Saturday’s Picks, July 11, 2020

11 Jul

By Dennis Miller

I jumped back in to handicapping the cards at Pleasanton for the last three days of their meet before the meet turns over to the California State Fair, even though the six days of racing over two weeks will be run at Pleasanton.

It felt great to be looking depth at Pleasanton after spending the last year focusing nationally at the major tracks.

I also gave a more detailed analysis than in years gone by. In the past it was my top three picks for each race with a few words as to why, with this year featuring a write-up on each race with me picks at the end.

Writing up a race is something I have enjoyed on the national races for years.

Friday was decent day as in the seven races I had three winners and three exactas.

I hope you enjoy!

Let’s run through Saturday’s races!

Race 1 (350 yards QH, 2:45 p.m.): A maiden quarter-race – nope, not guessing here!

Race 2 (5-1/2 furlongs, 3:15 p.m.): Not a big fan of Arabian races, but I will take a shot here. Only two of the horses in the field have a start this year. Zachs Travellin Man (No. 4) is the favorite and rightfully so. The only start came Jan. 20 in Houston and it was a winner. Now the horse is in California and under the guidance of trainer Terri Eaton. Eaton traditionally gets the best of the out of state Arabians when they come west. Aurum Rex (No. 5) hit the board in five of nine races last year and faced some decent company in those outings. Abele Borg is the conditioner. Borg another runner here by the name of Wma Fantom (No.2) was on the board in six of seven starts last year, including a second-place finish in the Arabian stake in Fresno. My picks: 4-2-5.

Race 3 (One mile and 70 yards, 3:45 p.m.): This race will feature some of the lowest value plays of the day. Miss Indefaitgable (No. 1) comes in as the 9/5 morning line favorite and may get bet even lower. The horse has always been well bet – has been 2-1 or better in the last six starts and only finishing off the board once in the string. The last start was a surprising seventh place finish where she got caught in a speed duel and weakened. The horse was claimed by the Isidro Tamayo barn, a barn that wins at 31 percent first time off the claim. Girlsintheoffice (No. 2) has win over the inside horse in their last meeting, so will she be able to pull it off again? Tough call, but in the last effort the Steve Specht trained runner stepped up from recent form to get the win, so I don’t think so. Frank Alvarado has the call again. Euphemistic (No. 3) rounds out the top three. The Melanie McDonald runner has won over the track twice, including earlier in this meet. The 7-year-old mare sat mid-pack before getting up late to win a close one. My picks: 1-2-3.

Race 4 (5-1/2 furlongs, 4:15 p.m.): Canada (No. 5) has been on the board four of five starts this year, including the last four starts for Tamayo. Alejandro Gomez has the mount for the sixth straight time and has ridden the horse to three straight 70-plus Beyer figures, the best in the field. Vastly Deep (No. 1) has been favored in his last six starts but has all of one win which means – burning a lot of cash. Marcia Stortz trains the horse that is fully capable of winning, but sure seems to be happier as the bridesmaid. Neptune’s Spear (No. 6) finished second in his return after a seven-month break. He has every right to improve here. My picks: 5-1-6.

Race 5 (One mile and 70 yards, 4:45 p.m.): There are two things I like about Spider Rico (No. 6). First, her wired the field here earlier in the meet, and two, he was in a battle in the lane and he gutted out the win, showing he has guys. Catalino Martinez returns to ride for Reid France. Hardly Chisel (No. 4) went wire-to-wire her on June 20 at 38-1 to light up the tote board. I doubt the Daniel Franko can win again and the price won’t be as high, but his speed will keep him touch and I wouldn’t be shocked to see him get a slice. Pepper Sings (No. 1) has hit the board in two of three starts this year for trainer Jose Bautista and finds himself in a softer spot than the last two and on a surface where he has hit the board in four of six career starts. My picks: 6-1-4.

Race 6 (1-1/16 miles, 5:11 p.m.): Connie’s Promise (No. 2) had a promising debut, closing to finish third, but then had a disappointing 11th on the turf at Santa Anita. Now back up north in a softer spot with a smaller field, I expect to see William Antongeorgi get the job done for Aggie Ordonez. Overwhelming Love (No. 5) was a pedestrian sixth in her debut, but there’s every reason to expect a Jonathan Wong trained horse that draws the services of Frank Alvarado to step forward in her second start. Stars In The Sky (No. 1) will make her first start on dirt in just her second start in the United States after coming over from Great Britain. In the U.S. debut, she was third for trainer Simon Callaghan and I expect another step forward. My picks: 2-5-1.

Race 7 (6 furlongs, 5:37 p.m.): Reginella (No. 4) comes from the highly touted Blaine Wright barn and comes to California after running most of 2019 at Emerald Downs in Washington. Kevin Orozco has the mount and has the experience, riding the horse twice in Washington. Juan Hernandez had the mount in the last start at Golden Gate Fields but has since taken his tack to Southern California. Vronilla Parfait (No. 5) is coming off the best last race, finishing second in her first race off a rest, posting an 80 Beyer. Frank Alvarado is up for trainer Sergio Ledezma. The horse has hit the board in three of five starts this year. Gotham Desire (No. 2) is coming off a 6th place finish in a stake race at Golden Gate Fields, and now returns to what should be a far more comfortable spot for Ed Moger. My picks: 4-5-2.

Race 8 (5-1/2 furlongs, 6:03 p.m.): Jeff Bonde sends out Pack Twelve (No. 3), a horse that makes a monster class plunge dropping from a maiden $50,000 at Santa Anita to a $5,000 maiden race here. The horse hopped at the start and never got going in that debut, beaten 21 lengths. Dave’s Gift (No. 4) has run off five races where he was second or third and is reunited with Antongeorgi for trainer Jesus Ramos. Gregs City Zip (No. 5) has early speed for Cliff Delima and has hit the board two of three starts this year. Figure that early speed will keep him close enough to be in contention. My picks: 3-4-5.



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