Saratoga Horse Racing Picks for Thursday 8/26/21
As always, check the program for scratches and changes and monitor the weather and track conditions.
(I will reference Equibase's Speed Figure in selected races, which tells you how fast a horse has been running in each of its races -- adjusted for track, distances, and conditions.)
Keepcalmcarryon, Race 5
FanDuel Racing Odds: 5/2
Race 5 is a Maiden Special Weight for 2-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles. There are eight juveniles lined up and numberFire's model likes the two favorites, Keepcalmcarryon (5/2) and Rattle N Roll (2/1), with leading jockey Jose Ortiz riding.
Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez rides Keepcalmcarryon, who has a pair of runner-up finishes in two starts, including here earlier this month. Trainer Todd Pletcher is 10 for 27 (37%, $3.02 ROI) in maiden dirt routes at Saratoga over the past 5 years, according to Guaranteed Tip Sheet, who also likes him to do his best running late on this stretch out distance.
Halo of Fire, Race 6
FanDuel Racing Odds: 5/2
Race 6 is also for baby 2-year-old maidens, and this one is for fillies sprinting 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf. The numberFire algorithm projects the in-the-money finishers as Mommasgottarun (3/1), The Club (6/1), and the morning line favorite, Halo of Fire (5/2).
Guaranteed Tip Sheet also makes Lady Scarlet (3/1) a best bet with top jockey Luis Saez riding for EPO trainer Brad Cox. She’s finished runner-up in her two starts, and both were on dirt. She was the favorite in her last race here a month ago, and it's an interesting switch to the turf.
Halo of Fire is a first-time runner whose trainer, Wesley Ward, has won at a 27% rate in turf sprints on the NYRA circuit the past five years, according to Horse Racing Radar. Halo of Fire is by excellent sprint sire Munnings, and she looks ready to fire off some breezes on her work tab, which includes a strong bullet workout leading into her debut.
Minaun and Keeper of Time, Race 9
FanDuel Racing Odds: 5/1 and 6/1
Race 9 is the $120k Riskaverse Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at 1 mile on the inner turf. The numberFire model projects order of finish as Minaun (5/1), Keeper Of Time (6/1), and Third Draft (6/1).
Top EPO trainer Chad Brown has jockey Ricardo Santana, Jr. on Minaun, breaking from the outside No. 11 post. He posted a top speed figure (94) for this field last race but missed the money in the Grade 3 race here a month ago. Minaun has a win and runner-up finish in two other starts this year.
Brown also trains contenders Rastafara (7/2), who broke his maiden last month with leading jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. up, and Amy C (6/1), who finished behind Minaun last race.
Keeper of Time makes his U.S. debut and won his last Group 3 start four months ago in Ireland.