Race 8 at Saratoga – Post Time 5:03 PM Eastern

Ten for Ten, Speaker’s Corner, Ducale and the entry of Mahaamel & Ashiham are the win contenders.

This seven furlong first level allowance race features a field of nine, with some exceptionally bred and lightly rated three year olds making up the bulk of the field, some which will be stakes winners before too long. It also leads into the Saratoga Special and Fourstardave which are very good races to wager on.

Ten for Ten returned from seven months off last month and NEVER saw the early lead as he had in his final three starts of 2020. He was rank and wouldn’t cooperate that day but based on his 47.4 half-mile workout five days ago which was the best of 32 on the day at Saratoga (where a lot of good horses work a half-mile), I’d say Hall-of-Fame trainer Shug McGaughey will have him ready to run as he did last fall when nearly winning the Remsen Stakes and the Nashua Stakes and dominating in a one turn race at Belmont by eight lengths before that. The 99 Equibase figure earned when a neck short in the Remsen is the third best in the field and only three points (a neck) from the best and as a more mature three year old as compared to when earning that number he could win easily here so opening at 9/2 he gets preference.

Speaker’s Corner hasn’t proven to be as fast as Ten for Ten, with an 86 figure earned last fall when last seen winning with maturity from fifth early in the second start of his career. Ineligible for Lasix as a two year old, he gets it today and Mott has a pretty strong 20% win rate when his horse go on Lasix over the last five years. Jose Ortiz getting on is a good sign and projecting the colt’s two year old form to now he could run big at 6 to 1 starting odds.

Ducale, as well as the entry of Mahaamel and Ashiham, certainly can run well enough to win and should be bet on double and pick 3 tickets played but are poor win bets in this field. Ducale missed by a half-length in his June debut then won by a couple of lengths last month at Saratoga, at this distance, with 96 and 95 figures, respectively but there was nothing dominant about his efforts. Mahaamel similarly finished second in his debut by less than a length then won by three lengths at seven furlongs, with a 92 figure, bettering that to 101 but well beaten by six lengths when third last out, although it must be noted he did hit the gate at the start. Ashiham comes back from a year on the shelf and won when last seen, at nine furlongs at Saratoga, so although more mature as a three year old he might need more ground to repeat that win.

Handicapper Picks

Win bets: Ten for Ten at 2 to 1 or more.

Speaker’s Corner at 3 to 1 or more.

In that case, we should use a “Dutching” tool to do the work of allocating our wagering dollars for the best edge. A Dutching tool lets us set the amount you want to bet or the amount we want to win, then based on the odds our bets are proportioned accordingly. Amwager has a great dutching tool available, among many other great features.

Doubles:

Race 8: Ten for Ten, Speaker’s Corner, Ducale & the entry of Mahaamel/Ashiham

Race 9: Doctor Jeff

(Bet this one more heavily than the one below)

Race 8: Ten for Ten, Speaker’s Corner, Ducale & the entry of Mahaamel/Ashiham

Race 9: Doctor Jeff, High Oak, Nakatomi, Gunite and Red Run

Pick 3:

Race 8: Ten for Ten, Speaker’s Corner, Ducale & the entry of Mahaamel/Ashiham

Race 9: Doctor Jeff

Race 10: Blowout, Raging Bull, Set Piece, Whisper Not

Race 8: Ten for Ten, Speaker’s Corner, Ducale & the entry of Mahaamel/Ashiham

Race 9: Doctor Jeff, High Oak, Nakatomi, Gunite and Red Run

Race 10: Blowout, Raging Bull

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Saratoga Special Stakes – Race 9 at Saratoga – Post Time 5:39 PM Eastern

Doctor Jeff, High Oak, Nakatomi, Gunite, Red Run are the contenders to win. However, Doctor Jeff appears to have an edge on the others, who will offer a lot more value for win bets.

Doctor Jeff comes from the Rudy Rodriguez barn, who gave us a nice 4/1 winner last week in Bella Sofia in the Test Stakes, as well as the sweet exacta over 13/1 Souper Sensational. Unfortunately, Doctor Jeff opens as the 2 to 1 favorite and legitimately so. His maiden win on July 10 was visually impressive as he opened up early and drew off before winning under wraps. The 91 Equibase figure is the best last race figure in the field by many lengths and likely to be improved upon in the colt’s second career start, particularly with Rosario riding back and a good outside post. The dam produced a stakes winner at two (Flattering Bea) and sire Street Boss is well known for two year old stakes winners, so particularly with a very strong five furlongs work at Saratoga (59.6, best of 22) coming into the race Doctor Jeff is the one to beat. Thankfully there’s value in the exotics as well as for Double and Pick 3 tickets.

High Oaks is one of four horses to take a shot with for a few bucks even if Doctor Jeff sticks out on paper because these are two year olds and lightly raced. High Oak won by a neck with a lot of maturity in his debut at the end of June and Mott is very strong when placing horses from maiden wins into stakes, knowing when they fit to be competitive as evidenced by a 6 for 21 record the last five years. Opening at 12/1 High Oak can outrun his odds. Nakatomi ran faster than favorite Doctor Jeff when winning his debut in April at Keeneland with a 103 figure and like many Wesley Ward trained standouts went to Royal Ascot, finishing eighth of 15 in a star-studded Group 2 sprint on turf. Working steadily at Ward’s Keeneland base, Nakatomi gets the rail which might ordinarily be a concern but Ward’s horses break fast so he can clear before anyone else can get in front of him. If Nakatomi runs as he did first out, he could have a big say in the outcome. Gunite and Red Run form a non-coupled entry owned by Winchell and trained by Asmussen. Both are sons of Gun Runner, whose two year olds are doing exceptionally well, having already won a couple of stakes from his first crop as a sire. Gunite won nicely with an 89 figure at the end of June and gets blinkers while Red Run won his debut in May and was favored in the Bashford Manor Stakes at 5/2, but broke in and lost all chance at the start. Considering the trouble and considering the favoritism shown in a similar race and considering how nicely he won first out, we could be kicking ourselves if we didn’t at least bet a few bucks to win as he opens at 30/1.

