It was a good night at Mountaineer Park on Sunday to close out the weekend. We cashed two of three horses to make it a winning event in West Virginia. With that weekend behind us, we’re less than a week away from Travers’ Saturday at Saratoga. The $1,000,000 (Gr. 1) Travers Stakes is set for next weekend in Saratoga Springs. There are three other stakes races worth at least $200,000 on Saturday as well.
Three Grade 1 events will take place at Saratoga. It’s going to be the final opportunity before the Kentucky Derby that we see Manny Franco and Tiz the Law together. If you like Tiz the Law in the Kentucky Derby, I’d get on now because his odds will skyrocket further if he runs well in the Travers. Tiz the Law has solidified a spot in the Kentucky Derby. The points don’t mean much for him.
100 points will go to the winner, which would be much more valuable for a horse with no or little points right now. A 100 points is enough to get to Churchill Downs, so an upset would have huge implications for one team. Tiz the Law has looked really strong in 2020, but we’ll have to see what happens on Saturday in Saratoga Springs. The $500,000 (Gr. 3) Mountaineer Derby scheduled for this past Saturday was unfortunately canceled because of restrictions on out of state riders going into Mountaineer Park. The daily nighttime race cards continue, though. Head below for our free Mountaineer Park picks for August 3, 2020.
Post Time: 7:22 p.m. EST
Distance: 1 Mile 70 Yards
Race 2 is our starting point for Mountaineer Park on Monday night. Our first selection will take place on the turf, with a mile and 70 yards of racing on the grass. Theartofpromise and Deep Space should have a good run at the top prize in this event. Theartofcompromise moves way down in class after making her debut and sophomore effort at Gulfstream Park.
Neither were positive, with Theartofcompromise finishing 11th in both events. They were for $45,000 and $47,000 purses, so this is well down the class scale at Mountaineer Park. It was obvious that Theartofcompromise didn’t belong in either race, which covered 1 1/16 miles and 5 furlongs in May and June.
Theartofcompromise was noted as being tired in both races. This is for a mile and 70 yards, so that is something to keep in mind. However, the competition for Theartofcompromise isn’t much to talk about. This is by far the easiest race of her three-race career on Monday night at Mountaineer. Expect her to be a much more competitive race in this event.
Deep Space is looking for her first win, but showed good form in her latest performance on June 21. She moved down in class after finishing 11th on May 23 in a $79,000 event at Churchill Downs. Deep Space found her most recent race a lot more manageable, as she placed 2nd to lose by a half length. She had a 2 length deficit at the top of the stretch and made it close at the wire.
Overall in her career, Deep Space is 8th, 5th, 3rd, 11th, 2nd. The best race of her career so far has to be on March 6 when Deep Space showed in a $60,000 race for 3rd. She had the lead at the ½ pole, but couldn’t maintain the lead against that field. Race 2 at Mountaineer is much easier than that race. In fact, this should be the easiest assignment of her career so far.
Post Time: 8:06 p.m. EST
We move over to the main track at Mountaineer for Race 4. This event comes with a small $6,700 purse for 5 furlongs on the dirt. Playland and Emily Bug, who will be on opposite ends of the gate, should be the main players in Race 4. Emily Bug gets the rail out of the gate from the No. 1 post position in this one. She has finished DNF, 7th, 5th, 9th, 11th, 11th, 2nd in her career. Emily Bug wasn’t going anywhere running at Oaklawn Park with two 11th place finishes for a $30,000 and $23,000 purse.
Upon getting knocked down in class, Emily Bug looked much better at Mountaineer on June 2 in a $6,100 race. She finished 2nd to lose by a length behind Tizawesomeday. Good effort by Emily Bug and was gaining late. However, she had to get going earlier in that race to find a win. If that happens today then she’s going to have a real chance of getting a win. Emily Bug was not regarded as a favorite in that race, but will enter Monday as the betting favorite on the morning-line. Playland is expected to give her a close battle in the stretch on Monday evening.
Playland is looking for the first win of her career, which dates back to July 31, 2019 at Delaware Park. Since transferring to Mountaineer, Playland has been in the best form of her career. She is coming off two solid performances on June 14 and July 5. Playland placed in both outings, losing by 5 ¼ lengths and 4 ¼ lengths as the betting favorite at post time. She will be participating in another $6,700 race today at Mountaineer in Race 4. I find that Playland has a better chance of winning here than the morning-line price of +300 indicates. This isn’t the most competitive field that she will have to deal with.
Post Time: 9:34 p.m. EST
Our final selection at Mountaineer Park brings us to Race 7, which features seven horses vying for a $6,900 purse shortly before 10:00 p.m EST. Bibbo and Skydigger Andy will line up on the outside of the gate from the No. 6 and No. 7 post positions. Bibbo was consistently finishing 4th for four straight races from March 23 to July 1. Since October 27, 2018, Bibbo has finished 4th, DNF, 4th, 4th, 4th, 4th, 1st in his previous seven races. He finally got away from 4th and moved right up to the front for a win on July 15.
Bibbo beat Loyalty Spirit by 1 ½ lengths in a $11,400 race. It was a step down from $23,000, $30,000, and $17,800 he was competing for in three prior races to that win. Bibbo is moving down the class scale even more for today to a $6,900 purse. This race likely would be easy pickings if Bibbo didn’t have to contend with Skydigger Andy. Skydigger Andy is moving down much further than Bibbo today. He’s had a lengthy career which goes back to 2014 at Woodbine.
Overall, Skydigger Andy is 8 for 80 in his career, with his most recent win on July 15. In his most recent seven races, Skydigger Andy has finished 3rd, 3rd, 2nd, 5th, 8th, 8th, 4th. None of those races were for purses below $10,000. Typically Skydigger Andy is accustomed to racing against horses participating in the $15,000-$20,000 range. Besides Bibbo, there isn’t much competition for Skydigger Andy in this race. Skydigger Andy has been running the strongest in morning workouts and should be able to handle this field in Race 7.