We had a productive day at Saratoga on Saturday with a win on Swiss Skydiver in the Alabama Stakes. A win on Bebe Banker in Race 1 got us started off on the right page and we were able to close out with Swiss Skydiver. She is one of the most exciting fillies in the world right now. I’m surprised that the pari mutuel payout on Swiss Skydiver was as high as it was with a $4.30 win.
Somebody had to be putting out a trap to attract public money elsewhere. If that was the case, it worked out brilliantly because the best horse won and deserved the top prize out of a $500,000 purse. The $500,000 Saratoga Oaks is the only notable stakes race on the schedule today.
We’re in California for our first card, but not at Saratoga, a little further north at Golden Gate Fields. Golden Gate Fields has nine races on the schedule with a total of $138,000 in prize money available. That isn’t much, but I think we can do something with it. Head below for our free Golden Gate Fields picks for August 16, 2020.
Post Time: 2:45 p.m. PST
Distance: 5 ½ Furlongs
Race 3 features a $19,000 purse on the synthetic track at Golden Gate Fields. It will cover 5 ½ furlongs. Illapawnie and Surely a Smile should be in the mix in Race 3. Surely a Smile will fire out of the No. 5 post position looking for the second win of her career. It’s been mostly down for Surely a Smile in her career, but she found a strong effort in her on May 25 at Golden Gate Fields. She won by 2 lengths in a $39,000 event after finishing 5th in back-to-back races to begin her career. Surely a Smile was 5th on February 29 and May 16 for $30,000 and $39,000.
Following the win in May, Surely a Smile fell right back to where she was to begin her career. Surely a Smile finished 5th in her most recent performance on June 28 in a $27,000 race. Since July 26, Surely a Smile made a few workouts, with times of 48.60 and 49.60 seconds at 4 furlongs and 1:02.40 at 5 furlongs most recently on August 8. If we see the same Surely a Smile from May, then a win is going to be within reach for her. Dealing with Illapawnie will likely be her biggest challenger.
Illapawnie is 1 for 11 in her career and beginning to get into the best form of her career recently. She has been close and could easily have more than one win, though. Illapawnie has placed in the top-2 in 6 of 11 career races. She has finished outside of the top-3 in only four outings. Illapawnie is coming off 1st and 2nd place finishes. Illapawnie beat Senorita Estrella by 4 ½ lengths in an easy score on June 28, and then came a head short of a win on July 17 at Pleasanton. She is a consistent operator and should have a good chance in this one.
Post Time: 3:15 p.m. PST
Race 4 is our next destination at Golden Gate Fields with a purse of $11,000 available. We should have a competitive event between Luck Is My Name and Pequeno Monte in this one. Luck Is My Name has finished 4th, 3rd, 5th, 2nd, 5th in his previous five outings.
There hasn’t been much luck for Luck Is My Name yet. He is winless in 16 career races and still looking to break his winner’s circle cherry. In his best recent outing, Luck Is My Name finished ¾ lengths back of Inquisition to place 2nd in a $14,000 event.
Down to a $11,000 race on July 31 in search of a win, improvements certainly weren’t noted a couple of weeks ago. Lucky Is My Name finished 5th in that race as the second favorite. You can’t let that happen, but if Lucky Is My Name is in the same form as his June 27 outing, then there should be a win nearby.
Pequeno Monte has finished 3rd, 4th, 2nd in his career. He started his career to show on June 7 as an underdog in a $14,000 event. In his most recent entry, Pequeno Monte placed 2nd a few weeks ago on July 24 to lose by 1 ½ lengths in a $12,000 race as the favorite. He’s down slightly in class and is the second favorite on the morning-line. His 5-furlong workout on August 8 was encouraging, with a time of 1:00.40. Pequeno Monte will likely yield some good value on Sunday.
Post Time: 4:15 p.m. PST
Distance:1 1/16 Miles
Our final selection of the day is a $14,000 event on the turf covering 1 1/16 Miles. Love of Art and Miss Indefatigable could get into a potential duel in the stretch. Love of Art is 3 for 16 in her career, with her most recent win on September 20, 2019 in a $17,000 event. Since then, Love of Art has finished 3rd, 4th, 4th, 6th. She is coming off 6th on July 31 at Del Mar in a $19,000 race.
That prompts a drop in class for Love of Art. She won in September at the $17,000 level, so we do know that Love of Art has it in her to win a $14,000 race. However, her form hasn’t been too encouraging since getting that win last September. In her other win last year in June, Love of Art was a half length winner for a $10,500 purse. She hasn’t been able to consistently perform in this class, so that could be an issue, especially in keeping up with Miss Indefatigable.
Miss Indefatigable is in search of a hat-trick today after wins on July 11 and August 1. She is also a winner in 4 of her previous 5 entries and the top-3 in 7 of her previous 8 races. In her most recent wins, Miss Indefatigable won by 5 ¼ lengths in a $10,500 event and 4 lengths a bit up in class for $11,500. This assignment is going to be tougher, but should be within his range on Sunday.