(Note: this has been updated with plays after early scratches/changes at Belmont on Sunday morning.)
This is the 12th installment of “Tuley’s Thoroughbred Takes” for the week of June 3-7 as me and my stable of handicapping friends look for value at the horseracing tracks that are still running during the coronavirus pandemic.
After a great day on Friday, Saturday didn’t go so well as Duane Colucci managed our only best-bet winner with Vekoma winning the Grade 1 Carter Handicap as the 8/5 favorite, though Sehon did give out a $49 Exacta (see recaps at end of column after today’s picks). While neither of my two best bets were able to win on Saturday, I also Tweeted out (@ViewFromVegas) my picks in a free National Handicapping Championship qualifying tournament and had a 90/1 winner in Santa Anita’s 7th race (the Crystal Wager Stakes) as my top pick, #2 Gaming Tiger, went wire-to-wire and paid $186 to Win and $48 to Place. I’ve already heard from a couple of readers that cashed in on that pick, though unfortunately it didn’t help me qualify for the NHC (payoffs are capped at $42 to Win and $22 to Place and I wasn’t able to find another long-shot winner on the day) or make a profit on the day.
On Sunday, Duane Colucci has two plays at Belmont Park while yours truly, Dave Tuley, has another lone-speed play in a stakes race at Santa Anita (though I doubt it goes off at 90/1). Ed Sehon, who has been carrying our team most of the past week, also adds two play at Belmont. Good luck with all your bets today.
Belmont Park Race No. 2 (1:50 p.m. ET/10:50 a.m. PT)
Duane Colucci likes #1 Domestic Spending (3/1 morning line). “Chad Brown trainee was green in his debut and still won while the 2nd- and 4th-place finishers each won their next start. Brown and jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. are on fire. Key #1 with 4, 6 & 8 in Exactas and Trifectas.”
Belmont Park Race No. 7 (4:32 p.m. ET/1:32 p.m. PT)
Ed Sehon likes #3 Giant Shoes (8/1 morning line). “This 3-year-old grandson of Giant’s Causeway makes his turf debut following three uninspired dirt tries at Aqueduct. Away since February, when he finished a fading third vs. similar, young colt has been training steadily for this mile-and-a-sixteenth test for NY-breds over the Inner Turf Course. Red-hot Brad Cox (30% dirt-to-turf) trains and leading rider Javier Castellano returns. The sum of the parts add up to a winning effort. Wager: Win & Place.”
Belmont Park Race No. 9 (5:36 p.m. ET/2:36 p.m. p.m. PT)
Ed Sehon likes #5 Win Win Win (8/1 morning line). “Trainer Mike Trombetta tosses his rested stakes-winning colt back into the deep end of the racing pool in the $80,000 First Defense at seven furlongs on the Widener Turf Course. After working up a storm, speedy 4-year-old faces a full field of high-achievers and gets a major rider upgrade to HOFer Johnny Velazquez. Wager: Win Win Win.”
Duane Colucci likes #4 Delaware (8/1 morning line). “Another Chad Brown import that has a Group 3 win will be close to the pace in the First Defense Stakes. Delaware will enjoy the shorter seven furlongs and the wetter the course the better. Brown and jockey Joel Rosario are hitting at 56% at Belmont with a $3.62 ROI. Wager: Win and key box #4 with 5 & 6 in Exactas and Trifectas.”
Santa Anita Race No. 8 (7:18 p.m. ET/4:18 p.m. PT)
Dave Tuley likes #8 Ax Man (8/1 morning line). Ax Man has a great chance to be the controlling speed and wire the field in the Grade 2 Triple Bend Stakes. My only concern is the public might not let a Bob Baffert trainee go off anywhere near the morning line, but in a short five-horse field, I’ll play Ax Man to Win as low as 4/1.
Prior days’ results:
Belmont Park Race No. 5
Ed Sehon liked #4 Idle Time (3/1 morning line)…went off 4/1…ran 8th of 12 early and was still in 7th through six furlongs of mile race, but then made late huge move in the stretch to take the lead and held on to prevail by half a length, paying $10.40 to Win.
Belmont Park Race #7
Ed Sehon liked #11 The Important One (10/1 morning line)…went off 6/1…ran last of 12 for the first four furlongs of the six-furlong race and then circled the field to get up to prevail by a head, paying $15.60 to Win.
Belmont Park Race No. 8
Duane Colucci liked #5 China Silk (6/1 morning line)…went off 8/1…stalked the pace in 4th place through opening four furlongs of six-furlong race and then faded to finish 9th of 12.
Santa Anita Race No. 4
Duane Colucci liked #11 Doritas Lemon (15/1 morning line)…ran 6th of 9 most of the race and was only able to get up into a dead-heat for 5th.
Belmont Park Race No. 9
Dave Tuley liked #3 Honey I’m Good (8/1 morning line)…went off 5/1…was the speed of the speed as predicted, leading wire to wire and by a length at every call, including the finish line, paying $12.80 to Win.
Belmont Park Race No. 4
Ed Sehon liked #2 High Tone (9/2 morning line)…went off 5/1…stalked the pacesetter in 4th and then 3rd place, got up to 2nd after six furlongs of the mile race but was unable to overtake pacesetter and finishing 3rd of 11.
Belmont Park Race No. 6
Duane Colucci liked #8 Social Paranoia (9/2 morning line)..went off 5/1…stalked the pacesetters early but had nothing left in the stretch, fading to finish 6th of 9.
Ed Sehon liked #6 Synchrony (4/1 morning line)…went off 4/1…raced in back of pack early, made a mild rally to get up into 3rd in the stretched but finished 4th…Sehon didn’t have winner, but he gave a 5-6-7-8 Exacta Box that came in 5-7 and paid $49.
Belmont Park Race No. 7
Dave Tuley liked #3 Mihos (10/1 morning line)…went off 9/1… raced wide in back of back most of the race and only able to get up to finish 6th of 9.
Belmont Park Races Nos. 8-11
Ed Sehon liked the following $.50 Pick 4 (but only able to go 3-for-4):
Race 8: #5 Newspaperofrecord
(3/1 morning line) & #12 Significant Form (5/2)
Race 9: #1 Firenze Fire (7/2), #4 Nitrous (15/1), #10 Mind Control (4/1) & #11 Vekoma
Race 10: #3 More Graytful (10/1); #4 Tale of the Union (8/5); #9 The Last Ace (8/1) & #12 Financialstability (5/1)
Race 11: #3 Mr Jaggers (5/1); #6 Lonesome Fugitive
(5/2); #7 Voodoo Zip (3/1) & #8 Height (12/1).
Belmont Park Race No. 9
Duane Colucci liked #11 Vekoma (7/2 morning line)…went off as 8/5 favorite…battled for the early lead before settling into 2nd, took control in the stretch and pulled away to romp by seven and a quarter lengths, paying $5.30 to Win.
Santa Anita Races No. 5-7
John Lauro liked the Pick 3 (but only able to go 2-for-3):
Race 5: #1 Swiss Skydiver
Race 6: #1 Cezzane
Race 7: #7 Ward ‘n Jerry (3/1)
Santa Anita Race No. 8
Dave Tuley liked #2 Rushie (8/1 morning line) and also #4 Anneau d’Or (15/1 morning line)…went off 12/1 and 16/1, respectively…Anneuau d’Or pressed the early pace more than we expected and had nothing left to finish 4th of 7…Rushie stalked the pacesetters as expected but was no match for Honor A.P. and Authentic, finishing 3rd.