Betting news, trends, odds and predictions from various handicappers and websites for Saturday 7/4/20
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By Mike Dempsey
While the pandemic may have put your holiday plans and fireworks on hold, perhaps the safest thing to do this weekend is stay home, fire up the wagering account and play the ponies. You may win some cash or lose some cash, but on Monday at least you will still have all your fingers and thumbs.
We have an outstanding card at Belmont Park this afternoon featuring five graded stakes including the $500,000 Met Mile (G1). In addition, we have the $300,000 Delaware Oaks and the $150,000 Los Alamitos Derby (G3), which is a Road to the Kentucky Derby points race.
My Best Plays Report for Saturday includes my 13 strongest plays from Belmont Park, Delaware Park and Los Alamitos including the major stakes action.
The Met Mile always draws a stellar field and this year is no exception. Eight go to the post this year, with the winner stamping a ticket to the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) at Keeneland in November.
The Bob Baffert trained McKinzie makes the trip from the west coast and the Hall of Fame trainer likely has the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) as the major goal for this five-yar-old. He ran second in the Classic last year as well as finishing in the runner up spot in the Met Mile behind Mitole.
Mike Smith will be aboard, and the son of Street Sense is coming off a victory in the Triple Bend (G2) at seven furlongs at Santa Anita in his last outing.
Code of Honor comes into the Met Mile off a victory in the Westchester (G3) and Vekoma looks like a player off his win in the Carter Handicap (G1) in his last outing.
The Los Alamitos Derby drew a puny field of five led by a pair of Baffert trainees. Thousand Words won the Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) and the Robert B. Lewis (G3) to become a major Kentucky Derby contender. However, the colt has lost his last two starts by a combined 40 lengths.
Baffert also sends out the promising maiden winner Uncle Chuck who broke his maiden by seven lengths on June 12. Future players backed him in Pool 5 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager where he closed at 13-1 on June 28.
Baffert lost his top two contenders Nadal and Charlatan to injuries but seems to have an endless supply of top three-year-olds.
You can catch the action from Belmont Park from 1:00 to 7:00 ET on FS1. The Met Mile (G1) will be televised from 5:00 to 6:00 ET on NBCSN. In addition, you can stream the action using the TVG App. The horse betting company based in the U.S. is offering a risk free bet up to $300 for new players.
Here is the opening race from Belmont Park to get the day off to a good start:
Belmont Park Race 1 Analysis - 7/4 (1:15 p.m. ET)
BEL Race 1 Md $25,000 (1:15 ET)
#8 Charlotte Webley 7-5
#2 Miss Ross 10-1
#1 Remoane 6-1
#12 Aggravation 6-1
Analysis: Charlotte Webley dueled for the early lead and could not match strides late with the winner in a runner up finish last out against state bred $30,000 foes in her first go off a three-month break. She was in the 2-3 paths most of the trip on a day the outer paths were best. She owns the edge in early and mid pace numbers and catches a group here she should be able to take gate to wire. Irad sticks for the Englehart barn and blinkers are added. She is out of a Wild Rush mare that has dropped two other foals to race, both winners.
Miss Ross has come up short 10 times but has landed in the money in four of her starts including a tough nose loss for this tag at Aqueduct last December. Last out she came back off a 3 1/2-month break and raced at the back of the pack early and made a mild late run while caught out very wide, checking in sixth and beaten 4 1/4 lengths. She figures to move forward off that effort which can put her in the mix here at a decent price.
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Delaware Park:
Delaware Park Race 8 Analysis - 7/4 (4:45 p.m. ET)
DEL Race 8 The Delaware Oaks G3 (4:45 ET)
#1 Comical 5-2
#7 Dream Marie 4-1
#2 Piece of My Heart 2-1
#3 Princess Cadey 10-1
Analysis: Comical tracked the early pace and could not get by the gate to wire winner Piece of My Heart last out in the Gardenia at Oaklawn Park, coming up 1 1/2 lengths short. This gal is now 0 for 3 this year after winning 2 of 6 last year as a juvenile including the Schuylerville (G3) at the Spa and she missed in the Chandelier (G1) at Santa Anita by just a neck to Bast. There is a five-pound shift in the weights here and she can turn the tables as the pace should be solid and this surface that might be a bit fairer to horses sitting off the pace at this distance.
Dream Marie acted up in the ate and just tossed in a dud last out in the Game Face at Gulfstream Park last out when cutting back to 6 1/2 furlongs. She was a good second two back in the Hollywood Wildcat going long and four back was third in the Davona Dale (G2) going a one turn mile. She stretches back out to a route here and gets a positive jock switch here to Bravo. She looks capable of bouncing back with a better effort here and among the top three may end up offering the best value.
Piece of My Heart wired the field in the Gardenia at 8-1 in her stakes debut. She sat off the pace two back in her win versus Alw-2 optional claimers in a sharp effort. She is heading in the right direction here for the Robertson barn and Talamo is in to ride her. She fits but her price may end up on the light side.
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Belmont Park:
Belmont Park Race 8 Analysis - 7/4 (5:13 p.m. ET)
BEL Race 8 The Poker G3 (5:13 ET)
#9 Value Proposition 5-2
#5 Social Paranoia 4-1
#7 Got Stormy 7-2
#2 Valid Point 7-2
Analysis: Value Proposition makes his second start off the bench her for the Brown barn. He showed plenty of promise last year breaking his maiden in his debut here o yielding ground, then was not a threat in a seventh-place finish when trying stakes company in the Pennine Ridge (G3). He bounced back with a win versus Alw-1 optional claimers and hit the bench. He came back running, earning a career top beating Alw-2 company and looks primed to step back up into stakes company. The runner up in that ace was Cross Border who I think has a good shot in today's Manhattan (G1) at a price. This guy looks as if he still has plenty of upside.
Social Paranoia tracked the early pace and weakened to finish sixth last out in the Ft. Marcy (G2) over good ground going nine furlongs. The colt cuts back to a mile here and three back in his last start at this distance he won the Appleton (G3) at Gulfstream Park off a 6 1/2-month layoff. The cut back here suits hm and he reunites with Ortiz who was aboard him four back when he won the Dueling Grounds Derby last September at Kentucky Downs. He is better than he showed last out and that was a tough field as well, the winner Instilled Regard a player in today's Manhattan.
These are price plays for exotic players looking to find a couple of extra contenders to use in their trifecta and superfecta wagers. Or for those with smaller bankrolls, you might want to get in a small win-place wager.
R1: #2 Miss Ross 10-1
R3: #3 Reagan’s Edge 8-1
R6: #5 Pilot Episode 8-1
R7: #5 Jo’s Bold Cat 8-1
R9: #7 Mr Freeze 8-1
R10: #3 Cross Border 10-1
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