Jeff Siegel’s Horse Racing Picks for Saturday 8/13

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Xpressbet writer Jeff Siegel offers his top plays for Saturday.

Saratoga Race No. 1 (1:05 p.m. ET/10:05 a.m. PT)
#5 Calycanthus (5-2)

 

Clearly bred to route on turf, the Todd Pletcher-trained son of English Channel actually has done some good work in the a.m. on the dirt, both at Monmouth Park and then most recently over the local main strip. Not surprisingly, he makes his racing debut two-turning on the lawn, and with Irad Ortiz, Jr. in the saddle this talented 2-year-old should be primed and ready. He’s listed at 5-2 on the morning line and we’ll take that if we can get it.

Saratoga Race No. 7 (4:29 p.m. ET/1:29 p.m. PT)
#5 Skellig (4-1)

This first-time starter is listed at 4-1 on the morning line but we suspect he’ll go lower in this maiden sprint for juveniles. From the first crop of the promising stallion Girvin, this colt brought $235,000 at the OBS April sale, where he was highly impressive breezing a quarter mile in sizzling :20 3/5 seconds and has been equally outstanding in his a.m. drills since arriving at the Spa. A recent gate work in 48 1/5 seconds when hard held and best of a team really points him out.

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