Ideas for Super Chalky Saturday
By Dana Byerly, Hello Race Fans Co-founder
Sure, it’s great to see so many stars running on one day, but let’s face it, most of the Super Saturday races are chalk-fests with relatively small fields. While there are certainly some nice match-ups, it might be a little tougher than normal to find decent prices. There are, however a few exceptions!
Vosburgh Invitational Stakes – Belmont Park
With eight entries (nine horses total), you’re more likely to find some well-priced options than some of the shorter fields. Trappe Shot at 9/5 and Big Drama at 2-1 will take a lot of action (I prefer Big Drama of the two), but there a few others might be worth a look. Euroears ships in from California for Bob Baffert and comes off a win in the Grade 1 Bing Crosby at Del Mar, if his odds stay around the morning line of 4-1, he could provide some much needed chalk relief. As the only off-the-pace type, it might be worth giving Justin Phillip a look, particularly since his last win was at Belmont and he’s perfect at the distance (admittedly, he only ran it once). Keep an eye on the weather, a muddy track would also work to this 15-1 shot’s advantage. If nothing else he’s certainly an option for exactas and trifectas. UPDATE: rain in the forecast, longshot exacta box from Steve Byk & Ed DeRosa, thoughts from Fornatale.
UPDATE (7pm): Big Drama scratched with fever
Lady’s Secret Stakes – Santa Anita Park
No doubt this race seems like a match-up between Blind Luck and Zazu and rightfully so. I’m very much looking forward to this stretch run, but a few others add intrigue. Ultra Blend pulled an upset last out in the Grade 1 Clement Hirsch, holding off Zazu. The odds aren’t out yet (at least as I’m writing this) but I’m guessing that Ultra Blend might be a better price than Zazu. Also adding intrigue is Grade 1 Ruffian and Personal Ensign winner Ask the Moon. If nothing, she’ll ensure a lively pace! I personally think Zazu has a great shot since she’ll sit a little closer than Blind Luck. However it works out, it should be a fun one!
Yellow Ribbon – Santa Anita Park
After a day of mostly small fields and an overwhelming favorites, Super Saturday ends with a relatively well matched field of nine fillies and mares on the turf. As mentioned earlier, the morning line isn’t out for Santa Anita yet, but Cozi Rosie, Dubawi Heights, Malibu Pier, City to City, Harmonious and Medaglia d’Armour all seem within the realm. Let’s hope for some decent prices!
Of course, if you like a heavily favored horse to win, you do have options. Kevin Martin shares some ideas in an article on Playing Favorites and Chris Rossi provides an excellent introduction to single race exotics, such as exactas and trifectas. Jessica Chapel also points out some instances where the show bet can come in handy! And with so many overwhelming favorites, this could also be a great time to try multi-race wagering, Kevin Martin spells it out in Singling in Spreading. If you don’t already have an online wagering account, you can sign-up at Twinspires to try out some of these options!
On Saturday morning we’ll publish our picks for all nine Grade 1 races. Chris Rossi will bring his usual wit and wisdom to @HRFattheTrack from Belmont Park and we’ll also have some commentary via @helloracefans.
Other Super Saturday related content around here includes our Ten Things You Should Know about the Goodwood Stakes and Jockey Club Club Gold Cup. From our horse profiles, Personal Ensign used the Beldame as a stepping stone to her final win the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. Personal Ensign’s rendition of the Beldame was also a five horse field! Be sure to watch the replay, she had a great technique of bumping up against foes in the stretch as if to psych them out. Also, Azeri used the Lady’s Secret as a stepping stone to win the 2002 Breeders’ Cup Distaff. She placed third in the Lady’s Secret in 2003 (and was placed 2nd through DQ).
So, who do you like on Super Saturday? Have any ideas to share? Don’t forget about
Rapid Redux and the Andy Serling chat this evening!
FRIDAY EVENING UPDATES
Rapid Redux is scratched
ESPN Classic & ESPN3.com will carry Belmont’s races on Saturday starting at 4:30pm ET!
Hey I’m going to Maryland Million Day @ Laurel Park! Where I’ll be spending a lot of time watching Belmont on TV. :-)