I’m taking some time off from our sports-centric “Tuley’s Takes Today” column (though we do have the Stars + 4.5 vs. the Stallions in Sunday’s USFL championship game), but Team Tuley was chomping at the bit with a big Saturday card on this Fourth of July weekend as I’m joined by Rampart race and sports book manager Duane Colucci and Ed Sehon (aka “Mr. Ed” from his Saratoga and Keeneland columns here at VSiN.com/horses.
We have plays at Belmont, Delaware, Gulfstream, Churchill and even Woodbine in Canada (not sure why they’re having such a great card since it’s not their holiday, but the more the merrier).
Good luck today (and every day!).
Belmont Park Race No. 4 (2:34 p.m. ET/11:34 a.m. PT)
Ed Sehon likes #5 Speaker’s Corner (6-5 morning line) to crush defending Breeders’ Cup Mile champion, over-hyped #1 Life Is Good in this de facto match race (aka Grade 2 John A. Nerud Stakes). Wager: Win and Daily Double with #5 Capensis in Race No. 5."
Belmont Park Race No. 5 (3:03 p.m. ET/12:03 p.m. PT)
As noted above, Ed Sehon likes #5 Capensis (3-1 morning line). “Many years ago I recall seeing $1 million on display in the lobby of the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas. This Todd Pletcher first-time starter with Jose Ortiz doubles down on that stack of cash — he’s worth $2 million before even leaving the paddock. Insider says he’s worth it. Wager: Win and Place.”
Delaware Park Race No. 7 (3:30 p.m. ET/12:30 p.m. PT)
Duane Colucci likes #3 Elizar (5-1 morning line) in the Grade 3 Kent Stakes. “Ran well considering a terrible start in his first stateside run. Two works around dogs and first-time Lasix will help. Distance will be no problem. Jockey Trevor McCarthy and trainer Christophe Clement have a $2.22 ROI when teaming up, Bet 3 to Win and key 3 over 1,6,9 in Exactas, Trifectas and reverse.”
Gulfstream Park Race No. 7 (3:44 p.m. ET/12:44 p.m. PT)
Dave Tuley likes #2 Gatsby (15-1 morning line) in the Grade 3 Smile Sprint Invitational Stakes. “I wouldn’t go as far as to call this 4-year-old gelding the “Great Gatsby,” but he’s good enough to pull the upset in this short 5-horse field. He’s back in the barn of former trainer Carlos David, who conditioned him to an ungraded stakes win over this track earlier this year. With the short field, he should get a clean trip from just off the pace and have a great shot turning for home at a price. Wager: Win and Place.”
Churchill Downs Race Nos. 7-10 (3:55 p.m. ET/12:55 p.m. PT)
(note: there isn't a Pick 4 on these races as originally posted, but we'll leave Ed's picks in case you want them for other wagers in these races)
Ed Sehon likes:
Race 7: 3,5,7,9
Race 8: ALL (1-5)
Race 9: 4
Race 10: 2,3,5,6
Belmont Park Race Nos. 7-10 (4:05 p.m. ET/1:05 p.m. PT)
Ed Sehon likes the following $.0.50 Pick 4 (cost $60):
Race 7: 2,3,8
Race 8: 1,6
Race 9: 3,5,7,10
Race 10: 3,6,7,11,12
Duane Colucci likes the following $0.50 Pick 4 (cost $30):
Race 7: 1,2,3,8,9
Race 8: 1,6
Race 9: 2,7,10
Race 10: 6,7
Woodbine Race No. 7 (4:16 p.m. ET/1:16 p.m. PT)
Dave Tuley likes #1 Absolute Jewel (20-1 morning line) in the Grade 3 Selene Stakes. “I don’t usually like horses trying stakes competition off just a maiden win, but this 3-year-old filly could be the best closer in a race that should have plenty of speed up front. This is her first route, but she closed strong in her debut loss on the all-weather track at Woodbine before also finishing strong on her win on the turf. She might not win, but I fully expect her to outrun these 20-1 odds and give us a shot. Wager: Win and Place.”
Woodbine Race No. 8 (4:48 p.m. ET/1:48 p.m. PT)
Dave Tuley likes #8 Our Flash Drive (8-1 morning line) in the Grade 2 Nassau Stakes. “My only worry here is that this 4-year-old filly has come down with a slight case of seconditis with back-to-back runner-up finishes, but I think that’s why we’re getting a more than fair price of around 8-1. Patrick Husbands, who is winning 25 percent of his races this year a whopping 41 percent with trainer Mark Casse, went a perfect 3-for-3 on Our Flash Drive last summer and this is his first time back on her since then. Wager: Win at any price and Place at 8-1 or better.”
Churchill Downs Race No. 9 (5:16 p.m. ET/2:16 p.m. PT)
Ed Sehon’s BEST BET is #4 Aloha West (2-1 morning line) in the ungraded Kelly’s Landing Overnight Stakes. “There’s no top horseman more engaging and genuine than veteran Midwest conditioner Wayne ‘Cat Man’ Catalano — a guy always worth rooting for. I like his millionaire sprinter as he drops from three straight Grade 1s into non-graded Saratoga prep. Say Aloha! Wager: Win.”
Woodbine Race No. 10 (5:52 p.m. ET/2:52 p.m. PT)
Dave Tuley likes #1 Turned Aside (12-1 morning line) in the Grade 2 Highlander Stakes. “At first glance, this 5-year-old gelding looks overmatched as he was 11th in his 2022 debut at Keeneland and then won an optional-claimer last time out at Woodbine. But he’s got plenty of back class with a 2020 win at Saratoga in the Grade 3 Quick Call and a runner-up in the Grade 2 Nearctic over this turf course last fall. We’re counting on trainer Mark Cassee again to have him ready (Casse hits 17 percent with last race winners) and jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson to give him a ground-saving trip from the rail. Wager: Win and Place."
Churchill Downs Race No. 12 (6:45 p.m. ET/3:45 p.m. PT)
Ed Sehon likes three: #2 Greatheart (7-2 morning line) with big rider upgrade to Alvarado for John Ortiz outfit; #5 Southern Passage (6-1) for Dale Romans barn; and stone-cold closer #10 Alejandro (3-1) for always-tough Steve Asmussen. Wager: Box 2,5,10 in Exactas.”