Best bets from Saratoga on Friday

Nick Shiambouros returns with two more selections from the outstanding Saratoga meeting…

Barista to serve it up

Race 6 21:04 Saratoga – Barista Vixen

I am going to take a chance with Barista Vixen in this Maiden Special Weight on the main track.

This filly caught the eye on debut when finishing second to Summer Fortune in a similar event at Belmont Park last October. She made up a lot of ground in the closing stages and was gaining on the winner close home. I thought this was a super effort and should have a lot more to offer. She has been working very well, and put in a bullet work over the track eight days ago. Trainer Bill Mott has had a quiet meeting so far, but his horses are finally beginning to fire. At present she is trading at [6.8] on the exchange and have backed her at that price.

Sweet Melania to win again

Race 9 22:46 Saratoga – Sweet Melania

Sweet Melania should go close in this fascinating Grade 3 on the turf.

This well related filly beat Highland Glory in the Grade 3 Wonder Again at Belmont Park in June. She made most of the running and held on well to score decisively. She has some outstanding form in the book including a third-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf last November.


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Date Course/Class Pos Type Dist. Gng. HDGR WGT Jockey BSP
20/06/20 Belmont Park 1/5 Flat 1m Firm 8st 10lbs Jose L. Ortiz
01/11/19 Santa Anita 3/14 Flat 1m Firm 8st 10lbs Jose L. Ortiz 9.62
09/10/19 Keeneland 1/14 Flat 1m 110y Good 8st 6lbs Jose L. Ortiz

The Todd Pletcher stable is having a super meeting boasting a 27% strike rate, and this likeable filly should add to his tally. I recommend backing her at her Morning Line price of [2.8].

I must mention the admirable Sugar Fix who has made the column plenty of money this year. She was claimed by Saffie Joseph after winning a $40k claimer last month. She will run her race but looks overmatched in this company.