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Six Pack of Grade 1’s This Weekend

Posted by Pete Mitchell on 8/26/2011 6:29:30 PM
horse racing
  • Who: Thoroughbreds – Sassy Image, Uncle Mo, Stay Thirsty, Ask the Moon, Smiling Tiger, Twirling Candy
  • What: Horse Racing Betting Tips – The Ballerina, The King’s Bishop, The Travers, The Personal Ensign, The Pat O’Brien, The Pacific Classic
  • Where: Saratoga, Del Mar
  • When: Saturday and Sunday, August 27th and 28th

This weekend is what horse racing fans and handicappers alike look forward to…a flurry of top-notch equine competition on both coasts promising thrills and profits. These races should also bring greater clarity to what is currently a muddled state of affairs in several of the sport’s glamour divisions. Due to space constraints, I’ll simply identify the horses I like in these six Grade 1 fixtures, along with a brief explanation. I’ll be betting on them providing the prices are right.

Speaking of the price being right…let me digress a moment to last Saturday’s Alabama at Saratoga. If you read my column last Friday, you’ll know that I picked Canadian invader Inglorious. Note, however, my comment about the rail horse - Royal Delta: “She should love the 1¼ miles of The Alabama, and I’m expecting an improved performance, but am leaning toward the outside horse.” I was leaning toward the outside horse based on the morning line odds on each being set at 6-1. However, when the public made Inglorious a ridiculous 2-1 and sent Royal Delta off at 5-1, the choice became clear - bet Royal Delta or pass the race. I passed…and hope you didn’t bet Inglorious at drastically underlaid odds.

The Ballerina: There’s enough speed in this race to set up the powerful closing punch of #7-Sassy Image. Dale Romans says she’s training better than any horse he’s ever had! The extra furlong should only help her, especially with trainer Stan Hough expressing concern about the distance for his mare, Tar Heel Mom. I’m betting on Sassy Image to win at odds of 3-2 or better.

The King’s Bishop: I really like Flashpoint, and wouldn’t be surprised if he won. Still, I’m not crazy about his rail draw, and I’m such a big Uncle Mo fan that I can’t bring myself to bet against him…even off the lengthy layoff. Note what he did here in his career bow…if he’s back to his usual self, he’ll win this race. I’m betting on Uncle Mo to win at odds of 6-5 or better.

The Travers: It could be a monster day for the Pletcher/Repole connections, if Uncle Mo and Stay Thirsty win their respective races. Stay Thirsty is finally putting it all together. He loves Saratoga and should have no problem with the mile-and-a-quarter distance of The Travers. I’m betting on Stay Thirsty to win at odds of 8-5 or better.

The Personal Ensign: With expected wet weather on Sunday, I have to go with Ask the Moon, who took her game to another level after being transferred to Marty Wolfson. It’s unlikely any of these will apply pressure early…this mud-lover could be long gone. I’m betting on Ask the Moon to win at odds of 3-2 or better.

The Pat O’Brien: With any kind of a decent start, Smiling Tiger should win The Pat O’Brien. He’s top-class, consistent, handles the track and excels at the distance. The Factor is coming off a long layoff, and failed to hit the board in his only start on synthetic. Crown of Thorns looms the main threat with the rider switch to Gomez. I’m betting on Smiling Tiger to win at odds of 6-5 or better.

The Pacific Classic: Since my first five picks have been disgustingly chalky, let’s toss in a bit of a wildcard…Acclamation. He’s a top turf runner, but after a strong work over the Del Mar main track on Monday, his connections decided to take a shot at The Classic. At least you’re getting a super-sharp horse that has shown he can handle the distance. He’ll take them as far as he can go on the front end, with favored Twirling Candy likely to settle into a stalking trip. I’m betting on Acclamation to win at odds of 3-1 or better.

Those are my horse racing betting tips for the weekend. Best of luck and happy gambling!

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