At the Gate – Sunday

Yoshida took to dirt in yesterday’s Woodward (G1) as my top pick and I was surprised we were rewarded with a $14.40 payoff as I thought he would get bet down from his 5-1 morning line.

Gunnevera flied from the back of the pack to finish second and we knocked down a $2 recommended exacta that returned a hefty $94.00.

We are down to the final two days of the Saratoga meeting, with closing day coming up on Monday. Today’s featured race of the day is the $250,000 Prioress (G2) for three-year-old fillies going six furlongs on the main track.

Mia Mischief is the 5-2 morning line favorite for trainer Steve Asmussen. The daughter of Into Mischief missed winning the Test (G1) by a neck in her last outing.

Trainer Bob Baffert ships in Dream Tree, an undefeated filly who will be making her first start since February. She won the Starlet (G1) at Los Alamitos last December and in February won the Las Virgenes (G2).

The feature at Del Mar this afternoon is the $250,000 Del Mar Derby (G2) for three-year-olds going nine furlongs on turf. 12 go to the post led by La Jolla Handicap (G3) winner River Boyne for trainer Jeff Mullins.

My Best Plays Report for Sunday includes my nine strongest plays from Del Mar and Saratoga.

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

SAR Race 1 Clm $16,000N2L (12:30 ET)
#8 Take It to Scale 7-5
#6 Bronze Age 12-1
#4 Ruler of the Nile 8-5
#7 The Chamo 12-1

Analysis: Take It to Scale takes a big plunge here in for $16,000 after a seventh on the turf last out against state bred Alw-1 foes. The gelding graduated on the main track at Aqueduct in his debut going a mile back in April and then was not a threat in the mud in his first start against winners. The barn is 26% winners moving runners from turf to dirt. Klaravich pretty much has the owners title wrapped up, and this guy will help. A bullet work on Aug. 27.

Bronze Age pressed the early pace and weakened to finish fourth last out here off a two-month break. He crossed the wire first two back to Prairie Meadows against $30,000 non-winners of two but was DQ'd and placed sixth. This guy sill be forwardly placed with Santana up and has the best shot of breaking up a chalky exacta.

WIN: #8 to win at 7-5 or better.
EX: 6,8 / 4,6,7,8
TRI: 6,8 / 4,6,7,8 / 2,4,6,7,8

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Saratoga:

SAR Race 10 The Prioress G2 (5:38 ET)
#6 Classy Act 12-1
#4 Mia Mischief 5-2
#8 Dream Tree 3-1
#5 Dream Pauline 9-2

Analysis: Classy Act is a bit of a stab as this race came up really tough, but we should get a good price. The filly dueled for the early lead and tired to finish seventh in the Test (G1) last out, catching a racing strip that was playing to outside stalkers and closers. She was beaten just a neck two back in a game effort in the Victory Ride (G3) at Belmont Park going 6 1/2. Back in February she showed some class running a good second to Monotony Girl in the Rachel Alexandra (G2) going two turns at Fair Grounds. The Calhoun trainee owns solid early and mid pace numbers and looking for her to bounce back with a better effort here.

Mia Mischief just missed in the test, beaten a neck, bouncing back off a fifth in the Victory Ride two back. She won the Eight Belles (G2) at Churchill Downs and the Purple Mountain at Oaklawn Park in her two previous starts. She owns solid early and mid pace numbers and her speed figs in three of her last four starts are good enough to beat this group.

Dream Tree ships in from the west coast for Baffert and is perfect in four starts. She makes her first start since winning the Las Virgenes (G2) at Santa Anita going a mile. She has quick works on the morning tab for Baffert who is 20% winners with runners coming back off a +180-day layoff. Smith picks up the call. Baffert has won with 7 of 18 starters (39% with a +ROI) here at the Spa dating back five years, all of those wins coming in Grade 1 company.

WIN: #6 to win at 10-1 or better.
EX: 4,6 / 4,5,6,8
TRI: 4,6 / 4,5,6,8 / 4,5,6,8,9

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

DMR Race 8 The Del Mar Derby G2 (5:35 PT)
#6 Pubilius Syrus 8-1
#3 River Boyne 5-2
#9 Take the One O One 8-1
#7 Andesh 15-1

Analysis: Pubilius Syrus makes his first start since winning the Baffle at Santa Anita in February going 6 1/2 on the downhill turf course. The colt has won three of his seven starts, also winning the Eddie Logan two back at a mile. The Cerin barn is 25% winners (with a +ROI) with runners coming back off a +180-day layoff. Decent works on the morning tab and we should catch a fair Park on this guy.

River Boyne has won five of his last six starts, taking the La Jolla 'Cap (G3) last out as the chalk, beating a light field of five foes. He only had to beat three foes two back when winning the Rainbow at Santa Anita. He is a logical player here but not too crazy about him if he is sent off at less than his 5-2 morning line which seems likely.

WIN: #6 to win at 9-2 or better.
EX: 3,6 / 3,6,7,9
TRI: 3,6 / 3,6,7,9 / 3,6,7,8,9

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.

R1: #6 Bronze Age 12-1
R1: #7 The Chamo 12-1
R2: #11 Bustin Hoffman 12-1
R5: #6 Front Row Debbie 10-1
R6: #6 Take Me to hardon 10-1
R8: #6 Long Gray Line 8-1
R9: #6 Nantucket Red 8-1
R10: #6 Classy Act 12-1
R11: #10 Remarqued 8-1
R11: #3 Rose Velvet 8-1

Good luck today!