Donato’s Saratoga selections for Friday, July 23, 2021


Friday’s third race is a Maiden Special Weight, set on the inner turf over eight furlongs, and the handicapping of this race is dedicated to my late friend James “Butch” Talada, of whom I am reminded when such a race like this comes around.

Butch was a lifelong race fan and bettor out of Redding, California. He and I would team up, picking two horses each to fill out a boxed superfecta for each leg of the Triple Crown. He would do his due diligence on the races, looking over all his favorite angles, judging and evaluating past performances before he and I would discuss our respective top four picks from which to select our bet.

Ultimately, after all that time spent poring over the numbers, he would always pitch the four horses with the lowest morning line odds for our superfecta. The research always just ended up being a search for confirmation bias, and he did not want to overthink himself out of a win.

His last bet was placed on June 5 for the Belmont. He changed his approach slightly, taking the top three, but substituting Known Agenda as the fourth in his superfecta over Rock Your World. The switch paid off and he went out on top.

The third race does not need to be overthought, and it feels like a “Butch Race.” Realm of Law (2-1) checks out as the top entrant in the field and Charleston Strong (9-2) is running his second race off a layoff after proving to have maintained his form in his first. Mubtadaa (7-2) has been knocking on the door for his first win louder in each race since his debut, and the coupled entry of Big Everest and American Law (5-2) both have the speed to compete.

Other races may be used to search for diamonds in the rough, but I’m going to let Butch take this one, and hope we find the same success he did on Belmont Day.

8-Buckingham Prince, 6-Good Skate, 2-King of Sting, 7-Stolen Base.

1-Fetching, 10-Time Limit, 9-Kinky Sox, 4-The Important One.

9-Realm of Law, Pletcher Entry (2-Mubtadaa and 2B-Taraashoq), 6-Charleston Strong, Coupled Entry (1-Big Everest and 1A American Law).

8-Dark Money, 7-Big Mountain, 6-Durkin’s Call, 4-I Love Jaxson.

8-Six Feet Apart, 2-Date Time, 5-Tuscan Queen, 7-Cease and Desist.

5-Opry, 6-Dot Matrix, 10-Journeyman, 4-Kentucky Ghost (13-Math Wizard becomes the top pick if the race moves to the Main Track).

8-Deputy Flag, 6-Dee Bo, 10-Air Show, 4-U.S. Steel.

6-Big Bobby, 7-Judge N Jury, 1-Ninth Hour, 8-Devil’s Code.

6-Amy C, 10-Minuan, 1-Demodog, 3-Fluffy Socks.

3-Epicurean, Weaver Entry (1-Thrill and 1A-Miss Dominia), 2-High Fair, 6-Closertotheheart.

Wicked Mad (second), Lovely Lucky (eighth).

Record for meet: 19 for 60.

Categories: Sports

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