This is a day for Saratoga and Del Mar on the racetrack Saturday afternoon. Saratoga has the $600,000 Jim Dandy Stakes (Gr. 2), while Del Mar has the most anticipated race of the weekend in the $300,000 Bing Crosby Stakes (Gr. 1). A win will grant an automatic ticket to the Breeders’ Cup sprint, so the stakes are high for the field in this event. If you don’t like the Saratoga and Del Mar cards, then there are plenty of options elsewhere. BetOnline has a big card with 17 racecourses, not including the standardbreds, so you can pick and choose just about anywhere. That includes Woodbine just outside of Toronto in Etobicoke, which has a few stakes races as well.
If you are looking for selections at Saratoga, then check out the Saratoga Race Course page at TheSportsGeek. Del Mar has 11 races on Saturday worth a total of $893,000. The Bing Crosby headlines the card this afternoon in California. Head below for free Del Mar picks for July 31, 2021.
Post Time: 2:30 p.m. PST
Race 2 at Del Mar features an inexperienced yet talented field. Doug O’Neill and Bob Baffert will likely have their trainees up front going well in this event. Haute Lady is an Ontario bred filly that has shown some promising work in morning workouts. She saved her best for last with a recorded time of 47.40 seconds at 4 furlongs on July 24.
With that effort, Haute Lady could find a win as a rookie on Saturday afternoon. She was a $135,000 purchase at auction in May and should be expected to compete in this class. Haute Lady completed 5 furlongs in 1:02.00 at 5 furlongs on July 15. This could be a really great day or so-so.
Grace Adler is expected to compete and win in this class and beyond. She was purchased for $700,000 in 2020 and has to win to be worth that price. All of her work in the morning has been mighty impressive. She has been putting in hard work with a time of 1:00.80 at 5 furlongs on July 16, and then most recently 59.20 seconds at 5 furlongs on July 24. Baffert should have a winner on his hands in this one.
Post Time: 3:02 p.m. PST
Race 3 covers a mile on the turf for a $70,000 purse. Il Capitano and Lookout Point should be expected to go close in this race. Il Capitano showed 3rd on June 18 in a $61,000 event in his debut on June 18.
That was a solid first-time run for Il Capitano, but Lookout Point had the upper hand by a half length for 2nd in that race. I wasn’t thrilled by Il Capitano in a recent workout on July 25. The colt was clocked at 1:04.80 at 5 furlongs, which could have been faster for him. He certainly has the ability to turn it on for this performance, though.
I still wouldn’t count Il Capitano out, though Lookout Point is likely going to be another tough opponent on Saturday. Lookout Point placed 2nd behind Miss Bellatrix by 2 ¾ lengths in that race. Il Capitano trialed by a half length at the wire. It was a surprising performance for Il Capitano, as he was not expected to run close.
Lookout Point has looked in fine form in workouts. He was timed at 4 furlongs in 48 and 49.80 seconds. Lookout Point should clear this field for a winning run if he shows up in the same form. Il Capitano may hang around in the stretch, but Lookout Point should edge out a win.
Race 10 – Bing Crosby Stakes
Post Time: 6:36 p.m. PST
The $300,000 Bing Crosby Stakes (Gr. 1) comes with a free ticket to the Breeders’ Cup in November. This is an important race for these teams. C Z Rocket and Dr. Schivel should have a strong performance with a chance of winning and going back to Del Mar in November.
Dr. Schivel has finished 3rd, 2nd, 1st, 1st, 1st in his five-race career. He is coming off a hat-trick and looking to add another win to make it four straight wins. Dr. Schivel has a graded win on September 7, 2020 in the $250,000 Runhappy Del Mar Futurity (Gr. 1).
He beat Spielberg by 1 ¾ lengths in another disappointing performance for Baffert with that horse. Dr. Schivel followed up for a win by a neck over Canadian Pride for a $65,000 purse on June 18. For a horse in good form and 3 for 5, Dr. Schivel has to be taken seriously in this spot.
C Z Rocket will be tough for Dr. Schivel and the rest. He has finished in the top-2 in nine straight performances, including three graded wins. Most recently C Z Rocket won the $500,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (Gr. 3) on April 10 by 2 lengths over Whitmore.
C Z Rocket failed on May 31 in the $400,000 Steve Sexton Mile Stakes (Gr. 3), but was still quick to finish 3 ½ lengths behind Mo Mosa. The $800,000 C Z Rocket is never a bad bet and carries some value after losing his previous attempt. Note that C Z Rocket hasn’t lost back-to-back races since April of 2020. He looks good in the Bing Crosby.