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At the Gate - Thursday
The Pick 6 at Saratoga got hit yesterday, with 16 winners each taking home $60,903. Ticketholders with five out of the six winners cashed for $388.50.
It turned out it was a very hittable sequence, and I came up with all six winners, although my preferences of the winners were my 3rd, 4th, 1st, 2nd, 1st and 2nd choices.
The winners were Mama Zee ($11.60), Seal Cove ($23.20), Corinthianna ($11.20), Moment in Dixie ($6.30), Kitten’s Dumplings ($5.00) and Where’s Dandy ($11.00).
I decided to skip playing the Pick 6, and now I am second guessing myself, although I am not sure I would have gone four deep and three deep in the first two legs, and I am guessing I probably would have come up with a couple of tickets with five out of six, which still would have been a nice payoff.
At least I am going to tell myself I only would have had five of six. Had I been lucky ticketholder #17, the payout would have been a hefty $57,320. I don’t think those other 16 ticketholders would have missed the $3,583 if they had to share the windfall with me.
Kitten’s Dumplings won yesterday’s feature, the Lake George (G2) and returned $5.00 as my top pick. She came with a strong late rally to get up late and we knocked down the ice cold exacta ($15.80) and trifecta ($37.60), but the payouts came out on the chalky side.
I like today’s card and I’ll like it a lot better if we can beat a couple of Todd Pletcher first timers. He sends out Corfu in the second race and Our Amazing Rose in the fifth, and they are both listed at 3-5 on the morning line.
The barn was dominant last summer at the Spa, winning 21 juvenile maiden races and he is 1 for 3 so far at the meeting with juvie firsters. I am going to try and beat both of them for the top spot today.
Click here to purchase my full card report for Saratoga for Thursday.
Michael Dempsey’s Monthly Package is available for only $99.95. The package includes his full card reports for Saratoga six days a week and his weekend Best Plays Report, which will include his strongest plays from Del Mar and Saratoga.
Here is today’s second race (the opener is a jump race) from Saratoga to get the day off to a good start:
SAR Race 2 Md Sp Wt (1:35 ET)
6 Pure Sensation   12-1
1 Corfu    3-5
2 Aarons Orient   3-1
4 Sum Superstar   6-1
Analysis: Pure Sensation has been working sharply in the mornings for his debut for the Clement barn that is 19% winners (with a +ROI) with first time starters. The colt is by first crop sire Zensational out of the stakes winner Pure Disco ($496,840) her first foal to race. It is going to be tough beat the Pletcher firster, but that guy is 3-5 and our top pick is going offer more bang for the buck.
Corfu is one of two Pletcher juvies today that are 3-5 on the morning line and we are going to try and beat them first. Probably not a great idea considering the barn is hitting at a 31% clip overall with first timers and the barn won 21 juvenile races here last summer. The colt was a $657,000 purchase by Malibu Moon (14% winners with debut runners) out of a Forest Wildcat mare that has dropped three foals to race, a pair of winners, top earner Runway Ready ($72,258). He put in a bullet drill here out of the gate on July 19.
WIN: #6 to win at 5-1 or better.
EX: 1,6 / 1,2,6
TRI: no play
Today's Featured Race of the Day from Saratoga:
SAR Race 8 The Quick Call (4:49 ET)
3 No Distinction   7-2
5 Weekend Hideaway   3-1
2 Stage Street   4-1
1 Salutos Amigos / 1a I'm Wide Awake   6-1
Analysis: No Distinction makes his turf and stakes debut here for the Morse barn who ships this guy in from Churchill Downs. The colt earned a triple digit Beyer in his maiden score three back at Oaklawn Park in his second career start and then passed his first two allowance conditions in his next two starts in Kentucky. He drilled a bullet over the main track here and he should take to turf. He is out of a Dynaformer mare that has dropped a trio of turf winners. We need to overcome the barn's 0 for 19 mark moving runners from dirt to turf to cash here.
Weekend Hideaway took to turf in his first trip, taking the field gate to wire to win the Gone Fishin last out at Belmont Park. He has now landed in the exacta in six of his nine career starts and looks capable of winning right back here but our top pick may end up a slightly better value for the top spot. The colt catches a field here where there is some speed so he could get hooked early. The 3-1 morning line looks fair but I have hunch he is going to get bet down off that price.
Stage Street dueled for the early lead and held on to beat Alw-1 foes last out at Churchill Downs in his first trip over grass. He beat a pretty good group that day, the runner up Titletown Five is stakes placed and seventh place finisher Kitchenman came back to beat optional claimers in his next outing at Ellis Park on July 6.  The Steve Asmussen trainee makes his third start off the bench and still appears to have some upside.
WIN: #3 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 3,5 / 1,2,3,5
TRI: 3,5 / 1,2,3,5 / 1,2,3,5,8
Live Longshots:
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: #8 Constant Contact   8-1
R2: #6 Pure Sensation   12-1
R3: #6 Friends Pro   10-1
R5: #5 Zip On   10-1
R5: #1 Crystal Rocket   12-1
R6: #3 Sabouli   12-1
R7: #3 Viva Allegiance   8-1
R9: #7 Bonnie Rose   12-1
R10: #7 Warrior James   10-1
Good luck today!

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Mike Dempsey 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.
The 2015 Triple Crown saw Mike correctly predict American Pharoah to win both the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. Mike nailed the Exacta and Trifecta in the Belmont Stakes.

Mike had a solid 2014 Triple Crown race season, 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 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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Jerry Sessa Jerry "Shots" Sessa has been involved in horse racing for over 30 years. He now brings his meticulous handicapping style to When Jerry posts picks you are getting his best bets...when you win, he wins.
Jerry opened the 2016 Triple Crown season by hitting his Derby Day best bet, Nyquist. He also nailed the Derby exacta for a $30.60 payout. On 4/16/16 at Keeneland, Jerry hit an $819 exacta that led to a $38k Trifecta & a $300k Super.

In the 2015 Belmont Stakes Jerry dominated races 8-11 by hitting a $4,400 Pick 4, 3 Daily Doubles, 2 Pick 3's and calling American Pharoah as the first Triple Crown winner in 36 years.

Jerry is always looking to repeat his 2012 Triple Crown success, when he selected the winning horses for The Preakness and The Belmont Stakes.

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