The Graveyard of Favorites - Saratoga Opening Day
FRIDAY, JULY 20, 2018
As we mentioned yesterday, "The Graveyard of Favorites" a.k.a. Saratoga Racetrack opens its summer meet today. The first-day card offers up 10 races and experience says to expect the unexpected. There always seem to be some crazy payouts at Saratoga. Hopefully, we'll land on a few to get the Toga party started right.
Race 6 in today's Saratoga opener just might be the ticket as our top pick, and one of our best bets, PALLADIAN BRIDGE (PP: 10) has a morning line of 12-1. She is the only horse in the field to ever pop a 100 speed rating and has a killer record at the 6.5 furlong distance; seven starts, four wins, a place and a show with winnings of $139,500. Hopefully not, but we would not be surprised to see PALLADIAN bet down.
Value might also be found in races 8 and 9. Both are stakes races with vulnerable favorites. In the $150K Grade III Schuylerville we like NONNA MADELINE (PP: 2) at 7/2 and even feel like longshot LONELY ROAD (PP: 5 - M/L 15-1) could easily hit the board and maybe even pull the upset, this is Saratoga after all. NONNA MADELINE comes into this race off of a maiden special weight win at Monmouth Park, which is a strategy trainer Todd Pletcher has used successfully to win this race in the past. LONELY ROAD provides tremendous value at 15-1 after breaking her maiden impressively at Belmont Park last time out. See who we like over the M/L favorite in the $150K G3 Lake George Stakes with today's premium picks.
We'll be tracking every race at Saratoga (and others), logging every detail to identify trends, angles, biases and more that we can share to give you an edge as the meet progresses.
Shifting our attention to Del Mar, which continues to provide a handicapping challenge after day 2 despite our sheet hitting the $16.20 exacta, $139.60 trifecta and $422.20 superfecta in Race 1 yesterday, these are some of the emerging biases we see at Del Mar so far.
Front runners have struggled early on. In the first 18 races, only two horses have wired the field: 5.5 furlongs on the dirt yesterday and 1 mile on the grass on opening day. Otherwise, the average 1/4 mile call for the eventual winner is 4.5. Seven runners that hit the wire first were 5th or worse at the 1/4 pole.
There's definitely been a late kick bias as the average 1/2 call position for the winner-to-be only improved to fourth (not including the pair of wire-to-wire winners). Horse players would be wise to look for past performance lines that look something like this - 1/4 poll 4-5th, 1/2 poll 4th and stretch 2nd.
That's the profile of a winner after two days of southern California racing.
Check back here tomorrow as we'll be using these early observations to share some insights for Del Mar and Saratoga's Saturday Stakes races.
Del Mar Race 7 - $200K G2 SAN DIEGO HANDICAP
Del Mar Race 8 - $200K G2 SAN CLEMENTE STAKES
Saratoga Race 9 - $150K G3 SANFORD STAKES
Saratoga Race 10 - $500K G1 DIANA STAKES
And... if this weekend is anything like last weekend, you'll want to arm yourself with our all of our picks. Last Saturday and Sunday, our selections paid an amazing $178,107.18 in potential payouts.
$19,703.28 at Finger Lakes on Saturday
$15,987.20 at Laurel Park on Saturday
$38,795.30 at Fort Erie on Sunday
$40,535.80 at Los Alamitos (thoroughbreds) on Sunday
We wonder how many of our subscribers took the day off from work on Monday?
Good luck at the races and we'll see you tomorrow!
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