Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:50 AM

Friday's Picks from Saratoga

While we have five stakes including three Grade 1 races coming up on Saturday at Saratoga, Friday’s card will offer up a good way to warm up for the weekend with an outstanding 10-race card that includes three stakes races.

On Friday the stakes action starts with the seventh race, the $200,000 Hall of Fame (G2) for three-year-olds on turf that drew a field of eight. The Chad Brown trained Public Sector is the 2-1 morning line favorite. Brown has saddled the winner five times including four in a row from 2015 to 2018.

The eighth race is the $120,000 Alydar at nine furlongs for older runners. The race drew a solid group including Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) runner up Jesus’ Team (7-2) and Night Ops (9-5) who has run second in three consecutive stakes races.

The $200,00 Troy (G2) drew a dozen that will go 5 ½ furlongs on the turf. Imprimis is the 3-1 morning line favorite and crossed the wire first in the race last year only to get disqualified and placed third for causing interference in the stretch.

Coming up on Saturday we have one of the strongest cards of the Spa meeting. There are 12 races on the card tomorrow including a trio of Grade 1 races—the $500,000 Test, $1 million Saratoga Derby Invitational and the $1 million Whitney.

“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 Friday click here .

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


 Race 1 Md Sp Wt

  • #4 Artie's Angel 15-1
  • #5 Materialize 8-1
  • #1 No Mi Culpa / 1a Not Yet Charlie 7-2
  • #8 Barone Cesco 6-1

Analysis: Artie's Angel has two starts under his belt at Monmouth Park and now tries turf for the first time. Last out the colt was last early and finished evenly in a sixth-place finish. He has worked out of the gate twice since his last start and may appreciate the surface switch. He is out of a Broken Vow mare that broke her maiden on turf and has dropped three other runners and they have all won on turf including stakes winner Peacock Kitten ($142,051). The barn is 18% winners moving runners from dirt to turf. Worth a look here at a generous price.

Materialize makes his debut for the Schoenthal barn that is 6% winners with first timers. The colt is by Maclean's Music out of the stakes winner Miss Behaviour ($790,834) a G2 winner on dirt and stakes placed in her one start on turf. He has dropped one runner, a winner on dirt. He should be fit and ready off works at Fair Hill and this is not a very tough looking spot for his debut.


Race 8 The Alydar

  • #4 Art Collector 3-1
  • #8 Night Ops 9-5
  • #1 Prioritize 6-1
  • #7 Jesus' Team 7-2

Analysis: Art Collector stretches out to nine furlongs after a sixth-place finish last out going seven panels at Churchill Downs in the Kelly's Landing in his first start off a 7 1/2-month layoff. The winner was Bango who came back to win the Good Lord at Ellis Park next out and the runner up Mucho won the Challendon at Pimlico in his next start. Fourth place finisher Aloha West was also a next out winner, beating Alw-2 optional claimers here on Aug. 1. The colt now lands with the Mott barn and the stretch out suits. He won the Blue Grass (G2) last year at today's distance as well as the Ellis Park Derby. He earned three straight triple digit Beyers going two turns last year. There is not much early pace in here and this guy showed last year he can take a group gate to wire.

Night Ops made a good late rally to finish in the runner up spot in the Monmouth Cup (G3) last out behind Dr. Post. Two back in the Blame at Churchill Downs he was beaten just a head by Mighty Heart who came back to win the Dominion Day (G3) at Woodbine. Guest Suite also exited the Blame to win next out, taking the Hanshin at Arlington Park in his next start on June 26. Cox has been very live at the meet hitting at a 44% clip and this guy has shown enough tactical speed he should get a good forward trip from about mid pack. He has landed in the exacta in 6 of his 7 trips at nine furlongs but just one of those was a win.


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 Artie’s Angel 15-1
  • R1: #5 Materialize 8-1
  • R4: #3 Pulsate 10-1
  • R6: #1 Forty Under 8-1
  • R9: #10 Lazuli 8-1
  • R10: #2 Jimmy Dan 12-1

Good luck today!

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