Hello Labor Day Weekend. Also known as Closing Weekend here at Saratoga Race Course.

Before we say farewell there’s still one more issue of The Saratoga Special set for Saturday, along with handicapping selections posted in this space Friday, Sunday and Monday. You’ll definitely want to follow along, hopefully for some winners and to watch the ninth-inning battle between perennial leader John Shapazian and Tom Law, who got into the day tied with 122 wins. John led by a race Thursday but Tom came up with three wins to knot it up with four days to go in the meet. 

A 10-race card topped by the $120,000 Lucky Coin awaits those two and The Specials other three handicappers. The 5 ½-furlong turf sprint restricted to non-winners of a sweepstakes in 2021 attracted a field of eight led by Royal Ascot runner Maven from trainer Wesley Ward’s string at Keeneland, last year’s runner-up Pulsate and Maxwell Esquire.

Check out the handicappers’ picks below and check back Saturday in The Saratoga Special for local picks and a bonus Power Grid for Kentucky Downs’ Sunday card. Be safe out there and good luck.

JOHN SHAPAZIAN (122/370, 33 percent):
1-Coastal Chaos, Mo Rewards, Wild Appeal.
2-Speedometer, Bubble Rock, Nay Say.
3-Risk Profile, Repo Rocks, Cousin Andrew.
4-Austrian, Panster, Grape Nuts Warrior.
5-Papa Smooth, Dee Bo, Triple Americano.
6-Doc Doc Rock, Howdyoumakeurmoney, Abreu entry.
7-Fort Peck, Principled Stand, Emaraaty.
8-Gold Panda, Big Bobby, Prince Of Pharoahs.
9-Maven, Backtohisroots, Maxwell Esquire.
10-Lady Valentine, Guaff, Big City Momma.

TOM LAW (122/370, 33 percent):
1-Coastal Chaos, Bet, Lanzoni.
2-Bubble Rock, Vaccine Of Hope, Old Pho.
3-Risk Profile, Repo Rocks, Cousin Andrew.
4-Austrian, Grape Nuts, Panster.
5-Noctilucent, Papa Smooth, Dee Bo.
6-Doc Doc Rock, Fontanafredda, Howdyoumakeurmoney.
7-Fort Peck, Voodoo Zip, Principled Stand.
8-Big Bobby, Gold Panda, Prince Of Pharoahs.
9-Maven, Pulsate, Maxwell Esquire.  
10-Big City Momma, Lady Valentine, Pruning.

CHARLES BEDARD (116/370, 31.4 percent):
1-Bet, Mo Rewards, Coastal Chaos.
2-Speedometer, Nay Say, Bubble Rock.
3-Repo Rocks, Good Culture, Risk Profile.
4-Austrian, Panster, Mr Kringle.
5-Papa Smooth, Dee Bo, Triple Americano.
6-Doc Doc Rock, Try It Again, Howdyoumakeurmoney.
7-Fort Peck, Hieroglyphics, Emaraaty.
8-Gold Panda, Purple Hearted, Prince Of Pharoahs.
9-Maxwell Esquire, Holiday Stone, Pulsate.
10-Lady Valentine, Federalist Papers, Pruning.

ROB WHITLOCK (105/370, 28.4 percent):
1-Bet, Coastal Chaos, Wild Appeal.
2-Old Pho, Bubble Rock, Vaccine Of Hope.
3-Rift Valley, Risk Profile, Cousin Andrew.
4-Austrian, Grape Nuts Warrior, Gator Bite.
5-Papa Smooth, Triple Americano, Litterbox.
6-Howdyoumakeurmoney, Fontanafredda, Classic Miss.
7-Emaraaty, Voodoo Zip, Principled Stand.
8-Great Workout, Big Bobby, Workout.
9-Holiday Stone, Maxwell Esquire, Maven.
10-Lady Valentine, Federalist Papers, Sitting Pretty.

JESSICA PAQUETTE (80/370, 21.6 percent):
1-Bet, Coastal Chaos, Lanzoni.
2-Nay Say, Bubble Rock, Determined Charm.
3-Risk Profile, No Que No, Repo Rocks.
4-Ruse, Austrian, Gator Bite.
5-Triple Americano, Noctilucent, Papa Smooth.
6-Doc Doc Rock, Howdyoumakeurmoney, Try It Again.
7-Principled Stand, Winning Factor, Voodoo Zip.
8-Big Bobby, Great Workout, Tiz Kaz Now.
9-Maven, Maxwell Esquire, The Connector.
10-Lady Valentine, Gauff,Pruning.