Saratoga Horse Racing Picks for Sunday 7/26/20
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).
River Tiber, Race 5
FanDuel Racing Odds: 7/2
Race 5 is a Maiden Special Weight for two-year-olds sprinting 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf. It's a bit of a crapshoot with these juveniles sometimes struggling to run straight down the stretch, switch leads and a little green.
But the favorite Mad Maddy (5/2) has a solid shot to break through, switching from a pair of runner-up finishes on the dirt to turf. A son of American Pharoah, Mad Maddy has posted a pair of low 80s speed figures. If he doesn’t win, then River Tiber (7/2) is the one, and River Tiber is the top pick at numberFire. A half-million dollar purchase, River Tiber hit a speed figure of 83 in his debut last month, looking a little green down the stretch, and has been working well since for trainer Wesley Ward. He has to overcome the far outside post in a 10-horse field, but add both these two favorites to your Empire 6 wagers.
Olympico, Race 9
FanDuel Racing Odds: 9/2
Race 9 is the $150K Bernard Baruch Handicap (G2) with six runners lined up to go 1 1/16 miles on the Inner Turf. It's the EPO trainers race as all but Bill Mott find ways to help their horses find that extra burst. We'll try to repeat a Race 9 win from Saturday when longshot Turbo Drive (17/1) came from way off the pace to burst home a winner for EPO trainer Mike Maker. Turbo Drive returned $36.60 on a $2 win wager. The 0.50 cent Trifecta paid off $1,557 with our other top longshot pick finishing in third by a neck
Favorite Good Governance (9/5) is 2-for-3, winning his 2020 debut last month at this same distance. Trainer Chad Brown said the horse couldn’t have run better in his return to the track, posting a 101 speed figure. Good Governance is versatile, talented with speed and has leading jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. riding.
Brown's other runner, Olympico (9/2), will get overlooked, but that’s a mistake. The French-bred has strong stretch rider Joel Rosario aboard, and he leads all riders this current meet with 13 wins and a 25% win rate. Olympico makes his 2020 debut and is the top choice at Daily Horse Picks (DHP) -- followed by Halladay and Good Governance. Note Olympico's five straight triple-digit speed figures, including 120 when finishing runner-up in his last race, and DHP has him also right along Halladay for top speed ratings. .
Halladay (2/1) has hit the board in nine of his last 10 starts. He’s also posted a speed figure of at least 107 in six straight starts for trainer Todd Pletcher.
Seismic Wave (6/1) is the choice at a price, having closed well to finish second three weeks ago. He’s posted triple-digit speed figures in more than half his 13 starts. Unfortunately, trainer Bill Mott doesn’t have EPO on his side against the masters of the labs in this race.
Trainer Mike Maker has a pair of runners, including Somelikeithotbrown (4/1), the top pick at numberFire. He’ll likely be running up front and posted a career-best speed figure of 109 in June when finishing third.
Turn of Events and Economic Policy, Race 10
FanDuel Racing Odds: 3/1 and 9/2
Race 10 concludes the weekend at the Spa, and 12 runners will go 1 1/16 miles on the turf looking to break their Maiden. Seize the Day (5/2) is the favorite and the top pick at numberFire, coming from the rail with the most speed. He finished fifth in his debut in March. Jockey Junior Alvarado is winning less than 10% of his starts. FanDuel Racing implied odds suggest a 29% chance of winning for Seize the Day, followed by Turn of Events (25%).
Jose Ortiz has no such trouble winning or getting quality horses to ride. He jumps aboard Turn of Events (3/1) for EPO trainer Mike Maker, dropping down significantly in this one from his race last month when he showed early speed and finished fourth.
Glynn County (5/1) makes his 2020 debut but missed the board in three starts last year. Lord of the Nile (12/1) also makes his 2020 debut for trainer Jimmy Jerkens, needing to show more speed than last years 70s speed figures.
Irad Ortiz, Jr. rides Economic Policy (9/2) for leading trainer Chad Brown. He finished fifth off a layoff in June but had hit an 89 speed figure in his runner-up debut in January.