Monday’s Saratoga picks

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The 2018 Saratoga Race Course meeting is off to a quick start and the Opening Weekend of the 40-day stand comes to a close Monday afternoon with a nine-race card topped by a competitive edition of the $200,000 Caress for older filly and mare turf sprinters.

A field of 13 is entered for the 5 1/2-furlong stakes – including two also eligible and one main track only runner – and handicappers will need to keep a close eye on the weather with rain on and off Monday morning and more expected during the course of the afternoon. Triple Chelsea is the slight 3-1 favorite for the Caress, just ahead of Lull and Morticia.

John Shapazian started the Saratoga meet as the favorite in The Saratoga Special’s handicapping race and he’s off to another typical fast start with 11 winners from the 31 races run through Sunday. Tom Law is second with eight winners, while newcomer Donald Phillips is third with five. Charles Bedard is fourth with four. The Saratoga Special’s guest handicappers have also collectively picked five winners.

Here’s the team’s picks for Monday, July 23.

JOHN SHAPAZIAN (11/31):
1-Shanghai Schwartz, Fox Red, Mantle.
2-Shanghai Dreams, Gabriella, Grand Banks.
3-Overbook, Seam, Stormy Change.
4-Bourbon Mission, The Postmaster, Dugout.
5-Ekhtibaar, Tapsolute, Belgian.
6-Danebury, Blugrascat’s Smile, Stretch’s Stone.
7-Kirby’s Penny, Triple Chelsea, Lull.
8-Make The Rules, Sanavi, Harangue.
9-Missbigtimes, Mama Mary, Icy Maneuvers.

CHARLES BEDARD (4/31):
1-Mantle, Metaphorical, Shanghai Schwartz.
2-Gabriella, Ailish, Hit A Provisional.
3-Seam, Our Whim, Overbook.
4-Bourbon Mission, The Postmaster, Bozzini.
5-Tapsolute, Ekhtibaar, Cherry Wine.
6-Danebury, Bluegrascat’s Smile, Stretch’s Stone.
7-Kirby’s Penny, Triple Chelsea, Lull.
8-Tiz No Bluff, Harangue, Sanavi.
9-Dreamers And Me, Miss Bigtimes, Mama Mary.

TOM LAW (8/31):
1-Shanghai Schwartz, Mantle, Fox Red.
2-Gabriella, Hit A Provisional, Smiles From Sadie.
3-Seam, Overbrook, Mazmania.
4-Bourbon Mission, The Postmaster, Dugout.
5-Ekhtibaar, Cherry Wine, Tapsolute.
6-Evaluator, Blugrascat’s Smile, Stretch’s Stone
7-Girls Know Best, Lull, Morticia.
8-Sanavi, Make The Rules, Macha’s Reward.
9-Mama Mary, Missbigtimes, Icy Maneuvers.

DONALD PHILLIPS (5/31):
1-Shanghai Schwartz, Metaphorical, Mantle.
2-Ailish, Shanghai Dreams, Gabriella.
3-Our Whim, Stormy Change, Overbook.
4-The Postmaster, Floyd Unger, Plebe.
5-Zorzor, Soluble, Belgian.
6-Blugrascat’s Smile, Stretch’s Stone, Danbury.
7- Kirby’s Penny, Morticia, Triple Chelsea.
8-Sanavi, Tiz No Bluff, Trustworthy.
9-Carrera Cat, Dreamers And Me, Missbigtimes.