The Thursday Special & Picks – Aug. 4

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Howyabud wins Wednesday’s Jonathan Kiser Memorial Steeplechase to kick off Week 4 at Saratoga Wednesday afternoon. Tod Marks Photo.

Here we go. A monster stretch awaits racing fans, horsemen and our team at The Saratoga Special.

It’s Hall of Fame and Whitney Week, with Sales Week to immediately follow. The online edition of The Special won’t appear for a while, because we’re rolling out six consecutive print editions starting Friday. That will cover everything from the induction (at 10:30 a.m. at the Fasig-Tipton sales pavilion by the way) through the second session of the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale of selected yearlings.

Whitney Weekend makes up the meat of the sandwich, with five stakes set for Saturday and three more Sunday. The $1 million Whitney attracted a star-studded field of eight led by 6-5 favorite Life Is Good and 2-1 second choice Olympiad. From the rail out: Americanrevolution, Hot Rod Charlie, Zoomer, Olympiad, Happy Saver and Life Is Good.

Saratoga felt like Saratoga for last weekend’s Jim Dandy and it will most certainly again this week. Thursday marks Day 16 and the 10-race card features a competitive edition of the $135,000 Alydar Stakes.

Here’s your Special for Aug. 4. Enjoy and good luck.

Worth Repeating
“It’s the premier older horse race at the premier meet in our country so to me it’s a huge, huge event.”
Trainer Todd Pletcher on the significance of the Whitney

“I would say that anyone who wants to go with Life Is Good early on is probably going to be compromised in the end.”
|Pletcher on Whitney favorite Life Is Good’s early speed

“It’s possible, we’re undecided on Americanrevolution. He’s doing really well. Todd and I will huddle up on Friday and make that decision. The horse fits with the rest of them. … This is his third race in the cycle. It’s conceivable that he can take a step forward. It’s tempting to run, but it’s hard if you don’t feel you’re running your best horse either. We’ll see what happens, but we’ll just see how the weather shakes out. He really ran well on the slop at Belmont last fall, so that might play into it.”
WinStar Farm’s Elliott Walden on Americanrevolution’s status prior to Saturday’s Whitney

Names of the Day Thursday
Benevolently, first race. Windylea’s 2-year-old filly is out of Charitable Link.

Illicit, second race. Robert Evans and Allen Stable’s 2-year-old filly is by Into Mischief out of Squeeze.

Played Hard, third race. Rigney Racing’s filly is by Into Mischief out of Well Lived.

Big Everest, ninth race. The British-bred 4-year-old is out of Long Face. 

Thursday’s Saratoga picks – Aug. 4

1-Sicilian Grandma, Girl Afraid, Acqua Bella.
2-Maria From Miami, Alluring Angel, Private Credit.
3-Played Hard, Boston Post Road, W W Fitzy.
4-Alpine Queen, My Sweet Wife, Voice Of Spring.
5-Mistical Curlin, One More Baby, Sensible Jim.
6-Lachaise, Fire King, Secretary Of War.
7-Spicy Marg, Short Summer Dress, Always Late.
8-Art Collector, Mystic Night, Masqueparade.
9-Burning Bright, Three Diamonds entry, Floriform.
10-Scott Alaia, Miss Domina, Corms entry.

TOM LAW (42/152):
1-Acqua Bella, Sicilian Grandma, Lady Quinn.
2-Private Credit, Personal Pursuit, Gormleyesque.
3-Played Hard, Millefeuille, Boston Post Road.
4-My Sweet Wife, Raffinity, Voice Of Spring.
5-Mistical Curlin, One More Baby, Necco.
6-New York Panther, Lachaise, Secretary Of War.
7-Bye Bye, Spicy Marg, Secret Time.
8-Art Collector, Masqueparade, Mystic Night.
9-Floriform, Atone, Buy Land And See.
10-Miss Domina, Corms entry, Freedomofthepress.

1-Girl Afraid, Acqua Bella, Sicilian Grandma.
2-Cowichan, Strut, Illicit.
3-W W Fitzy, Played Hard, Boston Post Road.
4-Alpine Queen, My Sweet Wife, Tactical Range.
5-Mistical Curlin, Sensible Jim, Necco.
6-New York Panther, Lachaise, Fire King.
7-Betsy Blue, Bye Bye, Alwayz Late.
8-Art Collector, Masqueparade, Mystic Night.
9-Maker entry, Floriform, Madaket entry.
10-Corms entry, Freedomofthepress, Mandy Green.

ROB WHITLOCK (39/152):
1-Acqua Bella, Girl Afraid, Sicilian Grandma.
2-Cowichan, Private Credit, Alluring Angel.
3-Boston Post Road, Played Hard, Millefeuille.
4-Voice Of Spring, Alpine Queen, Exfiliration.
5-Mistical Curlin, Necco, Sensible Jim.
6-New York Panther, Who Me, Fire King.
7-Secret Time, Bye Bye, Mail Order.
8-Masqueparade, Art Collector, Mystic Night.
9-Atone, Emaraaty, Good Governance.
10-Scott Alaia, Mandy Green, Freedomofthepress.

1-Lady Quinn, Acqua Bella, Girl Afraid.
2-Gustiamo, Pallotta Sisters, Private Credit.
3-Millefeuille, W W Fitzy, Played Hard.
4-Alpine Queen, Tactical Range, Vallarand.
5-Necco, River Of No Return, Mistical Curlin.
6-Secretary Of War, Fire King, Provision.
7-Spicy Marg, Bye Bye, Alwayz Late.
8-Art Collector, Bal Harbor, Masquerade.
9-Floriform, Bye Bye Melvin, Emaraaty.
10-Freedomofthepress, Mispelled Moon, R Reposado Loca.