2022 Top Stakes to Bet On: Midsummer Derby, and 5 Other Races Highlights Weekend

2022 Top Stakes to Bet On: Midsummer Derby, and 5 Other Races Highlights Weekend

On Saturday, August 27, Saratoga’s most important day of the meet happens when the nation’s oldest horse racing track runs five grade 1 races, including the Travers Stakes. Also called the Midsummer Derby, the Travers could determine which 3-year-old has the inside track for the award for best 3-year-old in the nation. Check out top plays and Horse Racing Odds for the Top Stakes Races of the Week from Saturday, August 27th to Sunday, August 21st. You can also visit our Online Racebook to place your bets on active racetracks.

Horse Racing Odds, Picks, and Betting Analysis | August 22nd Edition

Saratoga | Saturday, August 27

  • Grade 2 Ballston Spa Handicap – 1 1/16 miles turf – 4 year old fillies & mares

No doubt, Chad Brown trained Technical Analysis will go off the chalk. The Kingman sired 4-year-old filly finished second behind In Italian in the Grade 1 Diana in her last. 

Brown runners Lemista and Fluffy Socks will also attract action. So will Our Flash Drive trained by Mark Casse. Bill Mott trained Poca Mucha, Messidor from the Cristophe Clement barn, and Anthony Dutrow trained High Opinion should also run.   

  • Grade 1 Forego – 7 furlongs dirt – 4 year olds & up

In the Forego, Saratoga specialist Baby Yoda will be a longshot on Saturday because both Jackie’s Warrior, the top rated sprinter in the world, and Todd Pletcher trained Mind Control should run in this. 

Pipeline, from the Chad Brown barn, rates as the top underdog. War Tocsin, Kneedeepinsnow, Three Two Zone, and Drafted also figure to enter the starting gate.  

  • Grade 1 H. Allen Jerkens Memorial – 7 furlongs dirt – 3 year olds

Chad Brown puts the saddle on likely chalk Jack Cristopher. The Munnings sired runner tried the stretch out in his last, the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational. Christopher finished third behind top route running 3-year-olds Cyberknife and Taiba. 

Connections for eight horses plan on challenging the Brown runner. Of the eight, lightly raced Actuator may have the best chance of pulling off the upset. The Mike McCarthy trained runner won the Grade 3 Indiana Derby in his last.  

  • Grade 1 Sword Dancer Invitational – 1 ½ miles turf – 4 year olds & up

Chad Brown will put the saddle on 3 in the Sword Dancer while Cristophe Clement plans on running a couple of horses, Gufo and Soldier Rising. Brown runners Tribhuvan and Adhamo will battle Clement charge Gufo for the favorite’s title. 

Of the three, Adhamo figures to go off the outright chalk. Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien invades with Broome. O’Brien has had a lot of success winning races at Saratoga. Horseplayers must take Broome seriously. 

  • Grade 1 Personal Ensign – 1 1/8 miles dirt – 4  year old fillies & mares

The best 4-year-old fillies and mares in the nation throw down in the Grade 1 Personal Ensign. Steve Asmussen trained Clairiere will go off the favorite.

Clairiere is on a 2-race winning streak, the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps and the Grade 2 Shuvee. Todd Pletcher trained Malathaat finished second to Clairiere in both. 

After an embarrassing fifth place finish in the Ogden Phipps, last year’s top mare, Letruska, hopes to get back on track. Both Search Results, trained by Chad Brown, and Kenny McPeek trained Crazy Beautiful are talented enough to win this.  

  • Grade 1 Travers Stakes – 1 ¼ miles dirt – 3 year olds

This year’s Travers projects as one of the most competitive 3-year-old races of the year. Chad Brown trained Zendon goes against Steve Asmussen’s top sophomore Epicenter. 

Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike will also run. So will Grade 1 Haskell Invitational winner Cyberknife and the Preakness stakes victor Early Voting.

The wise guy choice could be Charge It. The Todd Pletcher runner blew away the Grade 3 Dwyer field. Although not as accomplished as many of his rivals, Charge It may be coming up to a best lifetime race. 


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