(Note: this has been updated after Sunday’s early scratches at Saratoga and Del Mar with Duane Colucci and Ed Sehon adding two plays apiece to the two I posted earlier this morning).
This is the 20th edition of “Tuley’s Thoroughbred Takes” for the racing week of Wednesday, July 29, through Sunday, Aug. 2 (which is my birthday), as me and my stable of handicapping friends continue to look for value at the tracks that are still running during the coronavirus pandemic.
Our team had a banner day on Saturday as Ed Sehon hit an exacta box, Duane Colucci had a 3/1 winner, John Lauro had a 7/1 winner and then Sehon and Colucci both hit the $362.50 Late Pick 4 at Saratoga with the separate tickets they posted. Colucci later added the winner of the Grade 1 Bing Crosby Stakes at Del Mar. I rode the coattails of my teammates as one of my top plays on the day scratched and the other jumped out to early lead before fading. Full recaps are at the end of this column following today’s plays.
For Sunday, Colucci, Sehon and I have two picks apiece with give at Saratoga and one at Del Mar.
Good luck today (and every day!).
Saratoga Race No. 6 (4:04 p.m. ET/1:04 p.m. PT)
Ed Sehon likes #9 Beautiful Farewell (9/2 morning line) “Savvy trainer Michael Stidham takes the blinkers off while leaving top-rider Javier Castellano on for 2-year-old filly’s second start vs. a sorority full of attractive young coeds. Having worked twice since initial Show effort four weeks ago, this $40,000 daughter of Frosted appears ready to go the extra half-furlong in pursuit of maiden victory. The field includes highly touted daughter of super-sire Uncle Mo. And, what Boomer could ever forget Watergate-saga Nixon lawyer John Dean and his attractive, sit-by-your-man gal -- #4 Mo Dean (probable favorite). Wager: Win & 4-9 exacta box.”
Saratoga Race No. 7 (4:40 p.m. ET/1:40 p.m. PT)
Duane Colucci likes #1 Duncastle (8/1 morning line). “This gelding is coming off a sharp effort at Monmouth two weeks ago in a sharp :55.2 time. He seems to be in better shape than most of these and has three wins and two seconds from seven starts at today’s distance. Bet Win and key 1 with 2, 5 & 8 in exactas and trifectas and reverse.”
Saratoga Race No. 9 (5:46 p.m. ET/2:46 p.m. PT)
Dave Tuley likes #5 American Tattoo (8/1 morning line) in the ungraded Birdstone Stakes. There’s no other true speed horse in this field (when 8/5 favorite Moretti went wire-to-wire two races back, he set a rather slow pace), I expect American Tattoo to inherit the lead under jockey Tyler Gaffalione and steal this race. Wager: Win & Place.
Del Mar Race No. 3 (6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT)
Dave Tuley likes #4 None Above the Law (15/1 morning line) in the ungraded Graduation Stakes. There’s a lot of young talent in this race for 2-year-olds and I know bettors are likely to dismiss None Above the Law because he broke his maiden at Los Alamitos (and in a claiming race to boot), but he fits with these and anything in double-digit odds is value. Wager: Win & Place.
Saratoga Race No. 10 (6:18 p.m. ET/3:18 p.m. PT)
Ed Sehon likes #8 Double Advantage (4/1 morning line). “Sophomore son of Tapiture makes his second start for perennial top trainer Todd Pletcher, this time stretching out from sprint to 1 1/8 miles in $30,000 maiden claimer. Conditioner has above-average (24%) win rate with second-time starters. Irad Ortiz Jr., annual contender for leading jockey title, presents major rider upgrade. Quicker effort from gate puts colt in mix for winning stretch move. Wager: Win & Place.”
Del Mar Race No. 10 (9:30 p.m. ET/6:30 p.m. PT)
Duane Colucci likes #5 Ollie’s Candy in Grade 1 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes. “This mare has put together three solid efforts and now she returns to her favorite setting, Del Mar. She is perfect on this dirt surface and she should be on or close to the lead. Jockey Flavien Prat and trainer John Sadler have combined for a 35% win percentage over the last two years at Del Mar with a $2.68 ROI. You will get better than the 5/2 morning line in my opinion. Bet Win and key 5 over 2, 3 & 6 in exactas and trifectas and reverse.”
