(Note: updated after Sunday’s early scratches.)
This is the file for my stable of handicapping friends’ picks for the racing week of Wednesday, Sept. 2, through Sunday, Sept. 6, as we continue to look for value at the tracks that have been running during the coronavirus pandemic.
We just wrapped up Kentucky Derby Week, which was disappointing as I made the right call that Tiz the Law was beatable but wasn’t able to find the right upsetter. But the great thing about horse racing is there’s more betting opportunities right around the corner.
I posted two picks for Sunday overnight and Duane Colucci added not one, not two, but three plays of his own (include one where we face off in the Del Mar Derby) while Ed Sehon doesn’t have a best bet but offers up a Pick 4 at Saratoga with even more horses to consider on Sunday’s card.
Good luck today (and every day!) and happy holiday weekend.
Saratoga Race No. 2 (1:19 p.m. ET/10:19 a.m. PT)
Duane Colucci #7 Tenure (5-1 on morning line). “This speedster just quit inside the sixteenth pole after setting blazing fractions of :21 2/ 5 and 44 1/ 5. If jockey Kendrick Carmouche can just go a tad slower on the front end, this horse’s chances dramatically improve. Trainer John Toscano and Carmouche already have a win at this meet and a $3.33 ROI. He will be on the lead and third off the layoff, he should be fit enough. Bet 7 to Win and key 7 over 1, 5 & 10 in exactas and trifectas and reverse.”
Saratoga Race No. 5 (2:55 p.m. ET/11:55 a.m. PT)
Ed Sehon likes the following $0.50 Pick 4 (cost $40)
#5 Mo Dean (6-5 morning line) ... strong finish, distance suits
#9 Leia Marie (9-2) ... moves to dirt, stretches out
#1 A Little Faith (3-1) ... second ‘20 start, attracts J. Ortiz
#3 Bean Counter (4-1) ... shortens up, hot Rosario returns
#8 Keota (7-2) ... Chad Brown-I. Ortiz strong combo
#9 Sweet Kisses (10-1) ... moves to turf, Saez rides for J. Englehart
#8 Madison Parc (4-1) ... for OXO Equine, Rosario rides, gets blinkers
#10 Chocolate Cookie (7-2) ... Repole-Pletcher-I. Ortiz, bad break
#1 Releasethethunder (8-1) ... class drop, Rosario rides
#2 Thomas Shelby (6-1) ... Ward owns, trains & goes for repeat
#3 Last Judgment (4-1) ... returns to dirt sprint for Pletcher-I. Ortiz
#4 American Power (9-2) ... off claim for hot Atras barn
#5 Tiz He the One (3-1) ... class drop, Repole-Maker rehires Lezcano
Saratoga Race No. 10 (5:45 p.m. ET/2:45 p.m. PT)
Dave Tuley likes #7 Lady’s Island (9-2 on morning line) in the Grade 2 Honorable Miss Handicap. This 6-year-old is stepping up in class, but she should be the speed of the speed and she knows how to find the winner’s circle (16-of-31 lifetime record. And even though she’s well-traveled, she should have no problem with this track as she romped by 13 lengths in her only Spa appearance last August. Wager: Win (& Place if she goes off above 5-1).
Saratoga Race No. 11 (6:17 p.m. ET/3:17 p.m. PT)
Duane Colucci #6 Pagliacci (20-1 on morning line) in the ungraded Lucky Coin Stakes “This closer, recently transferred to trainer Steve Klesaris, is very familiar with this course, having run here six times. He should have some pace to target and will be a huge price. He has a :47 3/ 5 bullet workout for this and jockey Eric Cancel and Klesaris, although a small sample, have a $12.70 ROI when teaming up. Bet 6 across-the-board (Win , Place & Show) and key 6 over 1, 7 & 9 in exactas and trifectas and reverse.”
Del Mar Race No. 10 (8:40 p.m. ET/5:40 p.m. PT)
Dave Tuley likes #10 Heywoods Beach (12-1 on morning line). This is the Grade 2 Del Mar Derby, so it’s for 3-year-olds just like the Kentucky Derby except it's for later-developing 3-year-olds than we’ve seen on the Triple Crown trail, plus it’s for turf horses. Heywoods Beach finally figured out how to get his second career win last time out after dropping into the optional claiming ranks but should fit with these and get a nice stalking trip just off the pace. Wager: Win & Place.
Duane Colucci likes #8 Kiss Today Goodbye (8-1 on morning line). “Heading back to turf, this Eric Kruljac trainee ran exceptionally well against some of the best 3-year-olds in the country and was making up ground. Although Umberto Rispoli takes another mount, Drayden Van Dyke will know what to do. He and Kruljac have teamed up this year for 40% win percentage and a $7.28 ROI. Several works on turf should help stamina. Bet 8 to Win and key 8 over 2, 3 & 7 in exactas and trifectas and reverse.”