Free Picks For Saratoga - 8/20/20
Race 2 - Maiden Special Weight (Purse - $72,000)
Six 3-year-old fillies will go one and one-eighth miles and all six of the contestants have at least one race in hand although none have gone this distance. #4 Heavenly Sis is looking to finally break through after being second best in each of her last three starts. The 4-year-old daughter of Hard Spun, who is racing for just the second time at Saratoga, is an exceptional closer and has reached the podium in five of seven career starts. #2 Tonal Verse has run well and shown well the last three races and is coming off a third-place finish in a mile-long race at Laurel Park. The daughter of Tonalist, who is making her debut at Saratoga, will have jockey Javier Castellano on board. #6 Thankful, also making her first start at Saratoga, showed significant improvement in her second career outing where she finished six furlongs behind the winner in a one and one-sixteenth mile race at Belmont back in June. Todd Pletcher trains the daughter of American Pharoah, who will likely be off the pace in the early going, and she will have Luis Saez in the saddle.
Picks: I like a winning bet on the #4. I like a show bet on the #2 as well as an exacta box of #4, #2, #6.
Race 8 - Allowance Optional Claiming $40,000 ($67,000)
Seven 3-to-5-year-old fillies and mares will go five and one-half furlongs on the turf in what should be an exceptional race. #7 Lead Guitar has run well recently and is coming off a fifth-place on a soft track at the Kentucky Downs Preview Lady Sprint Stakes after breaking through the gate earlier this month. The 4-year-old New York filly, who will likely be off the pace, runs well at this distance -- garnering a pair of wins -- and has recorded a top 3 finish in five of her six outings on turf. #5 Speightstown Girl continues to improve and is coming off a “just miss” at this level and distance as she finished three-fourth lengths behind winner A Little Faith. Cairo Prince’s 3-year-old daughter has reached the podium in two of her three career starts on the grass. #2 Fetching runs well at Saratoga but it has been all or nothing for the 4-year-old filly, who has a field high three wins -- which includes a victory at this level two starts back in a seven-furlong affair -- in eight starts on the turf but has only one other top 3 finish. This will be Fetching’s first start at this distance as she is cutting back from one mile where she finished fourth in the $100,000 Mount Vernon Stakes.
Picks: I like a winning bet on the #7. I also like a show bet on the #2 as well as an exacta box of #7, #5, #2.
Race 7 - Tale of the Cat Stakes (Purse - $85,000)
Five 5-and-6-year-old geldings will sprint six furlongs in this stakes race in a strong field that should be highly competitive. I’m going with #4 My Boy Tate as he has spent much of his career on the stakes circuit, having earned three wins and placed in the top 3 in 66.7% of these types of races. The 6-year-old gelding is coming off a third-place finish in the John Morrissey Stakes where he was very much in contention but was outkicked down the stretch and wound up behind current foe, #1 T Loves a Fight who was second. Jockey Jose Lezcano has earned a victory in 17% of his stakes rides and owns a 54% WPS percentage. #2 Stan the Man also has been on the stakes circuit recently and is coming off a second-place finish in the $150,000 Grade 2 True North Stakes in a six and one-half furlong event on June 27 at Belmont Park. Joel Rosario gets the ride on Broken Vow’s son, who is racing at Saratoga for the first time since 2017. #1 T Loves a Fight apparently loves the limelight and battles My Boy Tate hard. The 6-year-old, who has a career WPS percentage of 53.6%, has finished in the money in eight of 14 stakes races (57.1%).
Picks: I like a winning bet on the #4.