Only in Saratoga. How many times a day, a week, a meet do you here that phrase? It certainly applies to Travers Day when two of The Saratoga Special’s handicappers came up with seven and five winners on the card yet somehow lost ground to the man at the top.
That’s the predicament Charles Bedard, Tom Law and Rob Whitlock face every racing day against John Shapazian.
Shapazian basically said “hold my beer” after Bedard came up with seven and Law and Whitlock each picked five winners Saturday. Shapazian did them better, tabbing eight of the day’s 12 winners to pad his lead at the top of the standings in The Special and most likely in the area. Certainly we could come up with that statistic but it’s the morning after the Travers and we’re not quite there yet. Besides, we’re not quite halfway through the meet and plan to give that kind of update then. Just don’t hold us to it.
So, where do things stand heading into Sunday, the final day of Week 4 with a 10-race card on tap led by the $85,000 Alydar Stakes and a couple good 2-year-old races?
Shapazian continues his torrid pace and brings a record of 69-for-184 – or a strike rate of 37.5 percent – into Sunday and through 18 days of racing. That’s an average of almost four winners a day and he’s exceeding the strike rate of favorites for the meet (67-for-184, or 36.4 percent).
Full disclosure and our apologies to the readers of The Special and followers of the picks here, we had the number of races incorrect for a few days so the percentages looked better in “print” and online.
In the race for second Law put some breathing room between himself and Bedard Friday but things got tight again Saturday. Bedard picked seven winners, including Travers winner Tiz The Law and Test winner Gamine, to improve his mark to 60-for-184 (32.6 percent). Law sits second heading into Sunday at 61-for-184 (33.2 percent).
Rob Whitlock also came up with five winners Saturday to improve to 45-for-184 (24.5 percent).
And not to belabor the point but Shapazian could be on pace to have 153 winners for the meet, far more than the personal best (and likely meet record) 132 he picked last year.
So what do they all think about Sunday’s races? Check out the picks below, take care, be safe and good luck.
JOHN SHAPAZIAN (69/184, 37.5 percent):
1-Stoney Bennett, We Should Talk, Deep Sea.
2-Seasons, Misspell, Fluffy Socks.
3-Sai Moi, Critical Value, Makingcents.
4-Fouette, Steal My Sunshine, Saratoga Commando.
5-Bastet, Windfall Profit, L’Indiscret.
6-Timely Tradition, Primacy, Secondary Market.
7-Aunt Nadine, Mo Me Mo My, Summer Fortune.
8-Mr Jaggers, City Man, Shamrocket.
9-Endorsed, Bodexpress, Spinoff.
10-Pier Forty, Imperio D, Brunate.
TOM LAW (61/184, 33.2 percent):
1-Stoney Bennett, We Should Talk, Hardcore Folklore.
2-Seasons, Frankel At Ascot, Misspell.
3-Say Moi, Critical Value, Smooth With A Kick.
4-Fouette, Saratoga Commando, Steal My Sunshine.
5-Windfall Profit, L’Indescret, Bastet.
6-Palio Flag, Escape Fund, Timely Tradition.
7-Aunt Nadine, No Me Mo My, Stretchthestory.
8-City Man, Mr Jaggers, Shamrocket.
9-Endorsed, Tenfold, Bodexpress.
10-Brunate, Always Funny, Imperio D.
CHARLES BEDARD (60/184, 32.6 percent):
1-Stoney Bennett, Deep Sea, We Should Talk.
2-Frankel At Ascot, Seasons, Ice Queen.
3-Say Moi, Critical Value, Wild Love.
4-Steal My Sunshine, Saratoga Commando, Union Gables.
5-Windfall Profit, Lady Rosalie, Johnnie Merle.
6-Timely Tradition, Palio Flag, Primacy.
7-Mo Me Mo My, Stretchthestory, Shannon’s Girl.
8-Shamrocket, City Man, Our Country.
9-Endorsed, It’s All Relevant, Tenfold.
10-Brunate, Imperio D, Bank Gala.
ROB WHITLOCK (45/184, 24.5 percent):
1-Stoney Bennett, Hardcore Folklore, We Should Talk.
2-Seasons, Modest, Frankel At Ascot.
3-Say Moi, Critical Value, Wild Love.
4-Steal My Sunshine, Fouette, Union Gables.
5-Windfall Profit, L’Indiscret, Bastet.
6-Timely Tradition, Secondary Market, Glass Ceiling.
7-Aunt Nadine, Summer Fortune, Stretch The Story.
8-City Man, Mr Jaggers, Buy Me Candy.
9-Endorsed, Tenfold, Its All Relevant.
10-Brunate, Imperio D, Always Funny.