Another weekend is in the books and we’re inching closer to the Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday of September. In the biggest event of the weekend, Swiss Skydiver was an easy winner in the $500,000 Alabama Stakes (Gr. 1) for her first Gr. 1 win. That’s likely going to be the first of many to come for Swiss Skydiver. There aren’t many fillies in the nation that can compete with Swiss Skydiver other than perhaps Gamine. Swiss Skydiver vs. Gamine sets up one heck of a potential showdown between two talented girls.
BetOnline has 13 tracks on offer Monday, with some of the smaller facilities having an opportunity to get the spotlight without Saratoga or Gulfstream stealing some of their handle. Finger Lakes, Thistledown, Parx, and Delaware Park all get started early in the afternoon in the eastern US today. Fort Erie in Canada begins early as well. Our first of two stops on Monday is at Thistledown in Cleveland. Head below for our free Thistledown picks for August 17, 2020.
Post Time: 12:50 p.m. EST
Distance: 5 ½ Furlongs
We will start with the first race of the day at Thistledown. We’re on the dirt for 5 ½ furlongs of racing for a $14,000 purse. Spin Doctor and Doctoriat should threaten in the stretch in this event. Doctoriat is the betting favorite on the morning-line at 3/1 odds. He is looking to do one better after finishing 2nd on July 4 for a $14,900 purse.
Doctoriat may have finished 2nd, but was well off the pace for a 9 length loss. Speedy Mobile blew the field out and was by far the best horse. Doctoriat was able to beat Crazycantberighted by a length for 2nd in that outing.
Overall, Doctoriat is 11 for 56 with $299,004 in career earnings. He’s finished in the top-3 in 6 of his previous 7 outings. In 13 of his previous 16 races, Doctoriat has been in the top-3, so this is a consistent horse that should undoubtedly be near the front with a chance for a win on Monday afternoon.
Spin Doctor is on a run recently after finishing 2nd, 1st, 1st, in his previous three races. The young colt is 3 for 10 in his career and is in the best form of his career at the moment. Spin Doctor won by 3 ½ lengths over High Dollar for a $14,200 purse. It wasn’t much of a race, with Spin Doctor winning in wire-to-wire fashion.
It was the same story for Spin Doctor in his next entry on July 7. He won another wire-to-wire race by 3 ½ lengths in the same class. It’s within reason to believe that Spin Doctor can get the hat-trick over this field on Monday.
Post Time: 2:50 p.m. EST
Race 5 is the feature race of the day at Thistledown. It carries a purse of $20,300 for 6 furlongs on the dirt. Six horses are scheduled to run, with G’s Ship Load and Star Mabee likely to present solid bids on Monday afternoon. Star Mabee has had a nice 2020 going 2 for 4 with wins on June 22 and July 9. The mare won by a half length over Sole Factor in June, and then followed up for another win in a $20,300 event by 4 ¾ lengths.
Star Mabee fell off in his next outing, though, as he finished 3rd in another $20,300 outing. She was the favorite in that race, but didn’t run up to expectations there. Star Mabee remains in the same class and is likely going to be met with plenty of resistance from G’s Ship Load. G’s Ship Load is most likely going to be her biggest threat.
She is heading into Monday red-hot after winning four straight races. G’s Ship Load has won every race dating back to September 18, 2019. She is also a winner in 6 of her previous 7 outings. G’s Ship Load made two outings in July with wins of 5 lengths, and 1 ¾ lengths on July 28 in her most recent performance in a $20,300 event.
There are only two horses since June of 2019 that have finished ahead of G’s Ship Load, which was in the same race. People will fade G’s Ship Load believing this is the day she loses, but that’s not enough of a reason to avoid her on Monday. I’m on G’s Ship Load to get another win to make for her five in a row.
Post Time: 4:20 p.m. EST
Distance:5 ½ Furlongs
Thistledown has a 5 ½ furlong event to close out the card on Monday. The race is for 5 ½ furlongs on the dirt, with More Monique and A New Angel likely in the mix. They’ll line up next to each other in the gate from the No. 4 and No. 5 post positions. More Monique is 1st, 2nd, 8th, 2nd in her previous four outings. In her previous nine races, the mare has finished in the top-3 in 7 of 9 entries.
She was 2nd on July 22 after a lengthy layoff. That was the same race for More Monique since finishing 8th on August 17, 2019. She lost by 2 ½ lengths in a $9,700 event. This will be slightly easier for More Monique on Monday. And after shaking the rust off following a long layoff, More Monique could be ready to roll to the winner’s circle. She will likely be pressed by A New Angel in the stretch.
A New Angel is coming off a strong performance on July 8 with a winning run. She beat Tickety Boo by 2 lengths for a $21,300 win. A New Angel was the favorite in that one and she produced. Overall, a New Angel is 6 for 21 in her career. She has finished in the top-2 in 5 of her previous 6 races. Following a win in a more difficult race.
Prior to that win, A New Angel came a neck short in a $24,500 race. Down in class from recent entries, she should be able to handle this competition. It seems as if she is out looking for an easy win on Monday. She might have to deal with More Monique bothering her in the stretch, but expect A New Angel to come through in Race 8 at Thistledown on Monday.