Dan's Double: Saratoga Stakes Picks

Penelope P. Miller/America's Best Racing

Dan’s Double of the Week, featuring handicapping analysis from America's Best Racing's New York correspondent Dan Tordjman, is brought to you by Horseplayers.com, the official online qualifying site of the Breeders' Cup Betting Challenge (BCBC) and National Horseplayers Championship (NHC). Horseplayers.com offers low-cost feeders every day and BCBC and NHC qualifiers every weekend, and it’s the only site where you can qualify for the $1 million BCBC. It’s free to sign up – click here to get information about registering and how to enter contests.

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Each Week, Tordjman will provide readers with his two best bets of the weekend and strategies for how to bet them. Tordjman will keep track of his return on investment (ROI) throughout the year and, as a bonus, he will also provide picks for a selection of the key races on the Triple Crown trail and the road to the Breeders’ Cup. Dan was able to manage a positive ROI for his plays in 2016. Come back every week and be sure to follow Tordjman on Twitter.

Saturday, July 29

Saratoga Race Course, Race 8, $350,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap,  5:02 p.m. ET

#2 Awesome Banner: This horse has run deceptively well of late. He was third to Whitmore and A.P. Indian in the Maryland Sprint — and only lost by half a length — two races back. In his last race, he found himself in an unfamiliar place (on the lead) and couldn’t hold off Imperial Hint. But in reality, his only clunker at this six-furlong distance was when his trainer experimented with blinkers in the Carter, which didn’t work out. Other than that, Awesome Banner has been as steady as they come.

From a pace perspective, it’s quite likely that #3 El Deal and #7 Green Gratto will battle and ensure a very fast pace. You have to imagine #4 A.P. Indian won’t be too far off of them either. If the track is playing fair, and the pace is as fast as it looks like it’s going to be, Awesome Banner could work out a nice trip and get an ideal setup to win this race at a fat price.

$10 Budget

$5 to win on #2 Awesome Banner ($5)

$2 exacta box 2,4 ($4)

$25 Budget

$5 to win and place on #2 Awesome Banner ($10)

$4 exacta box 2,4 ($8)

$1 trifecta box 2,4,8 ($6) 

$50 Budget

$10 to win and place on #2 Awesome Banner ($20)

$5 exacta box 2,4 ($10)

$2 trifecta box 2,4,8 ($12)

$1 trifecta 3,8 over 3,4,8 over 2,3,4,8 ($8)

Saratoga Race Course, Race 9, $250,000 Bowling Green Stakes, 5:40 p.m. ET

#4 Sadler’s Joy: He didn’t break well in the Manhattan last out and, as a result, wasn’t as close to the pace in the race, which was slow. He ultimately had to rally wide and was herded out some in the stretch. Despite that, he still finished full of energy and was only beaten a length and a half by a horse who simply got first run and wasn’t going to be caught following a tactically advantageous trip.

Using STATS Race Lens, research also shows that Sadler’s Joy’s jockey Javier Castellano, in the past year in turf route graded stakes in Saratoga, has had 12 mounts and has won five of them, finishing in the money in nine of those races!

I truly think this distance is ideal for Sadler’s Joy, who won his first career race at Saratoga going a mile and a half last year. If you toss this horse’s race two back over a yielding turf, he hasn’t really run a bad race dating back seven races to before the maiden win.

$10 Budget

$5 win and place on #4 Sadler’s Joy ($10)

$25 Budget

$6 win and place on #4 Sadler’s Joy ($12)

$1 exacta box 1,4,6 ($6)

$1 trifecta box 1,4,6 ($6)

$50 Budget

$15 win and place on #4 Sadler’s Joy ($30)

$5 exacta box 1,6 ($10)

$2 exacta box 4,6 ($4)

$1 trifecta box 1,4,6 ($6)

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