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.
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:
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).
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.
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:
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.
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
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.
Mike DempseyMike 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. No handicapper in the industry works harder to bring you analysis that produces profits at the track! Mike's Reports include his selections, detailed analysis, a fair odds line, and wagering recommendations for the entire card. Join Mike each day with daily picks from Belmont and Churchill Downs or you can get his Weekend Best Plays Report in his Multi-Track package or sit at the track with him for 30 Days with his Monthly Horse Package!
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Jerry SessaJerry "Shots" Sessa has been involved in horse racing for over 30 years. He now brings his meticulous handicapping style to VegasInsider.com. When Jerry posts picks you are getting his best bets...when you win, he wins. Heading into the 2016 Triple Crown season Jerry is cashing big! On 4/16 at Keeneland, Jerry hit an $819 exacta that led to a $38k Trifecta & a $300k Super.
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