Xpressbet writer Jeff Siegel offers his top plays for Friday.
Saratoga Race No. 6 (3:21 p.m. ET/12:21 p.m. PT)
#5 Banterra (3-1)
This 2-year-old maiden returns for a barn that hits with a strong 23% with second timers, so we’re expecting this Steve Asmussen-trained state-bred filly to produce enough of a forward move to earn her diploma in what looks to be an average race for the level. Second, beaten six lengths by Miracle (subsequently stakes-placed), the daughter of Practical Joke shows four nice breezes since raced, switches to Flavien Prat, and should be capable of producing a winning late kick. At 3-1 on the morning line, she deserves strong consideration in the Win pool and in the various rolling exotics.
Saratoga Race No. 8 (5:05 p.m. ET/2:05 p.m. PT)
#4 Dancing Buck (6-1)
In an abbreviated turf sprint for older horses that projects to have a soft early pace, this veteran gelding appears to have found a proper spot to spring a mild surprise. The son of War Dancer is moving up in class following a pair of sharp wins and may be capable of winning this year’s edition of the Lucky Coin Stakes if he can secure a forward position – perhaps even on the lead – and then fight off the late runners. Fresh from earning a career top speed figure, the Michelle Nevin-trained gelding really won’t have to improve much at all to extend his streak, so at 6-1 on the morning line he offers a reasonable gamble in the Win pool and in rolling exotic play.
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