Saratoga Horse Racing Picks: Grade 3 Lake George Predictions
Friday’s card at Saratoga is headlined by the Grade 3 Lake George for 3-year-old fillies, and that event also tops the late Pick Four sequence. I’ll be attacking the sequence with a $20 ticket, and here’s how I’ve constructed it!
RACE #7: We’ll kick things off with a $16,000 claiming event, one that’s drawn a field of 11 runners. Despite the big field, I’m only going two-deep, and one of the runners I’m using may be a popular single.
#10 AIR SHOW ships in from Indiana Grand and hasn’t run a bad race since being claimed by Tom Amoss back in April. Those Indiana races have gotten significantly tougher over the past few years, and he was a good second against allowance foes there last time out. He’s got plenty of early speed, and this doesn’t exactly seem like the strongest race for the level.
Ultimately, I also decided to use #4 U. S. STEEL. He won first time out in a dirt sprint at Delaware Park, so perhaps this is what he wants to do, and he’s been gelded recently. Add in a significant drop in class, plus the presence of Irad Ortiz, Jr., and the fact that he may be a bit of a price, and I needed to throw him in.
RACE #8: Older sprinters will go seven furlongs in the second leg of this sequence, which has attracted a field of eight. I’m going two-deep once again, and again, my top pick is the likely favorite.
#6 BIG BOBBY ran second in his debut before graduating at second asking in the mud. The runaway winner of his debut race came right back to score again, and I like that he doesn’t necessarily need the lead to run well. This is his first try against winners, but further progression will make him the one to beat.
#7 JUDGE N JURY, meanwhile, comes off a long layoff for trainer Danny Gargan and has cranked it up in the mornings of late. He’s been gelded since we last saw him, will get Lasix for the first time, and showed an affinity for this surface with a win and a third in two starts last summer. If he’s ready, he’ll be a handful from the moment the gates open.
RACE #9: This is the Friday feature, and it’s probably the best betting race on the entire program. The Lake George will go with a field of 10, and I’m using half of those runners.
Trainer Chad Brown will saddle four runners, and one of them, #6 AMY C, is my top pick. She ran well twice in France before coming here and topping winners downstate at Belmont Park, and I loved how she won that day. She rated well behind a very slow early pace and rallied strongly to win more handily than the running line will show. Irad Ortiz, Jr., will ride back, and she’s my tepid top selection.
#2 RUNAWAY RUMOUR, #3 FLUFFY SOCKS, #5 JOUSTER, and #8 TECHNICAL ANALYSIS are all on my ticket as well. I’m taking the stance that the Tepin Stakes at Churchill Downs just wasn’t that strong, as two of the runners I’m using ran 1-2 in that event. If I’m right, hopefully I’ve gone deep enough!
RACE #10: The Friday finale is a tricky maiden claimer for older fillies and mares going short on the lawn. I’m two-deep to close it out, and my top pick may be a bit of a price.
#6 CLOSERTOTHEHEART seems like she wants to sprint, and she’ll get the opportunity to do that here after a clunker going two turns at Pimlico. Her best Beyer Speed Figure came in her lone turf sprint to date, and she was fourth in a $100,000 stakes race going one turn at Laurel Park last fall. Jose Ortiz has the mount for Graham Motion, and I think she’s got a big shot.
The entry of #1 THRILL and #1A MISS DOMINA also merits respect. Both are trained by George Weaver, and there are reasons to like both runners. Thrill hasn’t run since August, and Miss Domina may not have run against much when second last time out, but both can win, and I need to have this “two for the price of one” entry on my ticket.
Saratoga Picks: THE TICKET