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Five Things to Watch This Week at Del Mar and Saratoga

by Jeremy Plonk

August 12, 2019

It’s the biggest stretch of summer at Del Mar with Pacific Classic Day set for Saturday and a five-stakes bonanza. Meanwhile at Saratoga, the 3-year-old fillies take the stage in the Alabama on dirt and Lake Placid on turf. The boutique meets roll on toward Labor Day with some trends firming up, and others taking shape. Here’s our weekly rundown: 

Del Mar Betting Tips

  1.  The jockey-trainer combination of Joe Talamo and Mark Glatt hit 5: 3-0-1 this past week, including Grade 2 Best Pal Stakes $17.40 upsetter Collusion Illusion. They had only teamed 3 times at the meet prior to this week, but note they’re 9-28 (32% wins, 50% exacta) together in 2019.
  2. Flavien Prat’s 8-win week came with 8 different trainers. He’s had a particularly strong summer at Del Mar with Peter Miller (14: 6-3-2) and Richard Baltas (13: 5-2-1), making up 11 of his 25 scores. 
  3. Hot sires at the meet include: English Channel (8: 3-2-2 on turf), Twirling Candy (12: 4-1-3 dirt), Smiling Tiger (14: 4-1-3 dirt), Coil (11: 3-0-3 overall), Into Mischief (12: 3-5-0 dirt), Square Eddie (20: 4-5-2 turf, 9: 3-1-0 turf sprints). 
  4. Jockey Abel Cedillo hasn’t missed many putts at the meet. When riding the favorite, he’s 8: 5-1-0 for 63% wins and 75% in the exacta. He’s 7-for-67 on non-favorites so far this summer at Del Mar. 
  5. Trainers Peter Eurton and Leonard Powell aren’t known for volume, but both were on point last week with 3: 2-1-0 records. Eurton’s wins included $27 juvenile rookie Storm the Court, who upset the ballyhooed Garth. Powell boasted $68 winner Mr. Magico and had success in the maiden, claiming and allowance ranks, firing on all cylinders. 

Saratoga Betting Tips

  1. Chalk ruled Saratoga last week with 46% wins overall and 67% in the exacta. The numbers jumped to 52% and 72% on dirt. Irad Ortiz, Jr. went 10: 6-1-1 when piloting the favorite. 
  2. Sunday’s Galway Stakes winner Eyeinthesky improved trainer Mark Casse’s record to a remarkable 5: 3-1-0 at the meet with offspring of sire Sky Mesa. The victories include the G3 Adirondack with Perfect Alibi. 
  3. Trainer Steve Asmussen suddenly hit his Spa stride by going 10: 5-2-1 last week. All 5 wins came in dirt sprints, and notably he was 3-for-3 with the juvenile maidens. He was only 4-34 at the meet coming into last week and 3-15 with his 2-year-olds. 
  4. Christophe Clement went 2-for-2 last week with horses making their second starts of the Saratoga meet. He’s a 25% winner with Saratoga meet returnees on turf since 2013 with more than 50 starters. 
  5. Hot sires at the meet include: Sky Mesa (16: 5-3-2 overall), Constitution (7: 3-0-0 two-year-olds), Blame (10: 4-0-2 turf), Animal Kingdom (11: 3-1-2 turf), Hard Spun (16: 5-1-1 overall), Curlin (25: 5-4-5 dirt), Medaglia d’Oro (17: 4-2-2 overall).