Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like?
Saturday, August 12, 2017
Saturday marks the halfway point of the Saratoga meet: 20 days will be down after that card, with 20 more to go. The headliner on Saturday is the Fourstardave Stakes, featuring some of the best grass milers in the country.
We’ve got FREE picks & analysis of all the action from Mike Mahon (@MikeMahonPA). You can catch Mike’s write-ups of the Saratoga action ever Saturday for the rest of the meet.
Take it away, Mike!
The bad news is that I won’t be able to watch today’s races. The good news is… I’m heading to Saratoga for the first ever Equestricon!!!
I’ve been waiting for this for very long time! I’m looking forward to learning a lot more about the sport, and having the opportunity to spend a lot of time with a lot of like-minded individuals.
7 to win
7 w 2 exacta
I don’t think 1 At Guard is worth a 3/1 play. I’ll go with 2 Nominal Dollars and 7 Sammy Wonder Stone because they have the highest last speed ratings in their last outs, and the latter is coming off a claim and won by over five lengths last out.
I misplayed all the maidens last week. Every single one I got wrong ☹ What hurt the most is that I missed some very lucrative payouts. Up to $47 in one case.
As Kyle Broflovski taught me, “You know, I learned something today…”
Everybody’s gonna play the obvious faves – Pletcher, McLaughlin, et al (here, 2 & 8). Although it makes sense that the best bloodlines are going to have the best trainers, in order to make some dough you need to go against the grain.
3 Get the Facts is a no.
9 Base Command is a contender.
8 & 9 seem to be the only runners who’ve had success at this distance on this surface.
Race 4- Adirondack Stakes
1 or 3 to win (4/1 or better)
8 to win
Two year old fillies are a capricious lot. This group in a sprint is the closest thing to a crap shoot you’ll see on the track. For that reason, I keep my picks fairly loose and play the odds more than the horses.
1 Pure Silver has all the credentials of a favorite – high percentage connections, highest speed rating, speed horse on the rail.
3 Sly Roxy also looks good, but should have short odds
I’ll look for value in 8 Southampton Way, who may be able to press while some of these youngsters tire each other out.
1/4 w 1/4 w 12
This is a healthy twelve horse field. 4 Azar didn’t have much of a chance in his last out, after a troubled start and could t set up where he likes. Don’t expect the same today. He should be able to sit back comfortably and run hot on the heels of the pacesetter.
I’m hoping 9 Made in Detroit finds inspiration in this summer’s box office sensation, and runs an inspired contest on the front end.
1 Husband’s Folly should like this distance and be set up nicely on the rail for a ground-saving trip before kicking at the end.
If I had a horse, I’m not sure I’d name him Blarp. I’m pretty sure he gets made fun of by the other horses. That aside, I think 12 Blarp should round out trifecta.
If 13 Sportscaster runs as an AE, I’ll play him if he offers a good payout (over 5/1).
I’ll play the longest odds.
Ten horses in this maiden field, two of which have run before. 3 Channel Cat did well in a brief jaunt on the grass, falling a head short at five furlongs. 7 Lago Gris failed miserably on the dirts, and his connections are hoping for better on the grass.
3 / 4 to win
Three of the nine maidens have run before.
1, 5, 6 have run, and I wouldn’t say any of them impressed.
3 Can Go Dam has produced four winners from four starters.
4 Lone Sailor has been running sharp, and I trust Tom Amoss in sprints.
6/5 to win
2/5 w 1
2 Somethingelse is your morning line favorite if 7 Rachel’s Temper (MTO) doesn’t run. I don’t think either of these gals really offer such a great payout against this field. I’d prefer to mix it up with 6 Promotional (8/1) as she drops down in class and 5 Puca (5/1) as she steps up in class. 1 Shake Down Baby may not contend to win, but could a nice play underneath.
I’ll play 6 Hey Jabber Jaw to win and place, trying to show some early speed.
Race 10 – Fourstardave Handicap (Grade 1)
5/2 exacta box
I have a Fourstardave bobblehead. It’s pretty cool.
They’re giving away a Ben’s Cat bobblehead at Laurel on November 11.
I plan to have a sick race between these two bobbleheads on November 12.
5 Sassy Little Lila runs against the boys today. Expect Saez to get her out front early and cruise. I like her a lot here.
2 American Patriot will be coming on strong down the stretch. It’ll be close; maybe half a head or a nose. I think this will be a really good race.
1 Ballagh Rocks is outclassed.
6 Disco Partner has been running wild since switching to Chris Clement’s barn, but I don’t think he’ll be able to keep up with Lila’s pace. I expect him to contend, and fade back.
11 to win
The very first time I heard the song Galway Girl was in an Irish bar on a Saturday morning across the Ballard Bridge in Seattle. I asked them to turn on the volume to the Georgia game (when they had Knowshon Moreno) and they got, like, really mad at me and then this band started playing. I remember thinking, “this could be a good song, but I think this band really sucks.” It turns out, it is a pretty good song if you listen to the Steve Earle version.
In any event…Galway Girl has absolutely no chance to win. Looking through her PPs, I can’t understand why she’s even still running. She’s finished as far back as 37, 31, 28, and 36. Maybe she’d be better off doing something else….
I’m looking at 7 The Pooch and 1 Atwitzend to duel out front and 11 Source Control taking advantage of the pace and squeaking past at the end.