Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:53 AM
Sunday's Picks from Saratoga and Monmouth Park
Authentic was sent off as the heavy favorite in yesterday’s $1 million Haskell (G1) and he got the job done as the wire came just in time.
The Bob Baffert trainee took the field gate to wire, and he opened up a clear lead with a furlong to go but seemed to not get into his final gear and Ny Traffic came at him, coming up just a nose short of pulling off a mild upset.
Authentic earned 100 points toward entry into the Kentucky Derby, but the question remains whether or not this colt can get 1 1/4 miles on the first Saturday of September. Baffert won his record ninth Haskell.
In addition to qualifying for the Derby the colt stamped a free ticket to the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Keeneland in November.
The opening week of the Saratoga meeting comes to a close this afternoon with a 10-race card. The feature is the $150,000 Lake Placid (G2) which drew a field of eight fillies and mares that will go 1 1/8 miles on the inner turf course.
The Graham Motion trained Cat’s Pajamas is the 5-2 morning line favorite. The filly was a game winner against first level allowance foes and makes her stakes debut this afternoon. John Velazquez has the ride and will break from the eight post.
I landed on the other Motion runner in Blame Debbie, who is 8-1 on the morning line. She showed some ability as a juvenile and after getting outrun in a couple of stakes races to starts off her year she put things together last out in a game third against first level allowance company. She can pull off the upset here with Jose Ortiz picking up the call.
We will also head out to Monmouth Park this afternoon. The feature is the $75,000 Jersey Girl Handicap.
My Best Plays Report for Sunday includes my nine strongest plays from Belmont Park and Monmouth Park.
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You can catch the action from Saratoga from 1:00 to 6:30 ET on FS1. 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 - 7/19 (1:10 p.m. ET)
SAR Race 1 Alw $40,000N2X (1:10 ET)
#3 Dr. Shane 2-1
#1 Dowse's Beach / 1a New York's Finest 9-5
#5 Royal Asset 10-1
#7 Banana Thief 4-1
Analysis: Dr. Shane tired to finish seventh last out against $100,000 optional claimers at Gulfstream Park going a mile. He returns off a 3 1/2-month break and is in with state breds here. He is 0 for 4 at this distance but he did beat open Alw-2 optional claimers at six furlongs on turf at Belmont Park last May. The Gargan barn is 23% winners (with a +ROI) with runners coming back off a 61-180-day layoff. He looks well spotted here on the class drop and Carmouche is aboard who rode him in that win last May.
Dowse's Beach pressed the early pace and weakened to finish third last out at this level in his first start off a 7 1/2-month layoff. He has won 6 of 11 at this distance. He won at this condition two back. He makes his second start since going from Servis to Maker. Entrymate New York's Finest is a nine-time winner at this distance. He set the early fractions and weakened late to finish in the runner up spot against Alw-1 foes. He is back in with state breds and he has won 4 of 6 over the Spa turf. He lands with RRod and completes a strong entry.
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Monmouth Park:
Monmouth Park Race 10 Analysis - 7/19 (5:09 p.m. ET)
MTH Race 10 The Jersey Girl (5:09 ET)
#3 I'm Listening 7-2
#5 Diamond Play 7-5
#1 Bramble Bay 9-2
#6 Boomerang Miss 6-1
Analysis: I'm Listening stalked the early pace, made a good middle move and then did not have enough punch left late in a fourth-place finish last out against Alw-2 optional claimers at Laurel Park. She was making her first start off an eight-month layoff. The mare beat Alw-1 foes three back at Delaware Park and in her last start against NJ breds she beat Alw-1 foes here four back. She should be fitter for her second start off the bench and will appreciate the return into the state bred ranks here for the Eppler barn.
Diamond Play makes her second start off a 5 1/2 month break here. Last out she made a mild late run to check in fifth in the state bred Spruce Fir 'Cap here on the main track. She is better on turf, landing in the exacta in 11 of her 17 trips including four wins here in eight trips. She was beaten just a neck in this race last year and was third in the race in '18. The switch to turf will suit here as will the stretch out to a mile. She looks tough here as the likely short priced favorite.
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Saratoga:
Saratoga Race 9 Analysis - 7/19 (5:46 p.m. ET)
SAR Race 9 The Lake Placid G2 (5:46 ET)
#2 Blame Debbie 8-1
#1 Speaktomeofsummer 5-1
#8 Cat's Pajamas 5-2
#6 Stunning Sky 3-1
Analysis: Blame Debbie is the higher price of the two in here sent out by the Motion barn. The filly showed some ability last year with a third in the Demoiselle (G2) on the main track at the Big A going nine furlongs in her first trip against winners. She then was not a threat in the Suncoast on dirt and the Florida Oaks (G3) on turf. She woke up last out off a three-month break against older Alw-1 foes on turf going 1 1/4 miles. She [prompted the early pace, took over the lead and battled on gamely in a third-place finish. beaten a neck and a head for the top spot. The winner Civil Union came back to win the River Memories on July 12. She is back with straight three-year-olds here and should be forwardly placed in a race void of much early pace. She is bred to handle 1 1/4 miles. By Blame out of an Invasor mare. Motion won this race last year with Varenka.
Speaktomeofsummer makes her second start off the bench here for the Clement barn. Last out she tracked the early pace and came up short in the stretch in a fourth-place finish in the Wonder Again (G3). Last November she won the Chelsey Flower at Aqueduct going a mile in her first trip against winners. The blinkers come off here. She is out of the turf stakes winner Silver Reunion ($254,403) who has dropped four other turf winners including turf stakes winner Proud Reunion ($177,880). She should be fitter second off the bench.
Cat's Pajamas makes her stakes debut here off a sharp win versus Alw-1 company last out at Belmont Park going 1 1/16 miles on turf in her first start against winners. She graduated two back at Churchill Downs off an eight-month layoff. The Motion trainee should be able to handle the extra ground here. She is by Street Sense out of a Tale of the Cat mare that has dropped five other winners including a couple of turf winners including turf stakes winner Candy Kitten ($228,927). She looks as if she still has plenty of upside, but her price may end up on the light side here.
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: #5 Royal Asset 10-1
R4: #4 Queen’s Mason 10-1
R6: #10 Noble Thought 15-1
R7: #2 Stone Town 12-1
R8: #8 Officer Hutchy 8-1
R9: #2 Blame Debbie 8-1
R10: #4 Scarf It Down 8-1
Good luck today!