Saratoga Horses in Focus for Saturday August 12th

Race 6:

Have At It (#9)

Is bred to handle this surface as a son of Kitten’s Joy out of a turf stakes-winning dam.

Christophe Clement gets a 97 Trainer Rating with pairing with jockey Tyler Gaffalione.

DRF Formulator Fact: Over the past five years, Christophe Clement is 7 for 18 (39 percent, $5.65 ROI) with two-year-old first time starters on turf at Saratoga.

6-1 on ML


Race 7:

Wyatt’s Town (#1)

Ran well despite having to alter course in the stretch of his debut.

Is bred to handle the stretch-out in distance.

DRF Formulator Fact: Over the past five years, Steve Asmussen is 9 for 20 (45 percent, $4.28 ROI) with two-year-old second-time starters in maiden dirt sprints at Saratoga.


Race 9:

Spartiatis (#4)

The Pace Projector is predicting he will get a fast pace to close into.

Was overmatched in the Vanderbilt last time.

Has run some of his best races at Saratoga in the past.

12-1 on ML

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Ready Now: Saratoga Friday Betting Strategies from David Aragona

Sunday’s Saratoga Betting Strategies from our analyst David Aragona are ready now.

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Saratoga Horses in Focus for Friday August 11th

Race 3:

Kristofferson (#3)

Was chasing a pace that collapsed in his turf debut last time.

Should prove to be a turf horse since his dam is a half-sister to three Group 1 winners on grass.

Miguel Vera gets a 97 Trainer Rating with horses making their second start for his barn after a trainer switch.

6-1 on ML


Race 7:

Mr. Massena (#2)

Possesses the tactical speed to be placed close to the pace in a race that lacks confirmed front-runners.

Was off very slowly in his last turf start, which was detrimental in a race where few horses were able to make late runs.

Makes his first start as a gelding.

9-2 on ML


Race 8:

Loose On the Town (#1)

Ran better than it seems last time after stumbling badly at the start and getting rated behind a slow pace.

Has really improved as a 5-year-old and may be able to transfer his improved turf form to dirt.

Has run well over this track in the past.

12-1 on ML

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Saratoga Highlight Horse for Thursday: Experience around two turns gives Lover’s Key an advantage

Saratoga | Race 8 | Post Time 5:02 p.m. (ET) | Go to the FREE TimeformUS PPs 

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I’m a big fan of LOVER’S KEY (#6), and I think she is the horse to beat in this race. She was projected to be the controlling speed two back when she was beaten by Lady Joan (#4). However, even though Jose Lezcano did ride her to the front early, he quickly reined her in to such an extent that he basically surrendered her pace advantage while letting the others get into the race. Lady Joan was basically even with her by the time they reached the top of the stretch, and Lover’s Key couldn’t quite fend her off. Junior Alvarado rode her the right way last time, taking advantage of her ample early speed to create some distance between her and the rest of the field.

There is more pace in this race, but I don’t think she needs to be in front early, as she proved in her last start in Florida. She got some crazy rides from a low-percentage rider in those Gulfstream Park races, making premature moves on almost every occasion. Despite that, she showed that she’s perfectly capable of handling two turns, which gives her a distinct advantage over her foes in this race since many of them are stretching out from sprints. Her trainer, Reid Nagle, has fantastic numbers overall and gets a 100 Trainer Rating with turf starters.

I’ll use her with the aforementioned Lady Joan (#4) as well as Paz the Bourbon (#1), who may be better sprinting but did win around two turns as a juvenile, and recent maiden winner She’s Dreamin (#2).


Win: 6

Exacta Key Box: 6 with 1,2,4

Trifecta: 6 with 1,2,4 with 1,2,4,7


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Saratoga Horses in Focus for Thursday August 10th

Race 7

Bluegrass Prevails (#5)

He is getting a necessary drop in class after facing tougher company in recent starts.

He was racing two wide against a rail bias the last time that he ran this cheaply.

Ray Handal gets a 100 Trainer Rating with horses dropping from allowance to claiming company.

8-1 on ML

Race 8

Lover’s Key (#6)

Has shown speed in recent races, but has shown the capability to stalk the pace.

Handled two turns at Gulfstream, which is an advantage in a race where so many have only run well sprinting.

Trainer Reid Nagle gets a 100 Trainer Rating with all turf starters.

5-2 on ML

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Saratoga Highlight Horse for Wednesday: Verdant Pastures a wire-to-wire threat off the layoff

Saratoga | Race 7 | Post Time 4:24 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs 

Three Eighty Eight (#3) was installed as the morning-line favorite, but I didn’t like her last race, where she had no excuse not to catch the tiring runner-up. She probably will handle the distance, but she has some hang in her and doesn’t figure to offer any value. I’m also against About That Base (#1), who will get bet off her turf speed figures but has never run particularly well on dirt.

The horse I want to bet is VERDANT PASTURES (#6).

I know that Verdant Pastures looks a bit too slow, but remember that all of her races came as a younger horse. She actually earned a competitive 98 TimeformUS Speed Figure when dominating a maiden race back in January, setting a fast pace (indicated by red color-coding in the PPs) before drawing off late. Her next start looks disappointing at first glance, but she was hindered by a two-wide trip over a rail-biased surface after she was inexplicably rated early. Something also may have happened that day since she didn’t return to the work tab for nearly three months after that start.

Today, the Pace Projector is predicting that she will be clearly in front early in a situation favoring the front-runner. I think this filly is better than she looks, and Charlton Baker has superb numbers off layoffs of this type. Over the past five years, he is 9 for 23 (39 percent, $2.86 ROI) with horses coming off layoffs of 90 to 180 days in dirt races on the NYRA circuit.


Win: 6

Exacta Key Box: 6 with 2,3,4

Trifecta: 6 with 3,4 with ALL

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Saratoga Horses in Focus for Wednesday August 9th

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