Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:50 AM

Sunday's Picks from Saratoga and Del Mar

We have another outstanding betting card at Saratoga on tap on Sunday highlighted by three stakes including the $700,000 Saratoga Oaks Invitational (G3).

The race drew a field of eight three-year-old fillies that will go 1 3/16 miles on the turf. The race includes the runner up, third and fourth place finishers from the Belmont Oaks (G1) on July 10.

We have three Euro invaders including the 3-1 morning line favorite Rocky Sky who is now in the Chad Brown barn. She was last seen winning the Salsabil Stakes at Navan in Ireland in April.

Two-year-old fillies take center stage in the $200,000 Adirondack (G2). A field of nine will go 6 ½ furlongs on the main track.

The Norm Casse trained Ontheonesandtwos is the 5-2 morning line favorite. The daughter of Jimmy Creed ran second in the Debutante at Churchill Downs in her last start.

The first stake on the card is the $120,000 De La Rose for fillies and mares going one mile on the inner turf course. Seven line up including the defending champ Viadera (6-5) for the Chad Brown barn. She is making her first start since winning the Matriarc (G1) at Del Mar last November.

Brown will saddle the second choice Regal Glory (9-5) as well. The mare was fourth in the Just a Game (G1) in her last outing on June 5 at Belmont Park.

My Best Plays Report for Sunday includes my nine strongest plays from Del Mar and Saratoga.

“Saratoga Live” is on FS2 (and streaming on YouTube) from 1:30 to 6:30 ET. 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 Clm $32,000

  • #2 Shaker Shack 8-5
  • #3 Seascape 9-2
  • #5 Spun d'Etat 5-2
  • #4 Chloe Rose 7-2

Analysis: Shaker Shack goes turf to dirt where last out she set the early fractions and weakened late to finish third in a NY Stallion Series race going seven furlongs on turf. The winner Sport Model came back to win a NY Stallion Series race again in her next outing here on Aug 4. Our top pick broke her maiden going six furlongs on dirt at Aqueduct last January in a gate to wire score. She won a NY Stallion Series race two back on turf at 6 1/2 furlongs. The switch back to dirt should suit this gal.

Seascape is cutting back from a mile where last out she was not a threat in an eighth-place finish against Alw-1 optional claimers. She broke her maiden two back for a $50,000 tag on the main track at Churchill Downs going 6 12 furlongs. She was claimed out of the race by the Diodoro barn. The trainer won with one yesterday that ran off the screen and the barn seems to win in bunches when that "magic" starts happening. The trainer is 23%winners moving runners from turf to dirt.


Race 8 The Adirondack G2

  • #7 Wicked Halo 7-2
  • #8 Mainstay 3-1
  • #9 Microbiome 5-1
  • #2 Ontheoneandtwos 5-2

Analysis: Wicked Halo set a sharp early pace after bobbling coming out of the gate and weakened late to finish third in the Debutante at Churchill Downs last out. She was a good looking maiden winner in her debut two back taking the field gate to wire in the mud at Lone Star. The runner up and third place finisher both came out of that race to break their maidens in their next outings. The filly owns solid early and mid pace numbers and is in good hands with Asmussen who has been live in juvenile race this year hitting at a 24% clip overall and is 3 for 11 at the meet here with juvies. The filly is by Gun Runner out of the stakes winner Just Wicked ($208,460) who won the Adirondack in 2015.

Mainstay wired the field in the slop at Monmouth Park in her debut, drawing away to win by 7 3/4 lengths. Last out in the Schuylerville (G3) here on opening day she bobbled coming out of the gate, chased the early pace and was unable to catch a loose of the lead gate to wire winner while switching back to her inside lead in the stretch. She has worked sharply since that outing and looks capable of moving forward off her last effort. She is out of a stakes placed Mineshaft mare that has dropped three other winners including 020 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) winner Vequist ($1.23 million).

Microbiome took the field gate to wire to break her maiden in her debut over the main track here on opening day going 5 1/2 furlongs. She drew off in the stretch while shifting in slightly while a bit green. She is going to feel some pace pressure here as she won't be able to get loose against this group. Amoss has been sending out live runners at the meet winning with 4 of his 14 starters. The filly was a $100,000 Keeneland purchase by Twirling Candy out of a stakes placed Smoke Glacken mare that has dropped two other winners.


Race 4 Md $80,000

  • #6 Charter Oak 5-2
  • #3 Respect the Code 6-1
  • #4 Midnight Mammoth 5-1
  • #7 Walking Boss 3-1

Analysis: Charter Oak was a good second on the fake stuff in his debut, then last out in his local debut he tracked the early pace and came with a good late rally to finish third for a $150,000 tag, beaten a half-length for the top spot. McCarthy sticks for the underrated Lerner barn. The $65,000 Ocala purchase is by Connect out of a Paynter mare, this her first foal to race. Another move forward puts him squarely in the mix in this spot as he drops in for a $80,000 tag.

Respect the Code broke outward coming out of the gate in his debut where he was sent off at 17-1 in the same race our top picks exits. He stalked the early pace and finished evenly in a sixth-place finish. Miller usually moves them up second out, winning at a 26% clip (with a +ROI) with second out maidens. The colt is out of the stakes winner Anabaa's Creation ($330,826) who has dropped a pair of winners including stakes winner Create a Dream ($96,748).


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: #8 Tahaweel 10-1
  • R2: #4 Anileate 8-1
  • R7: #5 Raven’s Cry 10-1
  • R10: #4 The Golden Door 8-1

Good luck today!

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