The Breeders’ Cup is two weeks behind us, but our crew continues to look for value as there’s still some great racing taking place from coast to coast.
I have picks at Gulfstream Park West on the East Coast and Del Mar on the West Coast. Meanwhile, my three stablemates all have picks in the featured 9th race at Aqueduct: Duane Colucci and John Lauro gave me the same horse on Friday night without knowing each other’s selections, while Ed Sehon gives an alternate selection plus adds a Pick 4 at Churchill Downs. (Note: Sehon updated his Pick 4 after early scratches Saturday morning as he added a horse to replace his two scratched horses and reduced the play from $80 to $40; also, Colucci added a second play at Del Mar).
Good luck today (and every day!).
Aqueduct Race No. 2 (12:22 p.m. ET/9:22 a.m. PT)
Ed Sehon likes #6 Vodka Lemonade (3-1 morning line). “What’s not to like about this New York-bred 2-year-old colt making his second start at 1 1/16 miles over the Long Island weeds? He’s out of the deep-pocketed Repole Stable, trained by Michael Maker, ridden by top jock Irad Ortiz Jr. and coming off a blistering 48 1/5 (8th of 308) four-furlong work over the Belmont turf training course. When life leaves you lemons, make Vodka Lemonade -- especially if you’ve been sheltering in place since March. I’ll drink to that! Wager: Win.”
Gulfstream Park West Race No. 7 (3:38 p.m. ET/12:38 p.m. PT)
Dave Tuley likes #1 Viva La Reina (9-2 morning line) in the $60,000 Juvenile Fillies Turf Stakes. “This race was moved from last weekend when it was taken off the turf along with three other minor stakes that will be run this weekend. I believe Viva La Reina will be overlooked in the betting as she has just one career start, but it was a good one as she helped set a blistering opening quarter of 22 1/ 5 and never gave way in winning her debut. I think she can steal this on the front end under Samy Camacho as I expect this 2-year-old daughter of Animal Kingdom to take to the grass. Wager: Win & Place.”
Aqueduct Race No. 9 (3:45 p.m. ET/12:45 p.m. PT)
Duane Colucci likes #9 Aquaphobia (6-1) in the Grade 3 Red Smith Stakes. “Irad Ortiz Jr. grabs this mount after a rough trip in the Sycamore. Aquaphobia chased Channel Maker at Saratoga after a nice win in the United Nations. Trainer Michael Maker has had a fabulous year and when teaming up with Irad, they hit at a 25% clip. Bet #9 to Win and key 9 over 3,4 & 8 in exactas, trifectas and reverse. Bonus play: Daily Double in Races 9-10 with #9 in Race 9 and #7 Open Lengths (10-1) in Race 10.”
John Lauro also likes #9 Aquaphobia (6-1). “He drops into a softer spot than he’s been in quite some time. Picks up Jose Ortiz Jr. I think he should be double-tough here if he runs back to his best races. Strong Win bet!”
Ed Sehon likes #3 Postulation (15-1 morning line). “Super-consistent 8-year-old long-distance specialist brings his A game to the Big A for sharp Matz-Velazquez combo. Winner of nearly $650,000, the gelded son of Harlan’s Holiday, after a solid second at Keeneland, fully capable of stealing this route on the front end. Wager: Win, Place & Show.”
Del Mar Race No. 2 (4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT)
Dave Tuley likes #2 Stellar Sound (6-1 morning line) in the Grade 3 Native Diver Stakes. “#4 Midcourt is the 4-5 favorite and the clear class of the field (plus won this race last year), so he will likely get overbet in this short five-horse field. However, I think he’ll get involved in a speed duel with Extra Hope, who ran second to Midcourt all the way around the track in this race last year, setting it up for some to come off the pace and my pick is #2 Stellar Sound with top jockey Flavien Prat. Trainer Michael McCarthy was able to claim this 3-year-old filly out of the Bob Baffert barn and moves her back up in class to where she belongs. Now, beware that Stellar Sound might get scratched to run in the even more ambitious Grade 2 Falls City next Thursday at Churchill Downs, in which case I’d land on #3 Royal Ship. Wager: Win on 2 or 3 (if both run, box 2 & 3 in exactas).”
Churchill Races No. 7-10 (4:06 p.m. ET/1:06 p.m. PT)
Ed Sehon likes the following $0.50 Pick 4 (cost $60)
Race 7: 7,8
Race 8: 1,5,6,10
Race 9: 2,3,5,6,8
Race 10: 4,8*,9*,11
Del Mar Race No. 4 (4:59 p.m. ET/1:59 p.m. PT)
Duane Colucci likes #1 Champagneonme (5-1 morning line). “John Sadler drops this one and stretches him out to the distance this gelding likes best. This is Champagneoneme’s third off a layoff and blinkers come off. Looking for win with J.J. Hernandez in the saddle. Bet Win and key 1 over 3,5 & 6 in exactas, trifectas and reverse.”