Jul 17, 2020
Saturday's Picks from Saratoga and Monmouth
The first Saturday of the Saratoga meeting is here and we are offered up an 11-race card featuring a pair of graded stakes and we will head off to the Jersey Shore where Monmouth Park has their marquee event of their summer meeting.
The headliner at the Spa today is the $350,000 Coaching Club American Oaks (G1), a 1 1/8-mile test for three-year-old fillies that drew a field of six. The Saffie Joseph Jr. trained Tonalist’s Shape is the 9-5 morning line favorite.
The filly has won six of her seven career starts, taking the Hollywood Wildcat at Gulfstream Park in her last outing.
The co-feature is the $150,000 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame (G2), which goes off as the third race on the card. A field of seven were entered, with one main track only bringing the field size down to six.
It may actually be five as Christophe Clement has a pair in the race. Gufo, who won the Kent (G3) at Delaware Park is the 5-2 second choice. However, Clement remarked he may scratch him in favor of the Saratoga Derby next month.
Clement will saddle the favorite Decorated Invader, who has won four of six and won the Pennine Ridge (G2) at Belmont Park going a mile in his last outing.
The richest race of the afternoon is the $1 million Haskell (G1) at Monmouth Park. The race drew a field of seven led by the Bob Baffert trained Authentic, the 4-5 morning line favorite. Baffert has won the Haskell a record eight times and he has a good shot of making it nine this afternoon.
The Haskell winner not only gets a big payday, the race serves as a major qualifying race for two different races.
The race is a Road to the Kentucky Derby points race, with 100-40-20-10 points up for grabs. The winner stamps a ticket to Louisville on the first Saturday of September for the Run for the Roses.
In addition, the race is also a “Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), which will be held in November at Keeneland.
Authentic comes in off a runner up finish in the Santa Anita Derby (G1). His main foe is Dr Post, who was the runner up in the Belmont Stakes (G1) in his last outing.
You can catch the action from Saratoga from 1:00 to 6:00 ET on FS1. The Haskell will be televised on NBC during a one hour telecast that gets underway at 5:00 ET. In addition, you can stream the action from Keeneland on YouTube or by using the TVG App. The horse betting company based in the U.S. is offering a risk free bet up to $300 for new players.
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Here is the opening race from Saratoga to get the day off to a good start:
Saratoga Race 1 Analysis - 7/18 (1:10 p.m. ET)
SAR Race 1 Md Sp Wt (1:10 ET)
#3 Mo Mischief 9-5
#2 Momos 8-1
#6 Repo Rocks 2-1
#1 Bajan Rum 6-1
Analysis: Mo Mischief debuts for the Pletcher barn that is 22% winners with first timers. Here last summer the trainer won with 8 of 33 (with a +ROI) debut runners. The colt was a $500,000 Ocala purchase, by Into Mischief out of a stakes placed Montbrook mare that has dropped one foal to race, Polarization ($101,180). A couple of solid gate drills and this guy looks ready to go at first asking.
Momos was a $180,000 Ocala purchase. The colt is by Distorted Humor out of a Spegihtstown mare that has dropped one runner, 0 for 2 Tammie's Gift. The colt has been working quickly for the Clement barn that is 26% winners (with a +ROI) with first time starters.
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Saratoga:
Saratoga Race 10 Analysis - 7/18 (6:16 p.m. ET)
SAR Race 10 The CCA Oaks G1 (6:16 ET)
#6 Paris Lights 2-1
#1 Tonalist's Shape 2-1
#2 Antoinette 6-1
#3 Altaf 5-1
Analysis: Paris Lights prompted the early pace and drove clear late to beat Alw-1 foes in her first start against winners. The third-place finisher Crazy Sexy Munny came back to beat $5,000 starter allowance foes in her next outing on June 14 at Belterra Park. She should have no problem handling her first trip at nine furlongs and taking on stakes company. She is by Curlin out of a Bernardini mare.
Tonalist's Shape tracked the early pace and took command heading for home, drawing off to win by 3 3/4 lengths to win the Hollywood Wildcat at Gulfstream Park. It was her sixth win in seven career starts. Her lone loss came two back where she did not fire in the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) in a seventh-place finish behind the winner Swiss Skydiver. She adds blinkers and posted a sharp work wearing the hood on July 14. Her last pair of speed figs are coming up just a bit light considering she is likely going to be less than her 9-5 morning line.
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Monmouth Park:
Monmouth Race 12 Analysis - 7/18 (5:46 p.m. ET)
MTH Race 12 The Haskell G1 (5:46 ET)
#1 Dr Post 5-2
#2 Authentic 4-5
#7 Ny Traffic 7-2
#3 Jesus' Team 15-1
Analysis: Dr Post exits the Belmont (G1) where he stalked the early pace and came with a six-wide run, rallying to finish in the runner up spot down the middle of the track. He was unable to get to Tiz the Law who got clear turning for home. The racing strip was kind to inside speed that day. The colt was a sharp winner two back at Gulfstream Park in the Unbridled which was his lone trip around two turns. He is back going two turns here and should get a good trip sitting off what likely is going to be a lively early pace. The $400,000 Keeneland purchase is by Quality Road out of the stakes winner Mary Delaney (Hennessy) who was mainly a sprinter on turf and synthetic. This race sets up for him. Pletcher has won this race three times, the most recent with Verrazano in 2013.
Authentic comes east off a runner up finish in the Santa Anita Derby (G1). The colt was off a beat slow, pressed the early pace, drifted toward the inside in the final furlong and could not get to the winner. The colt won his first three starts including the San Felipe (G2) two back in gate to wire fashion where he beat Honor A.P. by 2 ¼ lengths. His last was off a three-month break and he should move forward off that effort. Baffert has owned this race, winning it a record eight times. This colt owns the edge in early and mid pace numbers and if he shakes loose they won’t catch him. There are a couple of foes in here with some early zip and if they make things tough early it will benefit our top pick.
Ny Traffic earned a career top speed fig in a runner up finish in the Matt Winn (G3) last out at Churchill Downs. The colt pressed the early pace, had the lead and drifted outward late, beaten a length by Maxfield. He put in two good tries at Fair Grounds, running third in the Risen Star (G2) and second in the Louisiana Derby (G2). Despite the three losses he is still eighth in the Road to the Derby points race. The colt has worked sharply at Gulfstream Park since his last outing and while he does not look like a win candidate, he should pick up piece in this spot.
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 Momos 8-1
R2: #6 Catch That Party 10-1
R2: #5 Kilronan 8-1
R3: #3 Get Smokin 10-1
R4: #6 Jump for Joy 10-1
R6: #10 Pivotal Mission 8-1
R8: #1 Hoffenheim 8-1
R8: #8 Flowers for Lisa 12-1
R9: #9 Monarchs Glen 8-1
R11: #3 Quick Return 8-1
Good luck today!