Saturday's Best Bet: Castellano, O'Neill aim for another freshman win

July 12, 2019 03:15pm
NYRA Bets best bet photo

The Sanford Stakes (G3) drew a field of five, and none of the runners can be confidently tossed out. Jockey John Velazquez has won this race seven times, and he pilots Memorable for trainer Steve Asmussen in this event. Before deciding how to bet the Sanford Stakes, let’s go through the entire field.  

Saratoga Race 3 - Grade 3 Sanford Stakes - 6 furlongs dirt - Post Time 2:10 p.m. ET


Favorite: 


#3 Cucina (8-5) followed up a solid runner-up finish in his Gulfstream Park debut with a game maiden win in the slop as the chalk at Belmont Park June 21. A stalking trip is expected, and he can compete for the win if he moves forward again on fast dirt.  


NYRA Bets

Value Win Contenders: 


#2 Raging Whiskey (5-2) finished in a dead-heat for the show in his Santa Anita Park bow May 19, and the top two finishers from that heat are now stakes winners (Fore Left - 1st Tremont Stakes June 7; Phantom Boss - 1st G3 Bashford Manor June 29). He looked good breaking his maiden June 2, and Doug O’Neill is his trainer now. He should show speed, and Javier Castellano (2 Sanford wins) and Doug O’Neill teamed up to win Schuylerville (G3) on July 11 with California shipper Comical. 


#5 By Your Side (5-2) got up to win by a nose in his Churchill Downs debut June 14. He figures to stalk the pace from the outside post under Irad Ortiz Jr (2 Sanford wins), and the $240k purchase could easily get the job done today. His trainer Eddie Kenneally won this race in 2016 with Bitumen.  


Remaining Entrants:


#1 Memorable (6-1) won his debut in the slop at Churchill Downs, and returned to finish a well-beaten 5th in the Tremont Stakes at 2-1 odds. He will probably press the pace from the inside post under John Velazquez.


#4 Tomato Bill (9-2) easily went all the way as the heavy favorite in his Delaware Park debut May 22. They paid $500k for the son of More Than Ready, and he needs to run faster to compete with these. He looms a pace factor at the very least.  


Wagers: 


#2 to win 


Exacta Box 2-5

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