​Saratoga Horse Racing Picks for Friday 8/14/20

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).

Feel Glorious and Altea, Race 4

FanDuel Racing Odds: 5/1 and 9/5

Race 4 is the $100K Perfect Sting Stakes for older fillies and mares racing 1 1/16 miles on the Inner Turf. The top pick at numberFire is favorite Altea (9/5) while Guaranteed Tip Sheet has Café Americana (2/1) on top with leading jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. followed by Feel Glorious (5/1), who has hit the board in five straight races, including three graded stakes. Feel Glorious posted her best speed rating (105) last time out, finding better health, and is cutting back to preferred distance.

Note Another Broad (7/5) is scratched, reducing the field to six, and Daily Horse Picks (DHP) also has Aleta on top followed by Secret Message (3/1). Those two are rated top class in the field by DHP with the speed advantage to Altea over Secret Message. The pace projector leans toward longshot Piedi Bianchi (30/1), who won a pair of races earlier this year and has hit a 101 speed figure in January. She switches from dirt to turf.

Aleta has won just 2-of-20 starts and has a pair of runner-up finishes earlier this year. In her last race, she posted a 114 speed figure in the Jenny Wiley (G1), finishing well but still fourth in front of Secret Message. Altea’s late finishing speed is best, and strong stretch rider Joel Rosario can get her home in a race that should lack much early pace. Chad Brown trains both Altea and Café Americano, who has better tactical speed. However, she is off a long layoff and making her 2020 debut against others with more speed.

Variant Perception and Tenure, Race 7

FanDuel Racing Odds: 6/1 and 8/1

This is a Claiming race on the turf, and 10 runners are sprinting 5 1/2 furlongs. There is an entry for trainer Wesley Ward, who has No Bang No Boom (4/1) and Onthewaytonevrland (4/1). The top pick of numberFire is the favorite Fig Jelly (8/5). Implied odds at FanDuel Racing suggest a 38% chance to win, but he'll likely get bet down further with Irad Ortiz, Jr. riding for EPO trainer Brad Cox.

Let's try to beat the favorite with Top Race Reports taking value with Variant Perception (6/1) and Tenure (8/1), ridden well by leading jockey’s Manny Franco and Luis Saez, respectively. Tenure missed by a nose at this level in his 2020 debut last month and has since put a bullet on his work tab. Look for both runners to come from off the pace and make it a race late.

Leaky Cup and Thorny Tale, Race 8

FanDuel Racing Odds: 9/2 and 3/1

Race 8 is an Allowance race at 6 furlongs with both Kosciuszko (12/1) on the rail and Runaway Lute (6/1) on the outside 8 post running for the $40K Optional Claiming tag. Favorite Tale of the Union (8/5) for trainer Bob Baffert is the one to beat coming off a state-bred win last month, and numberFire has him on top followed by Thorny Tale (3/1).

Daily Horse Picks has Thorny Tale on top followed by Tale of the Union, noting speed rating favorite Kazmania (6/1) with leading rider Irad Ortiz, Jr. and Leaky Cup (9/2), with the latter rating stronger in class with Runaway Lute.

Leaky Cup has hit the board in all three 2020 starts while improving his speed rating each race -- up to 98 a month ago, when he was leading in the stretch before finishing third. He’s the pace in the race and may take this in an upset.

Thorny Tale is a good option from off the pace if Leaky Cup falters up front. Thorny Tale came running in a July race and finished fourth just behind Leaky Cup but is improving third off a layoff and a stronger morning work since.