This is the 17th edition of “Tuley’s Thoroughbred Takes” for the week of Wednesday, July 8, through Sunday, July 12, 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.
Our team didn’t fare too well overall on Saturday, though John Lauro hit with another spot play with Monomoy Girl in the Ruffian Stakes at Belmont and Ed Sehon hit the first legs of a Pick 4 at Keeneland before falling short (full recaps at end of column after today’s plays).
On Sunday, Sehon, Duane Colucci and I have two picks apiece from coast to coast at Belmont, Keeneland and Del Mar (though Sehon and Colucci go head-to-head in Keeneland’s featured 9th race, but that’s OK as hopefully we can successfully combine their horses in the exotics).
Good luck today (and every day).
Belmont Race No. 6 (3:19 p.m. ET/12:19 p.m. PT)
Duane Colucci likes #6 Crater Rim (30/1 morning line). “I like a closing-day bomb in Race 6. Trainer John Pregman has been known to put over a price here or there. This one loves turf and is entering state-bred competition from opening company. Bet 6 to Win and Place, plus box 6-7 exacta. Have to use #7 Amos (12/1) third off the layoff, plus jockey Jose Lezcano is heating up!”
Belmont Race No. 8 (4:23 p.m. ET/1:23 p.m. PT)
Dave Tuley likes #4 Lemon Zip (6/1 morning line). I’ll take the proven commodity in the ungraded $80,000 River Memories Stakes as Lemon Zip is the only entrant in the field to have two wins at this challenging 1 1/2-mile distance (#1 Dyna Passer is the only other runner with a win at the distance and most others haven’t raced this far). Throw out Lemon Zip’s last race in the Grade 3 Very One as she was bumped at the start and never got in the race. She’s dropping in class even if you ignore that last race and fits well at this level. Wager: Win & Place.
Keeneland Race No. 7 (4:24 p.m. ET/1:24 p.m. PT)
Ed Sehon likes #6 Irish Mias (8/1 morning line). “After busy 2-year-old season, skilled conditioner Graham Motion gave colt a shot in graded company on Jan. 2 where he finished midpack in his 3-year-old debut. Since then he’s been gelded, rested and worked for today’s Grade 3 Transylvania Stakes at a mile-and-a-sixteenth on the turf. He gets added ground and significant rider upgrade to Johnny Velazquez. Wager: Win & exacta box of 1, 5, 6 & 8.”
Keeneland Race No. 9 (5:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. PT)
Ed Sehon likes #10 Arklow (3/1 morning like). “This hard-charging veteran, winner of nearly $2 million, gets some class relief after four consecutive tests vs. many of the game’s best turf routers. Accomplished trainer Brad Cox and regular rider Florent Geroux team up again for the mile-and a-half marathon, after losing by a head to highly regarded Admissions Office a month ago at Churchill Downs. Wager: Win & Place.”
Duane Colucci likes #2 Nakamura (8/1 morning line). “Jockey John Velazquez and trainer Graham Motion have been a deadly combination, hitting at a $5.33 ROI over the last two years. Nakamura has nice works and has to be fit to beat #5 Zulu Alpha. Bet 2 to Win and box 2-5 exacta.”
Del Mar Race No. 6 (7:37 p.m. ET/4:37 p.m. PT)
Dave Tuley likes #5 Desert Oasis (8/1 morning line) in the Osunitas Stakes. This 5-year-old mare has a chance to grab the early lead and control the pace under jockey Victor Espinoza. Can also rate if someone else (#6 Cordiality?) beats her to the lead. Wager: Win.
Prior day’s recaps:
Keeneland Race No. 3
Ed Sehon liked #1 Tipsy Gal (6/1 morning line)...went off 8/1...raced near the back of the 11-horse field throughout and failed to mount rally, finishing 8th.
Belmont Race No. 4
John Lauro liked #5 Monomoy Girl (2/5 morning line)...went off as 1/5 favorite...sat right behind the pacesetter for opening half-mile of the mile race, took command near the quarter pole and coasted to a two-length victory, paying $2.30 (which isn’t much, but it is a 15% ROI in less than 2 minutes).
Keeneland Race No. 5
Ed Sehon liked #9 Amy’s Challenge (8/1 morning line)...went off 9/1...sat right off the early pace and stayed in contention until upper stretch but faded to finish 7th of 8.
Keeneland Races Nos. 7-10
Ed Sehon liked the $.50 Pick 4 (cost $48, went 3-for-4):
Race 7: #2 Venetian Harbor (6/5 morning line), #3 Bonny South (5/1), #4 Envoutante (5/1) & #6 Speech (2/1)
Race 8: #4 Rushing Fall (6/5), #6 Jolie Olimpica (5/2) & #8 Toinette (5/1)
Race 9: #3 Art Collector (5/1), #7 Swiss Skydiver (3/1), #8 Basin (8/1) & #10 Rushdie (5/1)
Race 10: #2 Summer in Saratoga (9/2) & #3 Romantic Pursuit (7/5)
Keeneland Race No. 8
Dave Tuley liked #7 Altea (12/1 morning line) in the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley Stakes...went off 23/1...raced last of 8 for first six furlongs of 1 1/16-mile race, then rallied to make up several lengths on leaders but was only able to get up to dead-heat for 4th.
Belmont Race No. 8
Dave Tuley liked #3 McErin (6/1 morning line)...went off 13/1...grabbed early lead as predicted and led for opening half-mile of 1 1/16-mile race but gave way and finished 4th of 8.
Keeneland Race No. 9
Duane Colucci liked #5 Man in the Can (10/1 morning line) in the Grade 2 Blue Grass...went off 14/1....sat just a few lengths behind the early pace but had nothing left in the stretch and faded to finish last of 13.
Del Mar Race No. 6
John Lauro liked #10 Party Town (20/1 morning line) but he was SCRATCHED.
Del Mar Race No. 8
Duane Colucci liked #3 Jasikan (8/1 morning line)...went off 5/1...raced last of 9 for opening half-mile, rallied a little but only able to get up 7th (but beat by only 2 1/4 lengths).