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Homeracing

Saratoga Stakes Spot Plays for Aug. 27

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

August 25th, 2022

A superb collection of stakes races has been assembled for the action at Saratoga on Saturday. I covered the Travers S. (G1) and Sword Dancer S. (G1) in separate pieces and will focus on the other quartet of major events here.

Race 4 – Ballston Spa S. (G2)

A compact field of five will vie in the 1 1/16-mile affair on the lawn. Morning-line choice #5 Technical Analysis (1-1) is the class and speed of the race and looms a menacing figure from the outside post. The two-time local winner comes off a fine second behind the buzzsaw known as In Italian in the recent Diana S. (G1), and a repeat of that performance will make her ultra-touch to knock off for Chad Brown. She will be a popular single on many tickets.

Race 5 – Forego S. (G1)

Seven will run seven-eighths on the dirt, with the sublime #3 Jackie’s Warrior (1-2) being the one to beat. The four-year-old colt is five-for-five at The Spa and continues to build on a resume that makes him among the top sprinters in recent memory.

If he fails to fire, then #1 Baby Yoda (8-1) might be the one to capitalize most. Conditioned by Bill Mott, the Florida-bred gelding is not the classiest runner in the cast, but he surely loves Saratoga. The Prospective four-year-old is three-for-three here while earning triple-digit Brisnet Speed figures on each occasion at The Spa. The dark bay drilled a bullet half-mile on the surface in advance of Saturday. Jose Ortiz will be up.

Race 8 – H. Allen Jerkens Memorial S. (G1)

Chad Brown’s #6 Jack Christopher (6-5) is imposing on the cutback in distance after registering a third-place result in the Haskell S. (G1) in his latest venture. The once-beaten chestnut was an 8 3/4-length debut victor in his lone local appearance, and I love his chances to get back to his winning ways on this occasion.

For the exotics, #3 Howling Time (10-1) has righted the ship after a three-race unplaced streak for Dale Romans. The son of Not This Time didn’t embarrass himself when fourth in the Haskell (G1) last time out, and a late run from off the pace could yield him a placing at a price with Joe Talamo in for the ride.

Race 9 – Personal Ensign S. (G1)

Five heavyweight distaffers will contest the 1 1/8-mile dirt affair. #1 Letruska (3-1) has appealing value in the event after going off as a short-priced favorite in nine of her last 10 assignments. The defending champ in the field crumbled late after establishing wicked early splits at Belmont Park most recently, but she should enjoy a more favorable voyage in this tilt. The Super Saver six-year-old is two-for-three on the course and will not be easy to pass if she breaks well under Jose Ortiz.

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