Top Horse Racing Picks for Saturday, August 6, 2022
We’re already walking around lucky for my Saturday horse racing picks, because we’ve got a dozen stakes races to assess. Big purses attract faster horses, and there are a couple of million-dollar purses just waiting for our winners.
The stakes runs are split between Mountaineer Racetrack with seven tough competitions stakes-level on the race card, with another five courtesy of Saratoga Racecourse.
Rather than waste time here rubbing our hands together over our good fortune, let’s just head right down to the meat and potatoes, shall we?
One quick reminder before you move on: Be sure to check out the full race cards for both tracks at one of our best sites for horse racing betting.
Saturday’s Horse Racing Picks for Mountaineer Racetrack
Mountaineer features seven stakes races on its Saturday race card, including two Grade III runs—the West Virginia Governor’s Stakes and the West Virginia Derby.
Race two — West Virginia House of Delegates Speaker’s Cup Stakes
This is a $75,000 purse, one mile and 70 yards turf run for three-year-olds and upward. While the morning-line favorite, In Love, is tempting, I’m putting my two dollars on the 8/1 sleeper, Temper Tantrum, ridden by veteran jockey Christopher A. Emigh.
This four-year-old chestnut gelding finished in the money 11 of his 15 career starts, winning six. He’s won four of his eight races in the past twelve months—among them, the Richard P. Hazelton Memorial Stakes (Black Type).At Arlington.
Armando Hernandez trains Temper Tantrum for owner Antonio Donato.
Race three — West Virginia Secretary of State Stakes
This is a $75,000 purse, six-furlong dirt track run for fillies and mares three years old and upward. My money’s on the second-favored (at 7/2) Command Strike, piloted by T. D. Houghton.
This five-year-old bay mare set a high standard for herself since winning her initial maiden attempt back in 2019 here at Mountaineer. For the record, Command Strike moneyed ten of her eleven career starts, winning eight. Among this ten-horse field, she has my vote for most likely.
Longtime horse racing veteran James R. Jackson trains Command Strike for owner-breeder Elkhorn Oaks, Inc.
Race four — West Virginia Legislature Chairman’s Cup Stakes
This is a $75,000 purse, 4-1/2 furlong dirt track run for three-year-olds and upward.I like the 3/1 underdog in this eight-horse field—the Chilean import Storm Boarder, with veteran jockey Charle Oliveros in the irons.
This six-year-old dark bay gelding finished 21 of his 30 career starts in the money, winning 12. He’s done better this year than Hollis, the 1/1 favorite.
Kevin S. Patterson trains Storm boarder for owner Robert L. Cole, Jr.
Race five — West Virginia Senate President’s Cup Stakes
This is a $75,000 purse one mile and 70 yards turf run for fillies and mares three years old and upward. I’m calling this one for the 6/5 morning-line favorite, Adventuring, with top jockey Paco Lopez aboard.
Longtime Breeders’ Cup veteran Brad H. Cox trains Adventuring for owner-breeder Godolphin, LLC.
Incidentally, the 30/1 longshot, Out Ona Limb, jockeyed this race by Angel Ortega Stanley, looks to be a good value show ticket. Trained by owner Joshua R. Hay, the five-year-old chestnut mare moneyed ten of her 30 career starts—and her 2022 record is better than the morning-line’s second choice in this race.
Race six — Senator Robert C. Byrd Memorial Stakes
This is a $75,000 purse, six-furlong dirt track run for three-year-olds and upward. I agree with the morning line on this race, so my money’s on the 6/5 favorite, Special Reserve, ridden by veteran jockey Ricardo Santana, Jr.
This six-year-old ay gelding finished in the money 17 of his 24 career starts, winning eight. Among his recent wins are the 2021 Maryland Sprint Match Series Stakes (Grade III) at Pimlico and the Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix Stakes (Grade II) at Keeneland last October.
Michael J. Maker trains Special Reserve for owners Paradise Farms Corp. and David Staudacher.
Race seven — West Virginia Governor’s Stakes (Grade III)
This is a $200,000 purse, 1-1/16 miles dirt track race for three-year-olds and upward. I’m betting my two dollars on the third-favored (at 9/2) Mr. Wireless, with Deshawn L. Parker in the irons.
This four-year-old bay gelding moneyed six of his nine career starts, winning five. That includes the West Virginia Derby (Grade III) here at Mountaineer last August and the Michael G. Schaefer Memorial Stakes (Listed) at the Horseshoe Indianapolis last month.
