#762 Portland Trail Blazers 4
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Written by Daniel Benjamin
Race 3- Allowance (Purse - $74,000)
Six 3-and-4-year-old male horses are slated to go one and three-eighths miles on the turf. I expect this to be an outstanding race as all six starters have a win and at least one victory on the turf. #5 Mr. Alec has been pretty steady and consistent throughout his short career and has fared well in allowance meets, claiming two second-place finishes in three outings. The 4-year-old Kentucky gelding is coming off a fourth-place finish at Belmont Park against tough competition in a one and one-quarter mile race on the grass on June 11. 1A Tide of the Sea will once again try to get the best of Mr. Alec as the 4-year-old son of English Channel finished two spots ahead of him at Belmont on June 11. Tide of the Sea has cashed in each of his last four starts. The fight for the third place could be as tight as the battle for the top spots but I’m going with #3 African Heritage to get up for show here. The 3-year-old Kentucky colt has not raced since finishing second, just missing a victory by a nose, in a one and one-sixteenth mile meet on the turf in late February. African Heritage, who is 5-1-2-0 on the grass, also has been training well recently.
Picks: I like a win bet on the #5. I also like an exacta box of #5, #1A.
Race 1 - Maiden Special Weight (Purse -$72,000)
Six 2-year-old fillies are slated to go one and one-sixteenth miles on the turf. #3 Mrs. Frankel showed some ability in her debut back in early June at Belmont Park before flattening and finishing fifth, although she ended up just over two lengths behind the winner. The Irish horse is under the direction of trainer Mark Casse, whose 2-year-old horses have won 14% of their races on the turf and finished in the top 3 43% of the time, and will have jockey Jose L. Ortiz on board. #4 Uyuni should be primed for an improved performance after running a pretty even race after getting bumped at the start to finish fourth on July 1. Trainer Wesley Ward and jockey Manuel Franco have a strong and successful working relationship. #7 Delaware Destiny, a daughter of Exaggerator, is making her debut and has experience on both the dirt and turf. If the race gets moved to the main track, #1 Guana Cay will be a major player.
Picks: I like an exacta box of #3, #4. I also like a win bet on the #3 and a show bet on the #7.
Race 9 - Birdstone Stakes (Purse - $100,000)
Seven male horses are expected to go one and three-fourths miles in this stakes race that should be outstanding. #4 Rockerty showed well in his first race of the campaign with a fourth-place finish, as he had no kick down the stretch, in the one and one-eighth mile Flat Out Stakes. The 6-year-old son of Hard Spun has run well at this distance, even winning at this distance in a Grade 2 stakes event in 2019. Jockey Jose Ortiz has won 14% of his starts and has finished in the top 3 in 48% of his stakes races. #8 You’re To Blame has run well the past two races and has cashed in eight of 17 stakes races overall. The son of Distorted Humor, who is out of Todd Pletcher’s barn, has had several solid training sessions since last racing on June 11. #5 American Tattoo has finished in the money in four of eight races since coming to the States, which includes placing in the top -3 in two stakes races. The 5-year-old Argentina horse has not raced since March but he has raced well at this distance and has also trained well recently.
Picks: I like an exacta box of #4, #8. I also like a show on the #5.
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