Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:50 AM

Friday's Picks from Saratoga

Before we get to Travers Day on Saturday at Saratoga, we have an outstanding 11-race card on Friday which is New York Showcase Day.

New York breds take center stage this afternoon with six stakes restricted to state breds led by the $250,000 Albany for three-year-olds going 1 1/8 miles on the main track.

The Albany drew a field of nine led by the Todd Pletcher trained Americanrevolution, who is coming off a 7 ¼ length victory in the New York Derby at Finger Lakes which was his first start against winners.

The final stake on the day is a good one with a field of 10 going in the $150,000 Yaddo Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on turf. The Jorge Abreu trained Myhartblongstodady is the 8-5 morning line favorite.

Giacoa (8-1) is worth a look coming off a smart looking win against second level state bred optional claimers. Another capable of beating the favorite is Classic Lady (7-2), who was third in last year’s Yaddo and she makes her second start off the layoff for trainer Christophe Clement.

Chad Brown has opened up a six win lead in the trainer standings, and any talk of Mike Maker winning the title seems to be waning.

Maker does have runners in four races today while Brown has just one starter. Graded On a Curve (6-1) goes in the West Point for Brown.

Brown will have a much busier day on Saturday. He will send out runners in seven races including Miles D (12-1) in the $1.25 million Travers (G1).

“Saratoga Live” is on FS2 (and streaming on YouTube) from 1:00 to 6:30 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 Report for Friday click here .

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


 SAR Race 1 Md Sp Wt

  • #10 Open Til Midnight 3-1
  • #3 Devil Or Angel 9-2
  • #4 Surprise Boss 5-2
  • #2 Blue Deja Vu 10-1

Analysis: Open Til Midnight was away next to last in his debut when sent out at 8-1 in a field of six. The colt saved ground early, shifted to the outside for the stretch drive, switched leads back and forth while making up some ground late in a third-place finish. He adds blinkers here for the Ryerson barn and should move forward with a race under his belt. Lezcano sticks on this colt, who is out of a Harlan's Holiday mare hat has dropped one other foal to race, a dirt winner.

Devil Or Angel debuts for the Donk barn that is on the light side with firsters hitting with just 1 of his last 390. This colt has worked pretty well including a bullet drill out of the gate on Aug. 3. He is out of a Wheaton mare that won four times on turf and was stakes placed and has dropped two winners and they have both won on turf. Ortiz takes the call and this is not a very tough looking spot to make his debut.


SAR Race 8 The West Point

  • #7 City Man 9-2
  • #2 Rinaldi 7-5
  • #8 Mo Ready 6-1
  • #1 Therapist 4-1

Analysis: City Man was bumped and squeezed back coming out of the gate last out against Alw-2 optional claimers. After racing at the back of the pack the colt made up some ground late to finish seventh beaten 3 1/4 lengths as the beaten favorite. He was exiting the Manhattan (G1) two back where he was a non-threatening ninth. Three back he earned a career top in a solid runner up finish in the Ft, Marcy (G2) off a 4 1/2-month break. Last year this guy was competitive outside of the state breds including a close up fourth in the Transylvania (G3) and winning the Gio Ponti. A clean trip here makes his guy a player here and he should end up a fair price.

Rinaldi took the field gate to wire to win the Forbidden Apple (G3) last out going a mile here off a three- month break. He won this race last year wiring the field as the short priced favorite. He is going to be a light price again but sure looks capable of taking this group gate to wire as he drops back in with state breds and Saez sticking.


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: #2 Blue Déjà Vu 10-1
  • R3: #9 King Moonracer 10-1
  • R3: #3 Mr Connecticut 10-1
  • R4: #4 Who Hoo That’s Me 10-1
  • R5: #6 Escapewithfriends 8-1
  • R6: #2 Lot of Honey 8-1
  • R9: #4 Bingo John 8-1
  • R10: #4 Giacosa 8-1
  • R11: #11 Pivotal 12-1

Good luck today!

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