Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:50 AM

Sunday's Picks from Saratoga

We saw two upsets in the big turf stakes on Saturday, and I did not give either a whiff or a spot on my Pick 5 tickets.

Got Stormy pulled off the upset beating the boys in the Fourstardave Handicap (G1) at Saratoga, a race she ran second in last year. The Mark Casse trainee returned $27.00 to win under a perfect ride from jockey Tyler Gaffalione.

About an hour later, Two Emmy’s took the field gate to wire to win the Mr. D. (G1) at Arlington Park in what most likely will be the last running of the race which was previously called the Arlington Million.

Jockey James Graham was able to set slow early fractions and hold off the late charge of the heavy favorite Domestic Spending and paid $56.20 to win.

We are back at it today with the feature at Saratoga bringing together a competitive group of three-year-old fillies in the $120,000 Galway.

I landed on the Wesley Ward trained Illegal Smile (9-2) who looks primed for a top effort in her third start of the year.

“Saratoga Live” is on FS2 (and streaming on YouTube) from 1:00 to 3:30 ET, then 3:00 to 4:00 on FS1 and back to FS2 from 4:00 to 6:30. 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 Sunday click here .

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


 Race 1 Md $40,000

  • #1 Pickering Circle 5-1
  • #7 Skeptical 6-1
  • #2 Baja Fog 6-1
  • #3 Good Skate 3-1

Analysis: Pickering Circle caught a sloppy track in a race taken off the turf in his debut. The gelding tracked the early pace and weakened to finish fifth. He drops in for a tag for the Weaver barn that has had good meets here in the past and is overdue here starting off the meet going 1 for 24 with seven seconds. The winner of his last race was Run Curtis Run who came back to win the state bred Rick Violette in his next outing here on July 21. The barn is 23% winners dropping runners from maiden special to maiden claiming. Looking for more out of this guy here and we should catch a decent enough price.

Skeptical chased the early pace and tired to finish eighth his debut against open maidens at Churchill Downs. The gelding drops in for a tag her and catches an easier group. McPeek is 17% winners dropping runners from maiden special to maiden claiming. He is out of the stakes winner Glory Be Mine ($426,918) who has dropped five other foals to race, all winners. Ortiz picks up the call and this guy is quick enough to be right in the mix early and speed has been doing pretty well here on the main track in sprints.


Race 9 The Galway

  • #6 Illegal Smile 9-2
  • #7 Goin' Good 3-1
  • #8 Bye Bye 5-1
  • #3 Wink 12-1

Analysis: Illegal Smile is one of two in here sent out by the Ward barn. Last out against non-conditioned allowance foes the filly dueled for the early lead and could not match strides late with Goin' Good in a runner up finish, beaten one length. The winner came back to win the Coronation Cup in the slop here on July 18. The Ward trainee won the Stewart Manor three back at Aqueduct last November. Off the bench two back in the Mamzelle she was a good fourth, beaten a half-length. Three have come out of that race to win next out including third place finisher Navratilova who won the Tepin on June 26 at Churchill Downs. The filly owns solid early and mid pace numbers and she looks capable of turning the tables here.

Goin' Good has won 4 of her 7 career starts with a pair of seconds, beating our top pick two back. She has only missed landing in the exacta once in her career and that was a fifth in the highly graded Mamzelle where she was fifth beaten 1 1/4 lengths. She is back on turf here for the Cox barn that has been sending out live runners at the meeting, winning at a 35% clip. She is a logical threat to win this but our top pick is likely going to offer a bit more value for the top spot.

Bye Bye set the early fractions and weakened to finish seventh in the Wild Applause at a mile at Belmont Park. The Clement trainee stalked the early pace and finished gamely to win the Soaring Softly (G3) two back in her first start against winners which was at seven furlongs. She broke her maiden three back at five furlongs in her second career outing. The cut back to 5 1/2 furlongs should suit her. Clement is 20% winners moving runners from route to sprint.


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. 


  • R3: #3 Sassy Melissa 10-1
  • R3: #6 High School Crush 10-1
  • R7: #10 Shawdyshawdyshawdy 8-1
  • R9: #3 Wink 12-1
  • R10: #11 Courted 15-1

Good luck today!

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