Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:53 AM

Sunday's Picks from Saratoga, Del Mar

We had a pretty god day at Saratoga on Saturday with five winners on top, one of those being Swiss Skydiver who was a very impressive winner of the Alabama (G1).

I thought she would go off at 3-5 and she ended up paying $4.30 which kind of looked like an overlay as she scampered home winning by a margin of 3 ½ lengths while getting geared down late. She could have won by 10.

Her trainer Ken McPeek mentioned possibly running her in the Kentucky Derby (G1) last month and she qualified by running second against the boys in the Blue Grass (G2) at Keeneland. The only foe that beat her that day was Art Collector, who came back to win the Ellis Park Derby in his next start and will be one of the major players in the Kentucky Derby.

It appears the connections of Swiss Skydiver are going to head to the Kentucky Oaks. McPeek mentioned he does not want to run into Tiz the Law, who will be the Derby favorite, but did not rule out possibly going in the Preakness (G1).

He could still change his mind, but if he does end up going to the Oaks it will be quite a showdown with the Bob Baffert trained Gamine, who won the Test (G1) at Saratoga on Aug. 8.

Yesterday’s Pegasus at Monmouth Park, which was won by Pneumatic, was the last Road to the Kentucky Derby points race. The colt picked up 20 points moving him from 22nd on the Derby list up to 11th with 45 points.

If Swiss Skydiver opts for the Oaks that would mean all it would take would be 18 points to get into the Derby field. As of now there is talk we may not get to a full field of 20, but we have three weeks to sort it out.

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

SAR Race 1 Md Sp Wt (1:10 p.m. ET)

SAR Race 1 Md Sp Wt (1:10 p.m. ET)
#3 Cantata 5-2
#6 Nevisian Sunrise 3-1
#1 School of Thought 7-5
#4 Stone Town 4-1

Analysis: Cantata debuts for the Asmussen barn that is 18% winners overall with first timers. This year the trainer has hit with 12 of 43 (28%) two-year-old firsters, here so far he is 1 for 6. This filly was a $950,000 Keeneland purchase by Medaglia d'Oro out of the stakes winner Stoweshow ($51,120). Solid works on the morning tab and she looks ready to fire at first asking.

Nevisian Sunrise is one of two firsters in here sent out by the Brown barn. The trainer was just 1 for 12 with first timers before hitting with one on yesterday's card. This filly is by War Front out of the stakes winner My Miss Sophia ($605,040), this her first foal to race. A steady string of works on the morning tab and it looks like this is going to be the higher price of the Brown duo in here.

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Saratoga:

SAR Race 9 The Saratoga Oaks (5:46 p.m. ET)

SAR Race 9 The Saratoga Oaks (5:46 p.m. ET)
#2 Enola Gay 2-1
#1 Speaktomeofsummer 3-1
#6 Ricetta 9-2
#3 Antoinette 6-1

Analysis: Enola Gay tracked the early pace while saving ground and kicked out into another gear in the stretch when angled toward the outside, getting up late to win the Appalachian (G2) at Keeneland off an eight-month layoff. Only one filly has come out of that race to run back, fourth place finisher Evil Lyn beaten a neck and a head when third in the Indiana Grand on Aug. 12. Our top pick broke her maiden in her debut last September at Kentucky Downs and then was fourth in the Stewart Manor, both turf sprints. There is not much place in here and she should be with the first flight here and looks to still have plenty of upside for the Shug barn. Looks as if she should be able to handle more ground.

Speaktomeofsummer is coming off a head win in the Lake Placid (G2) last out here at nine furlongs. The filly had to check early when a foe came over on her, losing some momentum and getting a bit rank, split rivals in the stretch and just got up in a game effort. Shew was fourth in the Wonder Again (G3) two back in her first go off a 7 1/2-month layoff. She showed promise as a juvenile, winning the Chelsey Flower at a mile before hitting the sidelines. She is out of the turf graded stakes winner Silver Reunion ($254,403) who has dropped four other turf winners including stakes winner Proud Reunion ($177,880). She looks capable of handling the extra ground here.

Ricetta makes her U.S. debut here for the Mott barn. The filly made three starts for John Gosden in just over a month, winning her first two outings. Last out she was third as the beaten favorite in the Musidora Stakes (G3) at York going 1 5/16 miles. She lands here with just one published work and note no lasix is added. A tough read what we may see out of this filly here and will be interesting to see if she gets bet.

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

DMR Race 7 Clm $16,000N2L (8:07 p.m. ET)

DMR Race 7 Clm $16,000N2L (8:07 p.m. ET)
#1 Bodega 7-2
#2 Mongolian Hero 5-2
#7 Signofthecross 12-1
#4 Speakerofthehouse 3-1

Analysis: Bodega was way last and trailed and made up some ground while coming with a wide bid to finish fifth last out at this level, beaten three lengths. The gelding was claimed out of the race by the D'Amato barn that is 5 for 14 (36%) first off the claim dating back three years. The gelding graduated tow back at Los Al going a mile, drawing away to win by seven lengths. He has moved forward with each outing and should be able to handle this group.

Mongolian Hero stalked the early pace and weakened to finish fifth last out against $50,000 starter allowance foes, sent off at 15-1. The colt drops into an easier spot here tagged for $16,000 and facing non-winners of two. He ran well here last year, a second against $50,000 starter allowance foes in November. He owns a solid pace profile throughout and looks as if he should be more forwardly placed in this spot.

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.

R2: #10 Bold Gem 10-1
R4: #8 Sky Kitten 8-1
R5: #5 Taos 8-1
R6: #3 Tri Saint Lorenzo 10-1
R7: #8 Life On Top 15-1

Good luck today!

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