First off, I am just stupid excited to be home visiting Saratoga for its 151st closing weekend, finally!!

Today’s $600,000 Grade 1 Woodward Stakes is sure to be an exciting one! Let’s take a quick look at some of the major contenders in this race to see who may cross the finish line first.

It is clear that MORENO has quite a history of success at the Spa. Coming off a impressive win in the 2014 Whitney Handicap, he stands out as the favorite in the Woodward. Moreno knows how to handle Saratoga’s dirt course well and I have no doubt that he will be able to keep a steady pace through the race and challenge contenders. ITSMYLUCKYDAY and ZIVO. ITSMYLUCKYDAY was on a three-win streak before coming in second to Moreno in the Whitney Handicap at Saratoga earlier this month.

Itsmyluckyday should not have an issue maintaining speed and distance as long as he has a successful break from post position #1, which I think will greatly determine how he fares. In the entire field of 10, I think that ZIVO is the one to watch out for in the Woodward. Undefeated in all of his starts in 2014, this will be the first time he returns to Saratoga since 2012. He most recently defeated Moreno in the Grade 1 Suburban Handicap at Belmont Park in July. Watch out ladies and gents, because Zivo is a closer!

Here’s are my Ciaratoga Picks for The Woodward Stakes using:

#4 Moreno
#6 Zivo
#2 Itsmyluckyday
#3 Micromanage

Bet A: $20 Win Place on #6 = $40

Bet B: $4 Exacta 3,4,6 with 3,2,4,6 = $36

Bet C: $1 Trifecta Box with 2,3,4,6 = $24

Giddy up and good luck!



Sunday’s Grade 2 Adirondack Stakes will feature a field of seven promising 2-year-old fillies on Saratoga’s main track at a distance of 6 1/2 furlongs and a purse of $200,000.

All of these juvenile fillies had fantastic debut wins, which will make the Adirondack not only one exciting race to watch but also a fun challenge to handicap. Let’s take a look at some the race’s top contenders:

#1 – Wonder Gal is one filly to watch as she lived up to her name when she won her career debut in the Lynbrook Stakes at Belmont on July 6 winning by an impressive 14 1/2 lengths. Wonder Gal is the 3-1 second choice on the morning line. Taylor Rice has the mount again and these two are bound to have another good ride together tomorrow.

#4 – Take Charge Brandi proved she enjoys Saratoga’s course as she came in second, 1 1/2 lengths behind Fashion Alert, in the Grade 3 Schuylerville Stakes on Opening Day at Saratoga. Take Charge Brandi may be ready to go for the distance this time, and with 10-1 odds, she is a perfect horse to add into your exotic bets.

#5 – Cavorting is packed with speed. She debuted on July 3 at Belmont Park and won by 11 lengths. Trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, her workouts at Saratoga have been promising. With 7-2 odds on the morning line, it’s clear that Cavorting will be a strong contender.

#6 – Vivian Da Bling is already off to a successful career with consecutive wins at Lone Star Park, most recently winning the TTA Sales Futurity Stakes on July 12 by 6 1/4 lengths. The gray filly drew post position six and will be ridden by Rosie Napravnik as she targets her third win in as many starts.

Here are three ways that I would bet the Adirondack Stakes on a $20 Budget using (#1) Wonder Gal, (#4) Take Charge Brandi, (#5) Cavorting and (#6) Vivian Da Bling:

Bet A: $3 exacta box – 1,5,6 = $18

Bet B: $0.50 superfecta – 1,4,5,6 with 1,4,5,6 with 1,4,5 with 3,4,6 = $20

Bet C: $5 – win/show on 1,5 = $20

Good Luck!

-For my analysis on the America’s Best Racing Site, click here:



Saratoga Race Course will host the showdown between Palace Malice and Will Take Charge during Saturday’s 87th running of the Whitney, a Grade 1 race with a $1.5-million purse.

Palace Malice and Will Take Charge met on the track several times last year in the 2013 Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes as well as the Jim Dandy Stakes, the Travers Stakes and the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Classic. Palace Malice has a couple of head-to-head wins (Belmont and Travers), while Will Take Charge won the Jim Dandy and finished ahead of Palace Malice while second in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Let’s take a quick look at both:

Palace Malice, currently ranked America’s No. 1 Thoroughbred on the most recent NTRA Thoroughbred Media Poll, is the standout favorite for the Whitney at even-money on the morning line. He’s won all four of his starts in 2014, including the Metropolitan Handicap on June 7 at Belmont Park. He proved he can handle the Saratoga main track when winning the 2013 Jim Dandy. Will this be Palace Malice’s fifth consecutive win?

Will Take Charge, the 2013 Eclipse Award winner as champion 3-year-old male, is the second favorite at 4-to-1 odds. He’s trained well since his last start at Churchill Downs, where he finished second in the Stephen Foster Handicap. Will Take Charge also has a history of success at Saratoga with the Travers win and, out of all the horses on the field, I believe he’s the one to give Palace Malice the biggest challenge.

There are a few other horses to keep an eye on in this race. Moreno (10-to-1) has a lot of speed and is no stranger to Saratoga, having finished second by a nose to Will Take Charge in the 2013 Travers. Depending on how the horses break, I could see Moreno either setting the pace or challenging the favorites right at the finish. Departing looks like he is regaining his best form, coming in third last time out in the Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs. He has the talent to finish in the money, and at 6-to-1 odds there is no reason not to add him for a trifecta bet. Itsmyluckyday (12-to-1) has won three consecutive stakes races, most recently taking the Salvator Mile Stakes on July 6 at Monmouth Park. He will make his Saratoga debut on Saturday, and I’m curious as to how he will respond against this field of horses.
Here are a few ways that I would play the Whitney Handicap on a $20 Budget using: #5 Palace Malice, #1 Will Take Charge, #3 Moreno, #6 Departing, #4 Itsmyluckyday

Scenario A: $0.50 trifecta part wheel: 1,3,4,5 with 1,3,5,6 with 3,4,6 = $12.50

Scenario B: $2 exacta part wheel: 1,3,5 with 1,3,5,6 = $18

Scenario C: $5 exacta part wheel: 1,5 with 1,5,6 = $20

This would also be a great race to play a $0.10 superfecta box using all five of the horses = $12

*The winner of the Whitney Handicap, a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” qualifying race, which will be televised on NBC with coverage beginning at 5 p.m. ET, will automatically earn a spot in the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Classic.*

To view this on America’s Best Racing’s website, click here