By Papo Morales, AmWager An outstanding day of racing at Woodbine on Saturday with a stakes filled card and several multi-race guarantees including $150k early Pick 4, $250k late Pick 4 and a $100k late Pick 5. With rolling pick 3’s and .20 cent incremental base bets on all the “pick” wagers, there are several opportunities to get involved with the exotic wagers and with potentially minimum investments. It’s worth noting that AmWager will be offering an additional win bonus on the pick 3’s and pick 4’s at Woodbine on Saturday to spice up your potential payoffs. Race 8 Canadian Stakes 1 1/8th Miles Turf A solid field of seven fillies and mares entered in the first graded stakes race on the Woodbine card, the Grade 2 Canadian. Morning line favoritism falls on Dacita (2-1) for trainer Chad Brown. The Scat Daddy mare has won two straight races including the…
By Papo Morales, AmWager Race 8 One Dreamer Stakes 1 mile 70 yards A contentious field of ten fillies and mares looking to take the winner’s share of the $150,000 purse racing over the undulating Kentucky Downs turf course. Morning line favoritism falls on Annulment (5-2) for trainer Vicki Oliver. The Broken Vow mare has been a graded stakes performer throughout her career, albeit many of those races were at distances longer than Saturday's race. In 2016 she has started five times and while she has run well in those races, she has yet to find the winner’s circle. She did run third in this race last year but I think she is better with more real estate to work with. For that reason, I will play against her for win honors.
By Papo Morales, AmWager Race 11 Grade 1 Travers Stakes: A full field of 14 three-year-olds looking to win the 147th running of the Mid-Summer Derby, the Travers Stakes. The grade one race was first run in 1864 and was won by Kentucky at a race distance of 1 ¾ miles would which be considered a marathon distance by today’s standards. The Travers was shortened to the classic distance of 1 ¼ miles in 1893 and was won by Stowaway. The winner of the race will look to join such classic horses as Man o’ War, Whirlaway, Gallant Man, Damascus, and Alydar and have their jockey’s silks painted on the track canoe, a tradition that first started in 1926. Much like the Kentucky Derby, there is value to be had in this full field and I would not take a short price on anyone. Let’s start the conversation with the…
The Down the Stretch radio show with Don Knobel and AmWager resident handicapper Papo Morales will discuss and debate the Travers Stakes - the Midsummer Derby - and the stellar race card at Saratoga this Saturday, Aug. 27. Don and Papo will share their lively analysis and tips on the Travers and 6 other graded stakes, 5 G1s, at The Spa. The radio show will air from 10 to 11 am ET on IHeart Radio on the Internet & 790AM WKRD in Louisville. Don Knobel is a prominent handicapper. Since 1992, his Down the Stretch racing sheets have been popular with his customers and the radio show has a devoted and wide following. AmWager's Papo Morales co-hosts the radio show. Papo also pens Papo's Post, his weekly column providing winning insights into the top stakes races on Saturdays.
By Papo Morales, AmWager NOTE: Papo picked this race last week, and made some of his decisions based on the rain that ultimately washed out the day. While he still likes Force the Pass as his key horse, please follow his twitter feed at for updates and thoughts. Additionally, listen to his analysis of this race plus other Saratoga and Del Mar Stakes on IHeart Radio at 10-11am ET. Race 10 Fourstardave Handicap: A contentious field of 10 (one entered as main track only) older horses looking for grade one honors in the this one mile turf race. The handicapping puzzle begins with the weather report which is calling for a 60% chance of rain. With the likely threat of thunderstorms I am handicapping this race as if it is going to be run on good to soft ground which improves some horses chances while diluting others.
By Papo Morales, AmWager Race 8 Grade 2 West Virginia Derby 1 1/8th Miles A field of 11 three-year-old’s looking to pick up a Derby win by crossing the wire first in Mountaineer’s biggest race, the West Virginia Derby. Morning line favoritism falls on Cupid (3-1), for trainer Bob Baffert, who is coming into the race off an outstanding win in the Grade 2 Indiana Derby. In that race, Cupid showed his mettle by setting a fast pace and then turning back all challengers down the stretch.
From Mountaineer Park Cupid Gray/Roan colt 122 3-1 Morning LineCareer record: 7-3-1-0, $880,553Kentucky-bred: Tapit – Pretty ‘n Smart (Beau Genius)Foaled: May 19, 2013Jockey: Rafael BejaranoTrainer: Bob BaffertCo-owners: Michael B. Tabor, Mrs. John Magnier, and Derrick Smith
By Dave Litfin, NYRA Seven weeks after Creator scored a narrow win against Destin in the final U.S. classic of the season, those two are set for a rematch in the $600,000 Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II) July 30 at Saratoga Race Course. Creator and Destin, who were separated by inches at the end of a grueling 12 furlongs in the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes, hook up again at Saratoga Race Course in Saturday's Grade 2, $600,000 Jim Dandy Stakes - the key local stepping-stone to the Grade 1, $1.25 million Travers Stakes August 27.
From DRF DEL MAR, Calif. - California Chrome and jockey Victor Espinoza were in a familiar place on the turn of Saturday’s $200,000 San Diego Handicap at Del Mar. With three furlongs to go, California Chrome was running alongside the pacesetter and giving Espinoza positive vibes for the stretch run. Back in March, in the $10 million Dubai World Cup in the United Arab Emirates, Espinoza was in a similar spot and chose a point in early stretch to urge California Chrome to the front. California Chrome drew off to win that race by 3 3/4 lengths.