Saturday, August 8, is Travers Stakes Day at The Spa. The top-rated 3-year-old in the world, Tiz the Law, will try to win the Travers on his way to the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on Sep. 5. Will Law add the Travers trophy to his mantle? Or, will a 3-year-old upstart throw a wrench into the Derby favorite’s plans? Check out top plays and Horse Racing Odds from Saratoga Racecourse for Saturday, August 8. You can also visit our Online Racebook to place your bets on active racetracks.
Saratoga Racecourse Horse Racing Picks
- When: Saturday, August 8 at 12:00 pm ET
- Where: Saratoga Springs, New York
- Weather: Partly Cloudy
Saratoga Racecourse Picks for Saturday, August 8
Race 7 – 3:42 pm ET – 7 Furlongs Dirt – $300,000 Grade 1 Ballerina Stakes
Trainer Claude McGaughey has a sneaky longshot in the Grade 1 Ballerina Stakes on Saturday. Pink Sands finished fifth by 18 lengths in her last, the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps. That race was at 1 1/16 miles. On Saturday, she cuts back to 7 furlongs. That could make the difference because at 7 furlongs, Sands has 2 wins, a second, and 3 thirds from 7 races.
Come Dancing stretches from 6 ½ to 7 furlongs, which should help the cause. Now back with trainer Carlos Martin, Dancing has a couple of wins from 3 races over the Saratoga dirt. Horses don’t always like running at The Spa. Come Dancing is one that does.
The race sets up for 9/5 morning line chalk Bellafina. She’s never taken her “A” game on the road, though. If this race were at Santa Anita or Del Mar, she’d be tough to ignore. But because it’s in New York, it makes sense to try and beat her for the win.
- Win: Pink Sands
- Place: Come Dancing
- Show: Bellafina
Race 9 – 5:02 pm ET – 1 ½ Miles Inner Turf– $150,000 Grade 3 Waya Stakes
Don’t expect Cristophe Clement trained Olympic Games to hold the 4/1 morning line odds. There’s a good chance the Olympic Glory sired 4-year-old filly goes off as the favorite. Clement is winning races at The Spa at 33%. That’s incredible. Not only that, but 23% winning jockey Irad Oritz Jr. steps aboard.
Giant’s Causeway sired Beau Belle could add value to the exacta. At 10/1 on the morning line she’s worth a look to win this. The reason we don’t pick her first is because she’s a front runner in a race with other speed. We still believe she can hang on for second.
It’s not that we dislike Mrs. Sippy. It’s that we can’t endorse at 6/5 odds. If the odds drift to around 3/1, a big if, we’d consider the Graham Motion trained runner for the win. All we can do right now is go off the morning line, though. At 6/5, Mrs. Sippy is an underlay for the win and a must use in the trifecta.
- Win: Olympic Games
- Place: Beau Belle
- Show: Mrs. Sippy
Race 11 – 6:15 pm ET – 1 1/4 Miles Dirt – $1,000,000 Grade 1 Travers Stakes
We decided to try and beat Tiz the Law in the Grade 1 Travers. The hot horse is the Baffert trained Uncle Chuck. The undefeated Uncle Mo sired runner is good, but all the buzz means he goes off as an underlay. That’s why we’re siding with the Chad Brown trained Country Grammar to pull off the upset. Not only does Brown train, but Irad Oritz rides. Also, Grammar is bred to relish the 1 ¼ mile distance. Nobody knows for sure if either Chuck or the Law wants to run that far.
Uncle Chuck could take the lead in this and not look back. That’s why his morning line odds are at 5/2. Bob Baffert has done this before. He took a horse named Arrogate to the 2016 Travers Stakes. Arrogate won in gate-to-wire fashion. Chuck could do the same thing. But, we’re not willing to accept short odds just in case he does.
Tiz the Law should finish no worse than third. But if we’re dropping the even money chalk from the win and place slots, why not also ignore him in the trifecta? Again, if he likes the 1 ¼ miles distance, he probably wins by 6 lengths. If he doesn’t, he could finish fourth or worse.
Who can pick up the pieces if the Law doesn’t want to run 1 ¼ miles? We’re going with Max Player. Trainer Linda Rice is tearing it up at Saratoga. Not only that, but Max got fanned 7-wide in the Belmont Stakes in his last and still managed to finish third. If you do like Max Player, make sure to use him in all trifecta slots. He can win the Travers if Tiz the Law doesn’t want to run this far.
- Win: Country Grammar
- Place: Uncle Chuck
- Show: Max Player