Saratoga Horse Racing Picks for Saturday 8/14/21
As always, check the program for scratches and changes and monitor 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.)
Klickitat and Cold Hard Cash, Race 3
FanDuel Racing Odds: 5/1 and 6/1
Race 3 is an Allowance race at 1 1/16 miles on the inner turf. numberFire’s data projects First Line (2/1) and Klickitat (5/1) to be tight at the finish on top along with Atone (2/1). Note that First Line will only run if the race is moved to the main dirt track.
Klickitat won last month with his best-ever speed figure (103), which followed a runner-up finish his previous race. Klickitat will likely be pressing the pace and looking to hold off EPO trainer Mike Maker’s Atone, who is a son of Into Mischief and has a pair of third-place finishes since March and top 101 speed figure.
Cold Hard Cash (6/1) has the name and strong current form to get into the money again, according to Guaranteed Tip Sheet. Jose Ortiz rides, and this horse cashed in his last race with a win two weeks ago over this turf course at the same distance.
Doctor Jeff and Stolen Base, Race 9
FanDuel Racing Odds: 2/1 and 8/1
Race 9 is the $200,000 Grade 2 Saratoga Special for two-year-olds at 6 1/2 furlongs. The race drew a very competitive field of 12 juveniles, and the numberFire algorithm projects the in-the-money finishers as Double Thunder (5/1), longshot Glacial (15/1) and Nakatomi (8/1). The pace is expected to be quite swift with ample pressure, according to Horse Racing Nation’s Super Screener, which lists Gunite and Doctor Jeff as top win contenders.
Double Thunder is 2-for-2 and won a Grade 3 race last time out in June. Top jockey John Velazquez rides again for EPO trainer Todd Pletcher.
Doctor Jeff (2/1) is the speed of the speed in this field off an electrifying debut win last month at Belmont. His pace figures were excellent for a two-year-old, even as jockey Joel Rosario throttled him down near the finish. Doctor Jeff had a bullet work last week for EPO trainer Rudy Rodriguez.
Stolen Base (8/1) won his debut three weeks ago and can be included in vertical wagering as a top pick of Guaranteed Tip Sheet. EPO trainer Mike Maker has decided to switch riders to leading jockey Jose Ortiz. His sharp recent 4-furlong workout in 47.4 is noted by Horse Racing Radar, which also adds there are a number of other debut winners in this race. That includes Midnight Worker (10/1) with top jockey/trainer combo Irad Ortiz, Jr. and Todd Pletcher.
Record-breaking trainer Steve Asmussen turns to his go-to jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. to ride Gunite (5/1) again. Santana rode this son of great Gun Runner to a front-running maiden win last race as the favorite in his third start. His balanced energy figures are well-suited for this distance.
This field is deep, and Kitodan (30/1) is worthy of inclusion in your exacta, trifecta and exotic bets.
Blowout and Raging Bull, Race 10
FanDuel Racing Odds: 6/1 and 9/5
Race 10 is the $500,000 Grade 1 Fourstardave Handicap at 1 mile on the turf. The race offers a fees-paid berth into the $2 million Breeders’ Cup FanDuel Mile on November 6 at Del Mar.
Leading EPO trainer Chad Brown has the inside and outside horses, and top jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. rides favorite Raging Bull (9/5), who is breaking from the rail. Raging Bull is a projected board hitter along with Casa Creed (4/1).
But the the top choice, according to numberFire, is Brown’s other runner, five-year-old mare Blowout (6/1) with Joel Rosario aboard. Blowout will likely set the pace up front for Raging Bull to close into. Blowout won her last start, a Grade 2 race in May against females, and she’s finished first or second in 11-of-12 career starts, with half of them graded stakes races, according to Super Screener.
Raging Bull was beaten in this race in 2019 by the magnificent mare Got Stormy (10/1), who returns as a challenger. The six-year-old won a Grade 3 race earlier this year, but she is 0-for-2 since.
Casa Creed is better suited at less than 8 furlongs (1 mile), and he finished third in this race last year.
Set Piece (5/2) is a main challenger for EPO trainer Brad Cox. Set Piece is coming off a short rest and a three-race winning streak, winning a Grade 2 race at Churchill Downs in June, boasting a strong work tab since, including a pair of bullets. Set Piece is the top choice of Guaranteed Tip Sheet.