Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:03 AM

At the Gate - Saturday

Summer is officially here for horseplayers with the first weekend that both Del Mar and Saratoga are in action and we have four graded stakes, two at each track this afternoon.

The highlight today is the $500,000 Diana (G1) at Saratoga with a field of seven fillies and mares going to battle at 1 1/8 miles on turf. Trainer Chad Brown seeks his third consecutive win in the Diana and sends out a trio of runners.

Sistercharlie is the 9-5 morning line favorite and her stablemate A Raving Beauty (2-1) is the second choice. Brown’s third runner is no slouch, New Money Honey (8-1) the Belmont Oaks (G1) winner last year.

The co-feature is the $150,000 Sanford (G3) for two-year-olds that drew a field of seven. The Todd Pletcher trained Sombeyay is the 2-1 morning line favorite.

At Del Mar we have a pair of graded stakes, the $200,000 San Diego Handicap (G2) for three-year-olds and upward going 1 1/16 miles on the main track and the $200,000 San Clemente (G2) for three-year-old fillies going one mile on turf.

Accelerate (9-5) looks tough in the San Diego but faces a couple of Bob Baffert trainees in Dr. Dorr (6-1) and Dabster (8-1) and the undefeated Catalina Cruiser (8-1) who looks like a promising colt.

The San Clemente drew a wide open field of 14 with Ms Bad Behavior the tepid 9-2 morning line favorite. Stranded out in the 14 post is Ollie’s Candy (6-1) who was a game winner of the Summer Oaks (G2) in her last outing.

Saturday’s Best Plays Report includes my nine strongest plays from Del Mar and Saratoga including the stakes action.

Now is the perfect time to purchase my Monthly Package for just $99.95. It gives you a month of Saratoga which is running six days a week and my Best Plays Report each Saturday and Sunday.

To purchase my Saratoga and Best Plays Reports for Saturday click here .

Here is the opening race from Saratoga to get the day off to a good start:

SAR Race 1 Clm $40,000 (1:00 ET)
#5 Helooksthepart 7-2
#1 J S Bach / 1a Forge 8-5
#6 Bolita Boyz 4-1
#3 Full Salute 3-1

Analysis: Helooksthepart was last early and made a mild late rally to finish in the runner up spot for this tag last out. Only four races were run on the main track that day and three were won by runners on or near the lead. The gelding was claimed out of the race by the Donk barn that does not visit the claim box often, showing a 0 for 5 mark first off the claim. This guy was beaten just a nose for a $50,000 tag back in March and then won the Caixa Eletronica, a starter stake going seven furlongs. He did not fire two back but showed last out he is back on track. He just needs a little pace up front here.

J S Bach drops into an easier spot after setting the early fractions and weeing to finish sixth against Alw-2 optional claimers. He won the Stud Muffin two back and trounced $25,000 claimers three back. The Servis barn has been on fire and is hitting at a 32% clip on the year. Last year here he hit with 11 of 35 (35%) starters. The gelding has never really run that well on off tracks and figures to bounce back with a much better effort here on the class drop.

WIN: #5 to win at 3-1 or better.
EX: 1,5 / 1,3,5,6
TRI: 1,5 / 1,3,5,6 / 1,2,3,5,6

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Saratoga:

SAR Race 10 The Diana G1 (6:18 ET)
#1 Sistercharlie 9-5
#2 Proctor's Ledge 4-1
#6 A Raving Beauty 2-1
#7 Hawksmoor 6-1

Analysis: Sistercharlie is one of three in the field sent out by the Chad Brown barn. The filly was bumped coming out of the gate in the New York (G2) last out at Belmont Park, was far back early a good 28 lengths behind the pacesetter, and came with a good late rally, battling right to the wire to miss by a head to Fourstar Crook. She was 1 1/4 lengths ahead of third place finisher Daddys Lil Darling, who came back to win the Modesty Handicap (G3) at Arlington Park in her next start on July 7. Two back our top pick won the Jenny Wiley (G1) beating Fourstar Crook in that outing and it was her first go off a nine month layoff. Her U.S. debut came last June where she was beaten a neck in the Belmont Oaks Invitational (G1) by her stablemate New Money Honey. The nine furlongs looks as if it will suit her and she should get an honest pace to run at.

Proctor's Ledge came up 3/4 of a length short of getting to A Raving Beauty last out in the Just a Game (G1). She won the Distaff Turf Mile (G2) two back at Churchill Downs and won twice here at the Spa last summer, taking this race and coming back to win the Lake Placid (G2). She was spotting A Raving Beauty six pounds last out and now that foe is carrying two more.

A Raving Beauty gives Brown a tough one-two punch. She is perfect in her two starts in the U.S., winning the Beaugay (G3) off a 6 1/2 month layoff and then taking the Just a Game. She looks primed for a top effort third off the bench and tactically could have the advantage over her stablemate as she should be sitting just off the pace.

WIN: #1 to win at 8-5 or better.
EX: 1,2 / 1,2,6,7
TRI: 1,2 / 1,2,6,7 / 1,2,5,6,7

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Del Mar:

DMR Race 7 The San Diego Hcp G2 (5:00 PT)
#7 Accelerate 8-5
#1 Catalina Cruiser 8-1
#9 Dabster 8-1
#2 Dr. Dorr 5-1

Analysis: Accelerate earned a career top speed fig winning the Gold Cup at Santa Anita (G1) last out, his third win in four starts this year. He won this race by 8 1/2 lengths and then ran third in the Pacific Classic (G1). He has earned Beyers of 104 or higher in six of his last 10 starts, his one recent clunker a ninth in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (G1) last fall here. He owns a solid pace profile throughout and is going to be tough to beat in this spot as the favorite.

Catalina Cruiser makes his stakes debut here after an impressive victory against Alw-1 optional claimers last out where he earned a 107 Beyer, 18 points higher than his maiden win score. The third-place finisher in that race was Horse Greedy, who came back to run third in the San Carlos (G2) with a 101 Beyer. By Union Rags out of a Mineshaft mare he has the pedigree to handle the stretch out. he is getting a 10-pound break from the chalk.

WIN: #7 to win at 8-5 or better.
EX: 1,7 / 1,2,7,9
TRI: 1,7 / 1,2,7,9 / 1,2,3,7,9

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.

R2: #6 My Macho 10-1
R2: #1 Sir Winston 8-1
R4: #4 War Cabinet 8-1
R8: #11 Romantic Babe 12-1
R8: #4 Chipolina 8-1
R9: #6 Chase Greatness 8-1
R11: #10 Jess I Am 8-1

Good luck today!

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