This is the file for my stable of handicapping friends’ picks for the racing week of Wednesday, Aug. 26, through Sunday, Aug. 30, as we continue to look for value at the tracks that have been running during the coronavirus pandemic.
Our team wasn’t able to find any long-shot winners on Saturday, but Ed Sehon opened the day with a $4.80 winner in Saratoga’s 7th race and Duane Colucci and I were both on the $4.20 winner in Del Mar’s 10th race (full recaps at end of t.
On Sunday, I have a play in Saratoga’s featured 9th race and Sehon & Colucci both added two plays this morning after early scratches (including both liking the same horse against me in the Shuvee Stakes).
Good luck today (and every day!).
Saratoga Race No. 8 (5:14 p.m. ET/2:14 p.m. PT)
Ed Sehon likes #8 Harris Bay (3-1 morning line). “Like the impulsive teenager who can’t resist peer pressure and ends up in the parental doghouse, 3-year-old son of Carpe Diem keeps getting in trouble, preventing him from achieving his true potential. Generally, when a colt’s past three running lines contain the word ‘bumped,’ I look elsewhere for my pick. However, being a glass-half-full kinda guy, based on his level of competition and ability to consistently cash a check, I’m willing to join veteran conditioner John Kimmel and easy rider Junior Alvarado in giving Harris Bay another shot in 6-furlong sprint for New York-breds. Wager: Win & Place. Bonus Bet: 8-7 Daily Double.”
Saratoga Race No. 9 (5:46 p.m. ET/2:46 p.m. PT)
Dave Tuley likes #2 Bellera (10-1 morning line) in the Grade 3 Shuvee Stakes. This Todd Pletcher-trained 4-year-old filly knows how to win (4-for 11) and is 9-for-11 in the money in her career, so she’s almost always competitive. She should be able to sit right off the pace under jockey John Velazquez, who has hit at 52% on Pletcher horses the last two months. Wager: Win & Place.
Ed Sehon likes #7 Lucky Move (12-1 morning line). “Ask anyone who plays the ponies at Parx what trainer has the knack of entering horses where they can win -- and they’ll tell you Juan Carlos Guerrero. He’s a conditioner who’s not afraid to roll the dice -- and often leaves the table with a fistful of black chips. This 6-year-old, ramblin, gamblin daughter of Lookin At Lucky has banked $272,000 while compiling a record of 28-5-7-4 against excellent East Coast company. Shipping mare up to Spa for home-state stakes while obtaining the services of cool Manny Franco is typical Guerrero smooth move. I’m betting it’s my Lucky Move. Wager: Win, Place & Show.”
Duane Colucci also likes #7 Lucky Move (12-1). “This Guerrero mare has a closing kick in a race full of speed, which definitely is an advantage. She also is quite successful at Saratoga with two in-the-money finishes our of three starts. Manny Franco has been riding well, including a win in the Sword Dancer yesterday! Guerrero is 20% with runners on 31-60 days rest with a $2.69 ROI. Bet Win on 7 and key 7 over 4, 6 & 9 in exactas and trifectas and reverse.”
Del Mar Race No. 11 (10:06 p.m. ET/7:06 p.m. PT)
Duane Colucci likes #10 Nurse Goodbody (8-1). “This 4-year-old filly was rolling a little too late last time and now switches riders and has a :48-flat work to boot. Trainer Eric Kruljac is 20% in route races with a $3.13 ROI. She needs to fire her best shot late. “Bet 10 to Win and key 10 over 1, 6 & 11 in exactas and trifectas and reverse.”
Prior day’s recaps:
Saratoga Race No. 3
Dave Tuley liked #11 Turn of Events (20-1 morning line) in the Grade 3 Saranac Stakes, but he was SCRATCHED.
Saratoga Race No. 7
Ed Sehon loved #2 Yaupon (8-5 morning line) in the Grade 2 Amsterdam Stakes...went off as 7-5 favorite...went right to the front and set the fraction at every call of the six-furlong race, coasting home to a two-length victory, paying $4.80 to Win.
Saratoga Race No. 8
Ed Sehon liked the following $0.50 Pick 4 (cost $45, hit 2-of-4)
Race 8: 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 11
Race 9: 2, 5, 6, 7, 8
Race 10: 3, 7, 8
Race 11: 3
Duance Colucci liked the following $0.50 Pick 4 (cost $48, hit 0-of-4)
Race 8: 2, 4, 8, 11
Race 9: 6, 7, 8
Race 10: 1, 3, 5, 7
Race 11: 3, 6
Saratoga Race No. 8 (5:07 p.m. ET/2:07 p.m. PT)
Dave Tuley & Duane Colucci both liked #4 Funny Guy (9-2 morning line) in the Grade 1 Forego Stakes...went off as 3-1 favorite...raced 6 of 11 for most of seven-furlong race, made mild rally three-wide into the stretch but was only able to get up for 4th.
John Lauro liked #2 Whitmore (7-2 morning line) and #10 Mind Control (6-1) in a strong 2-10 exacta box in the Forego...neither really threatened as they finished 7th and 8th, respectively.
Saratoga Race No. 9
Duane Colucci liked #7 Pedro Cara (10-1 morning line) in the Grade 1 Sword Dancer...went off at 3-1...was bumped at the start and raced 4th of 7 early, settled into the 1 1/2-mile turf race race but failed to respond and faded to finish 6th.
Saratoga Race No. 11
Ed Sehon liked #3 Eloquent Speaker (3-1 morning line)...went off as 2-1 favorite...broke well and set the pace of the 6 1/2-furlong race through the opening quarter- and half-mile, battled gamely but was passed inside the sixteenth pole and then headed at the wire to finish 3rd of 11.
Del Mar Race No. 10
Dave Tuley & Duane Colucci both liked #5 C Z Rocket (4-1 morning line) in the Grade 2 Pat O’Brien Stakes...went off as even-money favorite (1.10-1 to be exact)...sat 3rd of 7 just off the pace for opening four furlongs of seven-furlong race, made wide move in stretch and got up for the victory by half a length, paying $4.20 to Win (and keying $11.60 exacta and $19.30 trifecta for Colucci).