Regal Glory, running in The Stewart Manor, races in today's Lake George stakes at Saratoga.
Regal Glory, running in The Stewart Manor, races in today's Lake George stakes at Saratoga.|NYRA / Chelsea Durand

Thoroughbred Friday: McMudder feels the heat and picks races at Monmouth Park, Laurel Park, and Saratoga

Mick McMudder

Mick McMudder

Here comes the heat. Yesterday was more about the rains with variable track conditions but today will be more about the heat. Same angle as yesterday with speed holding and needing to be close to the pace key. One warning … if you expect to get action, look early on the card. Don’t be surprised if the rest of the race card gets called off if it gets too hot. Wouldn’t it be nice if all tracks had lights and could move cards to nighttime when day temperatures exceed 95? Congrats to Churchill Downs for getting that right.

Picks for July 19, 2019:

Hotter. More humid. All around gross. Possibly the last race day this week in the region although Monmouth is clinging to the possibility of running their big race day on Saturday. Everybody else has called off Saturday.


Sometimes handicapping races that look awful on paper can be one of the most profitable ways to play the game. This race is one of those. 5-Jazzy J comes in from NY for an 8% barn, the second highest win percentage in this race. This one is taking a drop to be here, but the drop may not be enough to seal the deal. 4-Ageless Tales has run terribly at Monmouth since coming back from an extended layoff, but these connections do well with 3rd off the layoff (16%) and jockey Paco Lopez is winning at 30% for the meet. Just those angles, and the generous 8/1 M/L peak interest. 2-Woman Flyer won two back and ran well last out for a trainer with a case of SHOWitis. 3-Princess Rachelle gets back to the dirt after two meh attempts on the weeds. More early speed so don’t be surprised if the 2 and 3 hook up early.

$10 W/P/S 2-Woman Flyer

$2 Exacta box 2,3

$1 Trifecta box 2,3,4

$0.10 Superfecta box 2,3,4,5


How often does a horse break his maiden in a bad $10K race and come back as a favorite at $16K? Not very often but this is one of them. 6-Homeofthe Lombardi stands out in this field and the 3/1 M/L is very generous. If that stands, look to go all in. Top trainer, top jockey, hot combo, best last race speed figure, etc. The only thing to worry about is a bounce but trainer Jamie Ness is solid with last out winners. 7-Mr. Chesapeakecity provides some intrigue as he arrives first off, the claim for a barn that is better at that angle than overall. Last three races were solid but today is a big step up. 2-Bay of Rocks appears to be a step slower as a 3-year-old than he was at 2, a bad trend. Still, his race 2 back was solid until he got tired and the 3rd start off the layoff should help here. 1-Le Gros Bill enters off a brief freshening and cuts back in distance. Should be rolling late but that will only get a small piece.

$10 W/P/S 6-Homeofthe Lombardi

$2 Exacta box 6,7

$1 Trifecta box 2,6,7

$0.10 Superfecta box 1,2,6,7


5-Bourbon Mission looks tough in here having run a speed figure that towers over the field. If he can repeat that performance from two back, he will be tough, but he is even money on the M/L and will get hammered at the windows based solely on connections. Instead, look at 3-Legion Storm for the recently reinvigorated trainer Rob Atras (trains at Belmont but runs better at Aqueduct and Saratoga???). Cutting back in distance should help late but will this race be won already? 6-Lorcan may have the best angle of any in here. Lone speed. If he breaks well, he can go to the front and stay there but a clean start is not his forte. In addition, jockey Dylan Davis is 0 for Saratoga, a situation that will end but when? How about here?

$10 W/P/S 6-Lorcan

$2 Exacta box 3,6

$1 Trifecta box 3,5,6


Monmouth Race 3: 7-King Leo is a reclaim for super-hot connections and super-hot bug rider Maikol Tunon hops on board. Super-hot on a super-hot day but can the 7-pound bug outride the top jockey in the colony? You will know by about 2:10 pm.

Laurel Race 4: 3-Once More Eh cuts back for this one and should be able to carry his speed far enough to upset.

Saratoga Race 9 – Lake George G3: 1-Regal Glory is a 3-year-old filly running on turf around two turns for trainer Chad Brown. Does anything else matter? Of course, you might prefer one of the OTHER Chad Brown fillies in the race but this one should come at a better price since pilot Luis Saez is not a regular for this barn.

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