(Note: this has been updated after Sunday’s early scratches with a play added from Duane Colucci.)
This is the file for my stable of handicapping friends’ picks for the racing week of Wednesday, Aug. 12, through Sunday, Aug. 16, as we continue to look for value at the tracks that have been running during the coronavirus pandemic.
Saturday was a day of close calls as one of my picks ran 2nd in Saratoga’s Alabama Stakes and Ed Sehon had his two top picks also finish 2nd, but he missed the Late Pick 4 at Saratoga by a head in the last race (full recaps at end of column after today’s plays).
On Sunday, Sehon has another two plays and Duane Colucci and I have one apiece.
Good luck today (and every day!).
Saratoga Race No. 5 (3:28 p.m. ET/12:28 p.m. PT)
Ed Sehon likes #3 Counter Offer (12/1 morning line). “What’s not to like about mini-marathon? Top trainers, excellent riders, the green, green grass of the Inner Turf Course, five veteran Spa campaigners and a recently gelded Irish invader getting Lasix for his second start in America. But, what I like best is the longest shot on the board. Skillful conditioner Ian Wilkes, who is having a banner meet with limited stock (11-3-2-2), seeks repeat Spa route win with youthful jock Tyler Gaffalione. Even though gelding is stepping up in class, I’ll accept the valuable Counter Offer. Wager: Win & Place.”
Saratoga Race No. 7 (4:40 p.m. ET/1:40 p.m. PT)
Ed Sehon likes a four-horse exacta box. “There are two standouts here, favorite #6 La Hara (1/1 morning line) for exceptional trainer Chad Brown and #7 Oak Hill (7/2) for my main man Al Stall Jr. I’m looking for them to finish in the money, but am betting one of two others, #3 Picasso (8/1) and #9 Duress (5/1), will get up for Place, resulting in solid exacta payoff. Of course, if either of the latter two were to win and any of the other three finish second, 1’d have enough in my bankroll to invest in the always tantalizing late Pick 4. Join me in this gambling gimmick. Wager: 3, 6, 7 & 9 exacta box.”
Saratoga Race No. 8 (5:14 p.m. ET/2:14 p.m. PT)
Duane Colucci likes #7 My Roxy Girl (10/1 morning line). “Linda Rice trainee has been working out steadily and has finally found a spot. Rice has 10 wins at the current meet, popping at 22%. She has combined with jockey Jose Lezcano for two wins this week and this mare had a nice win at Saratoga last year. We should get a solid price off a six-month layoff. Rice also wins sprint races at a 22% clip. Bet 7 to Win and key 7 over 2, 4 and 11 in exactas and trifectas and reverse.”
Saratoga Race No. 9 (5:46 p.m. ET/2:46 p.m. PT)
Dave Tuley likes #7 Queens Embrace (10/1 morning line) in the Saratoga Oaks Invitational Stakes. This late-developing 3-year-old filly just missed in the Grade 2 Lake Placid last month over this turf course and fits with these. She’ll get a faster pace this time with #3 Antoinette & foreign invader #6 Ricetta dueling up front. Wager: Win & Place.
Prior day’s recaps:
Saratoga Race No. 3
Ed Sehon liked #5 Chateau (5/2 morning line)...went off 5/2...set fractions for first four furlongs of six-furlong race and opened up four-length lead, but then gave up lead late to finish 2nd, paying $4.40 to Place.
Saratoga Race No. 6
Ed Sehon liked #1 Engrave (7/2 morning line)...went off 5/1...sat off the early pace, swung wide to take on leaders but just wasn’t able to catch wire-to-wire winner, clearly 2nd-best and paying $6.50 to Place.
Saratoga Race No. 8
Ed Sehon liked the following $.50 Pick 4 (cost $67.50, hit 3-of-4)
Race 8: 2, 4, 6
Race 9: 1, 2, 4, 5, 6
Race 10: 4, 5, 6
Race 11: 3, 4, 6
Duane Colucci liked this $.50 Pick 4 (cost $30, hit 2-of-4)
Race 8: 2, 4, 5, 6, 7
Race 9: 2, 5
Race 10: 1, 2, 4
Race 11: 4, 8
Saratoga Race No. 8
John Lauro liked #2 Decorated Invader (7/5 morning line) in the $500,000 Saratoga Derby Invitational Stakes...went off as 4/5 favorite...sat in 4th through opening quarter-mile, moved up to 2nd but wasn’t able to hold on and dropped back to finish 5th of 8.
Monmouth Race No. 10
Dave Tuley liked #2 Big City Bob (8/1 morning line) in the $150,000 Pegasus Stakes...went off 24/1...raced 4th of 8 early but then dropped back to 7th and was unable to rally, finishing 6th.
Woodbine Race No. 9
Duane Colucci liked #8 Delaware (5/2 morning line) in the Grade 2 King Edward Stakes...went off as 2/1 favorite...raced 7th of 8 early, gradually passed a few rivals but didn’t get any closer to front, finishing 5th.
Saratoga Race No. 9
Dave Tuley liked #4 Bonny South (8/1 morning line) in the Grade 1 Alabama Stakes...went off 10/1...raced 6th of 7 through first six furlongs of 1 1/4-mile race, moved up steadily and passed everyone but the winner, Swiss Skydiver, paying $6.30 to Place.
Del Mar Race No. 9
Duane Colucci liked #3 Big Sweep (5/1 morning line) in the Solana Beach Stakes, but he was SCRATCHED.