Saratoga Horse Racing Picks for Wednesday 7/29/20
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).
Big Al’s Gal and Cross Keys, Race 2
FanDuel Racing Odds: 8/1 and 8/5
Race 2 is a Maiden Claiming race for state-bred fillies and mares sprinting six furlongs.
The two heavy favorites will get interest and are expected to hit the board. Belleza (7/5) showed good early speed in her third start and 2020 debut earlier this month but was a well-beaten second. Leading-jockey Irad Ortiz rides again.
Prefer the other favorite, Cross Keys (8/5), who raced upfront through six furlongs in her debut this month against a better group and faded a bit to finish fourth going a mile. Cuts back and can improve.
However, numberFire likes Big Al’s Gal (8/1) on top with leading jockey and strong stretch-rider, Joel Rosario, getting an improved effort following a slower debut on turf. Switches to dirt and value from the rail. Miss Ross (12/1) is 0-for-11 but has finished third in three starts this year and will be coming from off the pace.
Niko’s Dream and War Canoe, Race 5
FanDuel Racing Odds: 15/1 and 8/5
Race 5 is a minor Stakes Dayatthespa with seven state-bred fillies and mares racing 1 1/16 miles on the Inner Turf. Same heavy favorites and the same two jockeys on board with Joel Rosario on Classic Lady (7/5) and Irad Oriz, Jr. handling War Canoe (8/5) from the rail for EPO trainer Chad Brown.
War Canoe is a seven-year-old mare who was pressing the pace in her 2020 debut on July 2 at shorter odds than Classic Lady, who closed well but lost by a nose in a late duel. War Canoe finished a close third. Daily Horse Picks has those two finishing first and second as the top two rated in speed and class.
The top pick at numberFire is Wegetsdamunnys (7/2), followed by the big longshot Niko’s Dream (15/1). Wegetsdamunnys has hit triple-digit speed figures in three of her last four races, including an off-the-pace win in June when running wide and longer. Niko’s Dream is worth a shot and can hit the board having won her last race in May from the back and going wide to rally and win with a 98 speed figure.
Secretary at War, Race 7
FanDuel Racing Odds: 12/1
Race 10 is a 5 ½ furlong sprint on the turf. An Allowance race with Optional Claiming and 10 runners. Sayyaaf (8/5) is going to get bet hard as the favorite running up front for trainer Chad Brown. But he’s a bit vulnerable as the top pick at numberFire. Sayyaf posted a career-best 107 speed figure when runner-up last race in mid-June, and was unable to hold a solid lead in the stretch.
Vici (8/1) rarely wins, and it’s been nearly two years since he was in the winners circle. He’ll be pressing the pace from the gate, and, hopefully, there is as much speed as expected to allow longshot Secretary at War (12/1) through. He’s also gone nearly two years without a win, but most races have been routes. His last was a five-furlong sprint in mid-June, and Secretary at War came from far back to close willingly for fourth after some early trouble. He had a stretch of 12 straight starts with triple-digit speed figures.
Backtohisroots (8/1) on the rail finished two lengths behind Sayyaff in his last race from off the pace.