Key Races & Bets for Saturday, August 10

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Saratoga Special Stakes – Race 8 at Saratoga- Post Time 5:11 PM Eastern

This is a salty group of two year olds with seven of eight having won their most recent start. However, the horse that didn’t win, King Snake, is the most interesting. He was beaten a nose on the wire by Peruvian Boy after opening up by two and one-half lengths in the stretch. That was after he made the lead in a 12 horse field, got headed then drew off. That was also on the polytrack at Arlington Park so that 22.2 first quarter fraction projects as tops in this field. He’s come back to put in a pair of sensational half-mile workouts and he gets leading rider Jose Ortiz. Another reason he may have been beaten last out was he was making his career debut while the winner had a race under his belt to this time around with improvement off the experience, King Snake can win.

Zyramid showed good maturity, also improving off his debut, coming from just off the pace in second early to win last month at Saratoga. Santana rides for Asmussen and this well bred colt has every right to improve and win again. Green Light Go opens as the favorite off a three length win in his debut at Belmont last month. He was flattered when the runner-up came back to win and he put in a sizzling half-mile workout at Saratoga four days ago. He did earn his win leading from start to finish and it appears he won’t be able to get the lead over King Snake here but if he can rate this talented colt will be there at the wire.

Bets: King Snake and Zyramid to win at odds of 3 to 1 or more.

When making multiple win bets, use a “Dutching” tool to do the work of allocating your wagering dollars for the best edge. Amwager has a great dutching tool available, among many other great features.

Exacta Box: King Snake, Zyramid and Green Light Go

Doubles: King Snake, Zyramid and Green Light Go in race 8 with Got Stormy and Uni in race 9.

Fourstardave Handicap – Race 9 at Saratoga – Post Time 5:46 PM Eastern

The two females in this group of 10 appear to have a slight edge, not because they get a little break in the weight versus the males, but because they are the best closers in the field and they are the best MILERS in the group. Uni is a perfect 5 for 5 at the trip and Got Stormy is 6 for 10. Got Stormy comes back on six days rest after winning a restricted stakes race at this trip last Saturday. She had been off three months so I’m not concerned about the short turnaround and she won three mile turf stakes in a row last spring and summer, one on three weeks rest and the other on four weeks rest. Casse knows his fillies as trained the phenomenal Tepin so I have little concerns about this gal putting in anything other than an “A” race again and getting the last quarter mile in 22 and change like she did one week ago. She opens at 6 to 1 compared to 5 to 2 for Uni so gets slight preference from a betting perspective.

That being said, Uni ran a sub-22 last quarter in the Perfect Sting Stakes at Belmont last time out at the end of June. That was her fifth straight win, including last year’s De La Rose, the same race Got Stormy won last week. Rosario has been aboard just three times, accounting for her last three starts. One of three from the Brown barn, this mare has done little except win and may do so again in this situation.

March to the Arch proved to some extent his upset win in the Wise Dan Stakes in June was no fluke when rallying fast in the last eighth of a mile in the Forbidden Apple Stakes last month, missing by just over a length with traffic trouble to boot. Opening at 10/1 he makes a nice companion horse to use on exacta and trifecta tickets. Raging Bull does as well but opens at 3 to 1. He added blinkers for the first time when last seen in the Manhattan Stakes on Belmont day but those didn’t help much as he ran evenly in the stretch to end up third. Perhaps the mile and one-quarter was too far and he has won two of four at this mile trip so he deserves some respect. I’ll toss in Hembree and Made You Look for exotics as well, as they finished second and fourth in the Forbidden Apple Stakes last month.

Bets: Got Stormy to win at odds of 2 to 1 or more. “IF” Uni is 2 to 1 or higher near post time she can be bet as well.
I wouldn’t rule out a small win bet on March to the Arch at 5 to 1 or higher.

Exactas: Uni and Got Stormy over Uni, Got Stormy, Raging Bull and March to the Arch
Uni and Got Stormy over Uni, Got Stormy, Hembree, Made You Look, Raging Bull and March to the Arch

Best Pal Stakes – Race 8 at Del Mar – Post Time 8:30 PM Eastern

Similar to the Saratoga Special, this is a very strong group of maturing two year olds but I think one of the favorites is vulnerable if not false and that opens the race up for making profit. The vulnerable favorite is Fore Left, who opens at 5 to 2. He won the Tremont at Belmont two months ago, in wire to wire fashion, and from an outside post it’s not impossible he can do the same thing. Still, I think a few others will leap frog over him in terms of form and certainly if another horse like Thanks Mr. Eidson or We’re Still Here, both wearing blinkers, show early speed, Fore Left may be in a situation he’s not used to.

