- The Sequence
- Race 9 (4:19), Grade 1 H. Allen Jerkens Memorial Stakes, 3-year-olds, 7 furlongs
- Race 10 (4:55), Grade 1 Ballerina Handicap, fillies & mares, 3-year-olds and up, 7 furlongs
- Race 11 (5:31): Grade 1 Sword Dancer Stakes, 3-year-olds and up, 1 ½ miles (turf)
- Race 12 (6:11): Grade 1 Travers Stakes, 3-year-olds, 1¼ miles
- The Play
I ain’t often right, but I’ve never been wrong when it comes to making a case to play a Pick 5. There was the big score in the 2022 Breeders’ Cup of course, but that’s water under the Thaddeus Kosciuszko Bridge. The road to success in the 50-cent Pick 5 ending with the Travers Stakes on Saturday is no simple highway, so let’s try to make noise with some thoughtful horse racing picks that could turn into another big payday.
Race 8 (post time: 3:43 p.m. ET), Allowance, 3-year-olds and up, 5½ furlongs (turf)
It is a bit surprising that the Grade 1 Forego doesn’t start the sequence. But the New York Racing Association sometimes works in mysterious ways, and decided to throw us a curve. So the trip to the racebook begins with a deep dive. Souper Quest (13), Highly Flammable (6), Talkin Pharoah (4), Harry Time (5) and Extendo (10) will all be used. Souper Quest, though, is on the also-eligible list. He appears to be the speed of the speed, and should be able to clear from his outside post provided he draws into the field. Harry Time and Extendo also have speed while Highly Flammable and Talkin Pharoah are likely to sit not far behind the leaders. Highly Flammable comes off back-to-back career Beyer speed figure tops of 82.
Race 9 (4:19), Grade 1 H. Allen Jerkens Memorial Stakes, 3-year-olds, 7 furlongs
The Bob Baffert-trained horses – Arabian Lion (6) and Fort Bragg (4) – are the choices. Arabian Lion will be on or near the lead while Fort Bragg can pounce if the pace gets too hot up front. Arabian Lion will be the likely favorite in the horse racing odds.
Race 10 (4:55), Grade 1 Ballerina Handicap, fillies & mares, 3-year-olds and up, 7 furlongs
Echo Zulu (6) has come back running as a 4-year-old, and can be used as a single. Her 112 Beyer in her last race at Saratoga jumps off the page. Echo Zulu is 3-for-3 at Saratoga, and should be able to boss these from the bell.
Race 11 (5:31): Grade 1 Sword Dancer Stakes, 3-year-olds and up, 1 ½ miles (turf)
Bolshoi Ballet will be partnered by John Velasquez in the Sword Dancer Stakes at Saratoga on Saturday night
Time to follow pic.twitter.com/dmVK77yiab
— AIDANOBRIENFANSITE (@aobrienfansite) August 24, 2023
The 6-5 morning-line price on Stone Age (7) gave me hope that I could get away with a single in this leg. However, there’s no way Stone Age can be completely trusted. Stone Age hasn’t raced since February, but trainer Chad Brown usually brings them back running. We’ll go two-deep here with Soldier Rising (1), who ran a career-high Beyer in the 2022 Sword Dancer. Look for Soldier Rising to get an excellent trip from the rail, and outkick Stone Age to the wire.
Race 12 (6:11): Grade 1 Travers Stakes, 3-year-olds, 1¼ miles
Sometimes it’s good to take a risk when betting online. Scotland (7) is the co-longest price at 12-1 on the ML, but might control this race from the start and forget to stop. Scotland could join the ranks of Arrogate (2016) and West Coast (2017) as late-developing 3-year-olds who won the Travers. Arcangelo (2) hasn’t raced since winning the Belmont Stakes in June. Javier Castellano gave Arcangelo a perfect ground-saving ride that day, and another favorable setup could occur here if Scotland isn’t up to the task.
Horses are listed in order of preference:
- 13,6,4,5,10 with 6,4 with 6 with 1,7 with 7,2
- Cost: $20 or $16, depending on whether the 13 runs in Race 8