Donato’s Saratoga selections for Friday, July 30, 2021

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The Curlin Stakes will be the featured race Friday with a field of seven scheduled to run the ninth race over nine furlongs of the Main Track and two of those entrants, First Captain (7-5), and Miles D (10-1) are by the race’s namesake.

First Captain is undefeated through three races, with the most recent coming as the favorite against graded company. In that race, he bested the field at the final sixteenth marker and made space from there, winning by 1 3/4 lengths. He looks suited for a return to the winner’s circle, as he rates comparatively above the field as he did in his last race.

Miles D will have a much tougher time than his half-brother, but he has credible long shot potential and should be considered if filling out a trifecta or superfecta. The Chad Brown-trainee has only one race this year, breaking his maiden with a clear finish at eight furlongs. The competition is better Friday, and it will take another step up for Miles D to win it here.

Harvard (6-1) is also moving up in class for this race and won as a 10-1 long shot in his last race at this distance. He seems to get better as his race distances have gotten longer, and another race like the last one he ran should keep him in the mix.

Snow House (8-1) was beaten by First Captain in his last time out, finishing third in that graded company. It will take his best effort to date to finish to get ahead of him this time out.

The best bet for Friday is First Captain, but another good option is The Big Kahuna (7-5) in the fifth race. The Todd Pletcher-trainee is coming off a disappointing finish on a sloppy track, but he is unquestionably the most talented racer of the group.

Eyes On Target (6-1) provides the best value on the card if the eighth race stays on the turf. The William Mott-trainee followed a surprising second-place debut with a more expected win, both at nine furlongs. He is stretching out Friday, but this race has the look of one that could go several different directions, and he has the capability to continue improving.

FIRST RACE
8-Sugar and Speights; 3-Sweet Sugar Baby, 2-One Track Mine, 7-Laoban’s Legacy.

SECOND RACE
Pletcher Entry (1-Restored Order and 1A-Hyperfocus), 7-Chao, 8-Blue Cat, 2-Joqular.

THIRD RACE
10-Montauk Daddy, 11-Varient Perception, 2-Convection, 6-Ahead of Plan (13-Advanced Notice becomes the top pick if the race is moved to the Main Track).

FOURTH RACE
2-Sea Foam, 3-Six Percent, 4-Too Early, 6-Control Group.

FIFTH RACE
11-The Big Kahuna, 10-Coach Bahe, 12-Ajhar, 2-This Ill Defend.

SIXTH RACE
9-Castle Leoch, 7-Tokamak, 2-Top Gun Girl, 3-American Xperiment.

SEVENTH RACE
9-Runnin’ Ray, 6-Winter Pool, Hombrazo, 4-Top Gun Tommy.

EIGHTH RACE
1-Eyes on Target, 9-Royale, 3-Mud Pie, 7-Rhythm Section (11-Claynthelionheart becomes the top pick if the race is moved to the Main Track).

NINTH RACE
4-First Captain, 3-Harvard, 2-Snow House, 5-Beren.

TENTH RACE
5-Lookin to Fly, 10-Highway Queen, 12-To the Tune, 6-Mill Stone Creek.

THURSDAY’S WINNERS
Auburn Hills (third), Sum Kinda Prety (tenth).

Record for meet: 29 for 109.

Categories: Sports

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