Saratoga Horse Racing Picks for Saturday 7/18/20
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 11 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.)
Decorated Invader, Race 3
FanDuel Racing Odds: 1/1
It's a weekend at The Spa, and Race 3 is the $150K Hall of Fame (G2) for three-year-olds going 1 1/8 miles in the Inner Turf. There's no show betting for this race as Money Moves (4/5) and Gufo (5/2) were scratched today, taking this field down to just five runners. Top Race Reports notes the continued improvement and maturity of favorite Decorated Invader (1/1), who should take this on the turf today.
Decorated Invader has won 4-of-6 starts, including last month when he made a bold move in the lane and romped by more than 4-lengths. That one-mile turf test shows him in good health and ready to stretch out for trainer Christophe Clement. Jockey Joel Rosario is a premier stretch rider coming off the pace and fits well again. Daily Horse Picks has Decorated Invader on top as the clear class and speed in this field. There's no return in win betting, but add to Pick 3.
If the Invader falters, then EPO trainer Chad Brown should have Domestic Spending (7/2) ready to pick up the pieces. Domestic Spending is 2-for-2 and makes his stakes debut with Irad Ortiz, Jr. aboard and should be ready to move from just off the pace.
Jose Ortiz rides longshot Get Smokin (10/1) -- the top pick at numberFire. Get Smokin finished runner-up twice earlier this year in a pair of stakes races and has hit triple-digit speed figures in 2-of-7 starts.
Those three top jockeys lead the New York Circuit riders in wins.
Jump for Joy and No Deal, Race 4
FanDuel Racing Odds: 10/1 and 6/1
Race four drew seven fillies and mares in a Claiming race that is going six furlongs. We turn to Top Race Reports for some insight and value picks.
Jump for Joy (10/1) is what we’ll be doing after she wins at a price. Jockey Jose Ortiz is aboard again after just missing by a nose last month at Belmont, dueling and bumping with the main rival down deep stretch. She posted a her strongest speed figure (94) off a layoff and can press and pounce again.
No Deal (6/1) has finished first and second this year since being transferred to new trainer Chris Englehart. She’ll be on or near the lead and returns to the Spa rested and ready with good works in place.
The favorite on the rail is Baby Boss (6/5), who is also trained by Englehart. Implied odds at FanDuel Racing suggest a 45% chance to win, but Baby Boss is not worth the risk for a small return. Baby Boss makes her 2020 debut and will be racing up front, but note she is 0-for-2 at Saratoga and tired badly against better here last fall. Class and speed advantages are noted at Daily Horse Picks, but this is not a good situational spot to support at low odds.
Letmetakethiscall (4/1) is the top pick at numberFire and a consistent five-year-old mare who has hit the board in all five starts this year.
Crystal Ball, Race 10
FanDuel Racing Odds: 4/1
Race 10 is the $350K Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) for three-year-old fillies going 1 1/8 miles.
Just six runners are scheduled, and Tonalist’s Shape (9/5) will take money from the rail with Irad Ortiz, Jr. riding. She’s won 6-of-7, including a pair of graded stakes races with a 95 best speed figure. We’ll pass at even lower expected odds and hope she doesn't get her footing at the Spa for EPO trainer Saffie Joseph, Jr.
Top Race Reports goes with a pair at better odds. Crystal Ball (4/1) makes just her third start after winning out West last month with a dominant front-running win and 97 speed figure. Trainer Bob Baffert sends her across country for a reason. She's an emerging filly ready to fire.
If those two are pressed to fast up front, then Altaf (5/1) can find the extra gear for EPO trainer Chad Brown and top stretch rider Joel Rosario. It's just her third career start, and she is another capable of moving forward following a very visually impressive victory in May from off the pace to win by more than five lengths. She's bred to go long as a daughter of Medaglia D’Oro. We now see she is scratched. Too bad.
Paris Lights (2/1) makes her stakes debut for trainer Bill Mott off a pair of wins at Churchill Downs and a top 102 speed figure.