Saratoga is racing for the first time this week with a ten-race card worth $648,000. The Travers is in the books, but there is still some big racing on the agenda at Saratoga coming up. There are two $500,000 events at Saratoga with the running of the Alabama Stakes (Gr. 1) and Saratoga Derby Invitational. The two biggest races of the day on Wednesday are at Indiana Grand. The Caesars Entertainment owned property will have its namesake races with the running of the $150,000 Caesars Stakes and Indiana Grand Stakes. Saratoga has a $150,000 stakes race today as well, with the Adirondack Stakes (Gr. 2) on Wednesday afternoon.
The most exciting news that I heard today is that Bob Baffert might point Gamine to the Preakness Stakes. We would really going to see how good Gamine is up against the boys in the Preakness. That will give us something to potentially be doubly excited about. The Preakness Stakes could involve a Triple Crown bid, and a record-breaking filly is scheduled to be in the field. Despite a delay on the Triple Crown circuit, we have an exciting couple of months ahead of us. Head below for our free Saratoga picks for August 12, 2020.
Post Time: 1:21 p.m. EST
Distance: 7 Furlongs
Race 2 isn’t a stakes race, but at some other tracks, this $76,000 event could be considered one. The race will include 7 furlongs of racing on the dirt. Strike That and Tiz He the One are going to be open to the possibility of a win here. Strike That has been the front or at the front in all six races of his career. He has won three times and placed in the other three. He opened his career in fine fashion on August 23, 2019 at Del Mar, and then Strike That won again on February 9 at Oaklawn Park to secure back-to-back wins.
His most recent win was on March 29 in a $62,000 event at Oaklawn. Strike That downed Impressed by 4 ¾ lengths in a dominating performance. Following that effort, Strike That finished 7 ½ lengths and a length back in a $62,000 and $76,000 race. Strike That is back looking for the top prize in a $76,000 gallop on Wednesday.
He moved late in his latest outing on July 24, but struggled to close out the deal. The odds have pretty well lined up for Strike That. When he’s been a favorite, Strike That follows up and meets expectations. If that happens again today, Strike That is place company in this race.
Tiz He the One gets the inside rail out of the gate and has been dipping his toes into the stakes scene. He is a winner of the $75,000 Challedon Stakes (Black Type) on September 28, 2019 by 3 ¼ lengths. Since then, Tiz He the One has finished 3rd, 5th, 3rd. The $250,000 General George Stakes (Gr. 3) on February 15 was asking a bit too much of Tiz He the One, as he finished 5th.
He responded to get back into the money on July 4 at Belmont in a $68,000 allowance race. Tiz He the One finished 3rd in that one as an underdog. Overall, he is a winner in 5 of 14 races in his career. This might be a bigger purse than his last race, but that doesn’t mean this is a tougher field. I’d look towards a play on Tiz He the One in Race 2.
Post Time: 3:37 p.m. EST
We move down to a $64,000 event in Race 6 at Saratoga on Wednesday. Seven horses are scheduled to cover 6 furlongs on the dirt at around 4:00 p.m. EST. Kinky Sox and Eloquent Speaker are the two biggest participants in this race and will be on my shortlist. Kinky Sox is 3 for 14 and is heading into Wednesday with some nice momentum.
She has finished 2nd, 1st, 2nd, 1st in her previous four races, so has some confidence back in her step. In two outings in July, Kinky Sox was 2nd on July 3 in a $27,000 event, and then followed it up with a win on July 24 with a 1 ¼ length win over Hetty G. at the $30,000 level.
With Kinky Sox either placing or winning her last four races, she is getting a big hike in class to compete for a $64,000 event. Winning might be difficult. She might need to catch a break, but expect her to beat most of this field and come close to the front. I’d feel a lot more confident in Kinky Sox if she didn’t have to compete against Eloquent Speaker.
Eloquent Speaker has been in the top-3 in all three of her races. She opened her career by finishing 2nd at Aqueduct on February 1 in a $60,000 race. As a second-time runner on June 12, Eloquent Speaker beat a very strong Jewel of Arabia by a neck to win a $53,000 event. In her most recent performance, Eloquent Speaker had a lead until the final furlong and faltered, having to settle for 3rd.
That was at 1 ⅛ miles, so expect a much different run at 6 furlongs. She was getting tired late in that race on July 22. However, that won’t be a concern for her on Wednesday at a shorter distance. This field isn’t nearly as tough either. Anything less than a loss would be a major disappointment for her connections here.
Post Time: 4:46 p.m. EST
Distance:1 ⅛ Miles
Race 8 is another dirt race at Saratoga on Wednesday. There is a little bit of everything today, including a hurdle race to begin the day. Race 8 is worth $74,000 and will cover 1 ⅛ miles. Candy Tycoon and Lil Commissioner should be in the mix in the stretch. Candy Tycoon is 1 for 9 in his career with some appearances in big events, including the Fountain of Youth Stakes (Gr. 2) and Florida Derby (Gr. 1). There was no way Candy Tycoon was keeping up with Tiz the Law.
He was better than three horses, but finished 6th, well behind the front. His best performance was in the Fountain of Youth Stakes (Gr. 2) on February 29. Candy Tycoon lost by 8 ½ lengths behind Ete Indien. He’s coming off a poor outing on July 16 in the $100,000 Peter Pan Stakes (Gr. 3). Candy Tycoon finished 7th in a disappointing performance.
Unless Candy Tycoon gets back on track and starts producing again, putting him in graded events probably isn’t advised. This is still a fairly tough race despite getting away from graded races, though. Candy Tycoon recorded a time of 49.33 seconds on August 2 in a 4-furlong workout.
Lil Commissioner is a tough customer, and likely going to give Candy Tycoon a tough test. He is 6 for 23 in his career and coming off back-to-back races. Lil Commissioner won on March 7 by 1 ¼ lengths over Just Kidding in a $44,000 event, and then followed up for another win on June 28 at Belmont Park for a 4 ¼ length victory over Walkoff.
In his previous six outings, Lil Commissioner has finished 1st, 1st, 3rd, 4th, 1st, 1st. He was in great form in the morning the other day on August 8, as Lil Commissioner completed 3 furlongs in 35.82 seconds. I’m backing Lil Commissioner to get back to the winner’s circle for a hat-trick.