Donato’s Saratoga selections for Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021


The Bolton Landing Stakes is Wednesday’s ninth race, and it features a talented group of 2-year-olds with limited, but successful racing history. Many of those entered had only just broken their maiden before making their stakes debut. One such filly who looks ready to double her win total is Fulminate (7-2).

The Mark Casse-trainee by Get Stormy emerged from a trio of quick-breaking horses in her debut race and was never threatened from there, winning by four lengths in the five-furlong race. Her competitors Wednesday will put up more of a challenge, especially right out of the gate, as there is a lot of early speed in this race, but Fulminate was still running strong at the end of her last race, so it would be expected that she can outlast them. She moves to the meet’s leading jockey, Luis Saez for this race.

Poppy Flower (5-2) wired the field on her way to her first win in June after previously having to fight her way back up to second in her first two races. Either way, she has managed to find her way amongst the leaders in each outing, and one should expect to find her competing there again, even if she is not in front early like the last race. Her debut on dirt showed just how well she can navigate the field should it come to that.

Flip My Id (8-1) is an intriguing runner, winning her debut at five furlongs and gaining a length on the field in the stretch. She was bet well and won convincingly but did so in a slower race. One can only speculate whether we have not seen the best of her and that she will step up to a faster class, or if she just drew the right race in her debut. If her price drops, it may be worth it to hope for the former.

The weather this week is looking wet at the Spa, and if the race comes off the turf, look to Avery Jane (9-5), who was last seen winning in sloppy conditions in the Kentucky Juvenile Stakes at Churchill Downs. She has the skill set for a race like the one expected here, and none of the other entrants can boast a win of the class she had in the Kentucky Juvenile.

The best bet on Wednesday is Clear Humor (1-1) in the tenth race. The gelding retains Saez after getting caught near the end of his last race at seven furlongs. This race will be a furlong shorter, so one would speculate that he will have a little more juice for the stretch here. Saez opted to stay with Clear Humor over Damilano (3-1) whom he piloted in his last four races.

A few long shots to watch include Lockstep (12-1) in the third race, and Highly Devauxted (8-1) in the fifth race. Both races are maiden special weights, where Saratoga winners historically have a greater than average tendency to come with the winning connections. Lockstep is ridden by Jose Ortiz (19% win percentage in 2021) and trained by George Arnold (17% in 2021). Highly Devauxted is ridden by Saez (18% in 2021) and trained by Cherle DeVaux (18% in2021). Solid connections also tend to bring the price down, but if that is not the case for either, each could be worth a small flier.

6-The Mean Queen, 2-Gibralfaro, 3-Baltimore Bucko, 4-French Light.

6-Free Enterprise, 2-Cantrell Hill, 3-Flat Out Beautiful, 1-Easy Shot.

9-Monshun, 4-Morning Matcha, 2-Sea Pines, 3-Lockstep.

3-Blewitt, 2-Dark Storm, 5-Kumar, 4-Villainous.

8-Vagaries, 4-Gun Boat, 3-Diamond Hands, 6-Highly Devauxted, (7-Lemieux becomes the top pick if the race is moved to the main track).

7-Crowding Out, 1-Sand and Sea, 8-Miss Domina, 4-Let Them Eat Cake.

1-Bayshore Foxes, 7-Before You, 3-Cadeau de Paix, 2-Raffinity.

5-Seismic Wave, 6-Parlor, 10-Hieroglyphics, 7-Attentive (2-Musical America becomes the top pick if the race is moved to the main track).

8-Fulminate, 5-Poppy Flower, 4-Flip My Id, 7-Kneesnhips, (11-Averly Jane becomes the top pick if the race is moved to the main track).

1-Clear Humor, 6-Damilano, 3-Multiple Expansion, 2-D’vinicris.

Kiss the Sky (second), Write This Down (sixth).

Record for meet: 69 for 243.

Categories: Sports

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