Earliest post time is 1:15 pm EDT.
Oppressive heat and high probability of thunderstorms means the punter may need a different approach. In order to ease the heat load on the horses, post parades and warm up periods will be reduced. This can be a huge negative for horses that need to work off a little edge before going to post. Shy away from poor starters on hot days. In addition, it will be very difficult to keep enough water on the track due to rapid evaporation so look for the track to be kept tighter, especially after any rain last night. This favors speed horses. Therefore, on very hot days following storms, look for merry-go-round races…the horses finish in the order they start. Note that Saratoga’s track on Wednesday was off turf and the sealed main was lightening quick. Only one winner came from more than 2 lengths off the pace.
Picks for July 18, 2019:
Hot. To be surpassed by Friday. Look for some tracks to cancel Friday and Saturday cards due to the heat. Delaware did not card Saturday due to the forecast.
Delaware Race 1
1-Concordia’s Way flopped at Suffolk last out but that track seemed to favor some and punish others. This guy got punished. His prior efforts for trainer Hugh McMahon were better and he continues down the ladder to the bottom rung here. This one should be looking to break and go. 2-Wizard of Odds was much better last year than he has been this year but he definitely has early speed. How long he stays around is the question that must be answered. 4-Da Winner Is does not possess the early gas of the top two and his best plan is to sit off them and hope they run each other into the ground. More likely to get him third than first but belongs in the exotics.
$10 W/P/S 1-Concordia’s Way
$2 Exacta box 1,2
$1 Trifecta box 1,2,4
Laurel Race 3
It is unusual to get a maiden race for olders with this many firsters in July. Mick looked at this race twice before realizing it was NOT a 2 year old race. 5-Kickstartmyheart is 10/1 on the M/L and that is a gift. She is from an excellent family and barn and gets an excellent pilot for maidens in Feargal Lynch. 7-More Better has the experience but she has not sealed the deal yet. The race off the long layoff was OK but not inspiring. 3-Friend Me Charlie has the best works that look even better coming from trainer Rodney Jenkins who does not make them go fast in the morning but some of them do anyway. This is one of those. This trainer usually races them into shape so expect this to more of a learning experience than a victory.
$10 W/P/S 5-Kickstartmyheart
$2 Exacta box 5,7
$1 Trifecta box 3,5,7
Saratoga Race 3 – Stillwater Stakes
3-Fierce Lady looks tough in here having run a speed figure that towers over the field. If she can repeat that performance, she will be tough but look for her to regress off that race as it was really fast. 5-My Italian Rabbi won at first asking but did it in a very professional way despite not going particularly fast. She stands to improve and has been given some time to grow since her maiden breaker. 4-Classy Sadie gets some love if the track comes up sloppy as that moved her up considerably in her last outing.
$10 W/P/S 3-Fierce Lady
$2 Exacta box 3,5
$1 Trifecta box 3,4,5
Delaware Race 5: 1-Kabikeka is from a precocious family, has a good firster trainer and gets the leading rider of thoroughbreds at Delaware. That should be enough in this one.
Laurel Race 2: 6-Let’s Go Mick is the obvious hunch play here. It’s nice that he can run, too.
Saratoga Race 9: 5-Vincento ran a monster race last out and comes back after 6 days for this barn. Linda Rice wins at 28% with last out winners so she gets them on a roll.