Key Races & Bets for Saturday August 20th, 2022

Lake Placid Stakes – Race 8 at Saratoga – Post Time 4:26 PM Eastern

Please forgive my digression before getting into the handicapping for this race. Whenever the name of this race comes up I immediately get the image of the late Betty White feeding the baby alligators in the movie of the same name, and it makes me smile!

This race is mostly just a way to play doubles into race nine, the Smart N Fancy Stakes, which has a large field and many possible contenders so should NOT have a prohibitive favorite, and that provides value for double tickets.

With the Moonlight and Consumer Spending are the top two win contenders, opening at 9 to 5 and 7 to 2, respectively, so it’s likely neither is a good bet to win. With the Moonlight led in the stretch before settling for second in the Belmont Oaks then won the Saratoga Oaks and improved as would be expected of a horse making its second start in the U.S. She gets the rail and has superb tactical speed so has about at 40% chance to win, hence 3 to 2 fair odds but considering she was 6 to 5 in the Saratoga Oaks even those odds aren’t likely. Still, there’s likely better value with doubles to race 9.

Consumer Spending closed fast and wide in the Belmont Oaks then passed the Saratoga Oaks. Brown was likely pointing to this race and considering how With the Moonlight improved off the Belmont Oaks Consumer Spending has an absolute right to post the mild upset and win. Fair odds would be 9 to 5.

Handicapper Picks

Exactas: Box With the Moonlight and Consumer Spending

Win bets: As mentioned above With the Moonlight has fair odds of about 3 to 2 and Consumer Spending has fair odds of 9 to 5. I would consider a win bet on the one with the biggest ratio of odds near post time to fair odds, for example of With the Moonlight is 2 to 1 and Consumer Spending is 2 to 1, With the Moonlight has a higher ratio of fair odds to live odds. However, if With the Moonlight is 3 to 2 and Consumer Spending is 2 to 1 or 5 to 2, Consumer Spending is a win bet.

Race 8: With the Moonlight, Consumer Spending
Race 9: Change of Control, Fouette, Too Sexy, Miss J McKay, Illegal Smile

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Soaring Free Stakes – Race 8 at Woodbine – Post Time 4:42 PM Eastern

Philip My Dear is a standout in this field of two year old colts as he is one of only three horses to have ever run on turf and one of only two to have won on the surface of this race. That win was tremendous and visually impressive and it came in his debut on July 3 where he was eighth of 10 for the first half mile before moving quickly to third into the stretch and pulling away. Kimura rode him first out and rides back, notably picking Philip My Dear OVER Ninetyfour Expos and over Stayhonor Goodside, both Casse trainees which he rode to eight and four lengths wins recently. Additionally, he’s the best bred horse in the field as sire Silent Name has had 37 horses run in turf sprint stakes, 36 at Woodbine, amassing 12 wins from his progeny (33%). Philip My Dear is likely to only get better with the experience of a race under his belt, and in a race in which SEVEN of the other NINE earned their wins leading from start to finish, all Kimura need do is take a backseat in the early stages then wheel the colt out to run by them all for the win.

Handicapper Picks

Philip My Dear to win at 9 to 5 or higher.

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Smart N Fancy Stakes – Race 9 at Saratoga – Post Time 5:02 PM Eastern

Change of Control just won a similar stakes at Colonial Downs and has won 9 of 28 on turf for over $850K in earnings. Too Sexy has finished first or second in nine of 14 and owns a win at this distance at Saratoga with Rosario aboard (who rides today). She ran fifth to some of these when last seen in May and was coming back from six months off so can improve. Miss J. Mckay was beaten in a four horse blanket finish in the Grade 3 Caress Stakes under identical conditions four weeks ago after traffic trouble. Illegal Smile missed by a head in the Galway Stakes last year over the course at the trip and is another with a shot.

