Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:50 AM

Saturday's Picks from Saratoga and Del Mar

We have three Grade 1 races on tap on Saturday, two of them coming at Del Mar and the much anticipated $600,000 Alabama (G1) at Saratoga.

The Alabama features a rematch between the one-two fnisihers of the CCA Oaks (G1) on July 31 where Maracuja pulled off the upset at 14-1 over the chalk Malathaat.

They will throw down again and instead of a four horse field there are seven that will go in the Alabama. Laying in the weeds is the Ken McPeek trained Crazy Beautiful who is coming off a victory in the Delaware Oaks (G3) in her last outing.

It is the biggest day of the meet at Del Mar where we have five graded stakes on tap including the marquee race of the meeting, the $1 million Pacific Classic (G1), a “Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1). v

The John Shirreffs trained Express Train is the 3-1 morning line favorite but a case could be made for more than half of the nine horse field.

Among those is Dr Post who ships west for trainer Todd Pletcher. The colt won the Monmouth Cup (G3) at Monmouth Park in his last outing and looks headed in the right direction.

My Best Plays Report for Saturday includes my 10 strongest plays from Del Mar and Saratoga.

“Saratoga Live” is on FS2 (and streaming on YouTube) from 2:00 to 7:00 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 and Best Plays Reports for Saturday click here .

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


 Race 1 Md Sp Wt

  • #8 Raymond 3-1
  • #6 Triple Elvis 5-2
  • #1 Napa Valley / 1a Major General 3-1
  • #2 Fan the Fire 6-1

Analysis: Raymond debuts for the Asmussen barn that is 17% winners with first timers and here at this meet has won with 4 of his 10 juvenile firsters at the meeting (with a +ROI). This colt was a $1 million Keeneland purchase, by Into Mischief out of the stakes winner Teen Pauline ($464,860) who was a debut winner and has dropped two foals to race, both winners including stakes winner Cambria ($332,617) who broke her maiden in her debut. A steady string of works and this colt is going to be ready to go here.

Triple Elvis was a $700,000 purchase, by Into Mischief out of a Unbridled's Song mare that has dropped two foals to race including stakes winner Made You Look ($498,869). Brown is 18% winners with first timers at this meet with two-year-old first timers is 3 for 17. Solid looking works with a good gate drill on Aug. 14 should have this colt tight for his debut.


Race 9 The Lake Placid G2

  • #6 Spanish Loveaffair 3-1
  • #2 Technical Analysis 6-5
  • #3 Ego Trip 6-1
  • #4 Runaway Rumour 7-2

Analysis: Spanish Loveaffair has had a tough year, getting DQ'd in the Herecomesbride (G3) back in February, then having troubled trips in her next two starts. She was really tough last time out on good ground in the Belmont Oaks Invitational (G1) where she chased the early pace and weakened to finish eighth. The winner of that race was Santa Barbara who came back to win the Beverly D. (G1) in her next outing and the runner up Con Lima won the Saratoga Oaks Invitational in her next start. The Casse trainee has worked well since her last outing and looks capable of bouncing back with a better effort here. Santana picks up the call as Gaffalione sticks with Ego Trip.

Technical Analysis is the obvious one to beat here for the Brown barn who won this race in 2018 and 2019. The filly is coming off a career best effort last out winning the Lake George (G3) over firm ground here on July 23. She broke her maiden over good ground last November in her second career start. If she runs close to her last effort she is going to be tough to beat in this spot but her price is going to be very much on the light side.


Race 9 The Del Mar Oaks G1

  • #7 Fluffy Socks 4-1
  • #3 Going Global 9-5
  • #1 Closing Remarks 6-1
  • #4 Madone 5-2

Analysis: Fluffy Socks invades from New York for the Brown barn. Last out the filly came whit a good late rally to finish in the runner up sit in the Lake George (G3) behind her stablemate Technical Analysis. Two back she was fifth in the Wonder Again (G3) which was won by Con Lima who came back to run second in the Belmont Oaks (G1) and then won the Saratoga Oaks (G3). That effort was her lone trip at nine furlongs but willing to give her another shot at nine furlongs. She should get some pace to run at here and Rosario keeps the call.

Going Global was the beaten chalk in the San Clemente (G2) last out here at a mile. She came whit a good late rally and just could not match strides late whit the winner Madone. The race snapped a four race winning streak for the D'Amato trainee. She is perfect in her two trips at nine furlongs and ca turn the tables here. She has been hammered in the betting in her last three starts and likely again 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. 


  • R4: #5 Bonana Fanna Foe 12-1
  • R6: #7 The Important One 8-1
  • R8: #6 El Sobreviviente 8-1
  • R11: #7 Miss Bonnie T 8-1

Good luck today!

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