At the Gate – Sunday

We ended up with a good day at Saratoga on Saturday including hitting the exacta in the Alabama (G1) and four other races.
The highlight was Carotari blazing to beat Alw-1 foes as my to pick paying $17.60 and topping a $2 exacta that returned $95.00.
Del Mar was not nearly as kind to us and I completely whiffed o the Pacific Classic (G1). My top pick was Pavel followed by Quip and Seeking the Soul and none of them fired.
It was Higher Power, my fifth choice that got the job done impressively, returning $21.20. The John Sadler trainee was coming off a runner up finish in the restricted Wicker.
Draft Pick at 13-1, who was third in the San Diego Handicap (G2) in his last start completed a $2 exacta that paid $388.80. Mongolian Groom, who was sent off at 18-1 capped off a $1 trifecta that returned $1,456.80.
I can’t recall the last Grade 1 race where I was so wrong.
Sunday’s feature at Saratoga is the $100,000 Summer Colony at nine furlongs on the main track with a field of seven lining up. Blue Prize is the 4-5 morning line favorite.
The mare was my top pick in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) where she came up 1 ½ lengths short in a fourth-place finish at 8-1.
I was tempted to try and beat her today, but she looks pretty tough and we will have to settle for some chalk.
My Best Plays for Sunday includes my nine strongest plays from Saratoga and Del Mar.
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Here is the opening race from Saratoga to get the day off to a good start:
SAR Race 1 Clm $35,000N3L (1:00 ET)
#5 Shiraz   3-1
#1 Blessed Halo   2-1
#6 Somekindofmagician   9-2
#2 Fully Loaded   8-1
Analysis: Shiraz cuts back from seven furlongs where the gelding opened up a clear lead early and could not hold off the top pair late in a third-place finish. The Maker trainee is just 1 for 20 in his career on turf while landing in the money 11 times. He owns solid early and mid pace numbers and speed has been pretty good over the firm going here recently. Saez sticks as he makes his third start of his current form cycle.
Blessed Halo pressed the early pace and weakened late to finish third last out for a $40,000 tag. He was claimed out of the race by the Cox barn that is 24% winners first off the claim. He returns off an eight-month layoff here with a light work tab, just three published morning drills at Churchill Downs. The barn is 21% winners with runners coming back off a +180-day layoff. He showed plenty of early zip last year and with the rail draw Rosario figures to send him.
WIN: #5 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 1,5 / 1,2,5,6
TRI: 1,5 / 1,2,5,6 / 1,2,5,6,8
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Saratoga:
SAR Race 9 The Summer Colony (5:38 ET)
#7 Blue Prize   4-5
#1 Pacific Wind   3-1
#4 Vexatious   6-1
#3 Tweeting   8-1
Analysis: Blue Prize gets some class relief here after checking in third last out in the Del 'Cap (G2). She has run into elate in her last two starts, a good second two back in the Fleur De Lis 'Cap (G2) at Churchill Downs. She won the Spinster (G1) last fall and we got on board for the Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1), but she came up short in a fourth-place finish at 8-1. She is in with restricted company here and should be able to handle this group but is going to be a light price.
Pacific Wind was not much of a threat coming with a six-wide run in a fifth-place finish in the Ogden Phipps (G1) last out at Belmont Park. The winner Midnight Bisou came back to win the Molly Pitcher (G3) at Monmouth Park in her next start on July 20. She was third to our top pick in last fall's Spinster and she won twice last year including the Ruffian (G2) at a mile. The Brown trainee looks well spotted on the class drop and is the obvious main threat to our top pick.
WIN: #7 to win at 1-1 or better.
EX: 1,7 / 1,3,4,7
TRI: 1,7 / 1,3,4,7 / 1,3,4,5,7
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Del Mar:
DMR Race 7 The Del Mar Mile Hcp G2 (5:00 PT)
#5 Bowies Hero   5-2
#11 Ohio   15-1
#9 Bolo   5-1
#8 What a View   6-1
Analysis: Bowies Hero cuts back from nine furlongs where least out the D'Amato trainee was a sharp winner of the Eddie Read (G2) here. It was his first win since taking the Frank KIlroe (G1) in March of '18. He has done his best work at a mile, a winner of 6 of his 13 starts at the distance. Two back in the Shoemaker Mile (G1) over good ground he made a good late rally to finish third, beaten 1 1/4 lengths for the top spot behind Bolo. It appears he is going to get some pace to run at and he comes in here in sharp form.
Ohio also exits the Eddie Read where he tracked the early pace and weakened to finish sixth, beaten 3 1/4 lengths for the top spot. Three back this guy won the Frank Kilroe (G1) at a mile with a near career top speed fig. McCarthy is having a tough meeting (1 for 25) but this gelding gets a jock upgrade to Johnny V. and the 15-1 morning line looks generous.
WIN: #5 to win at 2-1 or better.
EX: 5,11 / 5,8,9,11
TRI: 5,11 / 5,8,9,11 / 5,7,8,9,11
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.
R1: #2 Fully Loaded   8-1
R2: #1 Cotton Candy Cutie   8-1
R3: #3 Make Or Break   12-1
R4: #8 East Moon   8-1
R5: #6 Wicked Spirit   8-1
R6: #8 Bird Tycoon   8-1
R7: #9 Macho Blue   8-1
R7: #10 Maniacal   10-1
R8: #11 Ellie’s Town   8-1
R9: #3 Tweeting   8-1
R10: #9 Mayne Spun   8-1
R10: #7 Love and Love   15-1
Good luck today!