Another exciting weekend of stakes racing is in the books, as Keeneland took a final bow yesterday on their summer meeting in Lexington. It was a success for the racetrack and a successful weekend for us. We went 5-2-1 at Keeneland over the last two days with wins in five stakes races. The biggest of which was Art Collector in the Blue Grass. Whitmore was a scratch in Race 8 on Sunday, so that prevented us from going 3-0 on Sunday, but I’ll gladly take a 2-0-1 day. Keeneland did $63,000,000 in betting handle over five days of racing, with an average of nearly $13,000,000 per day. This was the first ever summer meet for Keeneland and it apparently was a major success.
Over at Delaware Park on Saturday, we made the best of it with a 2-0 day. We found winning horses in the Delaware Handicap and Robert G. Dick Memorial Stakes to add to our combined winnings. Monday is a much slower day, but the stakes racing action will heat up again next weekend. The feature race of the weekend will be the Haskell Stakes (Gr. 1) at Monmouth. The opening of Saratoga for their summer meet is right around the corner as well. Delaware Park has a nine-race $252,000 card on offer today. We’re looking for winners in Race 1 and Race 2 to complete a daily double ticket. Head below for our free Delaware Park Daily Double picks for July 13, 2020.
Post Time: 1:15 p.m. EST
Distance: 1 Mile 70 Yards
We’ll begin with the first race of the day at Delaware Park on Monday. Race 1 covers a mile and 70 yards on the dirt for a $23,000 purse. This event is likely between General Paddy, Final Prospect, and V. I. P Code. Final Prospect and V. I. P Code are expected to enter as a coupled pairing for trainer John Ness. General Paddy is 9 for 29 in his career and is stuck on 4th.
In his previous three outings, General Paddy finished 4th in each of his last three performances. Those events were for $21,000, $30,000, and $23,000, so he’s in the same ballpark for Monday. His most recent winning effort was on February 23 at Turfway. It was a dead heat at the wire, with General Paddy tying Last Promise. General Paddy came on strong in the stretch to take a share of 1st.
He won on December 4, 2019 by 3 ¾ lengths over The Curt Fox for a $17,200 purse at Tampa Bay Downs. That was the last win for General Paddy without having to share the winner’s circle. He was on a serious run last summer with a hat-trick from July to August. Since then it’s been a bit up and down for General Paddy, with more down recently than up .
Final Prospect is less likely to win here than his stalemate, V. I. P Code, but I still think he can make a good race out of this. Final Prospect is coming off a win at Parx on June 30 for a $15,000 purse. He’s been running hard and been consistent recently. Final Prospect has finished 2nd, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 1st in his previous five outings. That gets Final Prospect a hike in class for today.
If Final Prospect doesn’t win, V. I. P Code is going to have a good run at the top prize. V. I. P Prize was a back-to-back winner on February 3 and February 24 at Parx. He won in a 9 ½ length blowout at a mile and 70 yards on the 3rd to win $18,000 out of a $30,000 purse, and then did the same at 6 furlongs in a 7 ¼ length blowout a few weeks later. The menace wasn’t there for V. I. P Code in his next entry on June 1, but was noted as being caught in traffic. He is coming off a strong workout on June 23 with a time of 59.39 seconds at 5 furlongs. I will side with the combo of Final Prospect and V. I. P Code in Race 1.
Post Time: 1:45 p.m. EST
We jump right into the next race at Delaware Park with Race 2, which covers 6 furlongs on the dirt for a $15,000 purse. We have another John Ness coupled entry in this event, with Tough N Buff and Two Carat teaming up. There’s a decent chance that he sweeps the first two races.
The most likely horse to stop that from happening in Race 2 is Damisela from the No. 2 post position. Damisela has just 1 win in 44 races, which is a horrid win percentage. She won her fourth race on May 10, 2018 and hasn’t been a winning runner since then. That’s 39 straight races with no wins for Damisela.
Having said that, Damisela is coming off two solid performances on January 31 and June 27 for 3rd. The event in January was for a $10,800 purse and June a $15,000 purse. She raced against Tough N Buff in June, which resulted in a 1 ¾ deficit behind her at the wire. Tough N Buff finished 2nd comfortably in that race. Recent workouts by Damisela have been encouraging, with recorded times of 35.60 seconds at 3 furlong and 47.80 seconds at 4 furlongs. Unfortunately, good form in the morning hasn’t translated to results in the afternoon, though.
Tough N Buff will likely carry the weight for John Ness in Race 2. Two Carat might be a nice compliment to help out, but Tough N Buff is going to be the one to beat. Tough N Buff has gone 1 for 6 in her career, with the win coming on December 26, 2019 at Gulfstream Park. John Ness was able to score $10,200 out of the $19,000 purse in that race.
Since then, Tough N Buff has gone 5th, 3rd, 2nd. Her performance on June 27 was encouraging, as she finished 2 ¼ lengths back of a win and 1 ¾ lengths ahead of Damisela. Two Carat is 1 for 13 in her career, and on the heels of a fairly steady performance on June 23 for 3rd at Parx. She has finished in the top-3 in 5 of 13 races in her career. I think she can run near the front, but her teammate, Tough N Buff, is likely going to be the runner to beat in Race 2.