That’s why I’ll start with Collusion Illusion, who opens at 8 to 1. He showed a ton of maturity in his debut three weeks ago at Del Mar, rallying from fourth in the last eighth of a mile to win by a half-length. The 91 Equibase figure is as good as Fore Left and tied for the best in the field, and as he’s only raced once there’s a lot of room for improvement. Prat gets off him, as well as Wrecking Crew, to stay with Schrodinger, who is a win contender as well, but because of that, even though Talamo is winning at a strong 20% clip at the meeting, this colt could be ignored in the wagering for our benefit.

Wrecking Crew loses Prat but gets Smith and that’s more than fine with me. This horse also showed the maturity of a horse who had raced even though it was his debut as he won his only start, two weeks ago, rallying from third in the early stages. His 82 figure needs improvement but with red hot Miller in his corner and logical second start improvement, particularly opening at 4 to 1, Wrecking Crew must be strongly considered as a win contender.

Schrodinger opens as the 2 to 1 favorite and is fairly legitimate as he too didn’t win leading from start to finish in his maiden breaker at the end of June, his only start. Prat rode him then as now and the 87 figure was solid so he will round out a trio that can win.

Bets: Collusion Illusion and Wrecking Crew to win at odds of 3 to 1 or more.

Exacta: Box Collusion Illusion, Wrecking Crew and Schrodinger.

Doubles: Collusion Illusion, Wrecking Crew and Schrodinger in race 8 with Rockin Ready, Miss Hot Legs, Hello Bubbles and Flower Point in race 9.

Race 9 at Del Mar – Post Time 9 PM Eastern

We will wrap up this week’s blog with the second half of what could be a profitable double, but the race is playable in and of itself too as it’s a turf sprint with a fairly full field. Flower Point did what is pretty difficult to do and that is win at first asking in a turf sprint, particularly at 5 furlongs. In that debut in April at Santa Anita, she rallied from ninth of 10, still fifth at the top of the stretch, and won by a half-length. She was no secret that day as she went to post as the favorite. Stretching out to a mile, Flower Point bombed badly next time out as she finished a poor seventh, beaten nearly twenty lengths. Then, returning to this sprint trip, she rallied from 11th to miss third by a neck and the win by another length. Now, Smith gets on for the first time and this field is so heavily laden with “early” pace types she should be able to repeat her debut win.

Also likely to benefit from a speed duel between as many as five of the others, Miss Hot Legs rallied for second in her debut in a turf sprint at this distance then won at the trip one month later. At this allowance level last month off the win, she made a middle move from fifth to second then ran evenly and ended up third. With the pace hotter than in her last start, Miss Hot Legs will find herself farther back than in any of her three races to date, but that may be to her benefit as she can begin picking tiring horse off one-by-one to get into the thick of the action late.

Rockin Ready, or her connections, don’t know whether she likes two turns or one turn, as she’s raced in four routes and four sprints to date. Her sprints have been excellent although she’s winless, but she did miss by a nose in two of them and with Prat getting on for the first time she could be there at the wire with the other contenders. Hello Bubbles also has eight career starts, her best effort coming in a downhill sprint on the turf at Santa Anita in March in which she made up three lengths in the last three-sixteenths of a mile. Van Dyke gets on for the first time and the jockey is holding a sizzling hand at the meet, particularly on turf. Coming into the week Van Dyke was tied with Prat for leading jockey so this gal will round out a quartet which can win or complete the exacta.

Bets: In a race with three of four legitimate win contenders, we can let the odds decide our wagers, betting to win on two of the group which go to post at the highest odds among the four, as follows:
Flower Point and/or Miss Hot Legs at 3 to 1 or more.
Rockin Ready and/or Hello Bubbles at 7 to 2 or more.

When making multiple win bets, use a “Dutching” tool to do the work of allocating your wagering dollars for the best edge. Amwager has a great dutching tool available, among many other great features.

Exacta Box, Optional Trifecta Box: Flower Point, Miss Hot Legs, Rockin Ready, Hello Bubbles

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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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