It’s the first Saturday at Saratoga this summer. Along with Saratoga, there is a big card of racing, with stakes racing at Saratoga, Laurel Park, Woodbine, and Woodbine. Monmouth also has one $100,000 stakes race.
There is a total of 11 races worth $1,377,000 on the card at Saratoga. Six races are on the dirt and we have four turf events. Head below for our best Saratoga picks on July 16, 2022.
Race 2 is a $70,000 event covering 6 furlongs on the dirt. Closing Deals and New York Banker are on my shortlist for our first selection at Saratoga.
Closing Deals has finished 3rd, 1st, 3rd, 1st, 4th in five career starts. The filly notched a half-length win on April 21 for a $55,000 purse.
That wasn’t a bad effort, but she failed to follow up on June 18. Closing Deals showed 3rd in a $60,000 assignment in that one.
New York Banker is 3 for 16 and was on a solid run from January 8 to May 6. She finished 1st, 1st, 2nd, 1st in four attempts. In her last win, New York Banker won a $39,000 event by 4 lengths easily at Belmont Park on May 6.
With Irad Ortiz Jr. aboard piloting on Saturday, New York Banker is going to have a chance. For the best value, New York Banker must be worth a look.
Race 4 covers 1 ⅛ miles for a $52,000 purse at Saratoga. Cryo and Higher Quality are stronger contenders to look the part in the winner’s circle.
Cryo is a one-time winner in nine attempts, with a winning trip on June 24, 2021 for a $47,500 purse. More recently, Cryo finished 3rd, 8th, 5th in his previous three races.
In his latest start, he showed 3rd in a $66,000 assignment. Dropping to $52,000 should put Cryo back in the mix.
Higher Quality is 7th, 1st, 3rd in three events. He beat Digitize by 2 ½ lengths in an $80,000 event on April 16 at Aqueduct. That was sharp.
Higher Quality was unable to follow up in his debut at Belmont Park on June 11. More was required, with Higher Quality finishing 7th in a $92,000 assignment.
He has a clear chance down in class to $52,000.
Race 8 – Diana Stakes
The $500,000 Diana Stakes (Gr. 1) is the feature race this weekend. The race on the turf consists of 1 ⅛ miles. Rougir and Bleecker Street are the most likely types in Race 8.
Rougir is 5 for 16 and has recent stakes win on her resume. She’s finished 5th, 1st, 7th in three races since transferring to the US from overseas.
The $2,000,000 Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (Gr. 1) on November 6 was too tough at Del Mar. The filly finished 7th, but this wasn’t her best form.
Rougir returned to win the $150,000 Beaugay Stakes (Gr. 3) by 3 lengths on May 14. She edged home in the stretch by 3 lengths at the wire.
Following the win, she attempted another Grade 1 assignment and it could have been better. In her latest attempt, Rougir finished 5th in the $750,000 New York Stakes (Gr. 1).
Bleecker Street is a perfect seven for seven and coming off four graded wins. The $400,000 filly is on an insane romp and has impressive speed readings to boot. She isn’t winning by flukes.
She is coming off a half-length win in the $750,000 New York Stakes (Gr. 1), which is the same race Rougir finished 5th. Ride the hot wave with Bleecker Street.