Saratoga Springs

Donato’s Saratoga selections for Saturday, Aug. 29


Categories: Sports

In a stacked Saturday card, the best opportunity for a value pick could come in the seventh race, the Grade II Amsterdam Stakes, a six-furlong sprint on dirt.

The field is six deep and starts two entrants with morning line odds better than 2-1, Yaupon (8-5) and Long Weekend (9-5). Though each deserve strong consideration, there is considerable potential in Basin (7-2).

The 3-year-old colt is easy to overlook after his 10th-place finish, 17 3/4 lengths behind Art Collector in the Grade II Bluegrass Stakes. But a lot has changed since that race at Keeneland on July 11. Basin has moved to trainer Todd Pletcher, worked out well in the interim, and, most importantly, moves back to a sprint distance.

After a dominant 2019 where he broke his maiden at second call and won the Grade I Hopeful Stakes all at seven furlongs or less, he opened 2020 a 1 1/16 miles, moved up to 1 1/8 and didn’t look back until today. Though he placed first in the Grade I Arkansas Derby through a disqualification, he failed to break through at the longer distance.

With most focus likely to be on Yaupon and Long Weekend, Basin could fetch a decent price in a small field. If that is the case, he could be the best value bet of the day.

FIRST RACE: 7-Enough Love, 6-Happy Sophia, 2-La Negrita, 1-Queendom.

SECOND RACE: 6-Ballagh Rocks, 8-Spirit Animal, 10-En Wye Cee, 3-Greyes Creek.

THIRD RACE: 5-Don Juan Kitten, 4-L’Imperator (Fr), 1-Vanzzy, 3-Three Technique.

FOURTH RACE: 1A-Tied Up, 3-Cheatham Hill, 4-Stay Fond, 2-Bustin To Please.

FIFTH RACE: 4-Archumybaby, 1-Letmetakethiscall, 2-My Roxy Girl, 7-Prairie Fire.

SIXTH RACE: 1-Newbomb, 10-Happymac, 4-Highly Motivated, 9-Charleston Strong.

SEVENTH RACE: 1-Basin, 2-Yaupon, 3-Long Weekend, 4-Premier Star.

EIGHTH RACE: 2-Whitmore, 10-Mind Control, 6-Complexity, 4-Funny Guy.

NINTH RACE: 6-Cross Border, 8-Sadler’S Joy, 2-Aquaphobia, 5-Corelli.

TENTH RACE: 3-Jouster, 5-Zainalarab, 2-Always Carina, 7-O’Gotten Girl.

ELEVENTH RACE: 6-Flashpackinbarbie, 7-Midnight Surprise, 3-Eloquent Speaker, 5-Firenze Freedom.


Captain Bombastic (first), Stage Left (fourth)

Record for meet: 77-for-319

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