​Saratoga Horse Racing Picks for Saturday 8/15/20

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 11 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.)

Farragut, Race 4

FanDuel Racing Odds: 3/1

Race 4 is a Maiden Special Weight for state-breds and is going 6 furlongs. The favorite is Papa Luke (9/5), who is picked second by numberFire behind top choice Farragut (3/1). FanDuel Racing implied odds suggest those two having a 36% and 25% chance to win, respectively, but improvement by Farragut and another strong finish late makes him more viable at the price

Farragut put a bullet-best of 62 on the work tab last week and is showing good health and stringing races together. He’s hit the board in his last three starts and had a career-best speed figure (85) last race but did finish a neck behind runner-up Papa Luke while making up ground in the stretch.

Quick Return (8/1) is an option to include at a price with a pair of runner-up finishes in two starts and was 8 lengths better than American Piper (6/1) last race. Quick Return will try to get to the front early.

Field Pass and Colonel Liam, Race 8

FanDuel Racing Odds: 6/1 and 7/2

Race 8 is the $500K Saratoga Derby at 1 3/16 miles on the turf. The favorite and top pick at numberFire is Decorated Invader (7/5) followed by Field Pass (6/1) and Gufo (9/2). This is a competitive field despite the prohibitive favorite.

Decorated Invader has won 5-of-7 on turf, including 3-for-3 in 2020 with triple-digit speed figures. Joel Rosario rides again for leading trainer Christophe Clement, who also conditions Gufo. Gufo has won 4-of-5 and offers a nice option from off the pace to stablemate Decorated Invader.

EPO trainer Todd Pletcher has a pair running in No Word (15/1) and Colonel Liam (7/2), who has gotten better in each of his three starts and makes his stakes debut after hitting a 101 speed figure last month.

Field Pass (6/1) has won four of his last five and hit triple-digit speed figures in winning his last two, including a Grade 3 race. He broke his maiden a year ago at the Spa and defeated Decorated Invader. Both have grown and improved at age three, and the value side is with Field Pass.

Swiss Skydiver, Race 9

FanDuel Racing Odds: 1/1

Race 9 is the $500K Alabama (G1) for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/4 miles. This is the final qualifying race for the Kentucky Oaks. Heavy favorite Swiss Skydiver (1/1) is the top points earner on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks and a Single in the Late Pick 5 and Pick 3.

Spice is Nice (3/1) needs a top-two finish to earn a spot in the Kentucky Oaks. She finished 10 lengths behind Swiss Skydiver in March but won an Allowance race last month off a layoff with a career-best 104 speed figure.

Swiss Skydiver is the top pick of numberFire, and she may be the best three-year-old filly in training. Another win here ensures a fees-paid trip to the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Keeneland.

Crystal Ball (9/2) is lightly raced for trainer Bob Baffert. She will probably try to run on the lead and hold on, but it's unlikely.