(Note: this has been updated after early Sunday scratches at Saratoga.)
This is the file for my stable of handicapping friends’ picks for the racing week of Wednesday, Aug. 19, through Sunday, Aug. 23, as we continue to look for value at the tracks that have been running during the coronavirus pandemic.
Duane Colucci carried our team Saturday with a $12.60 winner at Saratoga and a $5.60 winner at Del Mar from his three picks. In addition, if you boxed our handicappers’ picks in the Grade 1 Fourstardave in exactas for $2, it would have cost $24 and returned $124.50 (full recaps at end of the column after Sunday’s picks).
On Sunday, we’re back for more with six plays from Saratoga and Del Mar (with Colucci going with different horses than Ed Sehon and yours truly in his two race, but it worked out well yesterday!), plus Sehon posting a ticket for the mandatory payout in the Pick 6 at the Spa.
Good luck today (and every day).
Saratoga Race No. 2 (1:44 p.m. ET/10:44 a.m. PT)
Ed Sehon likes # 3 Wicksters Dream (5-2 morning line). “Now’s the time for the Jeremiah Englehart barn (33-3-2-6) to heat up. Excellent conditioner claimed colt a month ago off easy win for $40,000. For his return, trainer aggressively drops him to $32,000 and names Spa’s hottest rider Luis Saez to guide him back to the winner’s circle in one-turn dirt sprint. This 3-year-old should sit a perfect trip behind a few speedy rivals and prevail in the stretch. Wager: Win.”
Saratoga Race No. 4 (2:54 p.m. ET/11:54 a.m. PT)
Ed Sehon likes the following $0.20 Pick 6 (Mandatory Payout)
Race 4: 2
Race 5: 2, 5, 6, 7
Race 6: 1, 5
Race 7: 1, 3, 4, 5
Race 8: 3, 4, 5, 6
Race 9: 2, 3, 5
Saratoga Race No. 7 (4:43 p.m. ET/1:43 p.m. PT)
Ed Sehon likes #1 Big Engine (5-1 morning line). “Loaded Linda Rice stable (54-12-7-10) sends out 5-year-old in effort to capture his third win in last four starts. With consistently improving Beyer Speed Figures, Rice is confident that horse can handle jump in class to $62,000 allowance optional claimer. Big Engine should benefit from innermost post going 6 furlongs as Jose Lezcano retains riding assignment. Wager: Win.”
Duane Colucci likes #6 Pete’s Call (5-1 morning line). “John Toscano claim ran extremely well last out and now steps up off a solid win and workout on Aug. 19. This horse loves Saratoga with three starts and three wins and the ultra-hot Luis Saez in the saddle. Should make it 4-for-4. Bet 6 to Win and key 6 with 1, 3 & 7 in exactas and trifectas and reverse.”
Saratoga Race No. 8 (5:18 p.m. ET/2:18 p.m. PT)
John Lauro likes #3 Rushing Fall (7-5 morning line). Lauro’s only message (and he’s usually short and to the point with his spot plays) was: “Strong Win bet. Last race was giant.”
Del Mar Race No. 9 (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT)
Dave Tuley likes #3 Galilean (9-2 morning line) in the Grade 2 Del Mar Mile. Jockey Umberto Rispoli, who is winning a whopping 25% of his turf mounts this year and 4-for-9 on John Sadler mounts the last two months, should have Galilean on a perfect stalking trip and take over in the stretch just like he did in an upgraded stakes race over this course in his turf debut four weeks ago. Bet 3 to win and we’ll use with Peter Miller’s duo of #1 The Black Album (12-1) and #4 Mo Forza (7-2) in exotics.
Duane Colucci likes #11 Bob and Jackie (12-1 morning line). “This Del Mar specialist freaked last time for the Richard Baltas barn and a repeat performance puts this colt right there. The performance was off a seven-month layoff, too. Jockey Heriberto Figueroa and Baltas are hitting at 21% this meet with a $2.10 ROI. Sharp workouts, especially on Aug. 18, as well. Bet 11 to Win and key 11 over 3, 4 & 8 in exactas and trifectas and reverse.”
Prior day’s recaps:
Saratoga Race No. 4
Ed Sehon liked #1 Thebigfundamental (5-2 morning line), but he was SCRATCHED on Saturday morning.
Saratoga Race No. 7
Ed Sehon liked the following $0.50 Pick 4 (cost $36, hit 2-of-4)
Race 7: 2, 6, 8
Race 8: 1, 2, 5
Race 9: 6, 7
Race 10: 1, 2, 3, 5
Saratoga Race No. 9
Ed Sehon liked #6 Uni (3-1 morning line) in the Fourstardave Handicap...went off as 2-1 favorite...race 8th of 9 for most of race and was only able to pass one rival to finish 7th.
Duane Colucci likes #5 Halladay (4-1 morning line)...went off 5-1...set every fraction and held off Got Stormy in the stretch to prevail by 1 1/4 lengths, paying $12.60 to Win.
John Lauro liked a trifecta box, with #8 Without Parole (4-1), #6 Uni (3-1) & #4 Got Stormy (8-1)...Got Stormy finished 2nd to complete a $124.50 exacta (for $2) for those who boxed our handicappers’ picks (4-5-6-8 exacta box would have cost $24 for $2 exactas) but Lauro’s other picks finished 6th and 7th of 9.
Del Mar Race No. 3
Dave Tuley liked #8 Mikes Tiznow (9-2 morning line) in the Grade 3 Green Flash Handicap...went off 5-2...set the quarter- and half-mile fractions and led into the stretch but gave way late, finishing 4th of 7.
Duane Colucci liked #7 Chaos Theory (7-2 morning line)...went off as 9-5 favorite...raced 4th of 7 early, rallied three-wide in the stretch and ran down Mikes Tiznow to triumph by a length, paying $5.60 to Win and top a $26 exacta that Colucci gave out.
Del Mar Race No. 7
Dave Tuley liked #6 Proud Pedro (12-1 morning line)...went off 9-1...raced 9th of 11 through early fractions, started picking up horses to get in contention and looked like he had a shot but just missed the Show spot and finished 4th by just a length (note: Red King turned a similar trip into the victory).
Del Mar Race No. 9
Dave Tuley liked #1 Carpe Vinum (15-1 morning line) in the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks...went off 42-1...raced mid-pack most of race (4th or 5th of 10) but didn’t mount a serious rally and finished a respectable but non-threatening 5th.
Duane Colucci liked #4 Warren’s Showtime (6-1 morning line)...went off 7-2...also raced midpack early but rallied after six furlongs of 1 1/8-mile race, taking lead in upper stretch and looked like a winner but was passed by two long shots and finished 3rd.