Saratoga Best Bets:

We’ve got a special Thursday horse racing article because it is a very special day in racing! Opening day at Saratoga is a holiday for horse players. It kicks off the premier meet in the country with loaded Saturday after loaded Saturday of racing, with a plethora of stakes races scattered almost every single day that they hit the track. Make sure to check back on this article for updates once the changes are announced. There is rain in the area, so we may not stay on the turf. Let’s get to some Saratoga best bets.

Schuylerville, Saratoga, Race #10

The traditional opening day stakes race always features the best 2-year-old fillies in the country, and this year is no different. #5 Complexion was one of the “it” horses on the backstretch of Aqueduct before her debut, and she did not disappoint, winning by six lengths even after breaking poorly. More impressively was the way she won. She was in total control and responded when rider John Velazquez gave her a tap on the shoulder. She has every right to take a step forward here. If the moneyline holds at 7/2, then she’s a solid bet, but I expect that she will be closer to or sub 2/1 when they break from the gate, which makes it more difficult to fire a win bet in.


#6 Carmen’s Candy Jar was the most impressive winner to pass horses in her debut when she was last in a four-horse race and made a nice move in the stretch to beat the field. These are classic connections at Saratoga, especially with fillies, so I expect her to take some money, but it’s much more likely her 6-1 price holds than Complexion’s 7/2.

#10 Viggiedal heads to the post of Hall of Fame Trainer Steve Asmussen, who has been wonderful at Saratoga with 2-year-olds the past couple of summers. She was simply the best horse in her debut, but the gallop out was excellent. It would seem she had more left in the tank. Adding to her upside is the fact she sold for $350,000 for sire Vekoma, who stands for just $15,000.

My favorite price horse in this spot is the #2 West Memorial. She beat the boys to break her maiden, but was disappointing last time out. She was just 2.8-1 take day, and now we are getting 20-1. She has the ability to pass horses, and the pace is going to be strong.

Picks: 5-6-10-2
Saratoga Best Bets: $5 Trifecta – 5/2,6,10/2,6,10

$80k OC, Saratoga, Race #9

Quite a few horses who would like to use this race to vault into stakes company are entered today. None more than the #6 Rocket Can, who returns to the track for the first time since March. He won that day as well on debut as a 3-year-old, so you know this one can fire off the bench. The distance isn’t a concern and Mott, his trainer, has a tendency of pointing horses to Saratoga. Add that to his bullet work on July 5th over the training track at Saratoga and the fact that his price should hold at 9/2, this one is all systems go.

#8 Signator is a horse who was expected to have a better career than he has put together so far. He’s won a couple of allowances, but he’s failed in the stakes level. This will be his third off the bench today and a more realistic spot than last time out. He should have the pace to chase, and the price is right at 12-1.

#3 Film Star will be one of those horses that should be on the pace. He loves Saratoga, something that is more important here than most tracks, winning once and running second twice in three starts, and he has won twice at the distance.

#2 Salute the Stars was the most hyped horse in this field. Last year in the Haskell, he was bet all the way down to 9/2 before not running a step. The trip should be good here. He’s got tactical speed and can pass horses. Add that to the upgrade in rider to Irad Ortiz Jr and this one is live.

Picks: 6-8-3-2
Saratoga Best Bet: $50 Win – #6

Spot Plays:
Saratoga Race #6 – $50 Win #2
Saratoga Race #11 – $50 Win #11

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