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Free Picks For Saratoga - 8/16/20

Race 1 - Maiden Special Weight (Purse - $72,0000)

Six 2-year-old fillies will go six and one-half furlongs in what should be a fantastic race. I’m going with first-time starter #1 School of Thought as she has been training well and has some excellent genes as the daughter of Empire Maker and granddaughter of A.P. Indy and Unbridled. Plus, trainer Chad Brown has a career 22% strike rate and a 56% WPS percentage with 2-year-old runners. In addition, Brown and jockey Irad Ortiz Jr., who has won 18% of his career races onboard of 2-year-old females. #4 Stone Town stretches out in this one following a strong debut where she finished second after setting the pace in a five-and-one-half furlong meet. The daughter of Tapizar is under the direction of trainer Bill Mott. #6 Nevisian Sunrise is also making her debut and is another horse of Brown’s. Nevisian Sunrise also has good pedigree being the daughter of War Front and granddaughter of Unbridled’s Song.


Picks: I like a win bet on the #1. I also like a exacta/trifecta box of #1, #6, #4. In addition, I like a show bet on #6.

Race 3 - Claiming $25,000 ($45,000)

Six fillies and mares will go six furlongs. #2 Pick Up the Fone has shown improvement in each of her two races after coming off a three-month layoff, defeating $20,000 claimers going seven furlongs at Gulfstream and then finishing second against this level and at this distance here at Saratoga on July 17. The 3-year-old Kentucky filly races well at this distance, collecting both of her victories going six furlongs on the dirt, and has reached the podium in 75% of his starts on the main track. #4 Rude Awakening also runs well at this distance and has reached the podium in each of her four races on the dirt. I expect #5 Lady C and #6 Our Lady of Loreto, who has the most speed in the field, should fill out the ticket.

Picks; I like a win bet on the #2. I also like a trifecta bet of the #2 keyed with the #4, #5, #6.

Race 5 - Allowance Optional Claiming (Purse - $78,000)

Six male runners will go one and three-eighth miles on the turf in what should be a spectacular race.#6 Nakumura ran a solid race but was out finished down the stretch and finished third in the TVG Elkhorn Stakes in his 2020 debut. The 5-year-old Maryland gelding has won each of his last three non-stakes races. #4 He’s No Lemon has run well since coming off a long layoff. The 4-year-old gelded son of Lemon Drop Kid was not a factor in his last outing, finishing eighth in the Grade 2 TVG Elkhorn Stakes, but did nab third in the Grade III Louisville Stakes in his first outing of the year. Prior to his last outing, He’s No Lemon had garnered six straight top 3 finishes which includes two wins at this distance. #5 Midnight Tea Time, who has reached the podium in 70% of his turf races, and #1 Pillar Mountain should fight for position on the bottom of your ticket.

Picks: I will go with an exacta box of #6, #4. I also will go with a show bet on the #5.

Race 9 - Saratoga Oaks Invitational ($500,000)

Seven 3-year-old fillies will go one and three-sixteenth miles on the turf. This should be an exceptional race though none of the contestants have gone this distance before. #2 Enola Gay is coming off her best performance in the youngster's career, producing an ESpeed of 108 as she used a strong kick to overcome the leaders and win the Grade 2 Appalachian Stakes by a nose. The foal of Uncle Mo is making her debut at Saratoga and is under the direction of trainer Charles McGaughey, whose horses have won 21% of their stake races this year. #3 Antoinette has reached the podium in straight starts and is 3-1-0-1 on the turf. The daughter of Hard Spun has not finished worse than third in any of her stakes events, which includes one victory, and is coming off a strong third-place effort in the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks on July 18. #1 Speaktomeofsummer, who won the Grade 2 Lake Placid Stakes last month, along with #4 Stunning Sky, who was edged by Speaktomeofsumme by a neck the last time out, should also be factors.

Picks: I will go with a win bet on #2. I will also go with an exacta box of #2, #3 along with a trifecta box of #2, #3, #1, #4.

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Daniel Benjamin

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