Another day of racing in Philadelphia at Parx for us on Wednesday. It was a productive day yesterday, with two successful picks out of three wagers. That would have been great to get the sweep, but I would gladly take that every day for a profit. Today at Parx there are nine races scheduled to be run.
A total pool of $216,000 is available for participants. It’s an exciting week for sports bettors in North America. Opening Day for the shortened 2020 MLB season will begin with two games on Thursday, while the NHL and NBA is just around the corner. There is going to be a lot of horse racing to keep us busy with as well.
The main attraction this weekend is across the pond at the Ascot Racecourse on Saturday. There are three big graded events taking place that demand the attention of handicappers. Closer to home, the biggest race this weekend in North America is the Vanderbilt Handicap (Gr. 1) at Saratoga. The Vanderbilt Handicap features a $250,000 purse on Saturday afternoon. We have you covered with Pick 4 and Pick 5 selections for the Wednesday card at Saratoga.
August 8 is the date to circle at Saratoga. There are five stakes races, which includes the $1,000,000 Grade 1 Travers Stakes. It’s the last opportunity for horses without enough points to get an automatic ticket to the Kentucky Derby. While there’s only $216,000 on the line at Parx today, let’s try to hammer this card hard. Head below for our free Parx Racing picks for July 22, 2020.
Post Time: 12:55 p.m. EST
Distance: 6 Furlongs
We will get started at Parx early in the afternoon with Race 1. The first race of the day at Parx has a modest $15,000 purse for 6 furlongs on the dirt. Queen of Schmooze and True Upgrade will likely be willing participants in this one. I like True Upgrade slightly over Trappe Me Later, and with the better price on the morning-line, True Upgrade looks like a better option between the No. 7 and No. 4 horses. True Upgrade is 4 for 26 in her career with good form in her most recent outing to win on July 7.
True Upgrade beat Morissette by a half length to take $13,440 out of a $16,000 purse. It was the first win for True Upgrade since a win on September 17, 2019. True Upgrade went winless in seven straight races, with a couple of finishes for 3rd, but not much else. After finishing 4th on March 3, True Upgrade went on a lengthy layoff until July. She immediately responded with a much better performance to win. If the break helped that much, and we see True Upgrade in the same form as two weeks ago, then we should expect to see her with a good chance of going back to the winner’s circle.
Queen of Schmooze did the same on July 7 with a win. She won in dominating fashion over the field, as she was clear from the get-go for a 5 length win. Queen of Schmooze recorded the win with a wire-to-wire effort. She was clear of the field by the ¼ pole by 4 lengths and held that lead throughout the race. It was a $15,000 win for Queen of Schmooze. This is another beatable field for Queen of Schmooze on Wednesday. If she runs like that again she likely won’t feel threatened.
Post Time: 1:49 p.m. EST
Race 3 is a mile on the dirt for a $20,000 purse. This is likely shaping up to be Diamond Setter vs Even Thunder and Wild About Deb. Even Thunder and Wild About Deb are coupled in this race for Jamie Ness. Diamond Setter is 5 for 36 in his career, with his most recent effort on June 24 resulting in a solid effort for 2nd.
That was a loss against Wild About Deb, who edged out Diamond Setter by a length. My problem with Diamond Setter is how inconsistent he has been throughout his career. It’s possible to get a winning performance out of Diamond Setter, but it’s hard to tell when it’s going to happen.
If you like a consistent horse, Diamond Setter is not for you. Diamond Setter has finished 6th, 1st, 4th, 1st, 6th, 2nd in his previous six outings. He typically looks good in the morning, but that doesn’t always translate to the track on trace days. Diamond Setter completed 4-furlong workouts with times of 47.43 and 47.91 seconds in May and June.
He’s coming off a 3-furlong workout on July 17 with a recorded time of 37.91 seconds. Which version of Diamond Setter are we going to see today? At his best, Wild About Deb and Even Thunder should still both be worthy challengers.
Wild About Deb is on the heels of a strong performance against Diamond Setter. He was a winner over Diamond Setter by a length after dropping down in class. Wild About Deb was competing in the $30,000 range or thereabout before winning at $20,000 on June 24 at Delaware Park.
In his previous two races in this class, Wild About Deb got that win and placed 2nd on February 3 to finish a neck behind Immunity. His stablemate, Even Thunder, gets the No. 1 post position in Race 3, while Wild About Deb drew the outside from the No. 8 post position.
Even Thunder is 5 for 30 in his career. He’s coming off a layoff after finishing 5th on February 29. In his last five outings, Even Thunder has finished 5th, 4th, 1st, 3rd, 5th. Even Thunder won on January 25 to beat Theyallcomehome by a neck for a $22,323 purse. Wild About Deb likely has the better chance of winning here, but don’t discount Even Thunder for Jamie Ness.
Post Time: 3:10 p.m. EST
Race 6 is the feature race of the day at Parx with a $42,000 purse on offer. Eight horses are scheduled to participate in the event, which will cover 6 furlongs on the dirt. Long May You Run and Word On a Wing are on my shortlist for the race. Long May You Run is filled with experience, having run 66 races in his career with 18 races. One of those races was in his most recent performance on July 7.
Long May You Run beat Dancing Bull by ¾ lengths in a $26,000 event. He also won on February 18 over True Boldness by 3 ¼ lengths in a $28,000 event. Following that win, Long May You Run tried a higher class for a $47,000 purse and the results weren’t there. Long May You Run finished 8th in that race on June 12. He also finished 7th on January 18 in the Fire Plug Stakes (Black Type), so races out of his class range tend to give him problems. Up in class again on Wednesday, I’m expecting Long May You Run to be close, but run out of steam in the stretch.
Word On a Wing has an electric win percentage of 57% with wins in 4 of 7 races in his career. He’s a winner in 3 of his previous 4 outings and is coming off a victory on July 6. Word On a Wing beat Spirit Special by 3 lengths for a $41,000 purse win in that event. If it wasn’t for a DQ on October 8, 2019, Word On a Wing would have four straight wins and be looking for a fifth today. On June 1, 2019, Word On a Wing won by 4 ¾ lengths over Where You Was in a $41,000 event, and then followed up for a 6 ¾ length win in a $46,000 race a month later.
The only thing that’s been stopping Word On a Wing over the last year was a disqualification. He has proven to run well in this class and should produce again on Wednesday. This type of race is Word On a Wing’s bread and butter. The No. 6 horse is likely the one to beat when the gate opens in Race 6 on Wednesday afternoon.