Key Races & Bets for Saturday August 19th, 2023
Lake Placid Stakes – Race 7 at Saratoga – Post Time 4:26 PM Eastern
Analysis and main contenders:
Chad Brown is loaded with four of eight in the main body of the race, but none have the positional advantage of Brad Cox’s Heavenly Sunday on the rail. Never off the board in six races, all on turf, she ran the best race of her life the last time she ran this distance on Derby weekend when victorious in the Edgewood stakes in a field of 11. Taking control from the start from the eight post, Heavenly Sunday ran steadily throughout and the pace WAS NOT soft, but she wouldn’t let anyone else by in the stretch run. Last out on July 1 she led from the start but got headed mid-race and that was just enough for her to be a bit wanting late so she fell a half-length short of winning. Today with the rail and Gaffalione (31% wins for Cox) getting on, and with four straight works on the Saratoga turf, Heavenly Sunday is going to be very tough to catch, and therefore to beat.
If anyone can run Heavenly Sunday down to win, it’s going to be Aspray, because that’s what she did in the Hilltop Stakes on Preakness weekend when visually impressively rallying six wide from eighth to fourth to get the lead near the wire. That was the first time Prat rode her and he rides again today as she drops in class from the tougher and longer Belmont Oaks.
Win: As I believe between them, Heavenly Sunday and Aspray would win this race two-thirds of the time, I will consider win bets on either or both at odds of 2 to 1 or more.
IF we do end up considering win bets on more than one horse, this is a great race to take advantage of the mathematical edge provided by a “Dutching” tool, which prorates wagers for the best value. There’s a free dutching tool at Amwager.com, where you can set the amount you want to bet in total and the math is done for you to help achieve the best edge. This is just one of many tools, and perks, for bettors at Amwager.com
Box Heavenly Sunday and Aspray
Also, Heavenly Sunday and Aspray over Heavenly Sunday, Aspray, Gloria’s Princess, Surge Capacity and Prerequisite
Get up to $150 signup bonus and cashback rewards when you bet with AmWager.
King Edward Stakes – Race 9 at Woodbine – Post Time 5:22 PM Eastern
Treason makes his third start of 2023 and third following a seven month layoff from last November until June. He won the Eclipse Stakes on the main track at Woodbine on June 4, a two-turn race at one mile and one-sixteenth, without a sprint prep first, and it was a career-best effort which earned a strong 116 Equibase Speed Figure. One month later in the Dominion Day stakes at one mile and one-eighth, Treason rallied from seventh in the nine horse field and made the lead at the same mile and one-sixteenth point in the race of his previous win, only to be run down by Tyson (also from the Josie Carroll barn), setting for second. Tyson came back to win the Seagram Cup Stakes at the end of July and other horses have come out of the Dominion Day to run very well, including War Bomber, who had finished fourth but improved for a big runner-up effort in the Connaught Cup Stakes on turf on July 23. Dominion Day seventh place finisher Duke of Love improved to win the West Virginia Governor’s Cup Stakes on August 6, tabbing the Dominion Day as a KEY (productive) race. Cutting back to a mile and having won at this distance on turf in his debut, and particularly since this one mile trip on the E.P. Taylor Turf Course is a one-turn race, Treason could run as well as he did in the Eclipse stakes and that is good enough to win this race.
Pao Alto gets the ground saving rail as he ships up from trainer Graham Motion’s Maryland base for this race. After importing to North America last September, Pao Alto ran a big race, similar to Treason’s last effort, as he rallied to lead in the Baltimore-Washington Turf Cup before settling for second, with a strong 112 figure. He didn’t run so well in four starts after that from last fall until January but was given six months off and returned with a big effort to miss by a nose in a stakes at nine furlongs on grass last month. He earned a 109 figure and as improvement is expected second off the layoff Pao Alto could be very competitive here. It must also be noted that trainer Motion uses jockey Rafael Hernandez with success when shipping to Woodbine, as they have a record of three wins and five runner-up efforts in 16 races over the past few years.
Lucky Score was just a head behind War Bomber when they were third and second, respectively, in the Connaught Cup Stakes last month. That seven furlong race on this course nearly identical to this mile trip and both can be expected to run well once again. Although the 103 figures both horses earned in that race are much lower than the 116 Treason earned in June and the 109 figure Pao Alto earned in July, they have both run well enough to be competitive here as War Bomber missed by a half-length last fall in the Autumn Stakes with a 112 figure and Lucky Score earned a 108 figure winning the Vigil Stakes last September. It might also be noted that War Bomber changed tactics in the Connaught Cup at the same time he changed jockeys, as Walcott rode for the first time, and that big rally from sixth to second in the last eighth of a mile at seven furlongs might be even better at this mile trip. Similarly, Lucky Score rallied from ninth and was seven paths wide on the far turn, and he won the Highlander Stakes at six furlongs on the turf just prior to that.
