(Note: this has been updated with added plays after Sunday’s early scratches.)
This is the 15th edition of “Tuley’s Thoroughbred Takes” for the week of Wednesday, June 24, through Sunday, June 28, as me and my stable of handicapping friends continue to look for value at the horseracing tracks that are still running during the coronavirus pandemic.
I was proud to lead the way Saturday with a $56 winner (Victim of Love in Belmont’s Race 7, the Vagrancy Stakes) and $153.50 exacta given out here and on the video version on VSiN’s YouTube page. The other highlights were John Lauro hitting again with one of his rare spots plays and Ed Sehon hitting the Pick 4 at Belmont, though it lost money as the sequence didn’t have a winner pay more than $7.30 (full recaps of yesterday’s picks are at the end of this column after today’s plays).
On Sunday, I just have one play in the only $100,000 race of the day in this country with the ungraded Bouwerie Stakes at Belmont. Ed Sehon and Duane Colucci added their plays Sunday after scratches.
Good luck today (and every day!).
Belmont Race No. 4 (2:55 p.m. ET/11:55 a.m. PT)
Ed Sehon likes #7 Deputy Flag (7/2 morning line). “Nation’s premier rider Irad Ortiz Jr. (five wins Saturday) accepts mount on 5-year-old gelding as he moves from dirt to grass for hot Brad Cox barn. Claimed for $40,000 in January, he’s had time to work steadily and is ready for six-furlong sprint return vs. softer over Inner Turf Course. Wager: Win and exacta box of 1, 6, 7 & 8.”
Belmont Races Nos. 6-9 (3:59 p.m. ET/12:59 p.m. PT)
Ed Sehon likes the late Pick 4 (cost $48)
Race 6 - #1 Selfmade (5/2 morning line), #6 Fridaybeers (6/1), #10 Couragescontender (7/2) & #11 Bielefeld (3/1)
Race 7 - #1 Peaceful (3/1), #3 Carina (5/2), #5 Stop War (5/1) & #12 O’Malley (8/1)
Race 8 - #1 Critical Value (6/5), #4 Risky Mischief (3/1) & #6 Big Q (7/2)
Race 9 - #6 Two Cent Tootsie (6/1) & #9 Crescent Lady (5/1)
Belmont Race No. 7 (4:32 p.m. ET/1:32 p.m. PT)
Duane Colucci likes #12 O’Malley (8/1 morning line). “Trainer Kelly Breen takes over this turf sprinter who is 1-for-1 over this course and has his the board 8-of-10 starters. She has solid works since last start in February and should show speed. Bet to Win and key #12 with #1 and #3 in exactas and trifectas – and reverse.”
Belmont Race No. 8 (5:04 p.m. ET/2:04 p.m. PT)
Ed Sehon likes #4 Risky Mischief (3/1 morning line). “Highly regarded Empire State trainer Jeremiah Englehart thought enough of $300,000 daughter of Into Mischief to enter her in Grade 1 Spinaway Stakes last August at Saratoga following an impressive maiden special weight debut win. After 10 months of R&R, conditioner brings her back in The Bouwerie Stakes vs. 3-year-old state-bred fillies. Steady works indicate she’s primed for top effort. Jose Ortiz retains riding assignment. Wager: Win and exacta box of 1, 4 & 6.”
Dave Tuley likes #5 Courageous Girl (10/1 morning line). The Bouwerie Stakes is restricted to 3-year-old fillies that were foaled in the state of New York. Courageous Girl ran second in the same condition last time out. That was at a mile and the shorter seven-furlong distance should help her steal this. These races are usually won on the lead and she’s the most consistent speed horse in the field, plus she’s being ridden by Dylan Davis, who has been winning on the lead a lot lately. Wager: Win & Place (as she does have a case of seconditis with three runner-up finishes in eight career starts).
Prior day’s recaps:
Churchill Race No. 3
Ed Sehon liked #5 Lusitano (6/1 morning line)…went off 7/2…battled for the lead through the opening quarter before dropping back to a few lengths off the pace, but then was only able to get up to finish 4th of 8.
Belmont Race No. 6
Ed Sehon liked #1 Propensity (4/1 morning line)…went off 3/1…sat right behind the early pacesetters and was still within a few lengths in the stretch but was behind a wall of horses and ended up fading to finish 9th of 10.
