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Woodward Stakes Betting Tips – Stay Thirsty Holds Off The Field At Saratoga

Posted by Marco Sussman on 8/28/2012 6:27:10 PM

Sports betting players should be getting ready for November’s Breeders Cup, when the world’s best thoroughbreds will battle it out and one of the races that players will find helpful is the Grade-1 Woodward Stakes at Saratoga, which has been won by fillies in two of the last three years. The males will take back this race with no fillies in the field this year, and the winner will be known to educated horse betting players.

What: Horse Betting
When: Saturday, September 1st, post time TBA
Where: Saratoga Race Course, Saratoga Springs, NY
Pick: Stay Thirsty

Fort Larned has had a fine four-year-old campaign with three wins in six starts, and all three have come in graded-stakes races. He recently won the Grade-3 Cornhusker Handicap at Prairie Meadows and the Grade-1 Whitney Handicap at Saratoga, and Fort Larned has won his last three starts with Brian Hernandez Jr. on his back, so look for the same duo to make their way through the field again on Saturday. With an eye on the Breeders Cup Classic in November, a solid performance is needed at Saratoga for Fort Larned.

Isn’t He Perfect recently won a pair of allowance races at Belmont Park and finished second in the Mountainview Handicap, but he hasn’t fared that well when it comes to big races. He came in ninth and 12th in the Preakness and Belmont Stakes, respectively, in 2012, and Isn’t He Perfect also finished ninth at the Grade-2 Pennsylvania Derby last September. He hasn’t been entered in a graded-stakes race since, which can’t be encouraging to players looking to back this four-year-old.

Rule is coming off a ninth-place run in the Whitney Handicap, but he did win the Grade-2 Monmouth Cup in July. The problem is that this five-year-old colt is inconsistent and will run a great race one time, and then struggle in the next start. As far as patterns go, Rule could be in for a good one at Saratoga, where he finished third in last year’s Woodward Stakes.

Mucho Macho Man has won four of his last five starts, including wins in two graded-stakes races after fading during his three-year-old campaign in 2011, which started off promisingly enough. He is coming off a win in the Grade-2 Surburban Handicap at Belmont Park in July with Mike Smith in the saddle, but Ramon Dominguez was his jockey for the previous five races, so it’ll be interesting to see whoo steers Mucho Macho Man on Saturday.

Cease hasn’t finished higher than third in four graded-stakes starts, and it took this five-year-old gelding four starts to win his maiden race, although it could be a good sign that he did it at Saratoga last August. Cease will probably be a horse betting darkhorse in this race due to the field being strong, but you never know what is going to happen until the horses are in the starting gate and getting ready to go.

To Honor and Serve has made three starts in 2012, winning the Grade-3 Westchester, then coming in third in the Grade-1 Metropolitan Handicap and fourth in the Surburban Handicap. All three races came at Belmont Park, so this will be the first start outside of Elmont for the four-year-old colt, which also finished seventh in the Breeders Cup Classic last November and he is looking for another chance at arguably the biggest race in horse betting.

Finally, Stay Thirsty has been a mixed bag over the last year, finishing 12th in the Kentucky Derby, but then he came back strong in the Belmont Stakes, finishing second. After finishing third in the Grade-1 Jockey Club Gold Cup, Stay Thirsty came in 11th in the Breeders Cup Classic, then started his four-year-old campaign with a second-place run in the Vanderlandingham and then a fifth in the Surburban Handicap. You just never know what you’re going to get with Stay Thirsty, who has been paired with Javier Castellano for his last seven races and it would be a surprise if his handlers changed jockeys now. Like the rest of the field, Stay Thirsty and his team have an eye on the Classic in November.

How It Will Play Out

Stick with the horses that you know from last year’s Triple Crown and Breeders Cup races, and Stay Thirsty should be your pick on Saturday as he is usually good for one big performance per year in a graded-stakes race, but he’ll have to hold off Mucho Macho Man and To Honor and Serve. This race could come all the way down to the homestretch, but Stay Thirsty will find the speed to eke out a win and make a few online betting players very happy.

Woodward Stakes Betting Pick: Stay Thirsty


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