Win: As I think Treason is slightly more probable than the other three contenders, I will look at his odds first and bet him to win at odds of 5 to 2 or higher near post time. Then, among the other three – Pao Alto, Lucky Score and War Bomber – I will consider a second win bet on the one at the highest odds, and at least 7 to 2 or more.
Considering this is another race where there could be great value in the win pools, using the advantage afforded us with the Dutching tool at Amwager is definitely called for.
Box Treason and Pao Alto
Also Box Treason, Pao Alto, War Bomber and Lucky Score
Get up to $150 signup bonus and cashback rewards when you bet with AmWager.
Del Mar Oaks – Race 8 at Del Mar – Post Time 8:45 PM Eastern
Analysis and main contenders:
Impact Warrior was making her U.S. debut and first start following two months off on July 29 in a race at one mile on turf at Del Mar. She won her debut last August on the grass in Ireland then in her second start as a three year old in May missed by a head at one mile on a left-handed course like those in North America. Shipping into the top barn of Phil D’Amato in June, the filly put in three workouts, the last of which was on turf, before that July 29 effort and she was definitely ready to run and run well. Rallying from sixth of 12 in the early stages, she finished second by three-quarters of a length at the end. As such, Impact Warrior absolutely fits with this group based on the 100 Equibase Speed Figure earned in that effort, as compared to the 99 figure Anisette earned seven days earlier winning the local prep for this race, the San Clemente Stakes. With jockey Kent Desormeaux riding her back after getting familiar with her last month and with the prospect for improvement in her second start at the Del Mar meeting, Impact Warrior is my top choice to win this year’s Del Mar Oaks.
Anisette makes her third start since coming to the U.S. between December of last year and this past March. She’s run one more time locally as compared to Impact Warrior and that experience may give her an edge but she is likely to go to post at lower odds based on her strong win in the San Clemente Stakes last month. In both of her local starts, Anisette rallied powerfully and from far back, first from last of 12 to win by three quarters of a length in her U.S. debut in May then from 10th of 14 in the San Clemente before powering off by two lengths. Going from a 92 figure in her first U.S. start to 99 in her second, Anisette certainly has what it takes to win her second graded stakes on grass in a row and deserves a lot of respect in this situation.
Infinite Diamond will likely come under the radar of many bettors, just as she was when sent to post at 17 to 1 odds last month in an allowance race on the Del Mar turf. That was an interesting placement for this filly that had previously run in Florida. In wondering why trainer Biancone shipped the filly to California and put her on turf where she had never raced before, it appears that race, at the same mile and one-eighth turf trip as the Del Mar Oaks, was specifically meant to get her ready for the Del Mar Oaks. Although fourth in the race one month ago, Infinite Diamond earned a decent 95 figure which can be improved upon in her second local start. Additionally, she had some traffic trouble as her path was taken early in the stretch, but when clear, although the cause was lost, she closed willingly and was just a nose from the third place finisher. Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith takes over and with a better trip and having experience over the course there is potential for Infinite Diamond to run better than her high odds suggest she will.
Honorable mention goes to a trio of fillies – Be Your Best, Window Shopping and Ruby Nell. Be Your Best ships in from New York off a ninth place effort but in the mile and one-quarter Belmont Oaks Invitational. She proved competitive at this distance right before that with a 95 figure effort, missing by a neck in the Wonder Again Stakes. If she can return to that form she could have a say in the outcome. Window Shopping and Ruby Nell both hail from the barn of Hall of Fame trainer Dick Mandella, and both enter the race off wins. Window Shopping won the Summertime Oaks on dirt with a 91 figure when last seen in June, and two races prior to that won by 16 lengths with a 97 figure which could be competitive if repeated here. Ruby Nell is a perfect two-for-two on grass, with a win in May with an 88 figure following by a win last month on the Del Mar turf with a 94 figure on the same day Anisette won the San Clemente with a 99 figure. Making her second start following two months off, Ruby Nell has room to improve to the level needed to be a competitor in this field,
Win: Impact Warrior to win at odds of 5 to 2 or more. Infinite Diamond to win at 4 to 1 or more. The reason Anisette doesn’t have fair odds for a win bet is she was the 2 to 1 favorite winning the San Clemente and is likely to go to post at those odds or lower, so doesn’t offer the return for the risk either of the other two win contenders does.
I will gladly bet both to win at or above those odds and take advantage of the dutching tool at Amwager to just that.
Exactas: Box Impact Warrior, Anisette and Infinite Diamond
Also Impact Warrior, Anisette and Infinite Diamond over Impact Warrior, Anisette, Infinite Diamond, Window Shopping, Ruby Nell and Be Your Best