Tuley's Thoroughbred Takes (March 18-20)

By Dave Tuley  (VSiN.com senior reporter) 

March 18, 2020 01:42 PM

Welcome to Tuley’s Thoroughbred Takes, an Extra! edition of our Point Spread Weekly column as I’m providing some horse racing plays while the rest of the sports betting world has gone on hiatus during the coronavirus pandemic.

As I’ve written many times, I don’t believe in betting just to have action, so I’m not going to force picks on races where I don’t believe I have an edge (which is didn’t have any personal plays on Wednesday). For that reason, I’m also going to rely on some of my horse racing friends to provide some spot plays at the North American tracks that are still running, plus possibly international racing.

I moved Wednesday’s and Thursday’s plays to the bottom of the column (with notes on how the horses fared). It was disappointing that Aqueduct and Gulfstream Park canceled their scheduled Friday cards yesterday, but I found two plays I liked at Laurel Park – but then Laurel canceled overnight.

You can only bet the races they put in front of you, so we move on and hope we have live price horses in these races at Oaklawn and Santa Anita after both our picks on Thursday ran second. We’re also working on the weekend cards and will post a new file on Friday night.

Oaklawn Race #8 (5:51 p.m. ET/2:51 p.m. PT)

Tuley’s Take is on #5 Raintree Starlet (20/1 morning line). All eyes will be on #2 Mia Mischief (9/5) and #6 Hotshot Anna (3/1), both graded stakes winners, but I’m taking a flier on early-flier Raintree Starlet, who could steal this wire to wire. She’s going to have plenty of company on the lead (primarily Mia Mischief and #4 Shanghai Tarriff), which could compromise her chances, but it’s worth that risk at anywhere near this price. A lot of bettors would just box the aforementioned horses, but in a case like this (with the others being shorter-priced), I prefer to box my longshot with all the horses in the race in case another longshot comes in to provide a huge payoff. In a seven-horse race like this, a $1 exacta box on 5 w/ ALL would cost just $12. In case Raintree Starlet comes in with one of the favorites, you should also bet to win and place (you could also do a separate box with the longshot and the favorites so you have the smaller payoff multiple times if it hits).

Santa Anita Race #7 (7:08 p.m. ET/4:08 PT)

Tuley’s Take(s) will depend on the tote board. I like three horses in this allowance race: #2 West Sider (6/1 morning line), #4 Kanderel (6/1) and #5 Bad Beat (15/1). West Sider is trained by Bob Baffert, so I don’t believe we’ll get the morning-line price (if we do, this maiden winner is worth a bet to make it 2-for-2). Karderel finished up the track in two minor stakes before taking a few months off, but I’d take a shot on him if the public ignores him for those reasons and he drifts up to around 10/1. Bad Beat could steal this wire to wire at 15/1, so at least I’m sure I’ll have win money on him. Regardless, also put me down for 2-4-5 exacta and trifecta boxes.

Good luck at the races.


Here are picks from this column that have already run on Wednesday and Thursdays (results are recapped at the end of each day’s plays):


Gulfstream Race #5 (3:03 p.m. ET/12:03 p.m. PT)

Duane Colucci likes #2 Celebration (9/2 morning line): “He is dropping in class, second race off a layoff and the turf seems speed favoring with the rails out. He should sit right there and get a perfect trip under Paco Lopez.”

Gulfstream Race #10 (5:38 p.m. ET/2:38 p.m. PT)

Duane Colucci likes #5 Flyoff (8/1 morning line) and also recommends using #10 Tropicat (6/1): “The last race [on the card] is tough, but I think I can get value on #5 Flyoff. He ran well off a long layoff and trainer George Weaver is hitting at 40 percent at the current Gulfstream meet and jockey Luis Saez will know what to do. The #10 Tropicat has a tough post but can ramble along and hit the board. Two races back, he won an optional $25,000 race and he’s got some nice workouts leading up to this race.”

(Tuley Noted: Celebration set the pace as Duane Colucci predicted, but wasn’t able to hold off the even-money favorite and finished third. Gave us a good run for the money. Colucci’s other top pick on Flyoff didn’t hit the board, but his other horse, Tropicat, did rally late to finish third at 6/1. I’m sure Colucci was hoping for better results, but I appreciated that two of his three horses outran their odds.)


Fair Grounds Race #8 (4:53 p.m. ET/1:53 p.m. PT)

Tuley’s Take is on #8 Clara Peeters (6/1). I think 6/1 is a fair price for this British invader. In upcoming columns, I’ll write more about morning lines (basically, you should take them with a grain of salt; the best approach is to make your own line and find horses who are paying more than their true odds). Trainer Brad Cox is having a great year and placing his horses well; he’s also 2-for-4 with first-time runners in North America. Hopefully the fact it’s an invader and coming off a long layoff will help us get this price.

Gulfstream Race #9 (5:07 p.m. ET/2:07 p.m. PT)

Tuley’s Take is on #4 How Sweep It Is (8/1). The 8/5 favorite is #3 Flora Fantasy, who won her last race with a big late run. But I like How Sweep It Is to steal this on the front end and hold off the chalk. There’s other speed in this six-furlong race, and if you’re looking for an exacta box, I’d use my #4 with #1 Gioielli as I can see these two going to the lead and this being what we call a “carousel race” where the field runs around the track in the same order (like a carousel).

Gulfstream Race #10 (5:38 p.m. ET/2:38 p.m. PT)

Ed Sehon likes #1 Mystical Moon (7/2): “Mystical Moon is dropping in class, has the best last-race speed and I also like the trainer-jockey combo of Brian Lynch and Julien Leparoux. He also has a nice closing kick and the inside post should set up a mid-pack trip.”

(Tuley Noted: Both of my top win picks finished second. Clara Peeters ended up going off as the 2/1 favorite and made a big run to only lose by a neck. How Sweep It Is went off at 7/1, ran a big race, but was passed late by the 4/5 favorite to also finish second, paying a juicy $6 to place. Our guest handicapper Ed Sehon got us off the schneid as Mystical Moon went off as the 2/1 chalk and won, paying $6. We’re a little disappointed our horses haven’t gone off at higher prices, but it’s a good sign we’re finding overlays against the morning lines and most of our picks so far have been live and given us a good run for our money).


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