Monday’s Saratoga Special & Picks presented by Toga Party Racing – Sept. 4

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Brightwork (second from left) shrugs off challenge from Ways And Means to her outside en route to victory in Sunday’s Grade 1 Spinaway at Saratoga Race Course. Dom Napolitano/NYRA Photo.

Down to one. That’s all that remains of the 2023 Saratoga Race Course meeting – one more racing day and one more chance for a big day at the greatest place on earth.

Monday’s 11-race Labor Day card features a pair of stakes, including a strong renewal of the Grade 1 Hopeful for 2-year-olds. A field of 11 goes in the 7-furlong Hopeful, including 46-1 Sanford winner YoY o Candy, Tremont winner and Sanford runner-up Gold Sweep and flashy maiden winners Timberlake, Mission Beach, Valentine Candy and Pirate, not to mention Best Pal runner-up Muth.

The trainer’s race could come down to the wire, with Chad Brown holding a 35-33 lead over Linda Rice heading into the final day of the meet. They’re both represented in eight races, with potential head-to-head showdowns in the first, second, third, sixth, eighth and 11th. Imagine if it comes down to the finale, a state-bred maiden special weight on the grass. Brown entered first-time starter Fake Celebrity while Rice goes with Lt. Mitchell, searching for his first win in his eighth run.

The jockey’s race is on ice, with Irad Ortiz Jr. already locked in for his fifth title. He brings 62 wins to the final day, six shy of Ramon Dominguez’s meet record set in 2012. Ortiz rides 10 of the 11 races Monday.

The Saratoga Special handicapping race is all but over, with John Shapazian holding a 10-win lead on Charles Bedard going to the finale, 126-116. Tom Law lurks in third, just three back of Charles as he hopes to hold onto the second spot in The Power Grid presented by Toga Party Racing. Rob Whitlock sits fourth at 98 and tries to get to triple digits for the season while Jessica Paquette trails with 75 wins.

To find out more about Toga Party Racing Stable, call (518) 390-5486.

Here are the picks for Labor Day. Good luck.

JOHN SHAPAZIAN (126/400):
1-Charging Fast, Red Burgundy, Marco T.
2-Raging Sea, Coppa Girl, Mariah’s Appeal.
3-Wit, Pioneering Spirit, Emaraaty.
4-Lord Captain, H P Moon, Senor Jobim.
5-Voleuse, Okaloosa, Prince Of Truth.
6-Solo’s Fury, Aggelos The Great, Sorority Prank.
7-Overacting, Smokie Eyes, Waterville.
8-Win For Gold, Be The Boss, Always Charming.
9-Alexis Zorba, American Know How, Off The Clock.
10-Gold Sweep, Be You, Timberlake.
11-Fake Celebrity, Chulligan, Prix de West.

TOM LAW (113/400):
1-Marco T., Wine Responsibility, Split Strike.
2-Coppa Girl, Mariah’s Appeal, Just Katherine.
3-Wit, Pioneering Spirit, Public Sector.
4-Lord Captain, Senor Jobim, Jemography.
5-Voleuse, Okaloosa, Russi.
6-Solo’s Fury, Sorority Prank, Wisecracker.
7-Overacting, Waterville, Stella Mars.
8-Win For Gold, Callaloo, Newport Bridge.
9-Alexis Zorba, American Know How, Liquid Addiction.
10-Timberlake, Gold Sweep, Muth.
11-Lt. Mitchell, Fake Celebrity, Prix de West.

ROB WHITLOCK (98/400):
1-Split Strike, Woke Up Quick, Wine Responsibly.
2-Tower Bridge, Mariah’s Appeal, Just Katherine.
3-Wit, Emaraaty, Public Sector.
4-Senor Jobim, Sagamore Mischief, Swiftsure.
5-Vaunted, Valente entry, Voleuse.
6-Solo’s Fury, Sorority Prank, Smile Takes Charge.
7-Overacting, Saratoga Chrome, Waterville.
8-Be The Boss, Win For Gold, Callaloo.
9-Borletti, American Know How, Alexis Zorba.
10-Muth, Pirate, Just Steel.
11-Prix de West, Fake Celebrity, Mugsy Fury.

CHARLES BEDARD (116/400):
1-Split Strike, Wine Responsibly, Red Burgundy.
2-Just Katherine, Toned Up, Mariah’s Appeal.
3-Wit, Public Sector, Pioneering Spirit.
4-Lord Captain, Jemography, Senor Jobim.
5-Voleuse, Scherzando, Bond entry.
6-Sorority Prank, Solo’s Fury, Nippy Fitz.
7-Waterville, Sals Dream Girl, Smokie Eyes.
8-Win For Gold, Always Charming, Newport Bridge.
9-Alexis Zorba, American Know How, Be There.
10-Be You, Just Steel, Muth.
11-Fake Celebrity, Lt. Mitchell, Kid Kersen.

JESSICA PAQUETTE (75/400):
1-Woke Up Quick, Marco T., Split Strike.
2-Amanda’s Folly, Toned Up, Raging Sea.
3-Wit, Pioneering Spirit, Public Sector.
4-Senor Jobim, Sagamore Mischief, Float On.
5-Okaloosa, Prince Of Truth, Russi.
6-Wisecracker, Solo’s Fury, Sorority Prank.
7-Snowy Evening, Overacting, Smokie Eyes.
8-Be The Boss, Newport Bridge, Asymmetric.
9-Social Acceptance, American Know How, Liquid Addiction.
10-Valentine Candy, Gold Sweep, Timberlake.
11-Prix de West, The Manticore, Fake Celebrity.