Sunday's race of the day is the $500,000 SARATOGA OAKS INVITATIONAL STAKES in the ninth at the Spa. Seven fillies will run 1 3/16 miles on Saratoga's turf course for the money and Oaks trophy. So far, there has only been one other race at the distance and surface, which was won by an off the pace runner. The race starts at on the front stretch with the horses passing the finish line twice in a two-turn affair.
ENOLA GAY (PP: 2 ML 2-1) is the oddsmaker's choice to find the winners' circle after winning her last race by a nose. She's shipping in from Keeneland following the Grade II, Appalachian Stakes win for trainer Claude McGaughey III. This will be the first time in her three-race career that the daughter of UNCLE MO will make consecutive starts without a break. Since she's never made it to race two in a two-race cycle, we don't know if she's likely to step forward or backward. McGaughey wins second starts at a decent enough 17% and at 16% following a win.
We believe she could move forward because her workouts are solid since her last race. However, she's fadeable for the win due to this being her first crack at a second start without some time off.
We like SPEAKTOMEOFSUMMER (PP: 1 ML 3-1) as our top choice. The Christophe Clement trainee is making her third start off the sidelines and has completed the three-race routine once in her five-race career. Her lone round three was by far her best effort of the three in an impressive win. And winning is something she likes to do, taking the checkered flag in three of her last four.
We think the Saratoga Odds champ is likely to come from either ENOLA GAY or SPEAKTOMEOFSUMMER.
We'll back the duo up with STUNNING SKY (PP: 4 ML 7/2) and QUEENS EMBRACE (PP: 7 ML 10-1).
High winning percent jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr rides STUNNING SKY for the fourth time. Ortiz is a head-bob away from being three and OHHHH on the $100,000 filly with two wins and a close second. Ridden by anybody else and STUNNING SKY has a third in five starts. SKY put in the best, last race speed number with Ortiz on the mount and should be at least as good in her third start following a short rest.
QUEENS EMBRACE has found her groove in 2020. That seems like a rare feat for this oddball year, but she has five wins and two seconds in seven starts since the calendar flipped to the new decade. God, I hope the rest of the 20s aren't like this year. She was oh for two in 2019 and neither was close as she finished a combined 33 1/2 lengths behind the winners. She'll be charging hard late, making up chunks of ground in the stretch in all of her 2020 outings.
If any of our top four scratch out, then use RICETTA (PP: 6 ML 9/2) and ANTOINETTE (PP: 3 ML 6-1) as alternatives, in that order.
For our Pro Subscribers, we suggested the following wagers.