Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:53 AM

Thursday's Picks from Saratoga

If you plan on attending the Kentucky Derby on Sept. 5, your odds of getting a ticket may be shrinking.

Churchill Downs got the go ahead back in late June to have fans attend the Run for the Roses. A new detailed 62-page health and safety operations plan that came out yesterday will limit attendance further than originally planned.

The track has had as many as 170,000 fans attend the race, but this year’s event will be limited to approximately 24,000 due to the pandemic.

Oaks and Derby Day are a huge cash cow for Churchill Downs, and now it appears the company will take a major hit in the pocketbook.

We are now just 23 days away from the Derby, and hopefully things in Kentucky will improve and there are no outbreaks on track or among jockeys or backstretch workers.

As an industry horse racing has done a good job of putting on the show without fans. There have been some cancellations, including an outbreak at Del Mar among the jockeys that cost the track three days of racing.

A jockey tested positive on Monday at Colonial Downs, shutting down the Virginia track the past few days. All sports are walking a tightrope right now, with the MLB having major outbreaks among two teams.

The NHL and NBA are doing the best right now, while college football is seeing some conferences shut down or postpone the season, while others are going to attempt to play out their schedules.

The NFL is now less than a month away, and there is no telling how that will go.

Churchill Downs plans on making jockeys ship into the track early in hopes of getting everyone tested and all fingers will be crossed for the next three weeks the track can pull it off.

You can catch the action from Saratoga today from 2:00 to 6:00 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.

To purchase my Saratoga Report for Sunday click here

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

Saratoga Race 2 Analysis - 8/13 (1:21 p.m. ET)

SAR Race 2 Md Sp Wt (1:21 ET)
#8 Malibu Luna 2-1
#6 Command Central 8-1
#5 Lutescoot N Boogie 3-1
#3 Boss Bear 4-1
#4 Safe Conduct 5-1

Analysis: Malibu Luna makes her second career start here for the Mott barn. She stalked the early pace and finished evenly in a fourth-place finish in her debut at 22-1. The barn is 16% winners with second out maidens. She was a $17,000 purchase, out of an Afleet Alex mare that has dropped two other foals to race, both winners. She should move forward with a race under her belt and fits here taking on restricted maidens (purchased or RNA'd for $45,000 or less).

Command Central is a $25,000 Keeneland purchase making her debut for the Romans barn that is 9% winners with first timers. The colt is by Kitten's Joy out of an All American mare, her first foal to race. he posted a good gate drill on Aug. 6 and picks up Saez. Looks as if he should end up a decent price in this spot.

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Saratoga:

Saratoga Race 8 Analysis - 8/13 (4:46 p.m. ET)

SAR Race 8 Alw $50,000s (4:46 ET)
#6 Bray 5-2
#5 Battalion 6-1
#3 Mandate 2-1
#1 Quiet Out East 6-1

Analysis: Bray is coming off a sharp win last out against $40,000 non-winners of two at Belmont park for the Clement barn. The runner up Mandate exited that race to beat $40,000 non-winners of two in his next outing on July 26 here and is in this field. Our top pick was claimed out of his last start by the RRod barn that is 18% winners first off the claim. This colt has looked better with each outing and looks primed for another top effort in his third start off the bench.

Battalion was outrun early and came with a good late run to finish in the runner up spot last out against $50,000 starter allowance foes in his first start against winners. He did not get much pace to run at and while there is not a ton of speed in here Johnny V may have hi a bit closer. He has shown improvement with each outing and in good hands with the Mott barn. This guy looks as if he still has some upside and the 6-1 morning line looks fair enough.

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: #6 Command Central 8-1
R5: #11 Bonus Baby 12-1
R5: #8 Big Red Girl 8-1
R6: #3 Indy Union 10-1
R7: #6 Strong Desire 12-1
R10: #12 Pure Bode 12-1

Good luck today!

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