The Paulick Report in conjunction with NYRA Bets is pleased to bring back Weekend Play at Saratoga, our weekly handicapping feature for the Spa's summer meet. Each week, one of our editors will focus on a single wager – could be a Pick 4, Pick 5, exacta, tri or whatever else they might fancy.
This week, I tackle Saturday's Grand Slam, which includes the G3 Amsterdam, G1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt, G2 Bowling Green, and the G2 Jim Dandy.
Race 7 – Grade 3 Amsterdam
There is a significant amount of speed in this race, and the outside horse, #7 Soutache, is cutting back to his preferred sprint distance. He is a solid longshot play, but of course, the speed plays to the favor of top choice #3 Engage as well. We'll include both of them on the ticket.
Race 8 – Grade 1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt
In this sprint contest, #7 Done Deal enters the picture off four straight wins, and the horse's confidence level should play to his advantage, as well as his ability to run on any kind of track he encounters. Same goes for the second choice, #1 Switzerland, and Steve Asmussen and Ricardo Santana have been on a tear at the Spa. I'll toss the favorite, Imperial Hint, because I think he'll get pressed for the lead here and he may not handle off going.
Race 9 – Grade 2 Bowling Green
The #3 Bigger Picture could hit at a price here, but it would be unwise to leave out #7 Hi Happy, as he'll run over any kind of ground, and there isn't much speed to go with him. Both #6 Sadler's Joy and #8 Money Multiplier are kind of hit or miss horses, and both ran well in their most recent starts so are likely to be overbet, but Money Multiplier was just a bit better and with a clean trip could have won the United Nations.
Race 10 – Grade 2 Jim Dandy
#1 Flameaway is the only one with legitimate speed in this compact field, and could be poised for a strong showing off a poor finish in the Ohio Derby last out. I'll single him here, because he fits on numbers and the distance should suit him.
Here's our final $1.00 ticket:
However you play, best of luck and enjoy the weekend at Saratoga.
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