Garrity's first post is at 3:28 pm EDT.
It’s a big day today: Saratoga has one of the bigger cards of their summer meeting, with six stakes, including three Grade 1s. There’s also a Grade 1 out West, the Bing Crosby, and a good Grade 3 in New Jersey, the Monmouth Oaks. Add it all up and there’s enough top-class racing action today to keep any avid horseplayer off the streets. We have plays in six races, all graded stakes, and expect fast dirt and firm turf in all six of them. Let’s go.
Saratoga, Race 5, 3:28 pm ET
Grade 1 Personal Ensign Stakes, 1 ⅛ miles, Dirt, FIllies & Mares 4 & Up
The headliner in the Personal Ensign is 3-Midnight Bisou, the incredible race mare who is coming off a blowout win in the Fleur de Lis at Churchill Downs in late June. She’s won a gaggle of stakes races, and adding another Grade 1 to her career record would not be a surprise.
But she’s also a miserly price, 2/5 on the morning line, and her recent form suggests that her edge on the rest of the field is slight. She’s an underlay, and we are betting against her.
We like 6-Point of Honor, who goes for George Weaver. She’s a 4-year-old who seems to be rounding into the best form of her life, with good efforts in her last two races. We think that she can take another step forward today, and we like the fact that she is proven at the distance, as she’s finished first and second in her two starts at nine furlongs. We will bet her to win at 5/2. The bet: Saratoga, Race 5, $30 to win on 6-Point of Honor.
Monmouth Park, Race 11, 5:31 pm ET
Grade 3 Monmouth Oaks, 1 1/16 miles, Dirt, 3-Year-Old Fillies
A deep field of nine sophomore fillies lines up for the Monmouth Oaks. They’re evenly matched, which makes it a good betting race.
We like 2-Princess Cadey. She appears to be an improving 3-year-old, and she should get a good trip just behind the pacesetters. She has a tendency to finish her races strongly, which is a fit here, as we expect the early pace to be robust. We will bet her to win at 6-1. The bet: Monmouth Park, Race 11, $35 to win on 2-Princess Cadey.
Saratoga, Race 9, 5:42 pm ET
Grade 1 Whitney Stakes, 1 ⅛ miles, Dirt, 4 & Up
Only five line up for the Whitney, but they’re all good, and they’re pretty evenly matched. Well, they’re evenly matched except for one: We think that 6/5 morning line favorite 5-Tom’s d’Etat is a cut above the other runners. Trainer Al Stall has really done an amazing job with him, and he seems to be in the best form of his life. Key stats: Tom’s d’Etat is 8-for-11 in his career at a mile and an eighth, and 6-for-9 at Saratoga. We think the rest of the field is running for second money, and will bet him to win, and in the Double (see below) comprising Races 9 and 10. The bet: Saratoga, Race 9, $50 to win on 5-Tom’s d’Etat; $25 double, 5 (Tom’s d’Etat) with 5 (Mischevious Alex).
Saratoga, Race 10, 6:18 pm ET
Grade 1 Allen Jerkins Stakes, 7 furlongs, Dirt, 3-Year-Olds
A good field of eleven lines up for the Jerkins. The pace should be fast, as there are several speed types in the group, but we don’t think it will be so fast that a colt can win it by coming from far behind. We want a stalker, one who can sit just behind the early leaders, and move forward when they begin to tire.
We like 5-Mischevious Alex. The John Servis trainee won the Swale at Gulfstream Park in February, and the Gotham at Aqueduct in March, before finishing fourth in the Woody Stephens at Belmont on June 20. We think he had an excuse that day: He was caught too close to a wickedly fast pace, and tired late, and it was his first race in over three months. We think he will be more fit today, and we think the race shape will favor his running style. He’s a talented colt, and he’s an absolutely juicy 8-1 on the morning line. We will bet him to win. The bet: Saratoga, Race 10, $40 to win on 5-Mischevious Alex.
Saratoga, Race 11, 6:50 pm ET
Grade 2 Bowling Green Stakes, 1 ⅜ miles, Turf, 4 & Up
This is another Saratoga stakes with a compact field, with just seven entered. The pace here looks slow, perhaps even very slow, which makes the pick 2-Cross Border: he’s a 6-year-old who should inherit the lead by default, and be able to set the pace while running very comfortable fractions. He showed two back in the Manhattan, when he set the pace at 11-1 before finishing only a length behind the winner, that he can be a threat when loose on an early lead, and against a much, much lesser field today than he faced in the Manhattan, we think he will take this on the front end. We will bet him to win at 5/2. The bet: Saratoga, Race 11, $40 to win on 2-Cross Border.
Del Mar, Race 10, 9:30 pm ET
Grade 1 Bing Crosby Stakes, 6 furlongs, Dirt, 3 & Up
Ten line up for the Bing Crosby, one of the year’s top dirt sprints on the West Coast. It’s a fascinating race to handicap.
We like a horse who’s actually making his dirt debut today: it’s 8-Wildman Jack, who goes for trainer Doug O’Neill. He’s very fast, certainly fast enough to win a Grade 1 sprint, and while all nine of his career races have been on turf, both his pedigree and his morning workouts suggest that he will thrive on conventional dirt. We especially like his last morning drill, when he went four furlongs in an exceptionally fast 46 ⅕ seconds on the Del Mar dirt. He’s a talented colt with a big chance today, and because of his lack of dirt experience, he’s 6-1 on the morning line. We will take that: we will bet him to win. The bet: Del Mar, Race 10, $40 to win on 8-Wildman Jack.
That’s all for today. Until tomorrow, enjoy the racing, be safe, and, as always, good luck at the windows.