Thursday Racing Picks: Saratoga
Four picks on the card at Saratoga for handicapper John DaSilva:
RACE 1 – PICK: #1 Castle Casanova (7-2 ML) - Click here to bet with TVG
Makes two turn route debut and first start versus conditioned claimers after running evenly in state bred allowance while sprinting and making first start off four month layoff. Jeremiah Englehart is 7 for 17 (41%) with horses making second start off a two to six month layoff. Owned in part by Louis Lazzinnaro, longtime owner with Hall of Fame Trainer Bobby Frankel and owner of the popular Saratoga area restaurant, Nove’, Castle Casanova is versatile enough to wire the field or stalk the pace successfully for the victory.
RACE 2 – PICK: #6 Eternal Summer (5-1 ML) - Click here to bet with TVG
Todd Pletcher begins his attempt to regain the Saratoga leading trainer title, which he last won in 2017, with this homebred dropdown. Eternal Summer only has two career starts, both at Saratoga last year in maiden special weight at a mile and a sixteenth. While he is making his first start for a tag, the $75,000 claiming price is high enough that the owners wouldn’t be taking a loss if the horse was claimed. But if he sets the pace like he did last year in final start prior to layoff, he could go all the way versus these for the victory.
RACE 5 – PICK: #5 Dark Money (5-2 ML) - Click here to bet with TVG
Returns to face state breds after winning open company non winner of one allowance at this distance at Belmont. Last time he ran versus state breds, he wired the field to win at this condition and distance in January. He doesn’t have any state bred conditions left so he has to run for the claiming tag, unlike his start three back when he had the state bred allowance condition available. Since he won an allowance race last out, trainer Rudy Rodriguez is hoping no one reaches in for him with the $40,000 tag, since the horse would have to run for the non winners of two allowance condition or a claiming tag 25% or higher than the $40,000 price for today for the next 30 days.
RACE 9 – PETER PAN STAKES PICK: #2 Country Grammer (7-2 ML) - Click here to bet with TVG
Chad Brown seeks his third consecutive Saratoga training title and is getting Country Grammer prepped for the Grade 1 Travers or the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby. A victory in the Peter Pan gives the winner 50 points and more than likely a guaranteed spot in the Kentucky Derby. The son of 2014 Belmont Stakes winner Tonalist showed promise last November, breaking his maiden at Aqueduct going nine furlongs in his second career start. He came back to the races at Gulfstream in February in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth and did not handle the track, ending up a non-threatening fifth. He returned in an allowance race at Belmont, which was won by runaway winner Tap It to Win. He has been training at Saratoga since then and is one of a few horses to have worked out on the newly surfaced main track. He should show improved early speed in return to two turns and despite Irad Ortiz Jr. aboard, he should go off higher than the 7-2 morning line.
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