Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:50 AM

Friday's Picks from Saratoga

Speed was king at Saratoga on the main track on Thursday as it was tough to make up much ground and we saw some big prices. The Late Pick 5 paid $161,870.75 on a .50 cent ticket.

The early Pick 5 was not bad either, coming back at $8,087.50. There is a $132,205 Pick 6 carryover going into Friday’s card.

On Saturday we will head to Arlington Park, perhaps for the last time. Churchill Downs Inc, which owns Arlington Park appears ready to sell the land for development.

Million Day features three Grade 1 races including the renamed $600,000 Mr.D (G1) which previously was the Arlington Million.

Turf is featured at Saratoga on Saturday as well with the $500,000 Fourstardave Handicap (G1) the featured race of the day. A field of eight will go one mile on the inner turf with the winner stamping a ticket to the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1).

The Chad Brown trained Raging Bull is the 9-5 morning line favorite. The six-year-old ran fifth in the race last year and was the runner up in 2019. It may be hard to believe but Brown has never won the Fourstardave.

Brown will also saddle Blowout (6-1) who will be taking on the boys. She won the Distaff Turf Mile (G2) at Churchill Downs in her last outing on May 1.

I will have my selections and analysis for the race in tomorrow’s column.

“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 $25,000

  • #1 Arms an Armor 5-2
  • #7 Big Little Risk 9-5
  • #8 Bielefeld 10-1
  • #2 Flipping Fun 7-2

Analysis: Arms an Armor set the early fractions and weakened to finish fifth last out against $40,000 state breds. The racing strip was playing to outside stalkers and closers that day. yesterday it was really playing for speed so we will see if that trend continues in the opener as this guy figures to be sent and adds blinkers as well. The cut back to six furlongs should suit him. He drops a notch in class and with the rail draw he may be able to clear early.

Big Little Risk goes for turf to dirt here after a seventh-place finish last out for a $40,000 tag. The gelding was rank and tossing his head about in the early going, worked his way up to the lead and then ran out of gas, beaten six lengths. He returns here with a class drop and as a gelding for the Bond barn. His only go on the main track was in the mud at Aqueduct. He sure worked well over the main track here on Aug. 5.


Race 7 Alw $90,000N1X

  • #1 Pure Bode 8-1
  • #11 My Lips Are Sealed 5-2
  • #2 More Glitter 8-1
  • #9 Choose Happiness 8-1

Analysis: Pure Bode was bumped coming out of the gate, stalked the early pace and came up short in the stretch in a fifth-place finish last out at this level. She was making her first start off a seven-month layoff for the Hennig barn. She broke her maiden at Belmont Park last fall in her third career start going long on turf at Belmont Park in a sharp effort, then made a mild run to finish fourth in her first start at this level. She went on the bench after getting outrun in the slop. She should move forward enough second off the bench to be a threat here and the 8-1 morning line looks fair enough.

My Lips Are Sealed set the early fractions and packed it in in the stretch once passed and tired to finish eighth at this level at even money. Two back she headed for hoe with the lead and battled on gamely in a third-place finish behind a pair of next out winners. The winner Runaway Rumour came back to win the Wild Applause in her next outing on June 26 at Belmont Park. Weaver is having a tough meet at 1 for 21 with six seconds, but this gal is better than she showed last out and willing to give her another look here while she picks up Irad.


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: #8 Bielefeld 10-1
  • R2: #1 Stanford 8-1
  • R3: #6 Naked on the Beach 8-1
  • R6: #3 Mama Said No 8-1
  • R7: #1 Pure Bode 8-1
  • R7: #2 More Glitter 8-1
  • R10: #3 Vikram 8-1

Good luck today!

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