Friday's Best Bet: Art Collector gathers strength in Alydar

Friday’s 8th race from Saratoga is the $120,000 Alydar Stakes for four-year-olds and up traveling a mile and an eighth on the main track (Post Time 5:05 p.m. ET).

#4 ART COLLECTOR (3-1) should be able to seize control of this race from the opening bell. He smartly won a pair of stakes at this distance last year including the Blue Grass (G2). He tailed off in the Preakness (G1) and BC Dirt Mile (G1) after that, and returned with an uncomfortable 6th from the outside post in the Kelly’s Landing at seven panels June 25. The top two finishes from his last start were next-out stakes winners. He moves to the Bill Mott barn and catches a field with no early runners. Luis Saez takes the call and he is almost certainly going to the front with a clean getaway, and this could be a replay of his Ellis Park Derby score.

#8 Night Ops (9-5) is 1-for-7 with five runner-up finishes at this distance, and he has not won since the July 2020 Cornhusker (G3). He is usually in the mix and will try to get involved in the stretch from the outside post.

#6 Bourbon War (15-1) looked like he was going places after a runner-up finish in the 2019 Fountain of Youth (G2). He tailed off in the Triple Crown series later that same year and moved to the Ian Wilkes barn and hit the board in both solid starts this year. His speed ratings are climbing and he might be able to land a share at a price. #7 Jesus' Team (7-2) returned from the desert to finish a flat 5th as the strong favorite at Gulfstream Park July 11. He has tactical speed and his last win was at this distance.

#1 Prioritize (6-1) was off his best game in a pair of starts this year. He fired in both local outings last summer including a nice late running victory at this trip. He should save all the ground before launching his rally. 


#4 to Win

Exacta 4-8/4-6-8

Trifecta 4-8/1-4-7-8/6

Recent Best Bet Winners

July 30 - Dynamic One/Miles D Exacta ($69.80)
July 31 - DR. SCHIVEL ($6.80)
Aug. 2 - Cavalier Cupid/Rambert Exacta ($7.00), Trifecta ($22.60)
Aug. 4 - Pearl Tiara/Diamond Solitaire Exacta ($11.60)

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