Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:50 AM

Sunday's Picks From Saratoga and Del Mar

Our trip to the Jersey Shore on Saturday paid off pretty well as I had three of the five winners with my top picks including Mandaloun, who won the Haskell Invitational (G1) and paid $8.20 thanks to a disqualification of Hot Rod Charlie.

We had Graceful Princes at $31.00 in the Molly Pitcher (G3) and Tribhuvan ($5.40) in the United Nations (G1). Those three winners combined with Wit ($4.20) in the Sanford (G3) and Althiqa ($9.90) in the Diana (G1) gave us five top picks in the six races that made up the Monmouth Park-Saratoga .20 cent Pick 6.

The opening leg was won by Dr. Post in the Monmouth Cup (G3) who was my third choice. The $.0.20 Pick 6 returned a solid $1,467.60. I rarely play these .20 Pick 6’s as I prefer the Pick 5, but my small investment turned into a nice windfall.

There is more rain in the forecast at the Spa overnight into Sunday afternoon. There are four races carded for the turf including the feature. There was also plenty of rain in the forecast for Saturday, but we saw just one afternoon shower, and the turf went from firm to good.

There is a good chance we could be off the turf this afternoon, but I am hoping at least the stake, the $120,000 Coronation Cup stays on turf. The race drew a competitive field of 10, with only one of those a main track only entrant.

“Saratoga Live” is on FS2 (and YouTube) Saturday 1:00 to 1:30 ET, on FS1 from 1:30 to 3:00 and FS2 from 3:00 to 6:30. TV is offering new players  up to a $300 Risk Free wager.  In addition, AmWager is offering up to a $500 bonus for new horseplayers.

To purchase my Saratoga Report and Best Plays for Sunday  click here .

Now is the perfect time to purchase my Monthly Package. It gives you a month of Saratoga Reports daily and my Best Plays Report each Saturday and Sunday.

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


 SAR Race 1 Md Sp Wt

  • #3 Silver Samurai 3-1
  • #5 Mischief Mogul 7-5
  • #4 Doin’ittherighitway 6-1
  • #7 Shipsensational 9-2

Analysis: Silver Samurai showed good early zip in his debut, setting the early fractions while down along a dead rail and was no match for the winner who drew away to win by nearly eight lengths. The third-place finisher Surprise Boss was beaten just a neck in a runner up finish in his next start at Belmont Park on July 2. Breen hits at a 27% clip (with a +ROI) with second out maidens. The barn's winner here at the meet was with a scone timer on Friday. This colt is out of the stakes winner Silver Valley ($105,734) who has dropped two other runners with one winner. A decent enough off track pedigree.

Mischief Mogul debuts for the Pletcher barn that is 16% winners with first timers. Here at the Spa last summer the barn was 3 for 22 with two-year-old firsters. This colt is by Into Mischief out of the stakes winner Winter Book ($148,299) who has dropped one foal to race, 2 for 17 Winter Wolf ($29,044). Decent works but a bit leery on backing any Pletcher runner at puny prices at this meeting.


SAR Race 9 The Coronation Cup

  • #5 Bye Bye 5-1
  • #3 Honey Pants 4-1
  • #4 Goin' Good 5-2
  • #10 Illegal Smile 9-2

Analysis: Bye Bye is cutting back from a mile where the filly set the early fractions and weakened to finish seventh, beaten three lengths in the Wild Applause. She broke her maiden at five furlongs in her second career start and then won the Soaring Softly (G3) at seven panels in her first start against winners. The Clement barn is 20% winners moving runners from route to sprint. She has not been on less than firm ground which she likely catches today if this sticks on the grass. If this goes to the main track this gal is bred top and bottom to handle an off track.

Honey Pants was next to last early and came with a good four wide run to get up late and beat Alw-1 company at Belmont Park going six furlongs off a 2 1/2-month break. The runner up Too Sexy came back to beat Alw-1 foes in her next outing here on Friday. She finished in the money in a couple of stakes including a runner up finish in the Steward Manor at six furlongs. It looks as if she should get an honest pace in front of her and while speed seems to be dangerous early at the meet on turf with some rain that could change for today.

Goin' Good is coming off a sharp win versus non-conditioned allowance company at Churchill Downs going 5 /2 furlongs last out. She earned a career top speed fig in the effort. She ran well on ground with some give to it three back in a runner up finish at Keeneland in the Limestone Turf Sprint. She fits well in this spot but the Cox trainee may end up a short price.


DMR Race 5 OClm $40,000N1X

  • #8 Kuora 6-1
  • #2 Go Big Blue Nation 9-5
  • #1 Lady Noguez 7-2
  • #5 Star of Africa 6-1

Analysis: Kuoracame off a 4 1/2 month break last out, setting a slow early fractions and she packed it in checking in seventh in the Possibly Perfect at 1 1/4 miles. This gal ran a couple of races last year that would make her competitive in here, beating Alw-2 optional claimers at Churchill Downs and then running fourth in the Blushing KD at Fair Grounds. She did win at 1 1/4 miles in her native Peru and should be fitter second off the bench here for the Baltas barn. The trainer is 17% winners with runners making their second start off a 45–180-day layoff.

Go Big Blue Nation raced at the back of the pack early and made a mild late run to finish fourth last out in the Possible Perfect, beaten two lengths. She got no pace to run at and just might here. She beat Alw-2 company three back at 1 1/4 miles and was fourth two back in the Santa Barbara (G3) at 1 1/2 miles. This distance looks as if it should suit her. Prat sticks and this McCarthy trainee looks headed in the right direction form wise.


These are price plays for exotic players looking to find a couple of extra contenders to use in their Pick 4 and Pick 5 wagers. Or for those with smaller bankrolls, you might want to get in a small win wager. 


  • R2: #7 Group Hug 10-1
  • R2: #10 Partner’s Hope 10-1
  • R3: #10 Fractorzation 8-1
  • R4: #7 Poncho Song 8-1
  • R6: #8 Handy 10-1

Good luck today!

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