guy was at the top of his game early this year at the Big A, winning the Tom Fool (G3) and Toboggan (G3), the latter off a five-month layoff. He went on the bench after winning the HA Jerkens (G1) here last summer by a nose. He also won the Hopeful (G1) over the main track here as a juvenile. He is up against it as horses on or near the lad have fared well early in the meet, but this guy is much better than he showed last out and looks as if he is going to be a generous price in this small field. He should get some pace in front of him.

Volatile ran huge winning the Aristides at Churchill Downs by eight lengths and earning a 112 Beyer. The runner up Honest Mischief ran second with his Beyer going from 93 to 94. Two others came out of that race with their Beyers down 10 and 17 points. So a tough call if that 112 is indeed legit. He makes his third start off the bench here for Asmussen and owns a solid pace profile throughout with the edge in early and mid pace numbers. He gets a serious class test here and not really excited about backing him for the top spot at less that even money.

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Del Mar:

Del Mar Race 10 Analysis - 7/25 (6:30 p.m. PT)

DMR Race 10 The San Diego Hcp G2 (6:30 PT)

6 Midcourt 4-1

5 Maximum Security 1-1

1 Higher Power 7-2

2 Ax Man 8-1


Analysis: Midcourt
tossed in a real dud last out in the Gold Cup at Santa Anita (G1) in his first go off a three-month break. he earned triple digit Beyers in three of his four previous starts including a win in the San Pasqual (G2). Shirreffs brings him back adding blinkers here and this guy is perfect in his two trips over the main track. He figures to bounce back with a better effort and should be a fair price.

Maximum Security makes his much anticipated debut for Baffert after previously trained by the now indicted Jason Servis. Horses exiting the Servis barn and going to other trainers have run better than I thought and who better than Baffert to get this guy. He has crossed the wire in front in 9 of his 10 starts, getting DQ'd in one kinda big one. He only won the Saudi Cup (G1) by 3/4 of a length, with Midnight Bisou coming out of that race to win the Fleur de Lis Stakes (G2) at Churchill Down on June 27. The colt has been working sharply for his return for Baffert who is 32% winners with runners coming back off a 61-180-day layoff. He gets a new rider with Saez stuck in New York. Tough to take him at less than even money.

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
R1: #6 Lovely La La 8-1
R2: #3 New York Supreme 12-1
R3: #3 North Broadway 30-1
R5: #6 Unprecedented 12-1
R6: #2 Autostrade 12-1
R8: #7 Leitone 8-1
R8: #2 Dynamax Prime 8-1
R9: #2 Albie 12-1
R9: #13 Jo’s Bold Cat 10-1
R11: #4 Herwaze 8-1

Good luck today!

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