Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:53 AM

Saturday's Picks from Saratoga, Monmouth

It is a good day to play the ponies with good cards at Saratoga and Woodbine with plenty of stakes action and the Road to the Kentucky Derby comes to an end this afternoon on the Jersey Shore.

We are now just three weeks away from the Run for the Roses and the $150,000 Pegasus at Monmouth Park is the final Derby points race, with 20-8-4-2 points up for gras to the top four finishers.

The race may not have much of an impact on the Derby field, which has a limit of 20 starters, but it looks like the race could actually come up a bit short of filling the starting gate completely.

Pneumatic is the 5-2 morning line favorite for the Pegasus and the colt has 25 Derby points, which places him 22nd in the standings. He was third in the Matt Winn (G3) and then fourth in the Belmont Stakes (G1). A big effort and trainer Steve Asmussen may decide to wheel the colt back in three weeks.

At Saratoga a field of seven line up in the $500,000 Alabama (G1), which is a “Win and You’re In:” race for the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1). The race also serves as a prep for the Kentucky Oaks (G1) on Sept 4.

Swiss Skydiver is the even money favorite for the Alabama, and she took on the boys in the Blue Grass (G2) at Keeneland in her last outing, running second. She earned 40 Derby points and her connections were toying with taking on the boys in the Derby before that race.

They have since said the Oaks is the target, but if she runs big today, they might want to rethink which race they want to go to next month. It would be great to have a filly taking on the boys in the Derby.

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

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

You can catch the action from Saratoga on FS1 from 1:00 to 6:00 ET. The Saratoga Derby and Alabama will be broadcast live on NBC at 5:00 ET. You can also 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, my Best Plays Report each Saturday and Sunday and my Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby Reports.

Here is the second race from Saratoga (I did not like the opener) to get the day off to a good start:

SAR Race 2 Md Sp Wt (1:43 p.m. ET)

SAR Race 2 Md Sp Wt (1:43 p.m. ET)
#6 Rip It 4-1
#5 Polinesia 5-2
#3 Dreaming of Gerry 10-1
#2 Rock Sugar 9-2

Analysis: Rip It was off a beat slow in his debut at 3-1 in a field of 10 here on July 18. He was in off heels of a foe going into the first turn and raced near the back of the pack and did not have any punch left late, beaten 4 1/4 lengths. The barn has been on quite a roll at the meet and this guy should move forward with a better trip. He is by Tapit out of the graded turf stakes winner Riposte ($512,148).

Polinesia is a $800,000 purchase making his debut for the Brown barn that is 21% winners with first timers. He is by American Pharoah out of the stakes winner Super Majesty ($166,760), her first foal to race. The colt has been working steadily for his debut including a turf drill over the training track here on Aug. 10. He looks ready to go. The barn is just 1 for 12 with debut runners so far at the meeting.

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Saratoga:

SAR Race 8 The Saratoga Derby Inv. (5:07 p.m. ET)

SAR Race 8 The Saratoga Derby Inv. (5:07 p.m. ET)
#6 Colonel Liam 7-2
#5 Gufo 9-2
#2 Decorated Invader 7-5
#4 Domestic Spending 6-1

Analysis: Colonel Liam is coming off a smart win versus older Alw-1 foes here on July 22 which was his first career start on turf. The colt tracked the early pace and battled on in the stretch, edging clear late to win by 2 ¾ lengths and earn a Beyer Speed Figure of 100. He was placed first via a DQ in his debut on the main track at Gulfstream Park back in April and then was third in the slop in his first start against winners. The colt was a $1.2 million Ocala purchase, by Liam’s Map out of a Bernardini mare that has dropped one other winner, Mahvelous Kitten ($84,723) a two-time winner on turf. He won last out as if he is going to have no trouble handling the extra ground. The colt should get a good trip sitting just off the pacesetter and may get the jump on the Clement duo.

Gufo has won four of his five career starts. Last out he made a good late rally to get up and win the Kent (G3) at Delaware Park going 1 1/8 miles. The third-place finisher Vanzzy who came back to win the Jersey Derby at Monmouth P1ark in his next outing on July 26. This guy needs some pace and should get it and he gives every indication the extra distance here will suit him. Johnny V. picks up the call and among the two Client runners this guy is going to offer a bit more value.

Decorated Invader is going to be the deserving short priced favorite in this spot. Last out he tracked the early pace and finished gamely to win the Hall of Fame (G2) here on July 18, his third win in a row. His win two back going a mile in the Pennine Ridge (G2) was a bit more impressive. His price is going to be on the light side, and I am not convinced enough he really wants more ground.

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Monmouth Park:

MTH Race 10 The Pegasus (5:12 p.m. ET)

MTH Race 10 The Pegasus (5:12 p.m. ET)
#7 As Seen On Tv 7-2
#5 Pneumatic 5-2
#2 Big City Bob 8-1
#6 Arkaan 9-2

Analysis: As Seen On Tv returns off a 4 1/2 month break here for the Breen barn. This guy showed some talent last year winning two of his first three starts and then in his first start this year was beaten in the Mucho Macho Man by just a head to Chance It. He then went in the Fountain of Youth (G2) where he tracked the early pace and was beaten just a neck for the runner up spot. He then tracked the early pace and faded badly to finish a well beaten eight in the Florida Derby (G1). He has worked sharply since his last start and looking for this guy to bounce back here facing easier.

Pneumatic stalked the early pace and weakened to finish fourth last out in the Belmont (G1). His best effort was a good third two back in the Matt Winn (G3) at Churchill Downs in his stakes debut. He is 22and on the Derby points list and he may be in the field anyway but a few points here would clinch it if Asmussen elects to take this guy to Louisville. He looks as if he still has some upside and the cut back in distance here may suit him.

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 Internet of Things 12-1
R1: #5 Somebody 8-1
R2: #3 Dreaming of Gerry 10-1
R6: #8 Charleston Strong 8-1
R7: #9 Kid d’Oro 20-1
R7: #11 Jack the Cat 8-1
R9: #6 Harvey’s Lil Goil 10-1
R10: #8 Royal Asset 8-1
R11: #3 Brickyard 15-1

Good luck today!

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