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At the Gate - Sunday

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It is Haskell Day at Monmouth Park with six stakes including the $1 million William Hill Haskell Invitational (G1) where the brilliant filly Untapable will take on the boys.
 
My Best Plays Report for Sunday includes all six stakes from the Jersey Shore and it will be a welcome change to switch coasts, as Del Mar has been very frustrating.
 
Both the main track and the newly installed turf course at Del Mar have been playing fast, and there were two track records set on Saturday. There also were four fatalities, three on the turf course, and there will be no turf racing on Sunday.
 
I’m sticking the east coast on Sunday.
 
Over at Saratoga, the blinkers really seemed to help Wicked Strong who was a good-looking winner of the $600,000 Jim Dandy (G1), with my top pick Tonalist having to settle for the runner up spot.
 
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We only managed two winners on top on Saturday at Saratoga, but they both paid well. Razzle Jazil pulled off the upset in the sixth race, returning $17.60. It was the 46th straight year that trainer Jonathan Sheppard has saddled a winner at the Saratoga meeting.
 
Technically, Sheppard did not saddle the winner as he was at Parx. I got a Tweet from his assistant Keri Brion who actually saddled the winner. It was the first time she had sent out a horse at the Spa.
 
We knocked down a nice exacta that paid $116.50 and trifecta that paid $442.50.
 
We also had the winner in the finale, with Elroi getting up late and returning $16.00. We missed out on the exacta and trifecta.
 
Sunday’s Saratoga card looks solid, and we have a wide-open field lined up to go in the $200,000 Shuvee Handicap (G3). My analysis is below.
 
To purchase my full card reports for Saratoga and Best Plays for Sunday click here.
 
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)
3 Miss Always Ready   5-2
1 Sunday Sonnet   3-1    
6 Bebop Raindrop   8-1
4 Cool Comfort   4-1
 
Analysis: Miss Always Ready is sent out by a barn that always has juveniles ready to go and has already won with three at the meeting here. This filly was a $400,000 Keeneland purchase by More Than Ready out of the stakes winner Miss Seffens ($502,600) who has dropped a couple of winners including one turf winner, top earner turf stakes winner More Than Real ($652,051). Solid works on the morning tab and Johnny V. is in the irons. She looks ready to fire for Pletcher who is off to a good start at the meeting.
 
Sunday Sonnet dueled for the early lead and finished gamely while unable to match strides late with the winner in a runner up finish on the main track at Belmont Park. She was sent off at just under 3-1 in a field of eight. She may take to turf, she is out of a Red Ransom mare that won on turf and has dropped a couple of winners including turf stakes winner Pianist ($498,700).
 
Wagering
WIN: 3 to win at 9-5 or better.
EX: 1,3 / 1,3,4,6
TRI: 1,3 / 1,3,4,6 / 1,3,4,6,8
 
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Saratoga:
 
SAR Race 9 The Shuvee Handicap G3 (5:15 ET)
5 Stanwyck   3-1
3 Antipathy   9-5
2 Flashy American   5-2
6 Hot Stones   10-1
 
Analysis: Stanwyck is returning off a three-month break after checking in third in the Apple Blossom (G1) at Oaklawn Park and she may end up getting overlooked on the tote in this spot. She came with a five wide bid and flattened out late, beaten 2 1/4 lengths by the winner Close Hatches, who came back to win the Ogden Phipps (G1) in her next start. The runner up On Fire Baby won next out, taking the La Troien (G1) at Churchill Downs and the fourth place finisher Let Faith Arise also won next out, taking the Adoration (G3). The mare has lost four in a row since taking the Turnback the Alarm (G3) last fall in her stakes debut, but landed in the money in each of her four losses. The Shirreffs barn is 16% winners (with a +ROI) with runners coming back off a 61-180 day layoff.
 
Antipathy prompted the early pace and held on gamely to miss by just a neck in a third place finish in a loaded Ogden Phipps (G1). The filly earned a career top speed fig in the effort and raced over a surface that was kinder to horses coming from off the pace although the winner Close Hatches was up front. She has had enough time to avoid a bounce and these are not as tough as she faced last out. Two back she ran a good second behind Belle Gallantey, who was fifth in the Phipps and then came back to win the Delaware 'Cap (G1) on July 12. After seeing 30-1 last out the 9-5 morning line sure looks puny.
 
Wagering
WIN: #5 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 3,5 / 2,3,5,6
TRI: 3,5 / 2,3,5,6 / 1,2,3,5,6
 
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Monmouth Park:
 
MTH Race 9 The Matchmaker G3 (3:59 ET)          
9 Watsdachances   3-1
10 Irish Mission   9-2      
11 Emotional Kitten   4-1
2 Starstruck   6-1
 
Analysis: Watsdachances returns off a two month break her after a game second last out in the Gallorette 'Cap (G3) at Pimlico. The filly was outrun in the early going and came with a good late run, having to steady briefly at the quarterpole. The winner of the race was Somali Lemonade, who won the Diana (G1) at the Spa in her most recent outing. The Chad Brown trainee figures to move forward in just her second start since last November.
 
Irish Mission was a good second last out against the boys in the two mile Belmont Gold Cup, beaten a length for the top spot. Two back over yielding footing against the gals she was a decent third in the Sheepshead Bay (G2) behind repeat winner Riposte, who came back to win the New York (G2) in her next start on June 28 at Belmont Park. The cut back in distance will suit and while she has won just one of her last dozen starts, she has been in a few tough spots and she looks like a good fit here with her best. Decent value if she goes off near her 12-1 morning line.
 
Wagering
WIN: #9 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 9,10 / 2,9,10,11
TRI: 9,10 / 2,9,10,11 / 2,7,9,10,11
 
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.
 
Saratoga
R1: #6 Bebop Raindrop   8-1
R3: #3 Paulasilverlining   10-1
R4: #7 Penobscot   12-1
R5: #2 Asheroony   20-1
R6: #1 Captain Toews   8-1
R7: #6 Dramatize   12-1
R8: $3 Cozzetti   8-1
R9: #6 Hot Stones   10-1
R10: #2 The Ten Cups   10-1
R10: #3 Thatza Wrap   8-1
R10: #7 Canal Six   10-1
 
Good luck today!

  
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