Equidaily Racing Journal

Today's Best Bets

by Seth Merrow

Saratoga Race Course
Saturday, July 18, 2020
Meet Total ... 6-20

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Merrow's picks can also be found on most Saratoga racing says at the Capital OTB Handicappers' Report. Also on a rotating basis throughout the Saratoga meet in the hard copy of the Albany Times-Union.

Turf picks are turf only - unless otherwise indicated.


4-10. Can't complain -- certainly no real opportunities for a significant score, but managed a decent afternoon.

R3 ... BAC x 33.00 t 118.00; R4 ... ACB 6.70 x 29.40 t 69.00; R5 ... A-x-Cd "C" scr 6.20 [off turf - dirt picks]; R8 ... ABCD 3.60 x 16.40 t 46.80 s 111.40; R9 ... ABC 6.00 x 24.40 t 59.50; R10 .. BAx x 31.00

Weather: Day started overcast - but became sunny, warm and a little bit humid by early afternoon.


Mo Mischief...Could go any number of different directions in here with equal confidence - but I'll land on this guy. Won't be shocked if Pletcher has a good meet (it is Saratoga after all...). This one attracted $500K after working 21.0 at March OBS. Sire is win-early and sib Polarization won second career start.
Bajan Run...Another with some breeding to be livew first-out. Sib Mihos 3,1,1 to start career (third start/win was a stake).
Repo Rocks...Sib Jubilation was 7,1 to begin career -- other sibs not win-early.
7/12 work really stands out.

Mr Kringle...Searched fopr another option in here - but just kept coming back to this one with the class move vs these.
Winning Factor...Took awhile to put a win on the resume - but sometimes that happens and they go back-to-back.
Battalion...Seems maybe better than the record so far - but only maybe.
Catch the Party.
Dirt: 8-3-7-6.

THIRD RACE - G2 $150K Hall of Fame
Decorated Invader...Perhaps the leader of the sub-division: 3YO turfers.
Gufo...Back relatively quickly off the stakes win at Delaware.
Get Smokin...Might try to take them all the way.
Domestic Spending.
Dirt: 4-2-7.

Lady by Choice...Another race with a few that have similar plusses and minuses. This gal was the beaten fave at Churchill last time. We'll see if the new barn can get her to rebound to some of the prior good numbers.
Baby Boss...Has earned almost a quarter of a mil - but off since Dec and comes back for a tag. Hmm.
No Deal...Also brings a question with a layoff -- since fe. But the two starts just prior to going to the bench were good enough.

Conglomerate...Always like this team with to make win-early scores at Saratoga -- but, this is a belated debut. Also, sibs not much, although sib Granny Pants was an OK second in second career start. We'll see...
Oak Hill...OK debut.
The Angry Man...Also has some decent experience.
Summer Tune.
Dirt: 1-9-2-8.

Rip It...Trainer good with firsters. Sib Riposte was 2,1,1 to start career in Europe.
The Right Stuff...Might be intriguing in debut for WW.
Nautilus...Won't be surprised if he improves off of first two.
Rock Sugar.
Dirt: same.

Yaupon...Won Churchill debut for Asmussen. Still some upside?
Binkster...Clearly capable on best.
Blindwillie McTell...Talented NY-bred was perhaps a little bit disappointing last time. Needs to rebound to contend with this salty bunch.

Flowers for Lisa...Very definitely has to recapture prior form - but perhaps does so in the new barn.
Hammerin Aamer...Seems the most likely 'one to beat' off of fairly consistent Beyers over the last four starts.
Musical Heart...On the class move.

Digital Age...Top two seem fairly evenly-matched. Edge to this one off of the near-miss on 2020 debut.
Set Piece...Meanwhile, this one won the 2020/US debut.
Noble Indy...2018 G2 Louisiana Derby winner subsequently never quite lived up to that victory -- but is a solid contender here with a best effort.
Ramsey Solution.
Dirt: 3-5-4.

TENTH RACE - G1 $350K CCA Oaks
Paris Lights...Clearly gets tested here - moving into stakes company, graded stakes company, in career start #4 -- but looks capable vs this group off of the last two.
Tonalist's Shape...Only one blemish on the record. Scratched last week from what was probably a tougher contest at Keeneland.
Antoinette...This gal and the Baffert filly below would not be complete shocks.
Crystal Ball.

Royal Kaz/Kaz's Beach...Slightly prefer Kaz's Beach - but both are sporting blazing works.
Midnight Whiskey... Nice improvement start #1 to start #2.
Papa Luke...Also made a significant move forward last time.
Top of the Mint.

If we are interested in both halves of an entry -- in event of a scratch -- it is noted that way [in other words, both halves are named]. If only one-half of the entry is named, then we prefer that half and will move to our next pick listed [rather than the other half of the entry] in event of a scratch.

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