Saratoga Horse Racing Picks for Thursday 8/13/20

Saratoga has 10 races on Thursday, including the $85K Union Avenue Handicap. Which horses should you bet on at FanDuel Racing?

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).

Malibu Luna, Race 2

FanDuel Racing Odds: 2/1

Race 2 is the opening Thoroughbred race of the day and draws eight runners. It’s a restricted Maiden Special Weight, and we’re going to ask the filly to beat the boys in this 5 ½ furlong sprint.

Malibu Luna (2/1) raced just 10 days ago, and she made up ground in the stretch to finish fourth against a much better group. Trainer Bill Mott has found a solid spot to bring her back, and his go-to rider Junior Alvarado keeps the mount

A number of first-time starters include Nutsie (10/1) and Stretch the Truth (12/1), who are projected to hit the board by numberFire with longshot Bustin Shuffle (20/1) on top in his third start.

Safe Conduct (5/1) is capable on debut as a better choice with some consistent works in place. Include underneath.

Turn of Events and Mandate, Race 8

FanDuel Racing Odds: 4/1 and 2/1

Race 8 is a Starter Allowance at 1 1/16 miles on the Inner Turf. The favorites Mandate (2/1) and Bray (5/2) hooked up on July 5 with favorite Bray winning by a length as both runners came off the pace. Following the race, Bray was claimed away from respected trainer Chistophe Clement and moved to the EPO regime of Rudy Rodriguez. Mandate followed up with a win three weeks later and improved 94 speed rating. Mandate is preferred if you play either of the favorites with Jose Ortiz riding Mandate for EPO trainer Todd Pletcher.

The top pick of numberFire, however, is Quiet Out East (6/1), who breaks from the rail with strong stretch rider Joel Rosario, the leading jockey in win percentage (24%) at the meet. Quiet Out East won his second race in 15 starts in June but also from off the pace.

This race has little pace projection, which fits the front running speed of Turn of Events (4/1). He's been slow to win for EPO trainer Mike Maker but has always had quality. Turn of Events broke his maiden three weeks ago as favorite against a large field and hit 99 as a ESF. Lone speed worth a try as Luis Saez takes over to ride.

Newly Minted, Race 9

FanDuel Racing Odds: 7/5

Race 9 is the $85K Union Avenue Handicap for state-bred fillies and mares racing 7 furlongs. There are just six runners in here, and the two tight favorites are bookends Ratajkowski (6/5) and Newly Minted (7/5) on the outside.

Ratajkowski won her 2020 debut in June off an eight month layoff, finishing just a neck in front of Mrs. Orb (6/1), who went wide in the upper stretch and rallied to just miss.

Newly Minted has won 5-of-10 starts with three runner-up finishes including both 2020 starts. She finished second as the heavy favorite in February running 1-mile and finishing well in front of Mrs. Orb. Newly Minted has been off since March with no workouts the past two weeks. But she is the top pick of numberFire over Ratajkowski, and Daily Horse Picks has the same order of finish with those two tops in speed rating.

The pace edge goes to Ratajkowski and Carrera Cat, whose class is tops. Carrera Cat (5/1) won this race last year and returns to the track off a long layoff for her 2020 debut.