Travers Week kicks off with a 10-race card Wednesday that features the $100,000 John’s Call going long on the grass and the $75,000 Michael G. Walsh novice hurdle going even longer.
The day starts at 12:50 with the 2 3/8-mile Walsh that attracted a field of seven that includes Chief Justice, Arch My Boy, Sportswear and Cite. Chief Justice hasn’t been out since a close fourth in the Marcellus Frost Champion Hurdle at the Iroquois Steeplechase in Nashville May 11. Sportswear also exits the Iroquois, winning an allowance at Percy Warner for Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard.
The $100,000 John’s Call, named for the legendary gelding that won Saratoga’s Grade 1 Sword Dancer Invitational as a 9-year-old in 2000 for the late Hall of Fame trainer Tom Voss, goes as the fourth race with a post time of 2:26.
Seven runners showed up on the overnight for the 1 5/8-mile marathon, including main track only runner Turco Bravo and Nakamura, who won an optional claimer on the grass Saturday and figures to scratch.
Red Knight, 12th in the Grade 2 Bowling Green and winner of the 2-mile H. Allen Jerkens Stakes at Gulfstream Park in late December, is listed as the 8-5 favorite for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott.
The handicappers are back for their penultimate spot here before returning to the Power Grid presented by Winners Circle Beer Thursday when the print edition of The Saratoga Special hits the streets.
No change at the top of The Special standings with annual leader John Shapazian holding down his place in the lead. Shapazian picked 19 winners last week to improve to 90-for-284 on the season, a strike rate of 31.7 percent.
Tom Law picked 16 winners last week and sits second heading into Week 7 with an overall record of 77-for-284 (27.1 percent). Charles Bedard ranks third with a record of 65-for-284 (22.9) and Rob Whitlock trails with a mark of 59-for-284 (20.8 percent).
Here are the selections for Wednesday, Aug. 21. Enjoy and good luck.
JOHN SHAPAZIAN (90/284):
1-Chief Justice, Veneer Of Charm, Cite.
2-Smooth With A Kick, South Of The Shore, Team Win.
3-Florida Flash, Brady’s Palace, Shackleford’s Joy.
4-Turco Bravo, Red Knight, Pillar Mountain.
5-Jewel Of Arabia, Quantitativbreezin, Sophie Rules.
6-Smite, Saint Marco, Flute Maker.
7-Air On Fire, Foolish Ghost, Keeping The Peace.
8-Golconda, China Rider, Annie Rocks.
9-Six Percent, Samay, Amundson.
10-Saloon Girl, Matzo Bella, Avocado Toast.
CHARLES BEDARD (65/284):
1-Veneer Of Charm, Cite, Sportswear.
2-Smooth With A Kick, Mo Moxie, South Of The Shore.
3-Rejected Again, Indian’s Cross, Shackleford’s Joy.
4-Turco Bravo, Red Knight, Redicean.
5-Jewel Of Arabia, Quantitativbreezin, Never Heard Of Her.
6-Breed’s Hill, Smite, Saint Marco.
7-Air On Fire, Keeping The Peace, So Conflated.
8-Golconda, Merlins Muse, Noblame.
9-Samay, Amundson, Leaky Cup.
10-Saloon Girl, My Sister’s Keeper, Matzo Bella.
TOM LAW (77/284):
1-Chief Justice, Cite, Sportswear.
2-South Of The Shore, Smooth With A Kick, Bellera.
3-Rejected Again, Florida Flash, Shackleford’s Joy.
4-Turco Bravo, Red Knight, Highland Sky.
5-Jewel Of Arabia, Sophie Rules, Quantitativbreezin.
6-Breed’s Hill, Smite, Legend Of Bam.
7-Air On Fire, So Conflated, Autostrade.
8-Ardara Belle, Golconda, Merlins Muse.
9-Runningwscissors, Thorny Tale, Amundson.
10-Saloon Girl, Matzo Ball, Avocado Toast.
ROB WHITLOCK (59/284):
1-Veneer Of Charm, Chief Justice, Cite.
2-Mo Moxie, Smooth With A Kick, Team Win.
3-Brady’s Palace, Indian Cross, Shackleford’s Joy.
4-Redicean, Red Knight, Pillar Mountain.
5-Jewel Of Arabia, Sophie Rules, Quantitativebreezin.
6-Smite, Flute Maker, Legend Of Bam.
7-So Conflated, Air On Fire, Keeping The Peace.
8-Clearwater, Golconda, Noblame.
9-Amoss entry, Six Percent, Our Last Buck.
10-Bid You Adieu, Matzo Bella, My Sisters Keeper.