McLean’s Select Selections for Saratoga on Monday, Aug. 6

Day Results12-6-0-4
2018 Overall 1104410-405-487
Win % of Top Pick37.10%
Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall39.30%

We had a super day down at the ole’ Pea Patch on Sunday, cashing five winning tickets out of the eight races we handicapped. In addition, we solved four exactas — one which returned $89.20 for $1; another which paid $15.50 for $1; and one that hit for $25.80 for $1.

Not a bad day for us, or for the barn of Brad Cox — which we forecasted early in the going.

Here is a look at today’s select races from Saratoga:

2nd: 2-1-7-6…New York Stallion Series Stakes…This one looks like a lock for Therapist (2). This 3YO son of Freud is coming off an easy win in the last part of this series going 7 furlongs over the grass at Belmont in late June. The race before, he ran a trying 6th in the G2 Penn Mile. In 7 career starts, he has 5 wins and 1 third and has never been beaten by other NY-breds. He’s 3-5 in the ML, so no money to be made with the win bet. So…I go shopping for an exacta with Codrington (1), who is trained by Mike Maker and comes into this one off three straight tries against Open Company. He won three back and was a very close third in the race two back. Stepped it up significantly here last time out and didn’t muster much of a run then. This is a filly trying colts, but the connections thought enough of her early on to try the G3 Ms. Grillo Stakes last year. Ran behind Significant Form in that one. She is 12-1 ML and may be able to add some value. I key the 2 over the 1-7-6 and then hit a very small “all button” over the 2 in case of a shocker.

3rd: 2-5-3-4-6…What a nice field for this allowance sprint race. I go with Ajnadeen (2), who has hit the board in 3 of 4 lifetime starts for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. This one won two starts back in impressive fashion, leading much of the way. Came right back to try winners for the first time in the last out and nearly pulled off the win again, running second. Trainer is super hot these days, with a record of 4-0-1 in the last 9 starts over the past two weeks. Killybegs Captain (5) ran second last time out on July 8 at Belmont Park. Pushed the pace in that one from the get-go, and that may not be this one’s best style. May prefer to stalk a bit more and make a later run. Worked well here on July 30 and the jockey/trainer have hit for 2 of 3 in the last two weeks. The horse to watch in here, though, may be Hollywood Star (3) — who will be making his first start since a debacle in the Sunland Derby. This one started his career with a win and then ran second here to Copper Bullet in the Saratoga Special last summer. Ran second to The Tabulator in the G3 Iroquois, after that. Then, just fell apart. I don’t know if 6-furlongs is the right distance for this one — or I would have been keying on top. But if he is back and right? He can do it. I bet the 2-3 across the board and then box the top 3 numbers in the exacta.

7th: 3-1-5-2-6-7…Palinodie (3) has been facing some really good ones, losing to Holy Helena in the races two and three back. Likes to be either on or close to the lead, and should be able to find that spot comfortably in this one today. Would like to see her finish a race, though, and that makes her a vunerable favorite in this spot. The horse I really like — and will be my Upset Special — is Lady Monitor (1). She will be making her 2018 debut today and her NA first time, as well. But she will get the benefit of Lasix and she did run third in a Group 3 event in France last year. Would like to see a few smarter works in the a.m., but the trainer does hit with .20% of those shipping to the U.S.. Love the rider here, too. Smart Together (2), who is 12-1 in the ML, may surprise, too. She made her 2018 debut — after nearly a year off — in an allowance event at Belmont Park in July. Ran 7th in that one, but was beaten less than 4 lengths for a trainer who normally takes his time with those coming off the bench. She may need another one to reach her full potential, but she was good in Great Britain last year. Have to use Silver Shaker (5). How can you leave out a Chad Brown horse who has hit the board in 7 of 8 lifetime starts and has three seconds in a row. Rider/Trainer combo is 7-3-4 in the last 22 starts together. I bet the 3-5 across the board and then box the top 3. I key the top 3 over the others in a smaller version.

Good Luck & All the Best/Gene

If anything can be taken away from a sting of a Triple Crown horse retiring, it’s a horse like this,” Smith said. “He is an incredible horse. Really, really proud of him. Bob [trainer Bob Baffert] had him ready. To come off the bench at a mile and an eighth, Bob is just a tremendous trainer. I felt very confident that I could be aggressive early and move a little early.”

“He is still learning as well,” said Smith. “Although he has raced, he had a lot of time off. He got to looking around, looking at the tracks and gawking around and I had a really good hold of him today and I didn’t really want to bother anyone. The last time I rode him we got disqualified [San Felipe Stakes] of course. I picked his head up, and when I asked him to finish he really got underneath me and really galloped out really well.”

Mike Smith, Rider of the winner McKinzie
  • Gene McLean

    Gene McLean

    Gene McLean began his professional career in 1977 as a sportswriter and columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader in Lexington, Ky., and was recognized as one of the state’s best writers, winning the prestigious “Sportswriter of the Year” honor in 1985. Now the President and Publisher of The Pressbox, McLean sets ...

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