This is the 16th edition of “Tuley’s Thoroughbred Takes” for the week of Wednesday, July 1, through Sunday, July 5, as me and my stable of handicapping friends continue to look for value at the horse racing tracks that are still running during the coronavirus pandemic.
I’m actually on vacation for the better part of the next two weeks, but me and friends agreed that we still want to continue posting daily plays. We all agree with the old adage: “you should make a bet every day or you could be walking around lucky and not even know it!” One change for the next two weeks will be that we’ll only file our picks overnight without updates after early scratches, so each day’s picks should be up by the time you wake up no matter what time zone you’re in.
The Fourth of July didn’t produce the fireworks we were hoping for, but our team fared pretty well with Ed Sehon and Duane Colucci having short-priced winners at Belmont and John Lauro hitting cold exacta at Los Alamitos; as for yours truly, one of my best bets scratched but the other ran a game second in Belmont’s Race 8 (full recaps at end of this column following Sunday’s plays).
On Sunday, we have three plays as Sehon has two from Belmont and I have one from Gulfstream. I’m hoping to add a play from Colucci on Sunday morning (truth be told, I accidentally took my iPhone into the Gulf of Mexico while swimming with my kids on Saturday, so I’m trying to reach out to him).
Good luck today (and every day!).
Gulfstream Race No. 10 (4:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m. PT)
Dave Tuley likes #4 Sovereign Warrior (20/1 morning line). The $75,000 Bob Umphrey Turf Sprint has attracted plenty of speed as expected for this five-furlong ungraded stakes, but this long shot might be the speediest of all. Sovereign Warriors should be helped in the cutback in distance as he’s been routing his last two starts. Wager: Win & Place.
Belmont Race No. 9 (5:36 p.m. ET/2:36 p.m. PT)
Ed Sehon likes #10 Chewing Gum (7/2 morning line). “It’s hard not to like a Bill Mott trainee who has finished in money in eight of 10 starts, won his last race with a strong closing move over the same grass course and is stretching out to seven furlongs. Prepping with a solid work last week, 5-year-old son of Candy Ride is ready to handle class upgrade as turf master Joel Rosario retains ride vs. competitive field in $80,000 open claimer. Wager: Win and exacta box of 3, 6, 7 & 10. Bonus Bet: 10-5 daily double.”
Duane Colucci likes #2 Delaware (5/1 morning line). “This Chad Brown colt had an eventful trip in his U.S. debut and now adds blinkers, Lasix and jockey Irad Ortiz for this race. He also has two nice workouts since the last race. Bet to Win and box 2, 7 & 10 in exactas and trifectas.”
Belmont Race No. 10 (6:08 p.m. ET/3:08 p.m. PT)
Ed Sehon likes #5 Spiritual King (4/1 morning line). “Apparently former trainer Bill Mott had big plans for $250,000 son of Violence before giving up on him after a pair of tiring turf route efforts vs. open maidens at Gulfstream this Spring. New conditioner Gregory Sacco, who has won five of 15 this year, enters gelding against softer NY-breds, shortens him up to 6 furlongs and names meet’s leading pilot Irad Ortiz Jr. to ride. Look for him early - and hopefully late. Wager: Win an exacta box of 1, 5, 6 & 8.”
Prior day’s recaps:
Belmont Race No. 5
Ed Sehon likes #6 Amundson (3/1 morning line)...went off 3/2 favorite...pressed opening pace as expected...was leading after half-mile mark of seven-furlong race...battled come-from-behind winner and finished 2nd by a head.
Delaware Race No. 6
Ed Sehon liked #5 Miss Imperfection (12/1 morning line) but she was SCRATCHED.
Belmont Race No. 6
Ed Sehon liked #10 Publication (3/1 morning line)...had bumpy start and spotted the leaders five lengths early...started rally at five-sixteenths pole, went wide in the stretch and challenge leaders at sixteenth pole and coasted to two-length victory, paying $5.50 to Win.
Belmont Races Nos. 8-11
Duane Colucci liked a $.50 Pick 4 (cost $90...hit 3-of-4)
Race 8: #1 Dream Friend (8/1 morning line), #2 Valid Point (7/2), #5 Social Paranoia (4/1), #7 Got Stormy (7/2) & #9 Value Proposition (5/2)
Race 9: #2 Vekoma (5/2), #3 McKinzie (2/1), #5 Code of Honor (3/1) & #6 Endorsed (10/1)
Race 10: #1 Instilled Regard (2/1), #2 Rockemperor (5/1) & #5 Devamani (9/2)
Race 11: #6 Sir Winston (7/2), #7 Just Whistle (8/1), #8 Moretti (5/1)
Ed Sehon liked a $.50 Pick 4 (cost $30...hit 3-of-4)
Race 8: #5 Social Paranoia (4/1 morning line) & #9 Value Proposition (5/2)
Race 9: #2 Vekoma (5/2), #3 McKinzie (2/1), #5 Code of Honor (3/1), #6 Endorsed (10/1) & #7 Mr Freeze (8/1)
Race 10: #2 Rockemperor (5/1), #5 Devamani (9/2) & #7 Dot Matrix (6/1)
Race 11: #1 Tacitus (9/5) & #4 Mr. Buff (2/1)
Belmont No. 8
Dave Tuley liked #4 Seismic Wave (8/1 morning line)...went off 6/1...raced last of 8 as expected for first half of mile race...started rally around final turn, went four-wide into stretch and closed with other late runners and was just beaten by a length, paying $6.40 to Place.
Belmont No. 9
Duane Colucci liked #2 Vekoma (5/2 morning line)...went off as 9/5 second choice...made every call a winning one in wire-to-wire victory, setting pace and putting away other early challengers and holding off late runners, paying $5.90 to Win.
Belmont No. 10
Duane Colucci liked #2 Rockemperor (5/1 morning line)...went off as 2/1 favorite...raced in 3rd most of 1 1/4- mile race, rallied four-wide into stretch and took a late lead but was unable to hold off closing winner, finishing 2nd by a neck and completing $19.20 exacta.
Belmont Race No. 11
Dave Tuley likes #5 Joevia (20/1 morning line) but he was SCRATCHED.
Los Alamitos Race No. 6
John Lauro liked a cold exacta in the Los Alamitos Derby with #4 Uncle Chuck over #3 Thousand Words...the two Bob Baffert trainees went off as the top two betting choices as expected...they raced 2 nd and 4 th early in four-horse race and rallied strong to run 1-2 as expected with Uncle Chuck winning by four lengths and Thousand Words seven lengths clear of the field, paying the bare minimum $2.10 for a $1 exacta and $4.20 for $2 (but 5% ROI in under 2 minutes).