Weekend horse racing handicapper best bets from Mike Somich
We are officially in the dog days of racing, but that does not mean we don’t have a couple of fun cards on Saturday. With both Del Mar and Aqueduct running, there are good races on both coasts today to take a shot at. I like the Del Mar card, specifically the latter half, so let’s focus our bets there.
Cary Grant Stakes – Del Mar, Saturday Race #8
We must start here with #7 The Chosen Vron, who was last seen running in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint. He ran a solid 4th in that effort but is turning around in just two weeks to run in this sport. He’s been nearly unbeatable throughout his career in these state-bred races and will go off at a very short price, most likely either 2/5 or 3/5. While he is the deserving favorite, the price will just be too short for me.
One of the speed horses, #6 Big City Lights has run three times against The Chosen Vron, losing all three times, but was a three-year-old in those races. Now, he returns to the track a year older and more mature than when he lost. The trip should be good for Big City Lights, who can go right to the front or sit off the inside speed.
A price to consider is #4 Lovesick Blues, who would benefit from a hot pace here. Rispoli picks up the mount, and in the two prior races he has ridden this horse, he has a win and 3rd place finish. Over the last year, he’s run against state-bred horses just once and ran a good 2nd in a similar spot.
The #8 Moose Mitchell comes in as another wild card who loves Del Mar. He has three wins over the track, and his best effort is good enough to compete with this field.
$25 Win 6
$5 Trifecta 6 / 4, 7, 8 / 4, 7, 8
$25,000 Claimer – Del Mar Saturday, Race #9
A fun little turf sprint ends the Saturday card with a full field of eleven headed to post. The favorite will be #4 Give Me the Lute, who comes in on a two-race win streak at a similar level and will be forwardly paced. Leading rider JJ Hernandez rides back and has had very strong success with two wins and places in five races.
#6 Silardi ships in from Virginia to try to take advantage of the bonus Del Mar offers for shipping horses and is placed aggressively to try to win. He is a speed burner who will try to get to the front and take this field gate to wire. Silardi is clearly the fastest horse early, so he should clear and be tough to catch.
With the speed signed here, #7 Perfectionistic will try to rally late to get the money. His turf sprint efforts all fit with the top competitors here, and he will get a big jockey upgrade switching to Fresu, who has been riding very well in California all year. This is also the third off a long layoff for him which means we should see his best effort.
#10 Maven is the wild card in the field. He has been very inconsistent during his career, but if he runs his best, he will beat this field. Unfortunately, we have only seen his best twice in the last two years.
$25 Win #6
$10 Exacta 6 / 4, 7
Saturday, Del Mar, Race #6, $20 Win #8
Saturday, Del Mar, Race #7, $20 Win #8