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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 13:50 PM

Friday's Picks from Saratoga

The feature on Friday at Saratoga is a good one, with a competitive field of 10 three-year-old fillies going in the $150,000 Lake George (G1) at one mile on the inner turf course.

Trainer Chad Brown has won four of the last six editions of the Lake George including the last two and looks locked and loaded again this year sending out a quartet of runners.

It was pretty tough to separate them, but I eventually landed on Minaun (6-1) who was the beaten chalk in her last outing in the Wild Applause where she rallied for the runner up spot. She makes her third start since coming to the U.S. and it looks as if she is going to end up a decent price.

Brown has started of the meet at Saratoga on the slow side, picking up just two wins from 21 starters. He has finished second seven times. Todd Pletcher, who won the training title last year is also off to a slow start, winning with just 1 of his 16 starters and just one runner up finish.

Pletcher has a contender in the Lake George with Jouster (7-2) who set the early fractions and weakened to finish fourth in the Wonder Again (G3) in her last outing on June 3.

Coming up tomorrow at the Spa we have a pair of stakes—the $500,000 Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) and the $200,000 Caress (G3).

In addition we will take a trip out to Del Mar where there are two graded stakes on the 11- race card. The $250,000 Eddie Read (G2) drew a field of seven led by Shoemaker Mile (G1) winner Smooth Like Strait.

The co-feature is the $200,000 San Clemente (G2) at one mile on turf. A field of 12 will go led by Going Global (4-5) who is perfect in four starts since arriving in the U.S. and landing with the Phil D’Amato barn.

“Saratoga Live” is on FS2 (and streaming on YouTube) from 1:00 to 6:30 ET. Looking to play the ponies? TVG is offering new players  up to a $300 Risk Free wager.  In addition, AmWager is offering up to a $500 bonus for new horseplayers.

To purchase my Saratoga Report for Friday click here .

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


 Race 1 Md Sp Wt

  • #8 Buckingham Prince 7-5
  • #7 Stolen Base 4-1
  • #6 Good Skate 5-1
  • #4 Sailor Speed 12-1

Analysis: Buckingham Prince is the lone runner with experience and he has two starts under his belt. He made his debut at Churchill Downs where he tracked the early pace and weakened to finish fifth at 24-1. Last out at Ellis Park in the slop he dueled for the early lead, got clear and then got caught at the wire in a tough nose loss. He was better than six lengths clear of the third-place finisher Baytown Warrior who came back to graduate in his next outing at Charles Town on July 16. Saez picks up the call for Casse who is 1 for 3 at the meet, picking up his win in the Schuylerville (G3) on opening day. This colt was a $45,000 Ocala purchase, the first foal to race out of a Desert Party mare.

Stolen Base debuts for the Maker barn that is 13% winners with first time starters. Here at the Spa dating back three years the trainer is 2 for 2 with juvie debut runners, a win in '18 and '19. This colt is out of an Indian Charlie mare that has dropped two foals to race with one winner. A couple of good works at Keeneland followed up by a slow work over the main track here on July 17.


Race 9 The Lake George G3

  • #10 Minaun 6-1
  • #9 Navratilova 12-1
  • #5 Jouster 7-2
  • #3 Fluffy Socks 10-1

Analysis: Minaun is one of four in here sent out by Brown and the filly looks primed for a top effort in her third start since landing in the U.S. and coming back off the bench. Overseas she won the Marble Hill Stakes (G3) at Cork in Ireland in her second career start although she only had to beat three foes. She was a smart looking winner in her U.S. debut beating Alw-1 foes off a 9 ½ month break going six furlongs. Last out in the Wild Applause she was sent off as the favorite. She stalked the early pace while not being asked early, was in behind a wall of runners and Manny elected to take her about six wide, got through and finished up gamely to miss by just half-length. She is going to get some pace to run at and with a better trip she can turn the tables on Runaway Rumour. Brown has won this race in four of the last six years.

Navratilova set the early fractions and held on gamely to win the Tepin last out at Churchill Downs at a mile, beating Toby’s Heart by half length. The third-place finisher New Boss returned to win the Pea Patch at Ellis Park in her next outing on July 18 by six lengths. This gal has just two routes under her belt, two back missing by a neck and a head in the five furlong Mamzelle at Churchill Downs. She has shown an ability to come from off the pace so if the early pace is swift this gal should be able to take a good tracking role sitting just off the pace. She is getting better with each outing and her 12-1 morning line in this spot looks generous.

Jouster set a slow early pace over good ground in the Wonder Again (G3) and weakened in the stretch to finish fourth, beaten three lengths going nine furlongs. She took the field gate to wire to win the Appalachian (G2) at Keeneland two back and three back was well clear in the stretch and got run down late in a tough head loss in the Florida Oaks (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs. The cut back to a mile will suit this filly. She has worked sharply since her last effort. She has a pair of wins over good ground and with rain falling through Wednesday there may still be some cut in the ground this afternoon.


These are price plays for exotic players looking to find a couple of extra contenders to use in their Pick 4 and Pick 5 wagers. Or for those with smaller bankrolls, you might want to get in a small win wager. 


  • R1: #4 Sailor Speed 12-1
  • R2: #4 The Important One 8-1
  • R3: #4 No Burn 12-1
  • R3: #7 Frenchboro 8-1
  • R4: #7 Big Mountain 8-1
  • R6: #2 Jais’s Solitute 8-1
  • R9: #9 Navralitova 12-1
  • R9: #3 Fluffy Socks 10-1
  • R10: #7 Code Name Lise 8-1

Good luck today!

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