Churchill Races Nos. 7-11
John Lauro liked this $0.50 Pick 5 ($36 total…won first 4 before losing last leg)
Race 7: ALL
(9 betting interests) with winner at 6/1
Race 8: #6 Cazadero
(8/5 morning line)
Race 9: #4 Serengeti Empress (2/1), #5 Midnight Bisou
Race 10: #5 Tom’s d’Etat
(1/1), #6 By My Standards (5/2)
Race 11: #5 Crystal Cliffs (3/1), #12 Pass the Plate (6/1)
Churchill Race No. 7
Dave Tuley liked #3 Smart Remark (20/1 morning line)…went off 12/1…raced last of 10 through first half-mile and then was only able to rally passed a few tiring horses to finish 7th.
Thistledown Race No. 8
Ed Sehon liked an exacta box of 6-9-10-13 in the Grade 3 Ohio Derby and ended up having #10 South Bend run 2nd and #13 Storm the Court run 3rd, but neither were able to catch the winner #1 Dean Martini.
Belmont Race No. 7
Dave Tuley liked 2 speedy long shots in the Grade 3 Vagrancy -- #4 Jakarta (20/1 morning line) and #6 Victim of Love (also 20/1) – and said to bet the higher-priced horse to win…Jakarta went off 15/1 while Victim of Love went off 27/1, so she was the play…Victim of Love battled Jakarta for the lead as predicted for the opening four furlongs of the 6 1/ 2-furlong race and then took the lead before the top of the stretch…drifted out wide but was able to hold off the favorite, paying $56 to Win and $12.20 to Place…Tuley also recommended a 5-6-7 exacta box that paid $153.50.
Belmont Race No. 8
John Lauro liked #7 Mean Mary (7/2 morning line)…went off as 6/5 favorite…went right to the lead as expected and controlled the whole race, leading at every call and pulling away to triumph by 5 1/4 lengths, paying $4.40 to Win.
Churchill Races Nos. 8-11
Duane Colucci liked this $1 Pick 4 ($27 total…only won 2 of 4)
Race 8: #6 Cazadero
(8/5 morning line)
Race 9: #3 Chocolate Kisses (12/1), #4 Serengeti Empress (2/1), #5 Midnight Bisou
Race 10: #6 By My Standards (5/2), #7 Silver Dust (10/1), #8 Owendale (4/1)
Race 11: #1 Dominga (5/1), #5 Crystal Cliffs (3/1), #12 Pass the Plate (6/1)
Belmont Races Nos. 8-11
Ed Sehon liked this $.50 Pick 4 ($60 total…hit all 4 but only paid $31.25)
Race 8: #1 Call Me Love (8/5 morning line), #3 My Sister Nat (8/1), #4 Fools Gold (6/1) & #7 Mean Mary
Race 9: #1 Diamond King (5/1); #6 Stan the Man (20-1) & #8 Firenze Fire
Race 10: #4 Newspaperofrecord
(8/5) & #6 Uni (7/5)
Race 11: #3 Winning Factor
(6/1), #6 Sir Chubby (5/1), #8 Brice (7/2) , #9 Montauk Summer (6/1) & #12 Eagles Palace (4/1)
Belmont Race No. 9
Duane Colucci liked #1 Diamond King (5/1 morning line)…went off 7/2…was bumped at the start but was still able to stalk the pacesetters in 3rd through the opening half mile of the Grade 2 True North Stakes, but failed to mount a rally and finished 5th of 6.
Churchill Race No. 10
Duane Colucci liked #8 Owendale (4/1 morning line)…went off 9/2…raced 7th of 8 through first six furlong of mile-and-an-eighth race and then appeared to get within striking distance but was only able to get up for 5th.
Belmont Race No. 10
Dave Tuley liked #1 Beau Recall (10/1 morning line)…went off 10/1…raced last of 6 through opening half-mile of mile race in the Grade 1 Just a Game Stakes, made a six-wide rally in the stretch and was able to get up for 2nd, but was three lengths behind the winner Newspaperofrecord.
Churchill Race No. 11
Dave Tuley liked #11 Witez (12/1 morning line)….went off 27/1…raced closer to the pace than expected through first six furlongs of mile-and-an-eighth race and didn’t have anything left, fading to finish 12th of 13.
Los Alamitos Race No. 8
Duane Colucci liked #4 Three Ay Em (10/1 morning line)…went off 26/1…sat a few lengths off the pace through opening half-mile but then steadily gave way before fading to last of 8.