This is the 18th edition of “Tuley’s Thoroughbred Takes” for the week of Wednesday, July 15, through Sunday, July 19, 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.
Saturday was a day of close calls as I had a 2nd-place finisher early and Ed Sehon and Duane Colucci both went 3-for-4 with their Pick 4 tickets. Colucci had our lone best-bet winner of the day in the finale at Monmouth (full recaps of yesterday’s results at the end of this column after today’s plays).
On Sunday, we have four plays at Saratoga though we have three different takes on the biggest race of the day, the Grade 2 Lake Placid at Saratoga (note: yesterday, Colucci and I had differing opinions on the Haskell and my horse split Colucci’s trifecta box though it was chalky, so hopefully we can connect the dots again using our different picks. Good luck today (and every day).
Saratoga Race No. 8 (5:14 p.m. ET/2:14 p.m. PT)
Ed Sehon likes #8 Officer Hutchy (8/1). “Maturing 3-year-old filly broke awkwardly and was done in her return as betting choice last month against similar in Belmont dirt sprint. Standout Spa conditioner Linda Rice moves gal to Widener Turf Course and shortens her up half a furlong in effort to regain speedy style. Trainer scores solid 20% of time when making dirt-to-turf move. N.Y. veteran rider Jose Lezcano jumps back aboard in effort to help reverse form. She breaks, she competes in stretch. Wager: Win. Bonus Bet: 8-4 Daily Double.”
Saratoga Race No. 9 (5:46 p.m. ET/2:46 p.m. PT)
Dave Tuley likes #5 Key Biscayne (15/1 morning line) in the Grade 2 Lake Placid Stakes. Trainer John Alvarado takes an aggressive move up in class with this late-developing 3-year-old filly. Many handicappers may ignore her as she failed as a favorite last time out vs. lesser competition, but trainer Juan Alvarado is 44% with beaten favorites, so he’s adept at placing these type of horses. She should sit right off the pace, which will be likely set by #3 Blame Debbie, and get first run on the other late runners, though I wouldn’t be shocked if Key Biscayne inherits the lead. Wager: Win & Place.
Duane Colucci likes #6 Stunning Sky (3/1 morning line). “Running against tougher competition, trainer Michael Maker tries graded company again. The mile-and-an-eighth distance should suit this later runner’s style. I’m expecting jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. to heat up as well and they should be flying late. Bet Win and key 6 with 1, 3 & 8 in trifectas and reverse.”
Ed Sehon likes #4 Queens Embrace (6/1 morning line). “This year’s renewal of the Grade 2 Lake Placid Stakes features a field of eight 3-year-old fillies going 1 1/8-mile over the Inner Turf Course and presents a real handicapper’s dilemma -- some are cutting back, some are stretching out, some are stepping up and one is shipping in -- and that’s where I landed. Winner of five from eight out-of-town efforts against lesser for accomplished East Coast conditioner Kathleen O’Connell, improving Queens Embrace arrives at the Spa off an impressive allowance score at Monmouth three weeks ago. Hot-shot young jockey Tyler Gaffalione, winner of Saturday’s prestigious Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks, accepts mount. Patient ride results in profitable outcome. Wager: Win & box the 4 in exactas with 1, 2, 3 & 5.”
Prior day’s recaps:
Saratoga Race No. 3
Dave Tuley liked #3 Get Smokin (10/1 morning line)...went off 8/1...inherited the lead as predicted and actually opened up 8-length lead over the short five-horse field in the Grade 2 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fames Stakes, fought on gamely but gave up lead in stretch to finish 2nd, paying $4.90 to Place.
Duane Colucci liked #1 Domestic Spending (7/2) in the same race...went off 5/2...race last of 5 for opening six furlongs of 1 1/8-mile race, made big move but only able to get up for 3rd.
Monmouth Races Nos. 9-12
Ed Sehon liked this $.50 Pick 4 (cost $48, hit 3-of-4):
Race 9: #4 Varenka (6/1 morning line), #5 Beautiful Lover (2/1), #6 Nay Lady Nay (5/2) & #7 Tapit Today (9/2)
Race 10: #1 Global Campaign (9/2), #2 Monongahela (3/1), #3 Senior Investment (10/1) & #9 Bal Harbour (7/2)
Race 11: #1 Arklow (5/2), #6 Current (4/1) & #9 Paret (6/1)
Race 12: #1 Dr Post (5/2) & 2 Authentic (4/5)
Saratoga Race No. 7
Ed Sehon liked #3 Blindwillie McTell (5/2 morning line)...went off 7/2...raced 3 rd throughout most of race as most of the horses ran the race as if it was a carousel as Blindwillie McTell was unable to catch the two front-runners and finished 3rd.
Saratoga Race No. 8
Ed Sehon liked #1 Hoffenheim (8/1 morning line)...went off as 2/1 favorite...stalked the pace in 4th early but failed to rally and faded to finish 7th of 9.
Monmouth Races Nos. 11-14
Duane Colucci liked this $.50 Pick 4 (cost $36, hit 3-of-4):
Race 11: #1 Arklow (5/2 morning line), #2 Standard Deviation (7/2), #3 Muggsamatic (8/1) & #8 Corelli (10/1)
Race 12: #1 Dr Post (5/2), #2 Authentic (4/5) & #7 Ny Traffic (7/2)
Race 13: #6 Archidust (7/2), #9 Shekky Shebaz (5/2) & #11 American Sailor (5/1)
Race 14: #1 She’s a Julie (5/2) & #11 Horologist
Monmouth Race No. 12
Dave Tuley liked #4 Ancient Warrior (20/1 morning line)...went off 37/1...didn’t get to lead as expected, raced toward back of pack and faded to finish last of 7.
Monmouth Race No. 14
Duane Colucci liked #11 Horologist (5/1 morning line)...went off 7/2...sat just off the pace in 4th early, steadily made up ground on leaders and took over in upper stretch to prevail by two lengths, paying $9.40 to Win.