Prior day’s recaps:
Saratoga Race No. 2
Ed Sehon liked #3 Dream Friend (5/2 morning line)...went off 9/2...dropped off from the front to race 3rd of 6 most of the race and stayed in contention throughout, but was outfinished and ended up 4th though beaten by only a half-length.
Saratoga Race No. 4
Ed Sehon liked a cold exacta box of #2 Searing Chase (6/1 morning line), #3 Dreams of Tomorrow (9/5) & #5 Ima Pharoah (5/2)...they went off close to those odds and ran to them with Ima Pharoah winning at 5/2 and Dreams of Tomorrow running 2nd to pay $15.80 exacta for $2.
Saratoga Race No. 5
Dave Tuley liked #2 Motion Emotion (20/1 morning line) in the Grade 1 Personal Ensign Stakes...went off 13/1...set opening fractions for quarter-mile and half-mile, but then gave way and finished 4th of 5.
Del Mar Race No. 2
John Lauro liked #5 Honor A.P. (8/5 morning line) over #6 Cezanne (7/2) in a straight exacta in the Shared Belief Stakes...after scratches, Honor A.P. went off as 1/ 5 favorite & Cezanne went off 5/2...unfortunately, Thousand Words wired field and they finish 2nd and 4th, respectively.
Saratoga Races Nos. 9-12
Ed Sehon liked this $.50 Pick 4 (cost $54, paid $362.50):
Race 9: #2 Improbable (5/2 morning line) & #5 Tom’s d’Etat (6/5)
Race 10: #4 Echo Town (9/2), #5 Mischevious Alex (8/1), #6 No Parole (9/5), #7 Shoplifted (12/1), #8 Three Technique (6/1) & #11 Tap It to Win (5/1)
Race 11: #2 Cross Border (5/2), #5 Channel Maker (7/2) & #6 Sadler’s Joy (2/1)
Race 12: #3 Sweet Bye and Bye (6/1), #7 Dalika (3/1) & #9 Cariba (9/2)
Duane Colucci offered this $.50 Pick 4 (cost $75, paid $362.50):
Race 9: #2 Improbable (5/2 morning line) #3 Code of Honor (5/2) & #5 Tom’s d’Etat (6/5)
Race 10: #4 Echo Town (9/2), #5 Mischevious Alex (8/1), #6 No Parole (9/5), #8 Three Technique (6/1) & #11 Tap It to Win (5/1)
Race 11: #1 Marzo (8/1) & #2 Cross Border (5/2)
Race 12: #2 I’llhandalthecash (4/1), #4 Introduced (10/1), #5 Jakarta (10/1) #6 Mother Mother (8/1) & #9 Cariba (9/2)
Saratoga Race No. 9
Duane Colucci liked #2 Improbable (5/2 morning line) in the Grade 1 Whitney Stakes...went off 3/1...stalked the pacesetter for first six furlongs, took control at the five-sixteenths pole and opened up three-length lead in the stretch before coasting home to triumph by two lengths, paying $8.50 to Win.
Saratoga Race No. 10
John Lauro liked #4 Echo Town (9/2 morning line) in the H. Allen Jerkens...went off 7/1...raced 7th of 11 early, gradually moved up before going four-wide into the stretch and took the lead by the sixteenth pole and pulled away to prevail by 3.5 lengths, paying $16.40 to Win.
Saratoga Race No. 11
Dave Tuley liked #7 Pillar Mountain (12/1 morning line) in the Grade 2 Bowling Green Stakes, but he was SCRATCHED.
Del Mar Race No. 10
Duane Colucci liked #9 Collusion Illusion (9/2 morning line) in the Grade 1 Bing Crosby...went off as 9/5 favorite...sat 7 th in 8-horse field for opening half, rallied up the middle and the to the inside and got up to triumph by a nose, paying $5.80 to Win.