Friday’s Picks from Saratoga

Thursday’s card at Saratoga was pretty much a washout as six of the nine races were scheduled for the turf and rain moved them to the main track leading to quite a few scratches.

Only 47 horses competed on the card, an average field size of 5.2. Things will be better today as the weather is on the improve and the feature drew a competitive field of 10.

The $100,000 Lake George (G3) is today’s feature, with three-year-olds fillies going one mile on the inner turf course, which may still have some give to it this afternoon.

The Todd Pletcher trained Sweet Melania is the 8-5 morning line favorite and she looks tough. She is coming off a gate to wire win in the Wonder Again at Belmont Park in June off the layoff. She draws the rail with her regular rider Jose Ortiz.

Chad Brown will send out Selflessly (6-1). The trainer has won this race in three of the last five years including last year with Regal Glory.

Selflessly was fifth in the Wonder Again and beaten 11 ¼ lengths. She stumbled coming out of the gate and is capable of much better. She won the Ms Grillo (G2) last fall.

We have a big Saturday coming up with a pair of Grade 1 races—the $500,000 Sword Dancer and the $300,000 Forego. The Sword Dancer winner stamps his ticket to the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1).

We also will head out to Del Mar tomorrow where the feature is the $150,000 Pat O’Brien (G2), a “Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1).

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 <a href="/horse-racing/racebooks/tvg/">risk free bet up to $300 for new players.

To purchase my Saratoga Report for Thursday click here.

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Here is the second race (the opener drew a five horse field) from Saratoga to get the day off to a good start:


  • SAR Race 2 Alw $50,000
  • #2 Make Or Break 8-1
  • #5 Hurricane Breeze 7-2
  • #4 Princess Fawzia 2-1
  • #7 Come Storming 5-2

Analysis: Make Or Break raced near the back of the pack, came up the inside and had no clear path in the stretch, buried down along the inside and checking in sixth, beaten 3 1/2 lengths. Two back off a 4 1/2 month break he prompted the early pace before weakening to finish third. If Cohen can work out a better trip here than last out this filly and be in the mix here at a decent price. There is not much speed in here and she should be closer to the pace than in her last trip.

Hurricane Breeze came with a mild late rally to finish fourth last out at this level, beaten 1 3/4 lengths and behind a couple of foes she takes on again here. Two back she was fifth beaten 1 1/4 lengths again behind our third choice in here. Maker claimed her for $50,000 back in January and she was beaten just a nose in her first start for the barn over good ground at Gulfstream Park. She looks capable of better than her last.


  • SAR Race 9 The Lake George G3
  • #1 Sweet Melania 8-5
  • #8 Selflessly 6-1
  • #3 Witez 8-1
  • #2 Micheline 9-2

Analysis: Sweet Melania came off a 7 1/2-month layoff last out and took the field gate to wire to win the Wonder Again (G3). It was her first start since running third in last fall's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1). The winner of that race as Sharing who came back to win the Tepin at Churchill Downs and then run second in the Coronation Stakes (G1) at Royal Ascot in June. She draws the rail here and there are a couple of fillies that look quicker early. But she does not look as if she needs to be on the lead. She earned a career top speed fig in her comeback race and looks capable of moving forward off that effort.

Selflessly exits the same race where she stumbled coming out of the gate, tracked the early pace and weakened to finish fifth last out. She was fifth in the BC Juvenile Fillies Turf, beaten four lengths. She won the Ms Grillo (G2) last September in her second career start. She has been working steadily since her return race and bounces back here with a better effort.


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: #4 Slash Gordon 10-1
  • R2: #2 Make Or Break 8-1
  • R5: #9 The Promised Road 8-1
  • R7: #3 Matta 10-1
  • R8: #7 Famished 8-1
  • R9: #3 Witez 8-1
  • R10: #9 Adorable Maya 10-1

Good luck today!