Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:53 AM
Sunday's Picks from Saratoga and Del Mar
My top pick Midcourt and second choice Maximum Security threw it down in the stretch in yesterday’s San Diego Handicap (G2) at Del Mar.
Midcourt was 6-1 while Maximum Security was sent off as 2-5 favorite, making his first start since landing with Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert.
Midcourt grabbed the early lead and opened up heading for home, but the duo hit the wire together and Maximum Security got his nostril in front, giving us a really tough beat. The $2 exacta paid $8.40.
Sunday’s feature at Saratoga is the $150,000 Bernard Baruch Handicap (G2) and as we have seen a bit too often at the meet, it drew a small field, just six going 1 1/16 miles on the inner turf course.
It is a competitive group with Good Governance the 9-5 morning line favorite. The Chad Brown trainee came off the layoff to beat first level allowance company in his last outing and steps up into a tougher spot.
I landed on Halladay, the 2-1 second choice. The Todd Pletcher trainee took the field gate to wire to win the Sunshine Forever at Gulfstream Park back in May and he has won five of his 10 career start on turf.
The feature at Del Mar is the $200,000 Eddie Read (G2) for three-year-olds and upward going 1 1/8 miles on turf. A field of six will line up.
United is the 8-5 morning line favorite for trainer Richard Mandella. He won the Charlie Whittingham (G2) by a nose in his last start.
I need more value and Neptune’s Storm at 6-1 may offer it. The gelding won the San Francisco at Golden Gate Fields in his last outing.
My Best Plays Report for Sunday includes my eight strongest plays from Saratoga and Del Mar.
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You can catch the action from Saratoga from 1:00 to 6:30 ET on FS2. In addition, you can stream the action 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 - 7/26 (1:10 p.m. ET)
SAR Race 1 Md Sp Wt (1:10 ET)
5 Silver Token 9-2
3 Advanced Strategy 2-1
8 Smite 7-2
6 More Like It 3-1
Analysis: Silver Token makes his second start off the bench here for the DePaz barn that is 0 for 4 at the meeting but all of his starters have run well. Last out this guy came with a good late rally to finish third going six furlongs on turf in his first start for the former Pletcher assistant after previously being with Rice. The gelding showed some talent last year with back to back runner up finishes before hitting the bench. There is not a ton of speed in here and Lezcano is going to need to get him into the mix earlier here second off the bench. He is out of an El Prado mare that has dropped two other foals to race with one dirt winner.
Advanced Strategy was a good third in his debut last December at 10-1 on a wet main track at the Big A. The $125,000 purchase comes back here with a jock upgrade from a bug to Rosario and a switch to turf. He is out of a Big Brown mare, her first foal to race. The colt has worked well for his return and catches a soft looking spot for his return. Jerkens is 11% winners with runners coming back off a +180-day layoff dating back five years.
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Saratoga:
Saratoga Race 9 Analysis - 7/26 (5:46 p.m. ET)
SAR Race 9 The Bernard Baruch Hcp G2 (5:46 ET)
6 Halladay 2-1
3 Somelikeithotbrown 4-1
2 Good Governance 9-5
5 Olympico 9-2
Analysis: Halladay bobbled coming out of the gate last out in the Sunshine Forever at Gulfstream park. The colt still took command of the lead and took the field gate to wire, winning by a measured 1 1/4 lengths and the margin could have been larger as he was much the best.
Admission Office came back to win the Louisville (G3) at Churchill Downs in his next outing on June 13. The colt is going to have to deal with the speedy Somelikeithotbrown early but looks capable of sitting just off the pace if that foe is sent. The colt comes in here for Pletcher off back to back career tops and he just missed here last year by a neck over the grass against Alw-1 foes. Sharp works for his return off a 2 1/2-month break and the barn has been live at the meet.
Somelikeithotbrown set a solid early pace and weakened to finish third last out in the Ft. Marcy (G2) at Belmont Park over good ground at nine furlongs. He earned a career top speed fig in the effort. He is just 1 for 6 on turf but put in some solid efforts as a two-year-old on turf including a game third in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G1). He could shake loose here and among the top three is going to be the best price.
Good Governance is one of two in here sent out by the Chad Brown barn. The colt has just three starts under his belt, beating Alw-1 foes last out at Belmont park off the bench. he graduated here in his debut last summer and then was beaten just a neck in the Saranac (G3) to Global Access. The barn is 29% winners with runners making their second start off a +180-day break and he looks as if he still has plenty of upside.
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Del Mar:
Del Mar Race 8 Analysis - 7/26 (5:30 p.m. PT)
DMR Race 8 The Eddie Read G2 (5:30 PT)
6 Neptune's Storm 6-1
7 United 8-5
1 Bowies Hero 4-1
2 Originaire 9-2
Analysis: Neptune's Storm chased the early pace and finished gamely to win the San Francisco (G3) last out at Golden Gate Fields in his second start off a three-month break. She weakened to finish seventh in the Shoemaker Mile (G1) two back off the bench. The extra ground here suits this guy as he has run well at nine furlongs, winning 2 of 5 and running second in the Hollywood Derby (G1) here last November. He looks as if he is sitting on a good one here and he should be a decent price in this spot.
United is going to be the favorite and he comes in off a game nose win in the Charlie Whittingham (G2), his fourth win in 11 trips on turf. That effort came at 1 1/4 miles and off a 3 1/2-month break. He did win his lone trip at nine furlongs but is better going longer. He is the logical one to beat but at a light price and not at his best distance we will try to beat him for the top 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.
R2: #1 Work It Out 8-1
R3: #2 Reckless Spirit 10-1
R4: #5 Cryptographer 8-1
R7: #3 Competitive Saint 10-1
R8: #7 Summer Kid 8-1
R10: #11 Prince of Caps 10-1
Good luck today!