Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:50 AM

Sunday's Picks from Saratoga and Del Mar

The feature on Sunday at Saratoga is the $200,000 Amsterdam (G2) for three-year-olds going 6 ½ furlongs on the main track and it features a rematch between Jackie’s Warrior and Drain the Clock.

They met in the Woody Stephens (G1) at Belmont Park on June 5, with Jackie’s Warrior going off as the 6-5 favorite. The colt set the early fractions and battled with Drain the Clock right to the wire, with the latter getting his neck in front and paying $17.00.

While Jackie’s Warrior will likely be a similar price today, Drain the Clock is going to be much shorter. The colt is 2-1 on the morning line and may end up even shorter. I think Jackie’s Warrior will turn the tables today, last out racing down along a deep rail much of the trip.

The feature at Del Mar today also looks on the chalky side. The $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch (G1) is a “Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1).

Shedaresthedevil is the 7-5 morning line favorite and looking to rebound off a third-place finish in the Ogden Phipps (G1) last out. She had won five of her six previous starts including the 2020 Kentucky Oaks (G1).

Her main rival is the Bob Baffert trained As Time Goes By, who has won four of her seven career starts and back to back Grade 2 victories. She is the 8-5 second choice.

Again, not much of a betting race but I am leaning toward the Baffert filly, although to be honest, rooting for any runner from this controversial barn is not much fun.

While the stakes look chalky there are still plenty of good betting opportunities at both tracks. My Best Plays Report for Sunday includes my nine strongest plays from the two tracks.

“Saratoga Live” is on FS2 (and streaming on YouTube) from 1:00 to 4:00 ET, and then on FS1 from 4:00 to 6:30 and back on FS2 from 3:00 to 6:30. TVG 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 and Best Plays Report for Sunday click here .

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


 Race 1 Md $50,000

  • #10 Thruster 6-1
  • #9 Rye Runner 12-1
  • #2 Everesting 2-1
  • #1 Not Stormy / 1a Congrats for Glory 6-1

Analysis: Thruster gets the nod in a tough opening race. The gelding checked in fifth last out at Pimlico in a race taken off the turf. Two back he made a mild late bod to check in fourth at Belmont Park going seven furlongs. His best effort came three back where he came with a good late rally to miss by just a nose at 15-1 at six furlongs. There is not a ton of early zip in here but if he gets some pace and a good trip under Ortiz he can be around late at a decent price. He is out of the stakes winner True Sensation ($308,486) who has dropped six winners including a couple of turf winners.

Rye Runner is our top pick's stablemate. Last out he tracked the early pace before weakening to finish fifth over yielding ground in his first go for a tag. He was beaten double digit lengths in his first three starts but looks as if this level suits him. He should be forwardly placed in this spot and also is going to be a generous price. Not a real strong turf pedigree but he seemed to handle it okay in his last outing.


Race 8 Clm $40,000N2L

  • #2 Mirabell Mei 9-2
  • #6 Amortization 4-1
  • #9 Princess Pinky 8-1
  • #10 Summer in the City 7-2

Analysis: Mirabell Mei drops back in for a tag for her third start off the bench here for the Terranova barn. The filly came off a five month break two back by rallying to finish third at 8-1. Last out she made a mild late run to finish fourth, beaten four length again at 8-1. Tree and four back she faces $30,000 non-winners of two on the turf at Aqueduct and was third and second behind repeat winners. She picks up Santana and catches a big field here with plenty of runners in here capable of assuring we see a brisk early pace which should set things up nicely for her.

Amortization came off a six-month layoff last out taking on winners for the first time and after stalking the early pace she tried to finish ninth against Alw-1 foes. She broke her maiden two back by a head over good ground at Aqueduct to win her second career outing as the favorite. Brown drops here in for a tag here and she should be tighter second off the bench. She has about as much upside as any of these and reunites with Franco who was aboard for her maiden breaker two back.


Race 6 Md Sp Wt

  • #9 Baby's Dream 4-1
  • #10 Very Scary 3-1
  • #1 Beachgrass 12-1
  • #8 La Deuxieme Etoile 5-1

Analysis: Baby's Dream is one of two in here sent out by the Desormeaux barn. The filly was sent off at 21-1 in her debut going five furlongs on the grass here she was last early and made a mild late rally to finish fourth. She has the pedigree to go long on turf, by Declaration of War out of a stakes placed Kitten's Joy mare, her first foal to race. She should be tighter second of the bench. The barn is 13% winners (with a +ROI) moving runners from sprint to route.

Very Scary tracked the early pace from the outside and finished evenly in a third-place finish last out on the main track at Los Al going five furlongs. The runner up We All Agree came back to graduate in her next outing on July 23 here for a $50,000 tag. She has posted a couple of bullet works since her debut for the O'Neill barn that is 12% winners with second out maidens. She is by Connect out of a turf stakes placed Hard Spun mare, this her first foal to race. She figures to move forward with a race under her belt and likely to take to the surface switch.


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. 


  • R1: #9 Rey Runner 12-1
  • R2: #8 Barrett 10-1
  • R4: #8 Crystalogy 8-1
  • R7: #5 Mr Phil 8-1
  • R8: #9 Princess Pinky 8-1
  • R10: 32 New York Banker 12-1

Good luck today!

We may be compensated by the company links provided on this page. Read more

Horses News