Weekend Horse Racing: Test Stakes & Saratoga Derby Previews, Vegas Odds & Picks

  • Summer spectacle of racing at Saratoga continues this weekend, with the headline action including the Saratoga Derby
  • Four graded races are on the card at Saratoga, including the Test Stakes

The excitement of the summer meet at Saratoga continues this weekend, as there are four graded races to look forward to. We already looked ahead to the Whitney Stakes in our Breeders’ Cup Challenge preview, but we will run through the form of the other three graded races at the track here.

Test Stakes Schedule, Vegas Odds & Pick

  • When: Saturday, August 6 2022 at 5:07 p.m ET
  • Where: Saratoga, New York
  • Grade: Grade 1
  • Distance: 7 furlongs
  • Purse: $500,000
  • How To Watch: NBC Sports
HorseVegas Odds
Hot Peppers+500
Elm Drive+800
November Rein+1000
Wish You Well+1200
Chi Town Lady+1500
Sterling Silver+1500

While the Test Stakes isn’t a part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge, it does still help us assess some of the possible contenders in the Filly & Mare Sprint later in the year. The betting indicates that it should be plain sailing for Matareya this weekend, as the Brad Cox-trained runner is a -350 chance.

She has been perfect so far this year, winning the G1 Acorn and G2 Eight Belles at Belmont Park and Churchill Downs, respectively. She also landed the G3 Beaumont Stakes in April at Keeneland, indicating that she will have a strong chance at the same track later this year. The rail is a slight concern this weekend, but she boasts speed figures that very few others in this race can hit.

Elm Drive is yet to really make the grade in this company so far this year, finishing third in the G2 Great Lady M last time. Those looking for an interesting place selection may be intrigued by November Rein. She was a winner at Saratoga last year in the Seeking The Ante Stakes, and produced a really strong run at Belmont last time out, reaching a speed figure of 102. She’s likely not good enough to win, but a second-place finish could be within her reach.

Test Stakes Free Pick

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Saratoga Derby Schedule, Vegas Odds & Pick

  • When: Saturday, August 6 2022 at 6:20 p.m ET
  • Where: Saratoga, New York
  • Grade: Grade 1
  • Distance: 1 3/16 miles
  • Purse: $1,000,000
  • How To Watch: NBC Sports
HorseVegas Odds
Nations Pride+350
Stone Age+450
Classic Causeway+800
Royal Patronage+1000
Sy Dog+1200
Ethereal Road+1500
Grand Sonata+1500
Main Event+2000
Stolen Base+3000

The Saratoga Derby looks like a fascinating race this weekend, and could give us an early insight into potential runners in the Breeders’ Cup Turf later in the year. Classic Causeway romped home in the Belmont Derby last time out, which was an excellent return to form for the Kenneth McPeek-trained horse on his first start on the turf.

However, this is a much more difficult assignment this weekend with two leading European trainers well represented. They look to set the form here. Stone Age, for Aidan O’Brien, didn’t get to run his own race in the G1 Belmont Derby, but a third-place finish was still a decent showing. He finished sixth in the G1 Derby at Epsom in June, and was a winner of the G3 Derby Trial at Leopardstown in May.

However, the preference is for the dream team of William Buick and Charlie Appleby with Nations Pride. Like Stone Age, he needed to battle after not getting the best trip in the G1 Belmont Derby, but he eventually finished second with a speed figure of 108.

Appleby is getting winners all over the place at the minute, and that form carries well to make Nations Pride the solid pick. Royal Patronage is another runner that I’m very keen on, while Ethereal Road could be a dark horse as he makes his first start on the turf.

Saratoga Derby Free Picks:

Glens Falls Stakes Schedule, Vegas Odds & Pick

  • When: Saturday, August 6 2022 at 3:58 p.m ET
  • Where: Saratoga, New York
  • Grade: Grade 2
  • Distance: 1 ½ miles
  • Purse: $250,000
  • How To Watch: NBC Sports
HorseVegas Odds
War Like Goddess-200
Virginia Joy+250
Temple City Terror+1200
Flanigan’s Cove+2000
Key Biscayne+3000
Treasure Tails+5000

The Glens Falls Stakes is the other graded race on the turf at Saratoga on Saturday, with this contest open to fillies and mares. There is no surprise to see War Like Goddess head the betting, as she was the winner of this race in very commanding fashion 12 months ago.

She hasn’t put a foot wrong since then either, and later claimed victory in the G1 Flower Bowl. War Like Goddess returned to the track in April with a stunning display in the G3 Bewitch, reaching a speed figure of 112. She’s extremely hard to look past this weekend.

Virginia Joy has some nice German form over this distance, as she finished second in a Grade 2. However, the value play here for me comes in the form of Key Biscayne. She finally looked at home last time out on the turf when winning the G3 Robert G. Dick Memorial, and more could be set to come on this step up. However, she is a place selection, as War Like Goddess is far too strong for this field.

Glens Falls Stakes Free Pick:

Alex has covered huge sporting events for various websites and publications. He has attended football European Championships, Rugby League and Union World Cups, and the Paralympics. Alex is dedicated to giving the most insightful tips for VegasOdds readers and specialises in horse racing, soccer, golf and basketball.

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