Donato’s Saratoga selections for Thursday, July 29, 2021


The ninth race Thursday will be the John Morrissey Handicap, run over 6 1/2 furlongs on the main track. It features a close field in what seems like it could be anyone’s race.

Our Last Buck (7-2) has thrived since moving to trainer Michelle Nevin, winning five of his six career races with her. He returns from a layoff, but his recent workouts have been promising. At 123 pounds, he is carrying the most weight in the field, except for My Boy Tate (7-2), who also carries the same weight.

My Boy Tate, also trained by Nevin, returns to the New York circuit in a similar situation to Our Last Buck. Aside from the same weight and trainer, he is also coming off a layoff. He has good potential to rebound off his poor start at Parx in May, and is a more even runner than Our Last Buck, but Our Last Buck is the better finisher, and therefore gets the pick.

Wadda U Think Now (3-1) has the ability to set the pace in this race, but has a history of getting caught when doing so. He may be better suited pacing behind Foolish Ghost (9-2) and hoping Our Last Buck and My Boy Tate are out of position or out of gas for the stretch. A switch to jockey Irad Ortiz could be enough to make the difference.

Thursday’s best bet is on the coupled entry of Secondary Market and Motivated Seller (6-5) in the eighth race. The pair combines the best speed and best race history in the field, and have both proven themselves at this class and distance. Their largest obstacle to overcome may be their respective layoffs, but Chad Brown trainees tend to return in race condition.

The best value of the day belongs to Value Chain (8-1) in the first race. Dropping in class and moving to dirt, he retains jockey Irad Ortiz for their third run together. Those changes, coupled with the retention of one of the meet’s top jockeys, give Value Chain the potential to run more competitively than he has in his first two tries. He is worth a chance to see if those changes pay off.

5-Bourbon Rising, 7-Mo Heat, 4-Johnnypump, 8-Value Chain.

7-Straw Into Gold, 4-Scuttlebuzz, 1-Cold Hard Cash, 9-Call Me Harry (11-Control Group becomes the top pick if the race is moved to the Main Track).

6-Montauk Summer, 2-Mystery Bank, 3-Auburn Hills, 12-Unleveraged.

7-Kowboy Karma, 8-The Queens Jules, 9-High Heater, 6-Vinyard Sound.

7-Shinjuku, 9-Flipping Fun, 11-Second Fortune, 1-Triple Americano.

Coupled Entry (1-The Club and 1A-Blest Life), 5-Her Word, 10-Consumer Spending, 4-Empress Tiger.

1-Abiding Star, 4-Attentive, 3-Heiroglyphics, 9-Troubling Moon (12-Identifier becomes the top pick if the race moves to the Main Track).

Brown Entry (1-Secondary Market and 1A-Motivated Seller), 6-Regal Retort, 4-Finding Fame, 8-Kansas Kis.

4-Our Last Buck, 3-My Boy Tate, 5-Wadda U Think Now, 7-Foolish Ghost.

8-Gabby Squared, 1-Sum Kinda Pretty, 9-Salino, 10-Bonkers.

Yodel E. A. Who (second), Quasar (fourth), Timbuktu (fifth), Bell’s the One (ninth).

Record for meet: 27 for 100.

Categories: Sports

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