Saratoga Horse Racing Picks for Saturday 8/28/21

Starting at 11:35 p.m. EST, we have 13 races at Saratoga. Using numberFire’s projections as a guide, here are some of the best bets to make at FanDuel Racing.

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.)

Letruska and Dunbar Road, Race 10

FanDuel Racing Odds: 6/5 and 20/1

Race 10 is the $600K Grade 1 Personal Ensign for older fillies and mares going 1 1/8 miles. This is a dynamite and deep field, and all runners have won a graded stakes race. The winner earns an automatic invite to the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff November 6 at Del Mar.

numberFire's model projects leading Horse-of-the-Year candidate Letruska (6/5) to finish second behind As Time Goes By (6/1). Letruska has won 4-of-5 starts this year and makes her 10th straight graded stakes start, winning six of the previous nine. Leading jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. rides again. Last year’s Preakness upset winner. Swiss Skydiver (7/2), beat the boys, and if she can return to that form, she’ll be a threat again.

Horse Racing Radar notes that Royal Flag (10/1) is an upset contender with two wins and a second in three races at the distance. He’s trained by EPO trainer Chad Brown. Brown also trains longshot Dunbar Road (20/1), who has upside, reaching the highest speed figure at the distance.

Cross Border and Channel Maker, Race 11

FanDuel Racing Odds: 4/1 and 8/1

Race 11 is the $750K Grade 1 Sword Dancer for older horses at 1 1/2 miles on the inner turf. The winner of the race earns an automatic invitation to the $4 million Breeders' Cup Turf November 6 at Del Mar.

The numberFire algorithm projects the order of finish as Japan (9/2), Channel Maker (8/1) and Rockemperor (6/1).

Cross Border (4/1) has speed figures that match up, and he's a threat with leading jockey Luis Saez riding. Cross Border is a preferred pick of Guaranteed Tip Sheet. Strong stretch jockey Joel Rosario rides Gufo, who is a nose from winning 3-of-4.

Favorite Tribhuvan (2/1) is versatile and can win from the front or off the pace, according to Horse Racing Radar.

Essential Quality and Dynamic One, Race 12

FanDuel Racing Odds: 4/5 and 6/1

Race 12 is the feature $1.25 million Grade 1 Travers Stakes for three-year-olds at 1 1/4 miles.

The FanDuel Racing odds imply a 49% chance of winning for Essential Quality (4/5). He's the prohibitive favorite and top pick, according to numberFire’s data . Essential Quality has won 7-of-8 starts, including the Belmont Stakes and Jim Dandy over the past two. Essential Quality has proven he’s the class and dominant horse, and he beat Keepmeinmind (6/1) last race without running his best. Jockey Luis Saez rides Essential Quality again for EPO trainer Brad Cox, and numberFire projects Keepmeinmind to hit the board.

Dynamic One (6/1) has matured and gotten stronger, and he won the Curlin Stakes last month in impressive fashion off a layoff. He’s worth an inclusion in vertical and horizontal multi-race wagering with the top tandem of jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. and EPO trainer Todd Pletcher.