Donato’s Saratoga selections for Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021


Wednesday’s feature is the New York Stallion Series Stakes, run over one mile on the inner turf. The last race in this series, run on June 19 at Belmont, featured six of Wednesday’s scheduled entrants, though Shaker Shack (4-5) will only run if the race is moved to the dirt.

Sport Model (8-5) took the race in June, and as such is the morning line favorite, but Funwhileitlasted was able to close well in that race. Given the extra furlong to work with and her consistent finishes in the money, it seems more likely that she will prevail than that Sport Model will repeat.

Aside from a fall at Gulfstream, Funwhileitlasted has not finished outside the money in its four other races since October 2020, despite not being well-backed in any of those races. She made a leap in her speed rating in her last outing in her first pairing with jockey Jose Lezcano, and retains him for this race.

Sport Model is trying her longest career distance at eight furlongs. She has had two solid outings in a row, but her first two races resulted in a distant 11th and a lost jockey. One would expect more results like the two more recent ones, but her small sample size still leaves the possibility of an inconsistent outing. Another quality run should limit those doubts going forward.

Shaker Shack has the best history and consistent speed of the entrants. She ran the last race in this series on turf and finished third, but the rest of her history is in dirt races. Should the race move off turf, it moves into her wheelhouse, and she will become the horse to beat.

The best bet of the day belongs to Coffee Bar (6-5) in the fourth race. This is her second race back off a layoff and her combination of connections and class rates her well ahead of the field, including Ifihadachance (9-5). Coffee Bar moves back to nine furlongs, where she recorded her best speed rating, and her move to jockey Irad Ortiz should further boost her chances for a top performance.

The best value on the card can be found in the 10th race. Kitten by the Sea (4-1) has the speed to overcome a large field and the race distance suits her style. Also entered is the intriguing Theodora Grace (20-1), who returned after nearly a year-long layoff to break her maiden at Belmont in June, and has the potential for another leap. She moves up to a route distance for the first time as well as a step-up in class, but if she can be kept from falling as far behind as she did at the beginning of her last race, she is worth a flier and seems capable of making a closing run here.

3-Ritzy A. P., 2-Perfect Tapatino, 6-Lemonade Thursday, 4-Silver Crescent.

7-Cousin Andrew, 4-Leading West, 6-Mach One, 8-We Be There.

3-Take the Backroads, 6-Next Tuesday, 7-Leviosa, 2-Lockstep (7-Leviosa becomes the top pick if the race is moved to the Main Track).

4-Coffee Bar, 2-Ifihadachance, 5-Fair Lassie, 6-Enough Love.

1-Funwhileitlasted, 5-Sport Model, 6-Big Time Lady, 8-Shesadirtydancer (7-Shaker Shack becomes the top pick if the race is moved to the main track).

4-Shamalamadingdong, 1-Towering Orbit, 3-Empress of War, 7-Fancy Feline.

1-Montauk Daddy, 9-Wild William, 8-Determined Fury, 11-Christopher (3-Convection becomes the top pick if the race is moved to the main track).

2-Aunt Kat, 4-Casual, 1-Bayerness, 5-Honor Way.

1-En Wye Cee, 7-Bodecream, 5-Burning Bright, 3-Ever Dangerous.

5-Kitten by the Sea, 11-Claddagh’s Run, 12-Hohohoho, 6-Theodora Grace (15-Trumpet Lilly becomes the top pick if the race is moved to the main track).

Rotknee (fifth), Jackie’s Warrior (ninth), Esotica (tenth).

Record for meet: 41 for 140.

Categories: Sports

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