Scattered Clouds 35° Good Evening
Scattered Clouds 35° Good Evening

Steve Matthews’ Saratoga selections for Thursday, Aug. 4


Best Bet: COMMEND (9)


FIRST: Bob Le Beau circled field to win last; more to come. Maserati has won five of last six; very dangerous. Schoodic won Grade III stakes last out; right in the thick of this.

SECOND: Baduke overcame traffic at quarter pole to win second in a row last time; gets three-peat. Formal Summation is speedy and could prove very tough on an uncontested lead. Zen Papa logged four tight works for first start in seven weeks; must consider.

THIRD: Murrell’s Belle exits speed-and-fade fourth in debut; tighter now. Hoponthebusgus makes first start for Rudy Rodriguez; follow the money. Tizway That Way was well bet in both starts; improvement expected.

FOURTH: Splashtackular needed last and fired 5-furlong bullet last week; breakthrough predicted. Midnight Visitor is training sharply for first start in nine months; dangerous. Indulgent failed to get job done when 60 cents on the dollar in debut; forward move expected for potent second-out stable.

FIFTH: Crystal Pier moves to grass for Linda Rice; career-best expected. Tizanillusion fired half-mile bullet since fast-figured second last out; very dangerous. Sober On Sunday was a clear-cut winner in debut at Gulfstream in February and is training sharply for return; must consider.

SIXTH: Tiznow’s Smile debuts for streaking Charlie Baker barn; call in wide-open juvenile dash. Passporttovictory raced wide when a clear-cut third in debut; dangerous. Tainted Angel bested “Passport” by a length when second at 39-1 in first outing; must be factored into the mix.

SEVENTH: Barrier to Entry pressed fast fractions when second to a repeat winner in last; more to come. Downside Scenario is fresh and packs potent late kick on “A” game. It’s Two Hot Benny is speedy and should be tighter in second start since two-month absence.

EIGHTH: Promotional was pace and trip compromised when third in last and hails from white-hot Tom Proctor barn. Daddy’s Boo logged front-end victories in last two starts and could play out as the dominant speed once again. Sky Painter was a hard-charging winner in last at Monmouth and owns a victory and a second in two starts on Spa sod; dangerous. Joyful Hope makes stateside debut for Christophe Clement; right in the thick of this.

NINTH: Commend tallied solid late-pace figure when a hard-charging winner in last; pairs up. Holding Gold has trained strongly since fast-figured second in last at Woodbine; dangerous. Don’t Be So Salty should possess enhanced staying power with cutback to sprint; worth long look.

TENTH: Global Positioning exits dominant victory at Finger Lakes last out and owns faster back figures; more to give. Readthebyline owns speed, fast figures and drops; big-time player. Bug Juice has logged two wins at this level in last three starts; right in the thick of this. Bustin the Bank is competitive on best efforts.

New York Sports