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NYRA Preview: Saratoga 8/18

NYRA Preview: Saratoga 8/18

We cap this spectacular week of racing with the Summer Colony Stakes for fillies and mares 4-years-old and upward. Sunday’s card also wraps up a great week of maiden special weights (MSW) with races 3 and 6.

Saratoga Meet Statistics (7/31 thru 8/16):

Races Top 4 Wins Top 4 Exactas Top 4 Trifectas Top 4 Supers
32 26 14 9 1
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Saratoga 8/18

Race 3: $ 90,000 MSW for 2-year-old fillies going 1 1/16 miles (8 1/2 furlongs) on the turf

Jeremiah Englehart will send #5 Good Shabbos out to try and break her maiden in her third start. She was a close second in her last race behind Vast (who just finished fourth in the Bolton Landing Stakes this past week) after running five-wide down the stretch in a 5-furlong dirt sprint. The surface change shouldn’t matter, as his dam Island Time won a turf stakes at this distance. Englehart knows when to stretch out his runners, as he’s winning at 25% when they go from a sprint to a route.

#7 Sharing was purchased for $350,000 last year as a yearling and certainly ran like it in her first start. She was never too far behind, but a large group to pass caused her to run out of real estate. She was entered as an Also Eligible back on August 11 in the same conditions but couldn’t draw in, so Graham Motion had her work that morning. This distance should help as she will be flying home late.

Chad Brown will send out one of the most costly yearlings in his barn, #1 Americano Girl, who was purchased at the Keeneland sale for $700,000 in 2018. I’ve talked about previously how Brown likes to let his horses go a longer distance and not worry about the times in the mornings. She is sired by Medaglia d’Oro, who has major turf pedigree thanks to his sire, El Prado. Americano Girl has the pedigree and the connections needed to win her first start.

After looking at #6 Crack of Dawn’s first race, she will love this extended distance. She went off at 50/1, broke poorly out of the gate, and never looked like a threat after the field went way too quick for her; she couldn’t stay with them. Philip Serpe is really good at identifying what the horse did well and noticed that she needs more distance. He wins at 26% when he lets his horses stretch out, so expect Crack of Dawn to make him look like a genius in her second start.

Ricky’s Picks: 5-7-1-6

Credit: NYRA

Race 6: $ 90,000 MSW for 2-year-old fillies going 6 1/2 furlongs on the dirt

The deadly combination of Ricardo Santana, Jr., and Steve Asmussen team up here with #4 Finite. She took up the lead when debuting on July 19 and set a moderate :22.45 for the first 1/4 mile, but she couldn’t fend off Sweet Kisses, who was making her second career start. She has all the makings of a filly who will improve in her second start. Expect her to be on the lead, set the early fractions, and win at a relatively short price.

#6 Mrs. Danvers is also coming out of that July 19 race. She lunged at the start and was hustled up by Joel Rosario to try and stay with the leaders. Unlike Finite, she probably will stay a couple of lengths off the pace. Rosario is at his best when he sees what’s going on in front of him and can make his move at the beginning of the far turn. Mrs. Danvers will look to improve and try to run down Finite in the stretch; she should be either the co-favorite or the second choice.

Todd Pletcher usually has John Velazquez on his 2-year-olds, but due to Velazquez’s engagements out at Del Mar this weekend, #7 Abilene Trail will pick up Luis Saez. This daughter of Curlin hopes to have the same dirt success as her sire, who won his first career start. Purchased for $400,000, this horse has everything needed on paper to be a first-out contender.

A first-timer coming from the Bill Mott barn is #5 Melisande. Jose Ortiz is riding hot and seems to be pushing the right buttons at the right times. One thing to note, owner Shortleaf Stables has finished second in three of four MSW races here at Saratoga. They haven’t used Bill Mott on any of those four entrants, so perhaps he can deliver their first 2019 winner at The Spa.

Ricky’s Picks: 4-6-7-5

Credit: NYRA

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Good luck to everyone playing and be sure to follow me on Twitter @RickyP_15 for more NYRA race previews!

If you want further information on the other races for each card at Saratoga and beyond, you can check the Racing Dudes’ Free Picks page or subscribe to their Premium Selections and get detailed analyses for every race, every card, every track around the country.

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