At the Gate - Sunday
July 21, 2013
By Mike Dempsey
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Princess of Sylmar proved that her Kentucky Oaks (G1) win back in May was no fluke with a good looking win in yesterday’s Coaching Club of America Oaks (G1) for trainer Todd Pletcher.
I thought My Happy Face might be able to shake loose and take the field gate to wire, and she did get out to a relatively easy lead through fractions of :24.60, :48.98 and 1:12.98.
However, the pacesetter started to get leg weary and the winner took over as they headed for home. The winner drew away to win by six lengths, returning $6.30.
Pletcher's other runner Unlimited Budget was off a step slow after hitting the gate, stalked the early pace, and dropped back to finish last as the 6-5 betting favorite.
Pletcher also won the Shuvee Handicap (G3) as heavy favorite Authenticity got the job done by a length over Flashy American, returning $3.00 for the win.
Zenyatta’s little sister Eblouissante never fired, fading to finish a well beaten sixth and last.
Pletcher has now won four races with his eight starters to top the trainer standings, with David Jacobson next with two wins from seven starters.
John Velazquez has picked up five wins from his 18 mounts to lead jockeys, and despite saying he would not ride as many horses at this meeting and be more selective, no jockey has been busier with 18 mounts after two days of action.
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My Best Plays Report for Sunday includes my nine strongest plays from Saratoga and Del Mar.
Here is today’s opening race from Saratoga to get the day off to a good start:
SAR Race 1 Md Sp Wt (1:00 ET)
8 American Creed 7-2
6 Double Gold 3-1
9 Tapidor 5-2
3 Thug Daddy 8-1
Analysis: American Creed is a $115,000 Keeneland purchase making his debut for the Lukas barn that does not win first out often, just 1 for his last 31, but these are state breds and this guy appears to have a couple of solid looking works on the morning tab. The colt is by Quiet American (13% winner with debut runners) and the first foal to race out of a Yes It's True mare. He debuts with lasix and steady works in Kentucky.
Double Gold debuts for the Asmussen barn that was 1 for 7 here last summer with two year old juvie firsters. The gelding is by Posse (10% winners with debut runners) out of the stakes winner Avie's Fancy ($402,909) who has dropped ten foals to race and just three winners but two of them are stakes winners, top earner St Averil ($328,742).
WIN: #8 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 6,8 / 3,6,8,9
TRI: 6,8 / 3,6,8,9 / 2,3,6,8,9
Today's Featured Race of the Day from Saratoga:
SAR Race 9 The Sanford G2 (5:20 ET)
3 Debt Ceiling 5-2
1 All in Blue 2-1
6 Hollywood Talent 6-1
4 Wired Bryan 5-1
Analysis: Debt Ceiling ships in from Maryland for the John Robb barn and the colt is perfect in three starts, last out taking the Bashford Manor (G3) at Churchill Downs. The colt tracked the early pace, made a quick move around the far turn and opened up in the stretch in a good looking effort. He has moved forward in each outing and looks capable of winning right back here.
All in Blue dueled for the early lead and drew away to break his maiden in his debut by 6 1/4 lengths for the Pletcher barn that has won this race five times. The colt earned the top last out speed fig in the effort and the barn was dominant in juvie races last year here at the Spa, winning 23. The rail draw is not ideal as our top pick looks a bit quicker.
WIN: #3 to win at 9-5 or better.
EX: 1,3 / 1,3,6
TRI: no play
Today's Featured Race of the Day from Del Mar:
DMR Race 8 San Clemente Hcp G2 (5:40 PT)
4 Wishing Gate 6-1
2 Iotapa 3-1
8 Charlie Em 4-1
1 Unusual Way 4-1
Analysis: Wishing Gate is coming off a good prep where she beat Alw-1 optional claimers at Arlington Park over ground with some give to it. She showed she has some class and promise with a runner up finish last fall at Santa Anita in the Surfer Girl. She broke her maiden over the turf here last summer and appears to be sitting on a good one. Her mare Rich in Spirit was really good on turf, a multiple stakes winner and earner of $606,066.
Iotapa makes her first start on turf here off a runner up finish in the Hollywood Oaks (G2) last out. She won the railbird two back and was second in the Santa Anita Oaks (G1) on dirt three back. She has turned out to be a nice claim by Sadler who took her for $50,000 out of here debut. She is by Afleet Alex out of an El Corredor mare who was 0 for 3 on turf and this is her first foal to race. She has the talent to win her if she takes to the new surface.
WIN: #4 to win at 7-2 or better.
EX: 2,4 / 1,2,4,8
TRI: 2,4 / 1,2,4,8 / 1,2,4,7,8
These are price plays for exotic players looking to find a couple of extra contenders to use in their trifecta and superfecta wagers. Or for those with smaller bankrolls, you might want to get in a small win-place wager.
R1: #3 Thug Daddy 8-1
R2: #10 Secretive 10-1
R3: #10 Derby Watch 8-1
R3: #8 Bemata 15-1
R4: #1 Lady Clara / 1a Street Crew 12-1
R5: #11 Spiral Stair 12-1
R6: #1 Southern Match 8-1
R7: #12 Isn’tthewonderfull 8-1
R7: #5 Joy Seeker 12-1
R10: #5 Make the Moment 8-1
R10: #2 Julesco 15-1
Good luck today!
HORSE RACING EXPERT
Mike covers the New York racing circuit (Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga) year round as well as Keeneland, Churchill Downs, the Triple Crown, and the Breeders’ Cup.
Last Year Mike had a solid Triple Crown, correctly picking the winning horse in 2 of 3 races. He selected I'll Have another to win The Preakness, and nailed Union Rags to win the Belmont Stakes as his top pick.
Mike has also had past succes in the Kentucky Derby, winning with Animal Kingdom in 2011 and rode his top picks, Super Saver and Street Sense, to the finish line in 2010 and 2007 respectively.
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