Saratoga Horse Racing Picks for Saturday 8/8/20
It's a great time to dive into horse racing, and FanDuel Racing gives you the chance to do just that.
Starting at 12:00 p.m. EST, we have 12 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.)
American Monarch, Race 6
FanDuel Racing Odds: 5/1
Race 6 is a Maiden Special Weight for 2-year-old fillies sprinting 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf. This race precedes the five big graded stakes races at Saratoga.
Top trainer Bill Mott is so good at getting his young horses to settle, and this debut for American Monarch (5/1) will be a good one with they type of work tab we’re looking for with recent ones instilling speed.
Secret Potion (5/2) is the favorite on the rail if the race stays on the turf, but check the weather. Leading jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. riding for top EPO trainer Chad Brown leaves this one over bet, but Secret Potion is the top pick of numberFire.
Irish bred Hidden Enemy (9/2) debuts for trainer Steve Asmussen and is an inclusion.
Come Dancing and Pink Sands, Race 7
FanDuel Racing Odds: 3/1 and 10/1
Race 7 is the $300K Ballerina (G1) for fillies and mares at 7 furlongs. The winner is awarded a fees-paid entry to the $1 million Breeders Cup Filly and Mare Sprint in November.
The top pick at numberFire is Bellafina (9/5) with longshot Victim of Love (15/1) picked to hit the board along with Come Dancing (3/1), who has won 8-of-16 starts but came up just short to long shot Victim of Love in June on a good-but-not-fast track. Come Dancing won 4-of-5 last year with strong triple-digit speed figures. She has great action, goes a preferred distance on a track that has favored front runners and Guaranteed Tip Sheet and Top Race Reports pick her on top.
Serengeti Empress (5/2) will take bets as speed from the rail but cuts back in distance having not run 7/8 mile in a year. We’ll take value and include longshot Pink Sands (10/1) as a deep closer with ability to finish well into this race speed. She gets the right pace at ideal 7/8 distance, where she has won 6-of-8 races.
Gamine, Race 10
FanDuel Racing Odds: 3/5
Race 10 is the $300K Test Stakes for 3-year-old fillies. You may just want to watch this race and add heavy favorite Gamine (3/5) to your Pick 3 and Pick 5 tickets as a single. This fantastic filly won the Grade 1 Acorn by 18 lengths for trainer Bob Baffert with a 117 speed figure. She's a very talented star and is the top pick at numberFire with implied odds at FanDuel Racing suggesting a whopping 63% chance to win.
Venetian Harbor (8/5) has finished first or second in all five of her starts for EPO trainer Richard Baltas. That includes three graded stakes with triple-digit speed figures. Wicked Wisper (20/1) will battle her up front in a contentious pace and can be added underneath looking for a better payoff.
Uncle Chuck, Race 11
FanDuel Racing Odds: 5/2
Race 11 is the $1 million Travers Stakes (G3). This year the race awards Kentucky Derby qualifying points (100-40-20-10) to the top-four finishes. Heavy favorite Tiz the Law (1/1) does not need any more Derby points as he’ll be the Derby favorite next month at Churchill Downs. This is not a tough field, and numberFire figures another win is likely with Tiz the Law on top. FanDuel Racing's implied odds suggest a 50% chance to win.
However, no Travers favorite has won the race since 2011, and 2012 was a dead heat. The great Triple Crown winner American Pharoah suffered one of his two career defeats in the Travers with a runner-up finish in 2015.
Uncle Chuck (5/2) is a lightly-raced late developing 3-year-old who is 2-for-2 with an impressive win in the Los Alamitos Derby (G3). The Bob Baffert-trained colt won that 1 1/8 mile race in just his second start going extra distance and has a very strong work tab at Del Mar since. He's shipped East and capable of breaking The Law.
Country Grammer (6/1) can improve further off his close win the Peter Pan (G3) last month on this surface, which was re-graded in June, and the only other horse in the field to run a race over the surface is Peter Pan runner-up Caracaro (10/1). Leading EPO trainer Chad Brown is not winning as many races in recent weeks and does not have one of the top two horses in here. Guaranteed Tip Sheet believes Country Grammer is capable of improving and pulling the upset, and he is worth an inclusion in Exacta and Trifecta wagering.
Can’t rule out Max Player (6/1), who will likely be closer to the pace this race after coming from way back in the Belmont Stakes to finish third behind winner Tiz the Law. Max Player and Tiz the Law are the only two runners with triple-digit speed figures in their most recent race. Long shot Shivaree (30/1) hit a triple-digit speed figure when a well-beaten runner-up to Tiz the Law in the Florida Derby but is off a poor last performance and is looking to bounce back. It'll be a solid reward for bettors if he hits the board..
Here's a full breakdown of the Travers Stakes.