Saratoga Derby goes through Decorated Invader

The $500,000 Saratoga Derby has drawn eight of the country’s best three-year-old turfers to Saratoga this Saturday. The 1 3/16th-mile heat features multiple graded stakes winner DECORATED INVADER, among other accomplished runners. Post time for the Saratoga Derby, Race 8 on an 11-race card that also features the Grade I Alabama, is 5:07 p.m. ET.

#2 DECORATED INVADER (7-5, morning-line favorite) may not offer much value but is the obvious horse to beat. He was last seen beating two of today’s rivals in the Grade II Hall of Fame Stakes over this course. Prior to that, DECORATED INVADER was an impressive winner of the Grade II Pennine Ridge at Belmont Park. The Christophe Clement trainee is in peak form based on his bullet tune-up work, and Joel Rosario maintains the assignment.

#7 FIELD PASS (6-1) may not be as fast as DECORATED INVADER on paper, but his versatility makes him dangerous in the Saratoga Derby. The multiple graded stakes winner went gate-to-wire in the Audubon at Churchill two-back before rallying to take the Grade III Transylvania at Keeneland. FIELD PASS has a win and a runner-up placing in two previous starts here. He’ll be ridden by Tyler Gaffalione.

#5 GUFO (9-2) has won four straight going into the Saratoga Derby, including two stakes races. He’s campaigned primarily at Gulfstream, though he broke through for his first victory outside of Florida in the Grade III Kent at Delaware last time out. GUFO, a stablemate of the top choice, will be piloted by John Velazquez. Look for him to be gobbling up ground late.

The play: $5 exacta 2/5,7 ($10)

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