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Five Betting Tips for This Week at Del Mar and Saratoga

by Jeremy Plonk

August 26, 2019

One more time with feeling, as they say, as Saratoga & Del Mar present closing weeks before the boutiques close for the season. Here's our final submission of summer: 

Del Mar Betting Tips

  1. Flavien Prat is 12-for-22 (55%) riding 2-year-olds at the Del Mar meet. The victories have come with 9 different trainers and 8 of the 12 were first-time starters. His agent is doing his work in the a.m. 
  2. Peter Miller's tank has been dry during closing week of the Del Mar summer meet in recent years. He went 3-for-23 last year and 3-for-21 in 2017. Miller was hitting almost 31% at last year's summer meet heading into the closing week nosedive. Speaking of dry spells, current meet leading trainer Doug O'Neill has gone just 2-for-31 over the past 2 weeks as he tries to hold onto the title. 
  3. Jeff Bonde's barn has gone 5-for-9 over closing week at Del Mar's summer meet in 2017 and 2018, headlined by a 3-for-4 streak last year. The barn has gone 7: 3-1-0 over the past 2 weeks of the current meet, indicating another strong finish. 
  4. Sire Speightstown has had an incredible meet with limited strikes. His offspring are 9: 6-1-0 at the stand with a 4-for-5 record on turf. Twirling Candy offspring in dirt sprints are 6-for-14 (43%) with a $1.96 ROI for each $1 bet. 
  5. Del Mar offers 6 stakes for 2-year-old during closing week. Favorites have hit 44% in Del Mar 2-year-old stakes since 2014. Over the last 6 years, the 12 winners of the G1 Del Mar Debutante and G1 Del Mar Futurity have seen 9 last-out winners – only American Pharoah finished out of the exacta in his previous start. 

Saratoga Betting Tips

  1. If you think Chad Brown has dominated Saratoga 2019 so far, you're not going to get a closing-week reprieve if history repeats. Last year he won 12 races (33%) over the final week at the Spa. No other trainer won more than 4 (Kiaran McLaughlin, who was 4-for-7 during that span). You have to go back to 2015 to find the last time Brown wasn't the winningest trainer during Saratoga's closing week. 
  2. Don't be afraid of a horse who looks crammed back in for a final start at the meet off a disappointing run. Horses who were beaten favorites last time out have come back during closing week to show a flat-bet profit at Saratoga in 2015 ($1.23), 2016 ($1.38) and 2018 ($1.21). 
  3. Favorites went 10-for-17 in stakes last week (59%) though Bill Mott was 0-3 with 3 seconds. Mott's stakes favorites are now a hard-luck 7: 1-5-0 at the meet. Channel Maker's 4th in the Bowling Green was the only to miss the exacta. Note: there will be 10 more stakes closing week at Saratoga. 
  4. The Danny Gargan barn has been absolutely on point with claiming horses at the meet, going 10: 5-1-3 at that level of competition. Those runners have posted a $1.53 ROI for each $1 bet. 
  5. Note that 7 of the last 8 winners of the Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes have exited maiden special weight victories (the other, Ralis, came east from a Del Mar stakes bid). Horses who last raced in the Saratoga stakes ranks are 13: 0-3-2 during the past 6 renewals. The closing-day Hopeful will be run Monday.