Donato’s Saratoga selections for Sunday, Aug. 1, 2021


The Grade II Amsterdam Stakes will be a rematch of Drain the Clock (2-1), and Jackie’s Warrior (6-5), the top two respective finishers in this year’s Grade I Woody Stephens Stakes at Belmont. However, this time around, it is expected that Jackie’s Warrior will be the better of the pair.

Drain the Clock is a half-brother to Jackie’s Warrior. Both are by Maclean’s Music, and are his top-earning progeny. Drain the Clock has been the more consistent runner, but Jackie’s Warrior has the higher ceiling. Both are early front-runners, and it may be easy to forget that there will be four other entrants. None have the running style to suggest that they will be up front with the pair early, nor the overall speed to suggest that they will be alongside the half-brothers at the finish line. Jackie’s Warrior is the pick to win the rematch, but neither would be a surprise.

River Dog (6-1) shows the best chance for an upset. He was dominant in his seven-length debut win, and managed to win his follow-up in ungraded stakes company as the favorite by 1 3/4 lengths, but his lead was shrinking as he crossed the finish line. This race will be another move up in class, and it will take a better race than his last to win in this company.

Crowded Trade (7-2) moves back to sprint distance, where he won his lone race. He fared poorly in the Preakness and has not raced since, but he has proven that he belongs among graded company as a good closer. If it turns out that sprints are just his comfort zone, he could be a contender.

Sunday’s card features a few potential value picks. In the second race, Gillian Elizabeth (5-1) makes her second start after closing well in her debut at Churchill Downs on June 17. She will have an opportunity to use the stamina showed in that 5 1/2-furlong sprint as she stretches out to 8 1/2 furlongs for this race.

Looking to the fourth race, Jades Gelly (6-1) broke out in her last start with a career best Brisnet speed figure of 95 en route to a win in another turf sprint. She moves up in class, and her price is likely reflective of that move and the fact that she hasn’t won clear in a while, but its worth it to see if she can repeat the performance.

The best bet comes in the first race, where Everesting (2-1) drops down in class to try and pick up his elusive first win. He adds blinkers, and his average speed figures put him ahead of the pack. He should win on talent alone.

2-Everesting, 5-Uncle Mo’s Cat, 11-Loaded Joe, 3-Raising Sand.

6-Gillian Elizabeth, 1-Pammy’s Ready, 3-Blissful, 4-Waterville.

1-Lookin for Loki, 4-Frosted Indian, 3-Megatap, 6-Dee Bo.

6-Jades Gelly, 9-Jill’s a Hot Mess, 5-Smooth Pebble, 7-Big Al’s Gal.

3-Rotknee, 5-Bointheback, 6-Tin Pan Alley, 1-Whittington Park.

7-Enola Gay, 4-Sun Summers, 5-Miss Teheran, 9-Candy Flower (12-True Castle becomes the top pick if the race is moved to the Main Track).

3-Town Classic, 6-Aloha West, 1-Cost Basis, 2-Yodel E. A. Who.

10-Summer in the City, 6-Amortization, 2-Mirabell Mei, 11-Italian Twin (15-Easter Chocolate becomes the top pick if the race is moved to the Main Track).

3-Jackie’s Warrior, 2-Drain the Clock, 1-River Dog, 6-Crowded Trade.

1-Estotica, 10-Not a Trace, 12 Willow Grove, 8-Maria’s Gift.

Flat Awesome Jenny (third), Honey Money (fifth), High Opinion (seventh), Essential Quality (ninth).

Record for meet: 38 for 130.

Categories: Sports

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