Schuylerville Stakes Predictions, Picks, Betting Odds (Saratoga)

Schuylerville Stakes Predictions

If you're playing only to win, go with my top pick Mainstay (5/1)

Schuylerville Stakes Predictions and Odds

Check out our predictions and odds for the Schuylerville Stakes at Saratoga!

PP Horse Odds Jockey Trainer
L Saez N Casse
F Pennington R Reid
J Ortiz T Amoss
J Rosario S Asmussen
M Franco J Chapman
J Alvarado A Sano
J Velazquez W Ward
R Santana Jr S Asmussen
I Ortiz Jr T Amoss

Opening day at Saratoga will have fans in attendance for the first time in nearly two years as the much anticipated 158th season of racing begins on Thursday. Highlighting the first card of the meet will be the Grade 3 Schuylerville Stakes for 2-year-old fillies.

A very impressive winner of two straight at Belmont Park, Happy Soul figures to be a strong favorite in the 6 furlong sprint. Trained by Wesley Ward, the daughter of Runhappy exits an 11 1/2-length runaway Astoria Stakes on June 3. That stakes win came just three weeks after an equally impressive 11 3/4-length romp in a maiden race.

Chief among her challengers will be the Norm Casse-trained Pretty Birdie. A homebred daughter of Bird Song for Marylou Whitney Stables, she was an emphatic winner of her debut, a June 18 maiden race at Churchill Downs.

Another who figures to get plenty of support in the Schuylerville is Mainstay. A half-sister to last year’s juvenile filly champion Vequist, the daughter of Astern has also made just one start. It came in a sloppy maiden race at Monmouth Park, and the Butch Reid-trainee won like a very good thing.

Best Bets for the Schuylerville Stakes

Here are my plays ($44 in total)

$2 Trifecta Key – Mainstay over Happy Soul, Pipeline Girl, Pretty Birdie and Cartel Queen = $24

$2 Trifecta Part Wheel – Mainstay over Happy Soul and Pipeline Girl over Happy Soul, Pipeline Girl, Pretty Birdie, Cartel Queen, Velvet Sister and Queen Camilla = $20

Schuylerville Stakes Top Pick

Our Pick

Mainstay (5/1)

Best Pick

Odds provided by TwinSpires

How to Watch the Schuylerville Stakes

Schuylerville Stakes Race Information
Race Schuylerville Stakes (Grade 3)
Location Saratoga
Time Thursday, July 15 — 5:39 pm Eastern time
How to Watch Fox Sports 1
Purse $150,000

Race Analysis

Happy Soul

Trained by Wesley Ward, the daughter of Runhappy has certainly taken up a notch after finishing second on a sloppy track at Keeneland to colts in April. Both the maiden win and the Astoria win at Belmont Park were overpowering, coming by a combined 23 1/4 lengths. Recently joined in the mornings by the top older sprinter Kimari, she is the horse to beat in the Schuylerville.

Having said that, I don’t think she is unbeatable. Both of her wins came at Belmont and came against small fields. She should be really tested by this field while making her Saratoga debut on Thursday. As the likely very heavy favorite, I will take a shot to beat her.

Pretty Birdie

A sharp winner of her debut, she went right to the lead in the June 18 maiden race at Churchill Downs and dominated from there. The victory in the 5-furlong race was run fast every step of the way, leading me to believe that she will be one of several in here who could go after the early lead. Breaking from the rail, that might be her only shot, otherwise, she could be swallowed up by the speed to her outside. The Bird Song filly trained by Tom Amoss is certainly a threat in here, but it is not going to be easy to wire this field.


The half-sister to Vequist looked the part of something special in winning her debut at Monmouth Park. Not only did she dominate the 4 1/2 furlong race from the outset, but she left the field a mile behind soon after the wire. Granted it was a sloppy track against the questionable competition, but I think trainer Butch Reid has another good one in this daughter of Astern.

Since the win, she has turned in a couple of monster workouts at her home base in Parx and she should be ready to build upon her career debut. Obviously, this represents a serious step up in class, but I believe she has the talent to shine. She is the top pick.

Velvet Sister

The first of two trained by Steve Asmussen, this is the one that I believe will see more action at the betting windows. The New York-bred is owned by Stonestreet Stables and brought $500,000 earlier this year as a 2-year-old in training. The Bernardini filly looked worth the price tag when she won her debut at Belmont Park by nearly 10 lengths last month. That did come against a three-horse field, though, so this will be a big step up. She could be any kind, but I like a few others better.

Pipeline Girl

While many in the field have used their speed to dominate their competition, it is worth noting that this daughter of Air Force Blue needed to pass horses at Churchill Downs to break her maiden in her debut. She only won by a neck, but it came at 6 furlongs and was run in racehorse time. Once again, she looks to sit behind a fast early pace and try to make her move. This one will only be tougher, but improvement off that very good debut will put her in with a fighting chance.

Eagle Express

Other than Happy Soul, this is the only other stakes winner in the field. Her comes in an easy win in the restricted Pan Zareta Division of the Texas Stallion Stakes at Lone Star Park, which followed a good runner-up performance in her debut. The Texas-bred daughter of Eagle is another one with plenty of speed, but I’m not sure if the Lone Star form will hold up against some of the best young fillies in the East.

Cartel Queen

After pressing a strong pace and finishing second best in her debut at Keeneland, this daughter of Cairo Prince came back four weeks later with a solid maiden win at Churchill Downs for trainer Tom Amoss. Well backed in each, she continues to turn in solid works at her home base in Louisville and looks quick enough to be in the picture as they turn for home in the Schuylerville. While I like others better, another step forward would make her a dangerous contender in here.

Queen Camilla

Each summer, trainer Antonio Sano sends some of his best up from South Florida to give Saratoga a try. He’s found some success in the past, but this daughter of Connect looks to be a pretty big long shot after finishing third and then first in two maiden races at Gulfstream Park. She’ll have to improve to threaten these, but the fact that she rallied for the win last time is a plus. Perhaps she can come running late into the exotics at a price if the early fractions are hot.

Saucy Lady T

After a poor beginning and a non-threatening fourth in her debut at Keeneland, this daughter of Tonalist found a soft spot for her second career start. Catching a sloppy track and a short field of four at Belmont Park in late April, she picked it up quickly after a mediocre break to win going away. Things will be substantially tougher on Thursday, and she just has not shown enough in her first two starts to have any real confidence in her chances here.

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Brian Zipse

Expert on Horse Racing

Taken to the races at a very young age, Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Professionally, his work has been published on several leading industry sites. Brian served as the Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, where he still writes a regular column and hosts the popular weekly webcast HorseCenter.

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