(Note: this file updated with changes after Saturday’s early scratches).
It’s just the middle of January, but we’re starting to see more Kentucky Derby hopefuls hitting the track and have an early Derby prep on Saturday at the Fair Grounds in Louisiana in the Lecomte Stakes.
On Saturday, Ed Sehon and I both had a play scratched, but as we always “they never scratch a winner,” so we’ll put our cash elsewhere. I now have two value plays at Santa Anita while Sehon replaced his Gulfstream play with another and also tackles the Late Pick 4 at Gulfstream and a play in the Lecomte at Fair Grounds. John Lauro checks in with one of his spot plays also in the Lecomte. Sehon and Lauro have different takes on the race, but both land on one common horse, so we take that as a strong sign. In addition, Rampart race & sports book manager Duane Colucci adds a play at Aqueduct and also offers up an alternate Late Pick 4 at Gulfstream (mix and match with Sehon’s ticket as you see fit) as well as the Late Pick 4 at Santa Anita.
There’s a lot of action today to go with your plays on the NFL, UFC, college and pro basketball, hockey, etc.
Good luck today (and every day!).
Gulfstream Race No. 5 (1:40 p.m. ET/10:40 a.m. PT)
Ed Sehon likes #7 Pink Fizz (10-1 morning line). “From time to time a notorious chalk player needs to step outside his odds-on comfort zone and throw caution to the wind. Here goes: After a pair of uninspired turf sprints, speedy 3-year-old filly returns to dirt, takes a significant class drop and picks up the services of sharp Edgard Zayas. If she can get to the front early, she won’t fizzle out in the stretch. Wager: Win & Place.”
Gulfstream Race No. 6 (2:10 p.m. ET/11:10 a.m. PT)
Ed Sehon liked #5 Equuleus (6-1 morning line), but he was SCRATCHED Saturday morning.
Aqueduct Race No. 6 (2:50 p.m. ET/11:50 a.m. PT)
Duane Colucci likes #6 Bay Jewel (6-1 morning line). “With the track favoring front-runners, this filly flashed some nice speed in her last and has shown us two speedy works since then, especially the one on Jan. 3, which was 14th out of 150 workouts. She should be on the lead as far as she goes. Key 6 over 2,7 & 8 in exactas and trifectas and reverse.”
Gulfstream Races Nos. 9-12 (3:46 p.m. ET/12:46 p.m. PT)
Ed Sehon likes the following $0.50 Pick 4 (cost $48)
Race 9: 1,3
Race 10: 5,9
Race 11: 1,2,3,4,7,9
Race 12: 3,8,9,10
Duane Colucci likes this $0.50 Pick 4 (cost $48)
Race 9: 1,3,4,6
Race 10: 2,5
Race 11: 2,3,4,9
Race 12: 3,6,9
Gulfstream Race No. 9 (3:46 p.m. ET/12:46 p.m. PT)
Dave Tuley liked #2 Scar (20-1 morning line), but he was SCRATCHED on Saturday morning.
Santa Anita Race No. 4 (4:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m. PT)
Dave Tuley likes #6 Florentine Diamond (20-1 morning line) in the $150,000 Sunshine Millions FIlly & Mare Turf Sprint. “There’s not as much early speed as you would expect in this 6-furlong sprint race, so I think this long shot could be the speed of the speed and steal this wire to wire. The price is certainly right. Wager: Win & Place.”
Santa Anita Races Nos. 7-10 (6:05 p.m. ET/3:05 p.m. PT)
Duane Colucci likes the following $0.50 Pick 4 (cost $48)
Race 7: 1,3,5
Race 8: 1,2,8
Race 9: 1,3,11
Race 10: 6,7,10
Santa Anita Race No. 7 (6:05 p.m. ET/3:05 p.m. PT)
Dave Tuley likes #6 None Above the Law (15-1 morning line) in the $200,000 California Cup Derby. “This race is for just-turned 3-year-olds and limited to California-bred or California-sired. Some are certainly more accomplished in their young careers than my pick, but there’s a ton of speed that should set this up for a closer like None Above the Law, who ran a decent third last time out. However, the race I think that really sets this gelding up for an upsetter’s chance here is two races back when he finished seventh but only lost by 2.5 lengths. I think a lot of bettors will overlook him because of the ‘7’ in the running line, but that’s why we’re getting 15-1 on a live long shot. Wager: Win & Place.”
Fair Grounds Race No. 13 (6:49 p.m. ET/3:49 p.m. PT)
Ed Sehon likes a three-horse exacta box in the Grade 3 Lecomte Stakes. “The Louisiana Road to the Kentucky Derby starts here with eight sophomore colts [after scratches] making their 2021 debuts. In building my ticket, I easily eliminated five, leaving three standouts -- all from leading stables and attracting top riders. Look for two of the following three: #1 Midnight Bourbon (7-2 morning line), #4 Proxy (6-1) and #10 Mandaloun (3-1) to Win and/or Place in 1 1/16-mile route. Wager: Exacta box of 1,4 & 10.”
John Lauro likes #10 Mandaloun (3-1). “Mandaloun is a strong Win bet in the Lecomte Stakes. Also using the 1,6 & 7 underneath in exactas and trifectas.”