Delaware Park and Indiana Downs highlights this Saturday’s top stakes action. Delaware runs the Grade 2 Delaware Handicap while at Indiana Downs is the Grade 3 Indiana Derby. Belmont’s featured race is the always entertaining Forbidden Apple Stakes. At Los Alamitos Racecourse, the Los Al Derby is another race worth checking out.
Next week, both the Del Mar Meet and Saratoga Meet opens. That means, great summer horse racing betting is here!
Top Horse Racing Picks for Saturday, July 14
Belmont Park Race 9 – Forbidden Apple Stakes
This 1 mile turf race appears wide-open. It’s impossible to take the 9/5 odds on chalk Disco Partner just because there are several in here who could step it up. 6/1 on the morning line Pocket Change couldn’t hang in the Grade 2 Jaipur, his first run in a stakes race. I’m giving him another shot because trainer John Service has won at 48% at this Belmont Meet. Not only that, but Pocket Change was probably too close to the pace in the 6 furlong Jaipur.
For second, the Chad Brown trained Projected looks good. At 3/1, Projected is a solid second choice to Disco Partner. Jockey Joel Rosario is the perfect pilot for this quality Juddmonte Farms owned gelding.
Several could finish third. Why not settle on Todd Pletcher trained Blind Ambition? If jockey Luis Saez can get an easy lead, forget it. The Tapit sired 4-year-old is good enough to prance home first.
First: Pocket Change
Third: Blind Ambition
Delaware Park Race 9 – Grade 2 Delaware Handicap
Some of the best fillies and mares in the nation head to Delaware Park for the Grade 2 Delaware handicap this Saturday. On paper, 2/1 on the morning line Elate looks impossible to beat. However, she hasn’t run since disappointing in the BC Distaff. Also, trainer Bill Mott doesn’t often get them to fire their best right off the bench.
Second choice Unbridled Mo comes out of some tough races, but the pick here is 10/1 on the morning line Teresa Z. The Anthony Margotta trainee was a $635,000 buy at the Keeneland September Sale. She won the local prep for this, the Obeah, in her last. She might be sitting on the best race of her life.
Unbridled Mo should get into the exacta. Johnny V. comes over from Belmont to ride for Pletcher. Doug O’Neil and Reddam Racing sends Mopotism across the country for this. That must mean she’s got a shot.
First: Teresa Z
Second: Unbridled Mo
Indiana Downs Race 9 – Grade 3 Indiana Derby
Rains are likely, which means the horse that wins the Indiana Derby had better have some mud breeding. 6/5 on the morning line King Zachary is sired by Curlin. That means, he’ll relish the track if it comes up sloppy. It’s tough to bet chalk, but the way this guy turned on the jets in the stretch of the Matt Winn to put a 4 ¾ length beat down on Tiz Mischief and a 12 length beat down on Ax Man was impressive.
Dark Vader might be coming into his own. Trainer Peter Eurton and jockey Corey Nakatani thought enough of the horse to run him in the Easy Goer at Belmont Park. He lost that race by only a neck. Before, he had won a tough $75,000 optional claimer at Santa Anita as a close to 11 to 1 shot.
Steve Asmussen trained Title Ready is 12/1 on the morning line. He had to go wide around the final turn in the Grade 3 Ohio Derby. The fact that he finished close to Core Beliefs and Lone Sailor gives me confidence he improves in this.
First: King Zachary
Second: Dark Vader
Third: Title Ready
Los Alamitos Racecourse Race 8 – Grade 3 Los Alamitos Derby
Bob Baffert often owns this race. He’s got two in this year’s Los Al Derby. Ax Man, at 6/5, is favored to take the Los Al Derby again for Baffert. But, this is the time of year when Baffert unleashes an under the radar 3-year-old. That 3-year-old could be On Whiskey. The son of Bodemeister didn’t run great at Churchill Downs on May 5. He was probably in too deep after only having broken his maiden.
Baffert has put both speed and stamina into On Whiskey since the May 5 run. He could be Baffert’s next late blooming top notch 3-year-old. I’m stepping away from Ax Man for the place slot. I’ll go with Draft Pick to finish in the exacta. Draft Pick chased a desperately slow pace in the Grade 3 Affirmed before rolling past both Solomini and Axelrod for the win. He’ll be tough to keep out of the exacta.
Blended Citizen, the 9/5 second choice, just appears to be going slightly better than Ax Man. He had no shot in the Belmont Stakes, but he’s a Grade 3 winner. I like Blended Citizen for third.
First: On Whiskey
Second: Draft Pick
Third: Blended Citizen