Saratoga Horse Racing Picks for Wednesday 7/22/20
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 12:50 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).
Brazen, Race 2
FanDuel Racing Odds: 6/1
This is a Claiming ($40K) race at 6 furlongs and non-winners of two lifetime races. Four of the seven runners in this field have already had at least nine tries to win two races but failed. That includes the favorite Box of Chocolates (2/1), who is 1-for-16 but just missed as the favorite in mid-May against similar. He’s the top pick at numberFire and hit a 98 speed figure two races back for Canadian-born trainer Robertino Diodoro.
Star of the West (4/1) is worth inclusion in the Double Wagers and early Pick 5, which starts here. He's making his third lifetime start, after winning easily as the favorite running on the front end June 3. Continued improvement and leading NY Circuit jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. rides for EPO trainer Rudy Rodriguez.
Irad’s brother Jose Ortiz is tied for most wins (8) in the early Saratoga meet and rides Brazen (6/1), who also has plenty of room to improve in his third start. He’s off an easy margin Maiden win earlier this month running on the front end. That followed his June debut against much stronger, including the winner who's shooting for the Kentucky Derby. Ortiz only rides for live runners for this barn and gets aboard Brazen for the first time.
Kickin’ Kirby and Tenderfoot, Race 4
FanDuel Racing Odds: 15/1 and 4/1
Race 4 is the start of the Grand Slam and Late Pick 5. A Maiden Claiming ($40k) race at 6 furlongs drew 9 runners, including an entry of Kith (15/1) and Verify (15/1).
The favorites Breithorn (5/2) for trainer Bill Mott and Macho Jack (3/1) for Rudy Rodriguez will take money. Macho Jack is the top pick of numberFire, followed by Brees Bayou (8/1) and Kickin’ Kirby (15/1).
Macho Jack is working well for his 2020 debut. A solid fit for the new barn. He finished second running on the lead last October with a 78 speed figure.
Tenderfoot (4/1) has positive attributes and faces less after being gelded in his last race a month ago. Santana takes over to ride and a solid work in place over the track. FanDuel Racing implied odds suggest a 20% probability to win.
Shooting for a longshot with Kickin’ Kirby, who raced on the lead for three-quarter miles going much longer in May before finishing fourth. Likely settles off the pace here with Cancel riding, and a chance to hit the board and potentially steal with faster fractions upfront.
Sharp Starr Race 9
FanDuel Racing Odds: 5/2
Race 9 is an Allowance race on the turf for state-bred fillies and mares going 1 1/8 miles. By this time, rain may have hit Saratoga Springs, and this race could be taken off the turf, which wipes out all bets. For any races on the dirt with weather an issue, the track may be sealed. That basically means the surface is packed down, keeping the rainwater on the surface, often creating an edge for runners on or near the front end, with ‘conveyor belt’ type results propelling the front runners.
Eloquent Speaker (3/1) stretches out following a Maiden win last month on the dirt. A good sign and positive intentions telling us the horse is doing well. Include as the top pick of numberFire.
Jose Ortiz rides Sharp Starr (5/2) again after guiding her to a margin Maiden win three weeks ago, going 1-mile on the dirt at Belmont. She notched an 83 speed figure, and Top Race Reports notes she’s heading in the right direction, facing better and sent longer to accentuate her good form.
Princess Pinky (6/1) strings four races together, improving in each, including a Maiden win. A pair of recent works at Saratoga but must show more speed from off the pace to tackle top two.