Handicapper Tim Holland has a few plays for Saratoga on Saturday, as well as picks for Woodbine, Laurel Park, Monmouth Park, and Remington Park.
A competitive field for the Saranac (G3) includes #6 Big Dreaming (12-1), who tries stakes company for the first time off a win from just off the pace at this distance at Arlington four weeks ago. 3-year-old gets tested for class, but son of 14% grass sire Declaration of War is out of Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Filly (G1) winner and is a half-brother to five winners including promising young sire Fast Anna. Trainer Catalano has won with two of his first six runners at this meet, and colt can be in good position from the start with Lezcano riding.
Chad Brown wins with 27% of his runners that have not raced for 46-90 days and saddles #6 Complexity (4-1), who was last seen when rallying from just off the pace to win an allowance over one mile at Belmont early last month. Son of Maclean’s Music has been working well for trainer Brown, who wins with 29% of his runners that won last time out. 4-year-old won the Champagne (G1) as a juvenile and can be forwardly placed early with Jose Ortiz remaining aboard.
#7 Pedro Cara (10-1) makes his first start for trainer Motion off a third-place finish in the H. H. Amir Trophy (G1) in Qatar in February and finished a close second in the lucrative Jockey Club Belmont Invitational at this distance in his previous U.S. start. Gelding has won 3-of-9 career starts on grass and has been working forwardly for Motion, who wins with 20% of his runners that have not raced for 90+ days. 4-year-old has some tactical speed and can be stalking the early pace with Velazquez in the irons.
Trainer Cox wins with 14% of her runners on turf and saddles #2 Count Again (4-1), who was blocked in after rallying from off the pace and finished third at 1 1/16 miles last out in June. Son of Awesome Again makes his second start for Cox, who has won with 16% of her runners at this meet, and gelding has won 2-of-3 on turf. Bay should be suited to this longer distance and Contreras remains aboard.
Milers on turf include #5 Skole (15-1), who has not been seen since fading to finish unplaced over 5 1/2 furlongs here last September. Son of Oasis Dream has been working well for trainer Delacour, who wins with 25% of his runners that have not raced for 90+ days and with 20% of his starters on grass. Gelding gets Lasix for the second time and may be the one to catch with Carrasco riding.
Mike Stidham wins with 16% of his first-time starters and saddles #3 Ananroad (8-1), a debuting son of 13% first out sire Quality Road. Out of a half-sister to Daddy Nose Best, who won the Sunland Derby (G3), the gelding cost $400K as a yearling and works include a sharp 5-furlong move in 1:00 here this month for Stidham, who has won with 27% of his starters at this meet. Bay appears ready for a good first outing with Gallardo in the saddle.
A couple of second time starters catch the eye in this 6-furlong maiden. #9 Now Tiz Time (6-1) gets blinkers added off a fading unplaced effort at this distance at Oaklawn in April for trainer Asmussen, who wins with 21% if his second time starters. $240K purchase earlier this year is a half-brother to Brushed By a Star, who won the Molly Pitcher (G2), and Elliot retains the mount. Trainer Pish wins with 18% of his runners making their second outing and saddles #7 Liam (15-1), who faded to finish unplaced in his debut at Fair Grounds in November. Son of promising young sire Liam’s Map cost $450K as a yearling and is a half-brother to Discovery (G3) winner Plainsman.