It's Saratoga season and that means the focus of the entire racing world moves to a resort feel. Saratoga, Del Mar, even Goodwood, all feel very different from Aqueduct in January. The best part is that big fields show up with lots of horses that don’t belong. Don’t belong? What does Mick mean? Ultimately, people want to go to big race meets to see and be seen. That often means sending horses that should be running in the third at Charles Town and not the eighth at Saratoga. Being able to rapidly eliminate the pretenders to focus on the contenders is an everyday challenge for the punter but it just got easier. Focus on two kinds of horses at the big race meets, those that have been destroying their competition elsewhere and those that are getting dropped to take advantage of the big purses.
Picks for July 13, 2019:
Chances are somebody gets wet today but that everybody doesn’t. It’s summer…right?
Saratoga Race 3 – Sanford Stakes G3
Two year old stakes races, including the Breeder’s Cup races, always come down to the established runners vs the progressive runners. Juvenile runners change so fast that even a month between races can mean a world of difference. Nobody in this race is very established with the entire field having but maiden victories. So that leads to an investigation of pedigrees and near relatives. The standout on that front is 4-Tomato Bill, the $500K son of More Than Ready who is a brother to a stakes winner. Sire power, good family, and more distance should all advantage this one. 5-By Your Side, the most successful son of Constitution to date showed tremendous professionalism in his maiden breaker by going between his opponents to get to the line in time. Less family and a sire line that may need more ground to be successful. 3-Cucina is a home bred for a long time horseman and stands to improve based on breeding but the victory last out was in the slop and today will not be.
$10 W/P/S 4-Tomato Bill
$2 Exacta box 4,5
$1 Trifecta box 3,4,5
Laurel Race 2
Mick is still having 1-Naughty Thoughts but needs to go elsewhere after that one burned money in 5 straight outings. 6-Capture the Light should improve with the addition of blinkers and will be closer with a better start. The pilot change to Sheldon Russell is a positive as this jockey-trainer combo is winning at 50% in a small sample set. 3-Sincerest Wishes is bred to be precocious and gets a hot rider. At least in for a piece.
$10 W/P/S 6-Capture the Light
$2 Exacta box 1,6
$1 Trifecta box 1,3,6
Monmouth Race 6
More pedigree considerations with a 2 year old maiden race. On both pedigree and connections, 3-Shake It Up Baby is a standout. Trainer Kelly Breen is on fire at Monmouth and this one is out of a stakes winning mare and has 3 winning sibs including a stakes winner. The morning line is a gift and serious consideration needs to go towards a 10x commitment if it holds. 5-Embolden is another that is bred for this and gets the right connections for early success. 6-Meru comes in from Colts Neck where his works have been solid but not extraordinary. May be a bit behind the first two but should be progressive and will improve with time.
$10 W/P/S 3-Shake It Up Baby
$2 Exacta box 3,5
$1 Trifecta box 3,5,6
Delaware Race 8 – Delaware Handicap G2
7-Elate is the best mare in this race by a lot but that does not mean she will win. She won this race last year and has a G1 win at this distance. She is trained by a HoF member and gets one of the top jockeys on her back. But can she get beat? Sure. And 3-Escape Clause did beat her 2 back. The issue with this one is distance. The 3 is better at 7 to 8.5 furlongs and the 10 furlongs may be beyond her abilities. 6-Blue Prize ran behind Elate last out although she is a G1 winner at 9 furlongs so the distance should be in keeping with her abilities.
$10 W/P/S 7-Elate
$2 Exacta box 6,7
$1 Trifecta box 3,6,7
Parx Race 1
Even more pedigree considerations with a 2 year old maiden race. On both pedigree and connections, 7-Fiftyshays Ofgreen is a standout. Trainer John Servis is solid with young horses and this one cost six figures as a yealing but the pedigree says class with distance and not precocious 2 year old. 3-Magical Anna makes the trip up from Laurel for trainer Cathal Lynch, a superb trainer of juveniles. But the play here is the hot sire, Pennsylvania’s own Uptowncharlybrown, who is represented here by 2-Up Just in Time. This firster for trainer Ed Coletti arrives here off solid works and has two siblings that won at 2, the entire sample set, as it turns out.
$10 W/P/S 2-Up Just in Time
$2 Exacta box 2,3
$1 Trifecta box 2,3,7
Saratoga Race 9 – Diana Stakes G1: 2-Rushing Fall appears to be the most on form of Chad Brown’s runners. One day he will train the entire field in a G1. Two scratches and this could be the day.
Delaware Race 4 – Dashing Beauty Stakes: The monthly renewal of the 2-Bronx Beauty vs 3-Ms Locust Point throwdown. Look for Jorge Vargas to slow things down this time and hang on at the end on 3-Ms Locust Point.
Delaware Race 5 -Just A Kiss Stakes: 9-Capla Temptress is getting a huge class relief and stands above this group. She is coming off her best effort in a long while and this may be preparation for a return to graded company.
Delaware Race 6 -Hockessin Stakes: 4-Always Sunshine is better at 6f. 5-No Dozing is better at 7f. Today is 6f. Nuf said.
Delaware Race 7 – Glasgow Stakes: The only horse here that has won at the distance in added money company is 5-Paret. He even won over soft going, a plus on a track that will be wet.