Saratoga Picks: No Distinction Gets Call in Spa Feature

The $100,000 Quick Call is Thursday's feature at Saratoga © Cheryl Quigley |

Thursday’s 10-race card at Saratoga offers up a trio of stakes including the $100,000 Quick Call for three-year-olds going 5 ½ furlongs on the turf course with a field of eight lining up in the feature.

The Phil Serpe trained Weekend Hideaway is the 5-2 morning line favorite off his score in the Gone Fishin at Belmont Park on June 20 which was his turf debut. The colt took the field gate to wire for his fourth win in nine career starts.

I am looking for No Distinction to take to the turf. The Randy Morse trainee has won three in a row on dirt and will be making his debut on grass. Morse was looking at the $200,000 Amsterdam (G2) on Sunday but seems to be leaning toward trying grass in this easier spot.

The colt has speed and is out of a Dynaformer mare that has dropped three turf winners.

The stakes action starts with the opener with the first steeplechase race of the meeting. A field of 12 including two entries goes in the $75,000 Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes at 2 1/16 miles over the jumps.

We have plenty of maiden races to wager on today and trainer Todd Pletcher sends out a pair of first timers that are both 3-5 on the morning line. He sends out Corfu in the second race and Our Amazing Rose in the fifth. I am going to attempt to beat both for the top spot which will be no easy task.

The fourth race on the card is the $100,000 Lottsa Talc at seven furlongs for fillies and mares that drew a field of six. The James Iselin trained Willet is the 2-1 morning line as she drops out of graded stakes company.

Wednesday’s Pick 6 paid $60,903 to 16 lucky ticket holders.  The winners were Mama Zee ($11.60), Seal Cove ($23.20), Corinthianna ($11.20), Moment in Dixie ($6.30), Kitten’s Dumplings ($5.00) and Where’s Dandy ($11.00).

I skipped playing the sequence and  I am not sure I would have solved it despite having all six winners on my report. The winners were listed in preference as my 3rd, 4th, 1st, 2nd, 1st and 2nd choices.  It was clear sailing after the second leg, but I have a hunch I might have just had five of the six, which still ended up paying $388.50.

At least I am going to tell myself I would not have had it, that was a nice payoff I might have missed out on.

We had Kitten’s Dumplings as my top pick in yesterday’s feature along with an ice old exacta and trifecta, but things turned out on the chalky side.

Let’s head out to Saratoga for Thursday’s featured race of the day:

Saratoga Race 8 The Quick Call (Post time 4:49 ET)

3 No Distinction   7-2

5 Weekend Hideaway   3-1

2 Stage Street   4-1         

1 Salutos Amigos / 1a I’m Wide Awake   6-1

Analysis: No Distinction makes his turf and stakes debut here for the Morse barn who ships this guy in from Churchill Downs. The colt earned a triple digit Beyer in his maiden score three back at Oaklawn Park in his second career start and then passed his first two allowance conditions in his next two starts in Kentucky. He drilled a bullet over the main track here and he should take to turf. He is out of a Dynaformer mare that has dropped a trio of turf winners. We need to overcome the barn’s 0 for 19 mark moving runners from dirt to turf to cash here.

Weekend Hideaway took to turf in his first trip, taking the field gate to wire to win the Gone Fishin last out at Belmont Park. He has now landed in the exacta in six of his nine career starts and looks capable of winning right back here but our top pick may end up a slightly better value for the top spot. The colt catches a field here where there is some speed so he could get hooked early. The 3-1 morning line looks fair but I have hunch he is going to get bet down off that price.

Stage Street dueled for the early lead and held on to beat Alw-1 foes last out at Churchill Downs in his first trip over grass. He beat a pretty good group that day, the runner up Titletown Five is stakes placed and seventh place finisher Kitchenman came back to beat optional claimers in his next outing at Ellis Park on July 6.  The Steve Asmussen trainee makes his third start off the bench and still appears to have some upside.


WIN: #3 to win at 5-2 or better.

EX: 3,5 / 1,2,3,5

TRI: 3,5 / 1,2,3,5 / 1,2,3,5,8


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