Donato’s Saratoga selections for Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021


The Riskaverse Stakes is Thursday’s ninth race, and it features a larger field that we have seen from recent stakes races this meet. With 11 entrants, there is some potential for betting money to be spread around, which could lead to better-than-expected prices for some top picks.

One such top pick is Rastafara (7-2). The filly broke her maiden after two good prior runs. Each of her races had a higher purse than her last, and she stepped up accordingly. Trainer Chad Brown has a proven non-graded stakes record, and has been on a hot streak when jockey Irad Ortiz gets one of his mounts. Rastafara retains Ortiz, who chose this mount over Amy C (6-1).

Love and Money (9-2) possesses the best early speed in the field. She is starting on the outside, but she has the ability to overcome her position. She ran a bullet on Aug. 9 and looks primed for this race. New jockey Luis Saez should be able to unleash her right away as there is little other early speed to be found.

Amy C did not have the response necessary to make an impact in her last race, the Grade III Lake George Stakes, and finished with the second cluster of runners. However, her past races at Belmont and Deauville suggest that result should not be anticipated again. Also trained by Brown, she had been on a winning trajectory until her last race. A step down in class could put her back into the lead group.

Minuan (5-1) also ran in the Lake George, finishing even with Amy C, and is the third of three in this race to be a Brown trainee. Her workouts have been good, but she will have to overcome a difficult initial outside position when the gates open. She certainly has the ability, and a good turf pedigree. It will be interesting to see what new jockey Ricardo Santana can get out of her.

Thursday’s best bet is Let Her Inspire U (6-5) in the first race. She was well-backed in her debut at Saratoga on July 16, but had trouble in the gate. She nearly recovered, but used a lot of energy early. Gate issues do not often happen habitually, so a better start should be expected. Combined with a solid workout on Aug. 13, it appears she is ready to break out.

The best value play is with Win Worthy (6-1) in the third race. The colt has bookended his four career races with second-place finishes. The most recent of those was behind Hombre, who was bet down to an identical price as the favorite in his follow-up Allowance race and ran competitively, though was out-run in the stretch. He retains Saez, with whom he has earned both of those second-place finishes.

1-Let Her Inspire U, 4-Regal Rebel, 3-Moam, 2-Twist Just Right.

4-Spirit Animal, 2-Bourbon In May, 1-Clear Vision, 10-Smile Bryan (13-Legit becomes the top pick if the race is moved to the main track).

1-Cambi Lion, 4-Orchestration, 8-Win Worthy, 7-High Deff (4-Orchestration becomes the top pick if the race is moved to the main track).

2-Quality Stones, 2-Frills, 3-Miss Laina, 5-Jessica.

8-Keepcalmcarryon, 1-Dumi Knife, 6-Dowagiac Chief, 3-Imminent Storm.

4-Lady Scarlet, 7-The Club, 5-Halo of Fire, 12-Top Gun Girl.

8-Current, 9-Montauk Summer, 1-Dante’s Fire, 4-Life On Top (14-Ashaar becomes the top pick if the race is moved to the main track).

4-Whispering Pines, 3-Easy To Bless, 6-Sharp Starr, 7-Union Maiden.

7-Rastafara, 10-Love and Money, 9-Amy C, 11-Minuan.

12-Discretionary Marq, 3-Fast Getaway, 9-Mystery Messenger, 8-Three Outlaws (13-Happy Farm becomes the top pick if the race is moved to the main track).

Winter Pool (eighth).

Record for meet: 89 for 304.

Categories: Sports

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