Major League Baseball might be back, but there are still horse racing events out there on Friday to be aware of. Horse racing has dominated the sports betting landscape in the US during the pandemic. With baseball back, some people might exclusively focus on the diamond, but there’s going to be opportunities at the racetrack that you won’t want to miss out on. There is a fairly nice lineup of tracks operating on Friday. Del Mar, Saratoga, and Gulfstream Park are all hosting races today. There are also several smaller tracks racing as well.
The action will heat up on Saturday at Saratoga with the running of the Vanderbilt Handicap (Gr. 1). A purse of $250,000 will be on offer in the Vanderbilt Handicap tomorrow. There is also the running of the Ballston Spa Stakes (Gr. 2) for $200,000 in Saratoga Springs. Saratoga is scheduled to hold ten races on Friday with a total of $593,000 up for grabs on the dirt and grass, including $100,000 in the Quick Call Stakes (Gr. 3). Head below for our free Saratoga picks for July 24, 2020.
Post Time: 1:10 p.m. EST
Distance: 6 Furlongs
Race 1 will get us started on Friday afternoon at Saratoga. Eight horses are registered to race 6 furlong for a $38,000 purse in the first event in Saratoga Springs. Hands Up and Assume are likely going to be the toughest runners in Race 1. Hands Up is making the sixth race of her career on Friday.
She has finished 5th, 5th, 4th, 2nd, 4th. In her best finish, Hands Up placed 2nd on May 30 at Churchill Downs. Hands Up was 5 ½ lengths behind Brittle and Yoo in the $40,000 event. Thereafter, Hands up regressed for 4th on June 25 in another $40,000 race. She weakened in the stretch over 7 furlongs. One less furlong should help her cause this afternoon.
Hands Up has been strong in the morning in July. That’s an encouraging sign for Hands Up, as she seeks to break the seal and win the first win of her career today. Hands up completed 4 furlongs with times of 47.80 and 48.40 seconds. It’s an improvement over her earlier work in the morning and should translate to a strong run today.
Assume has gone 4th, 3rd, 3rd in her career for Todd Pletcher. A lot more is expected out of Assume and today could be the day that she gets things done. This is going to be the easier assignment of her career. In three career races, Assume has entered $50,000 and two $45,000 events. Purchased for $300,000 in September of 2018, it’s likely only a matter of time before she finds the winner’s circle. This looks like a good spot for it to happen.
Post Time: 4:04 p.m. EST
Distance:1 ⅜ Miles
The stakes are turned up in Race 6, as we head over to the inner turf for a $72,000 event at Saratoga. The end of the gate from the No. 8 and No. 9 post position is where you will likely find the strongest horses in the race. Wild Love and Cap de Creus will give the rest of the runners in Race 6 a big challenge. Wild Love is a possible winner in this event, though she may have to catch a break in the stretch. It wasn’t the best start to Wild Love’s career, as she finished 9th in her debut on September 1, 2019, then 4th in her next race on May 25.
The energy in the stable changed drastically in her next outing on June 26. Wild Love won in a blowout over Majorette by 11 ½ lengths. Since the big win for Wild Love, she completed a 5-furlong workout on July 13 with a time of 1:01.50 and 49.97 seconds on July 20. If she brings the same form from her latest race in June, then a trip to the winner’s circle in Race 6 could be within her reach. Note that Wild Love is racing on the main track only, so if things stay on the turf,
Cap de Creus is the only participant with stakes experience in Race 6. She finished 8th in the $150,000 The Very One Stakes (Gr. 3) on February 29, and 4th in the $100,000 Orchid Stakes on March 28. She followed up for 2nd in her most recent outing on June 21. Cap de Creus gained late to lose by a head. If that race were a little longer, a win would have gone to Cap de Creus. She is 1 for 14 in her career, and typically accustomed to racing against much harder competition than this. That should give her the advantage over the field on Friday afternoon.
Race 9 – Quick Call Stakes
Post Time: 5:46 p.m. EST
Distance:5 ½ Furlongs
Race 9 is the feature race of the day with a purse of $100,000 offered in the Quick Call Stakes (Gr. 3). This event will take place on the turf and is the biggest race of the day at Saratoga. Turned Aside and Jack and Noah are expected to mount bold bids in the Quick Call Stakes, which will cover 5 ½ furlongs on the grass.
Turned Aside is 2 for 6 in his career and will be participating in the third stakes races of his career today. He finished 7th in the $100,000 Atlantic Beach Stakes (Black Type) on November 9, 2019 and 2nd most recently in the Sir Cat Stakes (Black Type) for $80,000 on June 19.
In both instances, Turned Aside lost to the same horse. In the Atlantic Beach Stakes, Turned Aside wasn’t close at all. Jack and Noah won over Elbolden by 1 ¾ lengths, while Turned Aside was way off the pace for 7th. He was noted as being tired in the stretch, so that didn’t help his effort. Meanwhile, Jack and Noah had the lead in that race by the ¼ pole and held from there.
The same happened in the Sir Cat Stakes (Black Type), though Jack and Noah got started even earlier. He was leading out of the gate and at the wire over Turned Aside for a 1 length wire-to-wire win. Turned Aside is coming off a couple of solid workouts, with times of 47.80 and 48.33 seconds over 4 furlongs in July. Improved form has been noted, so perhaps he finally gets some revenge on Jack and Noah.
Jack and Noah is 3 for 6 in his career, including those two stakes wins and a win as a first-time runner at Belmont Park on September 27, 2019. Most of the events that Jack and Noah has participated in have been stakes races. One was a Grade 3 event on October 6, 2019 in the $150,000 Futurity Stakes for 4th. Jack and Noah has been nothing but dominant over Turned Aside previously. That should continue on Friday afternoon in the Quick Call Stakes.