Saratoga Betting Picks for Saturday, August 4
Race 8 – Grade 1 Test Stakes, $500,000
7 furlongs-DirtThere is a lot of speed in the Grade 1 Test. 8 to 1 on the morning line Spectator got run off her feet in the Grade 3 Victory Ride in her last. She had no shot after they got the half in :44.3. The jockey switch to John Velasquez should help and she’ll definitely see targets at this longer 7 furlong distance. Second time for Michelle Nevin is often a winning angle. It’s doubtful After Moon holds her 4/1 morning line odds. Anything trainer Chad Brown throws to the track at Saratoga is live. Brown inherits After Moon from trainer Jose Velez at Gulfstream. Whether she takes to the Saratoga dirt is a big concern. But, she’s in awesome form. For third, Steve Asmussen trained Mia Mischief looks good. She has a win and a second from 2 races at the distance, gets her regular rider Ricardo Santana, and has 4 wins and 3 seconds from 8 lifetime starts.
- First: Spectator
- Second: After Moon
- Third: Mia Mischief
1 1/8 miles-DirtDiversify is a surprise entrant to the Whitney Stakes. The 7/5 morning line assigned to Diversify pretty much says all we need to know about why his connections entered him. Is the favorite a play against? Yep. There’s too much speed in this. Plus, I don’t see how Diversify doesn’t bounce off the Suburban effort. The horse to play is 12/1 on the morning line Good Samaritan. The Bill Mott trainee hasn’t won that much since his Jim Dandy win from a year ago. However, he does like Saratoga and his best races are usually right off the bench. He’ll have a good shot. Backyard Heaven simply bounced in the Stephen Foster off of 3 great races. He’ll have a shot if he can stay close enough to Dalmore and Diversify without burning himself up before the final turn. If there’s a pace meltdown, 30 to 1 Discreet Lover could get into the trifecta. It all depends on if Dalmore pressures Diversify early.
- First: Good Samaritan
- Second: Backyard Heaven
- Third: Discreet Lover
1 1/2 miles-Inner TurfTrainer Lynn Ashby reclaimed Tricky Escape and then won a Grade 3 over the Delaware turf with the 12 to 1 morning line underdog. The hard knocking 5-year-old mare has a record of 5-5-3 from 17 starts. She’s got a big shot in this. Expect her odds to float to around 6/1 or so. So far at The Spa, trainer Joe Sharp has 4 wins from 9 starters. That’s a 44% winning percentage. Sharp’s entrant in the Grade 3 Waya Stakes on Saturday, Mom’s On Strike, could lead these the whole way around because no other horse runs close to the pace. Morning line favorite Santa Monica won a Grade 2 in her last start. She’ll be hard to keep out of the trifecta on Saturday.
- First: Tricky Escape
- Second: Mom’s On Strike
- Third: Santa Monica