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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 14:03 PM

At the Gate - Sunday

Sunday’s feature at Saratoga is not much of a betting race unless you are into match up bets, with a showdown between Midnight Bisou and Monomoy Girl in the $300,000 Coaching Club American Oaks (G1).

The CCA Oaks drew a compact field of five with Monomoy Girl the 4-5 morning line favorite while her main rival is listed at 7-5. The other three in the field look overmatched.

Monomoy Girl has reeled off four in a row including three Grade 1 races and another victory here would all but sew up year end honors regardless of what she does the remainder of the year.

Midnight Bisou finished behind the favorite when she was third in the Kentucky Oaks, coming with a seven-wide run after getting outrun early. She came back with a smart win in the Mother Goose (G2) at Belmont Park in her last outing.

It is tough to split the pair but it sure looks as if Monomoy Girl will have the tactical edge as she likely gets the jump on her foes when she turns for home.

The highlight of the Del Mar card on Sunday is the $250,000 Eddie Read (G2) which drew a strong field of 11 including the defending champ Hunt (3-1) for the Phil D’Amato barn. The gelding makes his second start off the layoff after winning the Shoemaker Mile (G1) in his last outing off the sidelines.

He faces a tough group including Sharp Samurai (7-2) who has a couple of wins over the Del Mar turf, True Value (15-1), a Group 3 winner making his U.S. debut for John Murtagh and Itsinthepost (5-2) who was a sharp winner of the Charlie Whittingham (G2) at Santa Anita in his last outing.

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

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

SAR Race 1 Clm $20,000 (1:00 ET)

5 Proportionality 10-1

2 Tied Up 1-1

1 Giant Boxer 9-2

7 Pure Praise 7-2


Analysis: Proportionality caught a muddy track last out in her second start off the claim by Handal and after chasing the early pace she tired to finish fifth. Back in January this gal beat $25,000 claimers at Laurel Park earning a fig good enough to put her in the mix here. She owns solid early and mid pace numbers and should be on or near the lead here. Handal is an underrated outfit and this filly looks capable of moving forward off her last effort. Worth a look here if she goes off near her 10-1 morning line.

Tied Up took the field gate to wire to beat $30,000 claimers last out at Keeneland in her first start off the claim by the Amoss barn. She was taken two back out of a third versus Alw-1 optional claimers at Delta Downs. She is the obvious pick and could take these gate to wire, but if she gets some pressure early she could be vulnerable at a light price.

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

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Saratoga:

SAR Race 9 The CCA Oaks G1 (5:40 ET)

4 Monomoy Girl 4-5

2 Midnight Bisou 7-5

3 Eskimo Kisses 6-1

1 Chocolate Martini 12-1


Analysis: Monomoy Girl has won seven of her eight starts with the lone blemish a neck loss to road to Victory in the Golden Rod (G2) at Churchill Downs last November. She beat our second choice in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) two back and came back to win the Acorn (G1) last out for her third Grade 1 win of the year. The runner up Tale Veuve to Me came back to win the Indiana Oaks (G3) in her next outing on July 14. The Cox trainee owns a solid pace profile throughout and will have the jump on her main rival in here giving her the tactical advantage in this short field.

Midnight Bisou prompted the early pace and drew clear to win the Mother Goose (G2) last out at Belmont Park and she matched her career top speed fig. She has won four of seven with a couple of seconds and the lone race where she landed out of the exacta was in the Kentucky oaks where she had to come with a wide run and finished third. She is clearly best of the rest and completes a puny exacta.

Wagering
WIN: #4 to win at 4-5 or better.
EX: 4 / 2,3
TRI: no play

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

DMR Race 8 The Eddie Read G2 (5:30 PT)

7 Hunt 3-1

5 Sharp Samurai 7-2

1 True Valor 15-1

9 Itsinthepost 5-2


Analysis: Hunt came off a six-month layoff and prevail din the Shoemaker Mile (G1) by a neck in a really game effort getting by a tough one in Heart to Heart in the stretch. The gelding won twice here last year, winning this race and then taking the Del Mar 'Cap (G2). He earned a career top speed fig last out and the extra furlong suits him.

Sharp Samurai came off the bench with a sharp win against optional claimers and looks primed for a top effort here for the Glatt barn. The gelding won 6 of his 9 starts last year including the La Jolla 'Cap (G3) and Del Mar Derby (G2) here. He has won four of his five starts at the distance and will appreciate the extra ground here. He was scratched out of the San Diego (G2) on dirt yesterday and this is a much better spot for him remaining on turf.

Wagering
WIN: #7 to win at 3-1 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.

Saratoga
R1: #5 Proportionality 10-1
R3: #5 Lady Joan 8-1
R4: #6 Three to Thirteen 8-1
R9: #1 Chocolate Martini 12-1
R10: #10 East Moon 8-1
R10: #1 Quaff 12-1

Good luck today!

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