$500,000 Test (G1) at Saratoga
Race 8 (Saturday, August 3: 2019: 5:06 p.m./ET; 2:06 p.m./PT)
Seven furlongs on the main track (three-year-old fillies)
A stellar Late Pick 4 sequence on Saturday at Saratoga begins with the Test (G1), featuring the best one-turn three-year-old fillies in North America, featuring a star-studded cast including Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner SERENGETI EMPRESS, multiple Grade I winner BELLAFINA, Pimlico track record holder COVFEFE and the undefeated ROYAL CHARLOTTE. Let’s try to pick a winner:
#1 SERENGETI EMPRESS was no match for next out winner GURANA in the Acorn (G1) going a one turn mile on June 8, but held off #7 JELTRIN for second and proved her 13/1 upset in the mile-and-an-eighth Kentucky Oaks (G1) was no fluke. From the rail, expect her to go to the lead, and she’ll probably have company from #3 COVFEFE. Classy filly merits respect.
#2 BELLAFINA hasn’t been seen since an eight length loss in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) behind SERENGETI EMPRESS. However, it’s worth mentioning her only two poor efforts have come at Churchill Downs, so she may just not like the surface there. Has posted some sharp workouts leading up to this race for trainer Simon Callaghan, who wins at a 17% clip with runners freshening up between 61-180 days, and she is a perfect two-for-two at this seven furlong distance. Looking for an improved effort.
#3 COVFEFE has certainly shown flashes of brilliance. To kick off her career, she scored an eye catching, nine length romp against maidens, and her effort two back, where she broke the Pimlico track record for six-furlongs going 1:07 and 3 while earning a 107 Beyer, was a ‘freakish’ performance. But her most recent start, a loss behind MIA MISCHIEF at 3/5, was disappointing. That said, she may have ‘bounced’. Javier Castellano has been aboard in past starts and interestingly opts to ride #5 ROYAL CHARLOTTE, so Joel Rosario rides for the first time.
#4 TRENCHTOWN CAT comes off a second place finish in the Princess Rooney (G2) going this seven-furlong distance at Gulfstream Park. A repeat effort of her last start would mean she has a chance to hit the board, but she’ll need to run a career best effort to win. Top jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. picks up the mount, which adds to appeal.
#5 ROYAL CHARLOTTE is an undefeated Chad Brown trainee that comes off a decisive four length win in the Victory Ride Stakes (G3). She is projected to get a good, stalking trip, but she has never faced this caliber of competition. Talented gal will get the acid test here.
#6 PLEASE FLATTER ME had to settle for second when losing by eight lengths to #3 COVFEFE in the Miss Preakness (G3) two starts ago, but she came back to win the Alma North Stakes going this seven-furlong distance at Laurel in her most recent afternoon appearance, a distance which she is two-for-two at.
#7 JELTRIN finished third in her last two starts, the Acorn (G1) and the Mother Goose (G2). Neither day was she a threat to win, finishing eight and six lengths behind the winners, but those winners are ultra- talented superstar Chad Brown trainees GURRANA and DUNBAR ROAD. An exotics placing is probably the ceiling for this one.
1. #5 ROYAL CHARLOTTE - Should get the ‘garden trip’ off a fast pace.
2. #2 BELLAFINA - Prefers one turn.
3. #1 SERENGETTI EMPRESS - Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner.
LONGSHOT VALUE PLAY- #4 TRENCHTOWN CAT – Good second against older last time.
I’ll bet my whole budgeted bankroll to win on my top pick.
BANKROLL PLAY ($50 Budget)
$50 Win: #5 Royal Charlotte
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