Donato’s Saratoga selections for Friday, Aug. 6, 2021


The Grade II National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes is Friday’s seventh race and it looks to be a competitive affair with plenty of potential value among the eight entrants.

Next (7-2) posted the field’s best turf speed in his last start, a win in the one-mile War Chant Stakes. He returns to graded company, where he has struggled, but the Wesley Ward-trainee has the highest ceiling of the contenders. He is also a proven dirt route-runner, so should the race be moved off the turf, he should still be among the top picks.

Easy Time (6-1) is a graded stakes winner on the dirt, and there doesn’t seem to be any reason to doubt him on turf. He finished second in his lone career turf start. This will be his second race off a layoff after his win in the Marine Stakes. New jockey Tyler Gaffalione has the potential to get something extra out of him as well. If he goes off near his morning-line price, he will be a good value pick.

Public Sector (2-1) is an established closer on turf and consistent in-the-money finisher. He turned it on too late in his last outing, and with all the early speed in this race, one could see something like that happening again. Annex (10-1) is another closer and has the potential to surprise if he finds his kick again. A return to his form from earlier this year would put him right up with the favorites.

The best bet of the card is Bound for Nowhere (7-2) in the Grade III Troy Stakes. The sprinter brings first class speed that has outpaced the recent runs of morning line favorite Imprimis (3-1). In a crowded field of a short race, his early speed should put him in position to find his top gear in the stretch.

Dunph (6-1) should carry the best value on the card. The gelding has finished in the money, but without a win in six of his last seven starts. He may be developing a reputation as a bridesmaid, but he has the speed to compete with Malibu Pro (8-5), who is coming off a deceptively poor fourth-place finish in June. Dunph has been a winner in previous years, so one would think that this streak of near misses will result in a win sooner rather than later.

9-Smokey White, Rodriguez entry (1-No Mi Culpa and 1A-Not Yet Charlie), 64-Artie’s Angel, 6-Sailor Speed.

3-Dunph, 6-Ekhtibaar, 8-Malibu Pro, 7-Roaming Union.

5-Coastana, 4-Single Soul, 6-Setting the Mood, 7-Creative Cairo (Bauer entry 1-Bayshore Foxes and 1A- Stop Shoppin Tammy becomes the top pick if the race is moved to the main track).

4-Answer In, 1-Jalen Journey, 5-Wicked Trick, 2-Endorsed.

Brown entry (1-Commandandcontrol and 1A-School of Thought), 5-Lady Clementine, 7-Hot Anna, 8-Superbloodwolfmoon.

10-No Word, 8-Cavalry Charge, Maker Entry (1-Forty Under and 1A- Empty Tomb), 11-City Man.

7-Next, 4-Easy Time, 2-Public Sector, 1-Annex.

7-Jesus’ Team, 4-Art Collector, 8-Night Ops, 6-Bourbon War.

11-Bound for Nowhere, 7-Imprimis, 12, Casa Creed, 5-Front Run the Fed.

1-Digital Software, 6-Bail Out, 9-Partner’s Hope, 10-Run Dilly Run.

Mystic Eyes (first), Wartime Hero (fifth), Lone Rock (ninth).

Record for meet: 47 for 160.

Categories: Sports

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