With football back in the spotlight (and with the Kentucky Derby behind us), we decided to limit Tuley’s Thoroughbred Takes to just Saturdays during September and October, leading up to the Breeders’ Cup.
Last Saturday, I scored with Dirty Dangle ($11.30) in Woodbine’s Race 10, the ungraded Woodbine Cares Stakes.
This Saturday, we have bigger stakes races stateside as Duane Colucci, John Lauro and I have two picks apiece (plus Colucci has the Late Pick 4 at Belmont) while Ed Sehon has one (plus an early Pick 4 at Santa Anita).
Good luck today (and every day!).
Belmont Park Race No. 6 (3:36 p.m. ET/12:36 p.m. PT)
Ed Sehon likes #2 Valletta (9-2 morning line). “There are several reasons why 3-year-old maiden will break her maiden today: She’s coming off her career-best turf effort; she’s making her first start for skillful trainer Danny Gargan, who excels (50% wins) with this move; and Javier Castellano climbs back aboard for 1 1/16-mile test over Inner Turf Course. Three consecutive excellent works indicate daughter of Into Mischief is more than ready for a winning effort. Wager: Win and box in exactas with 4, 7 & 9.”
Santa Anita Race No. 2 (4:01 p.m. ET/1:01 p.m. PT)
Ed Sehon likes the Early $.50 Pick 4 (cost $48)
#2 Liberalism (10-1 morning line) ... returns to preferred dirt surface, gets bug boy
#3 Loud Loud Music (7-2) ... speedy sort for sneaky good trainer
#4 Sheza Girly Girl (4-1) ... drops into more competitive company
#5 Cheap Cheap Cheap (3-1) ... always improving gal goes longer on dirt
#6 Kristi’s Tiger (4-1) ... Rispoli retains mount after Del Mar route win
#8 Grinningeartoear (5-1) ... back on dirt after dull upstate turf effort
#1 Princess Noor (2-5) ... Baffert Grade 1 winner towers above this crew
#3 Babael (7-2) ... stretches out to mile, top jock stays aboard
#5 Question Authority (6-1) ... drops, goes longer for sharp connections
#7 Street Behavior (6-1) ... second for top barn, Gonzalez retains ride
#9 Kazansky (4-1) ... returns to SA for sharp Truman-Rispoli combo
#1 The Great One (6-1) ... Nyquist colt draws inside post for debut
#4 Commander Khai (3-1) ... enters stakes off sharp Del Mar efforts
#5 Amanzi Yimpilo (7-2) ... Irish-bred gal gets Luis Saez for Ward stable
#7 Wyfire (7-2) ... last-out winner moves to Miller barn, Prat rides
Belmont Park Race No. 7 (4:08 p.m. ET/1:08 p.m. PT)
Duane Colucci likes the following $.50 Pick 4 (cost $48):
Race 7: 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10
Race 8: 1, 2, 4, 7
Race 9: 2 (Funny Guy, see below)
Race 10: 9, 10, 11
Santa Anita Race No. 3 (4:35 p.m. ET/1:35 p.m. PT)
John Lauro likes #1 Princess Noor (1-5) in the Grade 2 Chandelier Stakes and calls her pretty much a lock, or as much as you can have in horse racing.
Belmont Park Race No. 9 (5:14 p.m. ET/2:14 p.m. PT)
Duane Colucci likes #2 Funny Guy (5-2 morning line) in the Grade 2 Vosburgh Stakes. “This Big Brown colt has finished in the money six of seven starts at Belmont, has great workouts and Joel Rosario retains the mount. Only question is the distance. Bet 2 to Win and key 2 over 1, 3 & 6 in exactas and trifectas and reverse.”
Santa Anita Race No. 7 (6:41 p.m. ET/3:41 p.m. PT)
Dave Tuley likes #1 Tonahutu (5-1) in the Grade 1 Rodeo Drive Stakes. In a 1 1/4-mile turf race like this, I would normally be looking for a closer to be rallying late. However, this field is pretty much devoid of early speed and I expect this 6-year-old to inherit the front-runner’s role and be able to set some leisurely fractions. She also has staying power as she has five wins and seven seconds from 19 career starts. Wager: Win & Place.
Santa Anita Race No. 8 (7:12 p.m. ET/4:12 p.m. PT)
Dave Tuley likes #2 Rombauer (8-1) in the Grade 1 American Pharoah Stakes. In a complete opposite scenario from the previous race, this $300,000 stakes for 2-year-olds has a bunch of young colts that want to go right to the front. The most consistent closer is Rombauer, who won his debut at Del Mar at 16-1 and closed to finish 6 th but only beaten by two lengths in his stakes debut. Jockey Mike Smith is a good fit for this closer. Wager: Win & Place.
Santa Anita Race No. 9 (7:43 p.m. ET/4:43 p.m. PT)
Duane Colucci likes #3 United (6-5) in the Grade 2 John Henry Turf Championship Stakes. “United is possibly the best turf horse in the country. He has won the San Marco and the Whittingham here at Santa Anita and is 6-for-8 in the money. He should win this. Bet 3 to Win and box 1 & 3 in exactas. #1 Proud Pedro will be flying late. And key 3 in trifectas with 1, 2 & 7 and reverse.”
Santa Anita Race No. 10 (8:14 p.m. ET/5:14 p.m. PT)
John Lauro likes #5 Maximum Security (1-2 morning line) in the Grade 1 Awesome Again Stakes on Saturday. In addition to liking the DQ’d 2019 Kentucky Derby winner, Lauro likes that Luis Saez is in to ride as well as having several other live mounts on the weekend (he was slated to ride 25 horses and won two of six mounts on Friday), including #1 Fighting Mad (2-5) in Sunday’s Race 4, the Grade 2 Zenyatta Stakes.