A 25-year veteran of the thoroughbred racing business, W. Bret Calhoun trains Mr. Wireless for owners Jon Lapczenski and JIL Stable.
Race eight — West Virginia Derby (Grade III)
This is a $500,000 purse, 1-1/8 miles dirt track run for three-year-olds. I like the 3/1 underdog in this race: Home Brew, with Paco Lopez aboard.
This bay colt finished five of his six career starts in the money, winning four. That includes his two most recent races—the Oaklawn Stakes (Listed) in April and the Pegasus Stakes (Listed) at Monmouth Park in June. He’s got this.
Brad H. Cox trains Home Brew for owners Gary and Mary West.
My Saturday Horse Racing Picks for Saratoga Racecourse
Saratoga brings us a fistful of stakes races, including three Grade I matches, including the Test Stakes, the Whitney Stakes, and the Saratoga Derby Invitational.
Race five — Fasig-Tipton Lure Stakes
This is a $135,000 purse, 1-1/16 miles turf race for four-year-olds and upward that have not won a graded stakes race in 2022. While the 2/1 morning-line favorite hasn’t had the best of years in 2022, his record still puts him in the statistical lead, so I’m betting on Public Sector, piloted by top jockey Flavien Prat.
This four-year-old bay colt moneyed ten of his 13 career starts, winning five. That includes the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes (Grade II) and the Saranac Stakes (Grade III)—both at Saratoga last year—and the Hill Prince Stakes (Grade II) at Belmont Park last October.
Chad C. Brown trains Public Sector for Klaravich Stables, Inc.
Race seven — Glens Falls Stakes (Grade II)
This is a $250,000 purse, 1-1/2 mile turf run for fillies and mares four years old and upward. I agree with the morning line here: Bet the 1/2 favorite, War Like Goddess, with veteran jockey Joel Rosario aboard.
This five-year-old bay mare finished eight of her nine career starts in the money, winning seven. Her most recent wins include the Flower Bowl Stakes (Grade I) here at Saratoga last September and the Bewitch Stakes (Grade III) at Keeneland in April of this year.
Thoroughbred Hall of Famer William I. Mott trains War Like Goddess for owner George Krikorian.
Race nine —Test Stakes (Grade I)
This is a $500,000 purse, seven-furlong dirt track run for three-year-old fillies. One of the more competitive races I’ve assessed for today’s free horse racing picks, I’m still buying a win ticket on the 2/5 morning-line favorite, Matareya, with Flavien Prat in the irons.
This bay filly moneyed seven of her eight career starts, winning five. Most notably, she won her three most recent graded stakes races: the Beaumont Stakes (Grade III) at Keenland in April, the Eight Belles Stakes (Grade II) at Churchill Downs in May, and the Acorn Stakes (Grade I) at Belmont Park in June.
Brad H. Cox trains Matareya for owner-breeder Godolphin, LLC.
Race ten — Whitney Stakes (Grade I)
This is a $1,000,000 purse, 1-1/8 miles dirt track race for four-year-olds and upward. For this race, I like the second-favored (at 2/1) Olympiad, ridden by top jockey Junior Alvarado.
This four-year-old bay colt finished in the money for nine of his ten career starts, winning seven. More importantly, he’s won all five of his starts in 2022, which included the Mineshaft Stakes (Grade III) and the New Orleans Classic Stakes (Grade II) at Fair Grounds, as well as the Alysheba Stakes (Grade II) and the Stephen Foster Stakes (Grade II)—both at Churchill Downs.
William I. Mott trains Olympiad for owners Grandview Equine, Cheyenne Stable, LLC, and LNJ Foxwoods.
Race eleven — Saratoga Derby Invitational Stakes (Grade I)
This is a $1,000,000 purse, 1-3/16 miles turf race for three-year-olds. I’m banking on the 8/1 sleeper Classic Causeway, piloted by Julien R. Leparoux.
First off, this three-year-old chestnut colt finished midpack in this year’s Kentucky Derby, against the toughest competition available. And while the other members of this eleven-horse field are no slouches, neither do they look capable of beating Classic Causeway.
With nearly forty years in the horse racing business, Kenneth G. McPeek trains Classic Causeway for owners Kentucky West Racing LLC and Clarke M. Cooper.