Saratoga Horse Racing Picks for Thursday 7/16/20

With most of the sports world on pause, it's a great time to dive into horse racing, and FanDuel Racing gives you the chance to do just that.

Starting at 1:10 p.m. EST, we have 10 races at Saratoga. Using our numberFire projections as a guide, here are some of the best bets.

As always, check the program for scratches and changes, and check the weather and track conditions.

(I will reference Equibase's Speed Figure in selected races, which tells you how fast a horse has been running in each of its races -- adjusted for track, distances, and conditions).

Inclunation and Rucksack, Race 1

FanDuel Racing Odds: 30/1 and 12/1

The Saratoga Summer Meet begins with the annual 1 1/8-mile Claiming race. Guy Caballero (2/1) is the favorite with EPO trainer Rudy Rodriguez asking leading NY Circuit jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. to ride him home a winner. We’re not betting on it, as this 6-year-old colt hasn’t won since Lassie was a puppy (2017). I'm not interested in the second choice of numberFire, Jerome Avenue (5/2), for another EPO trainer Rob Atras.

Sargent Drive (8/1) has a new trainer in Linda Rice after the previous two EPO trainers couldn’t get him to the winners circle or find much consistency with just 2 wins in 23 starts.

Castle Casanova (7/2) breaks from the rail and had a solid 92 speed figure last time out, finishing fifth off a layoff last month. That was a career best over seven starts, and both numberFire and Guaranteed Tip Sheet like Castle on top.

So we take lessons learned from Top Race Reports and dig deeper to take a bomb Inclunation (30/1). He won back in February going 1-mile at Aqueduct, making up ground off the pace and blowing away the field at a short price. His comeback last month off a layoff was a race he needed, but unfortunately it was over a muddy track. Toss it. He goes longer today, and with 10 in-the-money finishes in 19 starts, the risk is worth the reward to hit the board and potentially steal it to start the day and meet with a bang.

Grit and Glory (6/1) strides out like he wants longer, and Rucksack (12/1) is another longshot to consider on your daily doubles. He won here last fall at the same distance on the front end, and his 94 speed figure makes him playable. He returns quickly off a runner-up sprint July 5.

Tiz Envy, Race 6

FanDuel Racing Odds: 15/1

Race 6 is a 5 1/2 furlong sprint with 14 runners and a pair of coupled entries. The top pick of numberFire is the favorite Propensity (2/1), who has wins in eight starts but a pair of 90s speed figures earlier this year.

The second choice, Breeze Bayou (7/2), has been scratched.

We’re firing at a pair of longshots as Top Race Reports suggests. Tiz Envy (15/1) is a closer with improved speed figures into the 80s last race. The race prior, he ran on the lead for one mile before fading going longer. Now sprinting with a strong morning work last week, he should be ready to fire at a price.

No Bad Days (12/1) is also included in horizontal and exotic wagers

Beautiful Memories, Race 8

FanDuel Racing Odds: 6/5

Race 8 is the $100K Schuylerville (G3) for Juvenile fillies, and it's sprinting six furlongs. The favorite is Beautiful Memories (6/5), who won her debut by 10 lengths at Churchill in May as the heavy favorite. She’ll run on the front end again a little further and is training super sharp for trainer Mark Casse.

Guaranteed Tip Sheet picks Hopeful Princess (2/1) followed by Beautiful Memories. Hopeful Princess also won on debut in a shorter sprint in May at Churchill Downs for trainer Steve Asmussen. She has a pair of bullet morning works at Saratoga in prep for her stakes debut.

Daily Horse Picks rates those two as the class of this field and to finish 1-2 -- with Beautiful Memories owning the edge in speed. Both are inclusions in the late Pick 3 and Pick 5.

Dayoutoftheoffice (15/1) won her debut on the front end by more than four lengths. Quinoa Tifah (15/1) ran the top last-race speed figure but needs to improve to reach the top two picks.

Caracaro, Race 9

FanDuel Racing Odds: 6/1

Race 9 is the $100K Peter Pan (G3) at 1 1/8 miles. Usually run at Belmont in May, the Covid-19 adjustment to July has moved this to Saratoga. It isn't a strong field of nine runners, and Guaranteed Tip Sheet notes that Caracaro (6/1) ran the best last-race speed figure (104) in his second start in January to win as the favorite by six lengths. He is placed well for his return and is the top pick of numberFire.

Mystic Guide (5/2) is the favorite and finished second as the favorite from off the pace in early June. His speed figure of 100 from off the pace and suggests he can go longer without much problem.

Country Grammar (7/2) has to be considered going long with leading rider Irad Ortiz, Jr. up for EPO trainer Chad Brown. He finished fifth in the Fountain of Youth (G2) and then was third with an improved speed rating (98) off a layoff last month. He has been stabled here for a month and is working well in the mornings. Brown knows how to feed ‘em right and extra energy will be needed at this distance. We should feel good about including Country Grammar.

Candy Tycoon (5/1) for EPO trainer Todd Pletcher finished second in the Fountain of Youth as a longshot and then sixth in the Florida Derby, improving his speed figure to 91 last race. The added distance is a plus for this off-the-pace runner.