That being said, the KEY to a big profit is getting Fouette in first or second, opening at 20/1. The reason for the high odds is very simple. She’s never run on grass in 14 career starts. However, she’s bred to love the sod as a daughter of Nyquist out of an Unbridled’s Song mare who has produced a turf sprint winner. The filly had run first, second or third in seven of 12 races through January of this year. She returned in May in the Linda Rice barn and blew the doors off a field of seven at the second allowance condition with a 103 Equibase figure which absolutely fits here as that is the same figure Robin Sparkles earned winning the Caress and that Change of Control earned winning the stakes at Colonial Downs last month. She ran in a dirt race on August 7 and finished fifth but was placed fourth after being bumped hard early in the race then rushing into contention. The barn’s #1 jockey Jose Lezcano gets on and the filly can win from off the pace as well as on the lead, the latter the KEY here because Robin Sparkles, Sarah Harper and Caravel are all need-the-lead types which can’t escape each other early and will go way too fast to win. As such, Fouette just needs to pass a few horses late after racing in mid-pack to be part of the exacta at the least for a nice profit.

Handicapper Picks

Fouette to win at 5 to 1 or more.
Exacta: (instead of a place bet) ALL over Fouette

Race 9: Change of Control, Fouette, Too Sexy, Miss J McKay, Illegal Smile
Race 10: Nest
Note: Race 10 is the Alabama Stakes and considering how Nest destroyed the field, including three of the other six, by 12 lengths in the CCA Oaks four weeks ago, this is the only way to make money if Nest wins if expected. You can also drop a couple and just play the Fouette – Nest double which certainly is worth the risk.

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St. Louis Derby – Race 6 at Fanduel Racing (formerly Fairmount Park) – Post Time 10:50 PM Eastern

This race has a $250K purse and drew a pretty strong field of nine including two from the Steve Asmussen barn, one from the Mike Maker barn, one from the Ken McPeek barn, the Larry Rivelli barn and the Dallas Stewart barn. That being said, War Campaign, from the competent Phil Sims barn, is the best play in the race as he comes out of a highly rated allowance race at nine furlongs last month at Churchill Downs. War Campaign bobbled in the race to get away 10th and was more than TWENTY lengths back after a half-mile had been run. The pace was sizzling and that didn’t hurt as he rallied from 8th, 15 lengths back on the turn, to be beaten one length at the end. He has improved his Equibase figures in both starts since his debut and he won a route at this distance in his second start, also at Churchill, rallying from seventh of nine. He has put in two superb workouts at Keeneland since that last race and best of all he’s got a bright future on dirt or turf as a son of Declaration of War out of the mare which produced Flash of Mischief, who earned $536K to date with a 7 for 19 record, including a win in last year’s St. Louis Derby.

Brigadier General is the one which finished one length ahead of War Campaign in that allowance race last month, like that one breaking his maiden at a mile and one-sixteenth shortly before that. He earned a 98 figure for the win and a 97 figure last out and those are very strong in this field. He’s got tactical speed and a good post so should be in the top three from the start and have no traffic trouble in the lane.

Chileno ran on from eighth to third in the Iowa Derby and like the other two won at a mile and one-sixteenth prior to that. He continues to improve, is a son of red hot sire Gun Runner and is housed in the strong Asmussen barn. The race was a KEY RACE as both horses in front of him, and the horse just behind him, came back to win, which bodes well for a strong effort here.

Rattle N Roll opens as the 5 to 2 favorite and judging by the fact he’s gone to post at 4 to 5, 8 to 5 and 9 to 5 in three of his last four races he’s going to be lower odds near post time. He’s not a good win bet but he’s a contender if he can repeat his American Derby (July 2) effort from one race before last where he won by a couple of lengths with a 101 figure. Prior to that he went winless in five races following his Breeders’ Futurity win last October so there’s no guarantee he will fire. Considering the other three contenders have morning line odds of 8 to 1 to 12 to 1 we can use Rattle N Roll on exacta tickets at the least.

Handicapper Picks

Win Bet: War Campaign and Brigadier General at 3 to 1 or more.
I would also consider Chileno at odds of 4 to 1 or more.

When betting on two (or more) horses to win, particularly at high odds, we should “DUTCH” the bet, which means to prorate our total wagers among the two horses based on the odds. has a free and easy to use Dutching Tool available where you can set the amount you want to bet, or the amount you want to win, and the math is done for you. This is just one of many tools, and perks, available to the bettor at

Exacta: Box Brigadier General, Rattle N Roll, Chileno and War Campaign

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Ellis Starr

Ellis is a well respected handicapper and contributor of AmWager. He has been a public handicapper for more than twenty years, educating racing fans of all skill levels with detailed commentary few other handicappers provide.

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