This week in horse racing: Hottest Saturday of summer arrives

By Jeremy Plonk  ( 

July 19, 2022 04:12 PM

Some will argue that Saratoga’s Travers in late August is the biggest day of summer racing in the United States, but for literal, coast-to-coast intrigue, nothing tops this Saturday. Monmouth’s Jersey Shore features the $1 million Haskell with superstar sophomores in action such as Jack Christopher and Taiba, while Del Mar opens its doors on the Pacific this weekend. Meanwhile, Saratoga comes rolling off of a massive opening week with an 18% jump in year-over-year betting handle. 

For those betting the opening weekend cards at Del Mar, including five stakes races over the trio of programs, the Betmix database offers several handicapping pointers for stakes races at the summer meeting based on the past five years. 

Key Del Mar Stakes Stats 

Percentage of winning stakes favorites: 38.5% 

Average stakes win odds: 4.8-1 

Key Del Mar stakes trainers: Tom Proctor (40%), John Sadler (28%), Bob Baffert (25%), Leonard Powell (25%), Mark Glatt (23%), Simon Callaghan (23%), Jeff Bonde (23%) 

Key Del Mar stakes jockeys: Flavien Prat (34%), Drayden Van Dyke (19%), Victor Espinoza (18%), Umberto Rispoli (15%) 

What to Watch for This Week 

Del Mar’s opening day Friday post time is 2 p.m. PT. That’s the typical start time daily for the meet, though Fridays kick off at 4 p.m. PT after opening day … Jockey Florent Geroux will move his tack to Del Mar for the summer for the first time … Woodbine Oaks and Plate Trial Day is set for Sunday north of the border … International racing fans can bet Saturday’s Group 1 $1.6 million King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes from Ascot with Xpressbet and 1/ST BET.  

Friday Weekend Firestarter 

Friday’s Race 9 Lake George Stakes at Saratoga, at 1 mile on turf for 3-year-old fillies, has an upset possibility in No. 8 Skims. The distance was a bit far last time for this daughter of elite miler Frankel and she’ll appreciate the eighth of a mile reduction. Look for strong-finishing jockey Joel Rosario to have her moving best of all late with a chance for all of the money. 

1/ST BET App Top Handicapping Tracks of the Week 

The free 1/ST BET app allows you to apply millions of data points across dozens of handicapping factors in mere seconds and immediately place your wagers. Here’s where the artificial intelligence was most dialed-in last week by win percentage: 

— Presque Isle: 47% 

— Charles Town: 46% 

— Louisiana Downs: 43% 

— Finger Lakes: 42% 

— Assiniboia: 38%  

Tracks with most reliable favorites last week (by win pct.) 

— Penn National: 54% 

— Charles Town: 50% 

— Lone Star: 50% 

— Delaware Park: 48% 

— Indianapolis: 46% 

Tracks that were long-shot havens last week (most winners 10-1 or higher) 

— Mountaineer: 7 

— Canterbury Park: 6 

— Saratoga: 5 

— Monmouth: 5 

America’s hot jockeys last week 

— Carlos Lozada (8-17, 47%), Louisiana Downs 

— Jorge Carreno (6-15, 40%), Assiniboia 

— Mychel Sanchez (6-18, 33%), Delaware, Parx 

— Jamie Rodriguez (7-23, 30%), Delaware, Laurel, Colonial Downs 

— Pablo Morales (9-30, 30%), Presque Isle, Woodbine 

America’s hot trainers last week 

— Juan Larossa (6-10, 60%), Evangeline Downs 

— Jeremiah Englehart (6-13, 47%), Saratoga, Finger Lakes, Presque Isle 

— Barbara Heads (5-11, 45%), Hastings 

— J.R. Caldwell (5-12, 42%), Lone Star, Prairie Meadows 

— Christophe Clement (5-14, 36%), Saratoga, Parx, Delaware 

Free $100,000 in Play Throughout July 

Xpressbet and 1/ST BET players can take advantage of $100,000 in additional hit-and-split payoffs when they bet some of the country’s most important wagers throughout the month of July. Pick 4s, Pick 5s and more at America’s top tracks are part of the hit-and-splits. When you win, collect the parimutuel payoff as well as your share of each wager’s hit-and-split total. It’s free money adding extra to select payoffs. 

Statistics courtesy of

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