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Thursday's Picks from Saratoga



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Entries came out for Saturday’s big day at Saratoga, with a 12-race card on tap including three Grade 1 races.

It is a big day but the feature has a small field. Just five will go in the $1 million Whitney (G1), which is a “Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders;’ Cup Classic (G1).


While the quantity is not there, the quality is as it is a solid group including the filly Swiss Skydiver, who will take on the boys. She beat the boys last year winning the Preakness Stakes (G1).

She will get quite a test as she faces Maxfield, a winner of seven of his eight career starts and Knicks Go, last year’s Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) winner who won the Pegasus World Cup (G1) in January.

The co-features are the $1 million Saratoga Derby Invitational (G1) and the $500,000 Test (G1).

The feature on Thursday at the Spa is the $120,000 Birdsome, a 1 3/4-mile marathon on the main track that drew a field of seven.

Lone Rock is the even money favorite on the morning line. The Robertino Diodoro trainee has won his last three starts by a combined 21 ¾ lengths. He won the Brooklyn (G2) last out by11 ¼ lengths.

Moretti (5-2) is the logical threat but Shooger Ray Too, who ships in from Philly for the JT Servis barn may be worth a look if he goes off near his 15-1 morning line. Joel Rosario gets the call and this gelding might be able to handle the added distance.

“Saratoga Live” is on FS2 (and streaming on YouTube) from 1:00 to 6:30 ET this afternoon. 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 Thursday click here.

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

SARATOGA 1 ANALYSIS (1:05 P.M. ET)

 Race 1 Md Sp Wt

  • #6 Mostly Harmless 10-1
  • #1 Mystic Eyes 7-5
  • #5 Cost a Fortune 10-1
  • #2 I'm So Sorry 3-1

Analysis: Mostly Harmless is a $30,000 Ocala purchase by Violence out of the stakes winner Burban ($289,087) who was a nice sprinter who ran second in the '13 Humana Distaff (G1). She has dropped one foal to race, dirt winner Botero (5 for 18, $76,050). Solid works on the morning tab at Monmouth Park for the Begg barn that is showing a 0 for 1 mark with first timers. The trainer is a former assistant to Mark Casse who started his first on his own last December. He attracts Rosario and is going to be a decent price in this spot.

Mystic Eyes debuts for the Pletcher barn that won with four debut runners here last year and so far this year is 1 for 6. The filly was a $40,000 Keeneland purchase, by Maclean's Music out of the stakes winner Cloudburst ($71,800) who has dropped four winners including one turf winner. She has worked sharply in the mornings and had a trip over the turf on July 31 over the training track. She figures to be ready to go at first asking and Johnny V is up and has not ridden much for the barn at this meeting, just six mounts with no wins.

SARATOGA 7 ANALYSIS (4:29 P.M. ET)

Race 7 Alw $50,000s

  • #5 Mr. Kringle 6-1
  • #9 Life On Top 7-2
  • #10 Public Information 8-1
  • #7 Landbiscuit 5-2

Analysis: Mr. Kringle broke alertly, was taken back to track the early pace, then got caught in behind foes in the stretch, put on hold with no running room, found a seam toward the inside and finished up well for the runner up spot while the winner got a clear run to the outside. He showed an improved effort with blinkers added despite the poor trip, a cleaner trip here makes him a major threat for the Terranova barn looking to get off the duck at the meet. This guy ran well at this level here last year with a second and a third. The 6-1 morning line looks more than fair in this spot.

Life On Top had a tough spot last out, broke toward the back of the field, raced a bit awkwardly heading down the backstretch, had to wait for some running room briefly and finished evenly in a fifth-place finish last out as the beaten chalk. He was the beaten fav two back as well where he came with a good late run to finish in the runner up spot behind repeat winner Chocolate Br who came back to beat Alw-1 company in his next outing on Feb. 20 at Gulfstream Park.

LIVE LONGSHOTS

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. 

Saratoga

  • R1: #6 Mostly Harmless 10-1
  • R1: #5 Cost a Fortune 10-1
  • R2: #5 Lass 12-1
  • R2: #7 Fastelle 12-1
  • R4: #7 Chulainn 8-1
  • R5: #2 Operative 12-1
  • R5: #5 Chase Tracker 8-1
  • R6: #9 Eridromos 10-1
  • R6: #4 Open Til Midnight 8-1
  • R7: #10 Public Information 8-1
  • R8: #7 Joey Loose Lips 15-1
  • R9: #5 Shooper Ray Too 15-1
  • R9: #2 He’s No Lemon 20-1

Good luck today!

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HORSE RACING EXPERT
Mike Dempsey Mike covers the New York racing circuit (Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga) year-round as well as covering the biggest events including the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes and the Breeders’ Cup.
A professional handicapper and horseplayers for more than three decades, no handicapper in the industry works harder and been more successful in bringing horseplayers analysis that produces profits at the track!

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