Handicapper Picks

Win bets: Doctor Jeff at odds of 9 to 5 or more. Considering that’s unlikely we will use “exacta as win bet” strategies below.

High Oak, Nakatomi, Gunite and Red Run can be bet, at least for a few dollars, at 9 to 2 or more.

This is another race where a DUTCHING tool does us a lot of good and helps us to make a profit. A Dutching tool, like the one which is free to use at Amwager.com, saves us doing the math to determine the right wagering amounts.

Exactas:

The main bet is Doctor Jeff over Nakatomi, Gunite, High Oak and Red Run

For $1 or $2 Box Doctor Jeff, Nakatomi, Gunite, High Oak and Red Run

Trifecta: Doctor Jeff over Nakatomi, Gunite, High Oak and Red Run over Nakatomi, Gunite, High Oak and Red Run

Doubles: (Optionally, these can be skipped if you are alive in the pick 3 by virtue of one of the contenders having won race 8)

Race 9: Doctor Jeff

Race 10: Blowout, Raging Bull, Set Piece, Whisper Not

Race 9: Doctor Jeff, High Oak, Nakatomi, Gunite and Red Run

Race 10: Blowout, Raging Bull, Set Piece, Whisper Not

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Fourstardave Handicap – Race 10 at Saratoga – Post Time 6:13 PM Eastern

Blowout and Raging Bull are the top two contenders in terms of probability, but Set Piece and Whisper Not are not far behind and the latter opens at 20/1.

Got Stormy, a female, won this race against males in 2019 and finished second last year, as well as finished second in the 2019 Breeder’s Cup Mile (against males), Ricoh Woodbine Mile (against males) and second in the Kilroe Mile in 2020 (against males). She’s six now and her last two efforts, both fifth place finishes, may suggest she’s not the same horse.

On the other hand, the five year old mare Blowout can do what Got Stormy did in this race the past two years, and opening a 6/1 that’s where I’ll start. This mare shows up EVERY TIME, with a 4-7-1 record that doesn’t tell the story because in FIVE of her runner-up efforts she lost by inches. Not only that but her 3-4-0 record at mile on turf, including her win in the Distaff Turf Mile at Churchill Downs on Derby weekend, suggest she may be the one to beat here in spite of the favoritism shown her stablemate Raging Bull (also trained by Chad Brown) Blowout has superb early speed but can win from off the pace as well. In this field she could be the LONE FRONT RUNNER and that makes her very dangerous and Brown’s record of winning nearly 30% of the time in turf routes with horses coming back from layoffs of 60 – 120 days over the last few years, as Blowout is, suggests she’s going to run another “A” race more than good enough to win even in this field. Best of all she’s been 6 to 5 to 2 to 1 odds at post time in nearly all her races but because of the strength of the field her 6 to 1 starting odds may hold up, and there’s few I’d rather have in the saddle on a horse projected to lead early than Joel Rosario.

Raging Bull opens at 9 to 5 on the strength of nine straight graded stakes, all at a mile on turf, with only two duds. One of the duds came in last year’s Fourstardave when he finished fifth of nine with no excuse at five to two. However, he’s a better horse since blinkers were removed last October which helped him finish second in the Shadwell Turf Mile then win the Maker’s Mark Mile this past April and come up a head shy in the Poker Stakes to the FILLY Oleksandra, who he was giving six pounds to, EXACTLY the same as he’s giving to Blowout here.

Set Piece has won nine of 16 including four of 10 on grass but his last three were all “A” races including a win in the Grade 2 Wise Dan Stakes in June. Geroux has been up for his last three wins and this gelding certainly can win with his best effort. Still, opening at 5 to 2 we’d rather Blowout win but Set Piece is a must to use on any exacta, trifecta, pick 3 or double tickets we play involving this race.

Whisper Not is an “X Factor” and opens at ridiculously high 20/1 odds. The reason is his win in the San Francisco Mile one before last earned a 114 Equibase figure on par with Sat Piece’s best (112 and 116), Raging Bull’s best (116, 117 except for a 120 in the Shadwell) and Blowout’s best (113). Jose Ortiz gets on for good California based trainer Richard Baltas, and let us not forget Baltas saddled 20/1 shot Next Shares to win the Shadwell Turf Mile a couple of years back.

Handicapper Picks

Win bets: Bet Blowout to win at odds of 2 to 1 or more.

For a much smaller amount, Whisper Not to win at 6 to 1 or more

This is another race where a DUTCHING tool does us a lot of good and helps us to make a profit. A Dutching tool, like the one which is free to use at Amwager.com, saves us doing the math to determine the right wagering amounts. Considering the likely odds differentials between Blowout and Whisper Not, a dutching tool is perfect for this race.

Exactas:

Raging Bull and Blowout over Raging Bull, Blowout, Whisper Not and Set Piece

Whisper Not and Blowout over Raging Bull, Blowout, Whisper Not and Set Piece

Raging Bull, Blowout, Whisper Not and Set Piece over Whisper Not and Blowout

Raging Bull and Set Piece over Whisper Not and Blowout