​Saratoga Horse Racing Picks for Thursday 7/30/20

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.)

Opt, Race 5

FanDuel Racing Odds: 7/2

Race 5 is the start of the Empire 6, and this will be a state bred Allowance test at 1 1/16 miles on the Inner Turf. More than half the field of 11 are racing for the Optional Claiming tag of $40,000. Playwright (5/2) is a late scratch, leaving Rinaldi (2/1), Graded On a Curve (3/1) and Opt (7/2) as the favorites to beat.

Rinaldi has had consistent mid-to-high 90s speed figures in four straight starts, including his 2020 debut last month when finishing second at this distance with a pace-pressing trip of slower fractions. Rinaldi finished a neck in front of Opt, who was at the back of the pack and went very wide in the turn before finishing with a rush and very fast closing time. He was running off a seven-month layoff, and a better finish today is easy to find.

Catch a Cab (8/1) is the top pick of numberFire after he won four weeks ago with a 95 speed figure. He moves up slightly in class. Graded On a Curve was impressive in winning his 2020 debut in early June against a weaker group. He's facing tougher competition today. Note that he finished behind Opt twice last year.

Evaluator (10/1) is a longshot that could surprise off a long layoff. He's been working well in the morning for his return and offers a contrary style to stablemate Rinaldi. Include him at a price.

Out of Trouble and Barrel of Destiny, Race 8

FanDuel Racing Odds: 5/1 and 4/1

Race 8 has nine fillies and mares going 1 1/16 miles on the Inner Turf. It's an Allowance race with three runners in here for the $40,000 Optional Claiming tag, including Out of Trouble.

We’ll look toward two EPO trainers in Brad Cox’s Out of Trouble (5/1) and Mike Makers’ Barrel of Destiny. Out of Trouble should bounce back off a poor performance last month. He’s an Into Mischief colt who faced better, including when coming in as the runner-up as the favorite in April. He has only one win since 2018, but numberFire has him hitting the board behind Pecatonica (8/1), who won at this distance just two weeks ago.

Barrel of Destiny has won three straight the past three months, and continued form and improvement should have her challenging in here against a better field. Love and Love (10/1) is a front-running longshot off back-to-back wins against weaker competition before the pandemic and is switching to turf off last win.

Amundson, Race 9

FanDuel Racing Odds: 2/1

Race 9 is the John Morrissey Handicap, a minor stakes race at 7 furlongs with seven runners after longshots Kazmania (30/1) and Freaky Styley (30/1) were scratched.

Amundson (2/1) with leading jockey Jose Ortiz will take money and is a best bet at Guaranteed Tip Sheet and the top pick at numberFire. He’s a winner of 4-of-10 starts and hit the board in his two recent starts, showing triple-digit speed figures. Amundson should be the front runner with limited resistance or pace.

Funny Guy (5/2) is a Big Brown colt who was an upset winner of the Commentator Stakes at one mile in June with a 112 speed figure. He came from off the pace and was 1 1/2 lengths in front of Bankit (3/1), who also closed well.

The other runners and longshots are not in as good of recent form as the three favorites. However, My Boy Tate (12/1) was the favorite when finishing second to Amundson in February but never fired in his return in the Commentator when finishing eighth. Add him underneath in Exacta or Trifecta wagering.