Saratoga Pick, Woodbine and Del Mar Best Bet September 6, 2020
Today we take a look at my Saratoga pick, Woodbine and Del Mar best bet but let’s talk Kentucky Derby first. Yesterday Authentic went wire to wire to upset the Kentucky Derby defeating heavy favourite Tiz the Law. Tiz the Law and jockey Manuel Franco did nothing wrong in the race as Tiz the Law had a great trip and every opportunity to win. Authentic was simply the better horse and deserves the credit. Second choice Honor A.P. started poorly and was interfered with when NY Traffic broke outwardly. This compromised his chances as he was much farther back than he usually is.
In the Pat Day Mile, Rushie got class relief and ended up being a much the best winner. Therideofalifetime did not hit the board as the 4/5 favourite in the Iroquois where long shot Sittin On Go rallied from well off the pace to win. Newspaperofrecord also disappointed as a heavy favourite in the Longines Churchill Distaff Turf Mile even when having everything her own way on the front end. Beau Recall provided a strong rally to win.
In the Derby City Distaff, Bell’s the One used a late rally to catch favourite Serengeti Empress on the wire. Trainer Chad Brown had three options in the Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic and it was the longest shot of the three Digital Age who ran down Factor This for the win as Brown ran 1-3-4 in the race. Yes, the favourites went winless in the stakes at Churchill Downs yesterday.
At Saratoga, Happy Saver scratched from the Jim Dandy and is expected to compete at Laurel on Monday. Dr. Post went off as a heavy favourite and did little running. The beneficiary was Mystic Guide who finally put it all together to win. Frank’s Rockette returned to the races in the Prioress and looked better than ever in a dominant win. Global Campaign turned away heavy favourite Tacitus to wire the Woodward. Tacitus was a lot closer to the pace than normal because there was no one else to challenge Global Campaign thus he got caught playing Global Campaign’s game. That said Tacitus had ever chance to run past and couldn’t. I consider it a strong effort from both horses. At Woodbine, fan favourite Pink Lloyd was awesome once again picking up his 26th career win in 32 races.
Today is the penultimate day of racing at the Saratoga and Del Mar summer meets and both have multiple stakes to consider. At Saratoga, it’s nice to see Beautiful Memories back in the grade one Spinaway after she was pulled up in her last start. She flashed easy speed in her debut and her speed will compromise other runners who utilize the same approach. She does, however, have to get extra distance today. The alternative is Guana Cay who is still a maiden but showed marked improvement last time when switching to dirt and has also shown the ability to rally and pass horses which should be an asset in this spot. Let’s look at some races:
Saratoga 10th: Lady’s Island can make all 5:45 pm Et
The Saratoga 10th is the grade two Honorable Miss for fillies and mares three-year-olds and up going six furlongs on dirt. I’m against morning-line favourite Come Dancing who as a six-year-old has not been able to replicate her stellar five-year-old form. At a short price, she’ll beat me if she remembers the horse she once was.
I thought Blamed ran one of her better races last time in the restricted Shine Again when turning back. She was able to put a head in front of the favourite Indian Pride before being out finished by that rival. She cuts back to six furlongs, a distance she hasn’t tried in a long time and I don’t trust her to repeat that last effort thus I’m against.
The horse I want is Lady’s Island (9/2 ML) who disappointed as a massive favourite last time at Gulfstream. On paper, it looks like Lady’s Island had a clear lead and was easily caught in the stretch but on replay, she didn’t break alertly. A long shot did break alertly and was able to press her until Lady’s Island put her away but didn’t have enough to hold off the closers. Lady‘s Island has rebounded from disappointing efforts before, is the speed of the speed and note her one race at Saratoga last year, albeit against easier, was a 13 length blowout win and arguably her best performance to date.
Woodbine 10th: Last American Exit can rebound 5:56 pm Et
The Woodbine 10th is an allowance optional claimer for three-year-olds and up who have not won two races going seven furlongs on synthetic. I’m against Have a Souper Day who lost the jockey last time in a restricted stake. His only win was when being left alone on the lead and he looks like the fifth-fastest horse early.
Morning line favourite Speedy Hans upset several of today’s rivals last time when breaking his maiden. Note it was his first try on synthetic after previously running on dirt and turf and that last race was easily the best performance of his career. Despite that much-improved effort on synthetic, his connections decide to run him for the $40,000 claiming price which I consider to be negative. He has missed over two months and at a short price, I’ll play against him.
Bend in the River is one alternative as you can ignore his last race, a poor effort when trying turf for the first time. His previous three efforts on synthetic would all be competitive but note the longest race of those three was just 5 ½ furlongs. He has to turn the tables on a few of today’s rivals but he has shown enough to warrant some consideration at a price.
The horse I prefer is Last American Exit (6-1 ML) who unsuccessfully tried a restricted stake on turf last time and think he’ll enjoy getting back to synthetic. Yes, Last American Exit lost to Speedy Hans three starts ago but consider Speedy Hans had both an experience edge and a recency edge that day. Last American Exit was coming off an eight-month layoff and at the time had only run once previously. Also, note he had to steady in that race and still came with a rally just missing second. Two starts ago, Last American Exit beat Lead Director who has already come back to win. He can bounce back in this spot.
Del Mar 9th: Get On the Bus can rally 8:10 pm Et
The Del Mar 9th is the grade one Del Mar Debutante for two-year-old fillies going seven furlongs on dirt. Perhaps $1.35 million auction purchase and morning line favourite Princess Noor will win but she was allowed to get comfortable on the front end setting pedestrian fractions in her debut and today she will likely have to rate as both her stablemate Illumination and My Girl Red both appear faster early. Also, note Princess Noor ran just two weeks ago and this is a very quick turnaround for a young horse.
Illumination and Forest Caraway come out of the same race on August 15 where Forest Caraway was better and think she will be again today as she was pulling away late. Forest Caraway is the alternative as she can rate in a race where the pace may get heated and the outside post almost ensures she’s going to get a comparable trip to her debut.
Get On the Bus and My Girl Red come out of the grade two Sorrento which My Girl Red wired. I, however, prefer Get On the Bus (8-1 ML) to turn the tables. Note that race was the debut for Get On the Bus, therefore, it was a confident placing and she was bet down to 5/2. She had the rail post that day, as she does today and thought she rated nicely and stayed focused throughout. Just with natural progression in her second career start, I expect improvement and she can turn the tables on My Red Girl if either Princess Noor, Illumination or both put pressure on her early.