Donato’s Saratoga selections for Sunday, Aug. 8, 2021


The Grade II Adirondack Stakes sports a field brimming with potential as nine 2-year-olds are looking to propel themselves up with a statement race. The filly most likely to finish the day with a Saratoga moment is Ontheonesandtwos.

The promising filly enters the Adirondack with much of the same expectations that she did entering the Debutante Stakes on June 26. In that race she paced well but entered the stretch wide. She made a good effort in the stretch, but was not able to fully close, finishing second by a length. Not getting the win there might be enough to keep her price from being unreasonable Sunday, but until race time, one can only hope. A move to jockey Irad Ortiz and an inside post position may be all she needs to get the finish she just missed in June.

Microbiome (5-1) finished clear in his racing and Saratoga debut on July 15. She adds an extra furlong to what she ran in that race, but her effort last time suggested she had more in the tank. She retains jockey Tyler Gaffalione, and sprinters trained by Thomas Amoss tend to run well in these races.

Wicked Halo (7-2) was caught by Ontheonesandtwos in the Debutante Stakes, finishing third in that race. She still has demonstrated the best speed in the field and is a 2-year-old trained by Steve Asmussen, both of which make her a contender any day. There is no reason she cannot bounce back.
Interstatedaydream (10-1) was an underwhelming winner in her debut at Belmont, considering how heavilybet she was. She ran a competitive race and won the duel, just slower than expected. Still, a win is a win, even if the win comes ugly. We will see if she is just the type to run to the level of her competition. If that is the case, she will be undervalued Sunday.

The best value on the card comes in the sixth race. The race itself feels like a tote-watcher, looking to see where the prices go. With so few experienced entrants, history suggests looking to who can make a leap in their second race. In this case, Popular Vote (6-1) ran steadily in a good race to build off. Madamoussepousse (12-1) and Shanghai Shamrock (10-1) both demonstrated competitive speed previously, and the latter’s switch to jockey Jose Ortiz could provide a boost. Each is worth a good look, and at post time, while everyone else is looking at the first-timers, they may be overlooking the best value on the board.

The best bet of the card is Shaker Shack (8-5) in the first race. She drops way down in class for what one hopes to be a tune-up before returning to stakes company. Her recent speed figures are far better than what is expected to carry the day, and she has not finished outside the money since her debut. It won’t pay well, but it is not worth overthinking this one.

2-Shaker Shack, 5-Spun d’Etat, 4-Chloe Rose, 3-Seascape.

2-Penny Saver, Brown Entry (1-Consumer Spending and 1A-McKulick), 8-Tahweel, 3-Love to Run.

2-Kreesa La Wrote, 4-U Should B Dancing, 1-Caumsett, 6-No Payne.

3-Harper’s in Charge, 6-Easy to Bless, 5-Midtown Rose, 1-Off We Go.

8-Distractandattack, 1-Majestic Tiger, 4-I’m Blaming You, 12-Boom Boom Kaboom.

1-Popular Vote, 4-Madamoussepousse, 6-Shanghai Shamrock, 3-Amani’s Image.

7-Regal Glory, 2-Shifty She, 3-Viadera, 4-Raven’s Cry.

2-Ontheonesandtwos, 9-Microbiome, 7-Wicked Halo, 6-Interstatedaydream.

7-Creative Flair, 6-Rocky Sky, 1-Higher Truth, 5-Con Lima.

5-Saratoga Flash, 10-Chrome Dixie, 3-Albie, 4-The Golden Door, (13-Water’s Edge becomes the top pick if the race is moved to the main track).

Ruse (fourth), Danny California (eleventh).

Record for meet: 51 for 182.

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