Handicapping Saturday’s Show-Place-Win Turf Split

Profile Picture: James Scully

August 18th, 2018

TwinSpires is offering players a share of a $5,000 bonus today for cashing a $25 Show bet on the Breeders’ Stakes at Woodbine (5:45 ET), a $25 Place bet on the Race 10 at Saratoga (6:18 ET) and a $25 Win bet on the Del Mar Handicap (7:30 ET). Select the $5,000 Turf Split Saturday from the TwinSpires Offers page for further details and you must “Opt In” for eligibility.

The first two legs appear very doable, selecting the winner of the Del Mar Handicap is no picnic.

Here’s how I will play the races:

Breeders’ Stakes, Woodbine

Contested at 1 1/2 miles on turf, the Breeders’ serves as the final leg of the Canadian Triple Crown and Aheadbyacentury has finished a non-threatening second to Wonder Gadot in the first two legs, the Queen’s Plate and Prince of Wales. That makes him a legitimate top three contender, but he’s never raced on turf and I’m a little concerned about a regression after being forced to chase a beast in the last two outings.

SAY THE WORD stylishly broke his maiden at a 1 3/16-mile distance on Keeneland’s turf and exits a pair of starts versus winners on Woodbine’s Tapeta, finishing sixth most recently in the Queen’s Plate. Those efforts should benefit the More Than Ready gelding as he switches back to his preferred surface and with little-to-no pace entered, Say the Word looks poised to receive a perfect trip with his tactical speed. I like the Graham Motion pupil’s chances for a top three placing.

$25 Show #6

Race 10, Saratoga

Carded at a mile on the inner turf, the $25k claimer will probably be moved to seven-furlongs on the main track after all the precipitation Friday evening.

BRIMSTONE exits a wire-to-wire tally over a sloppy track at 1 1/8 miles and the versatile gelding has posted multiple wins sprinting since January. Leading jock Irad Ortiz Jr. has the call and the Rudy Rodriguez barn has won some races of late after a slow start to the meet. Like the outside draw and Brimstone can record a top two finish with a front-running trip.

$25 Place #16

Del Mar Handicap

A “Win & You’re In” for the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1), the Del Mar Handicap (G2) drew a full field of 12 and it was tough to separate three contestants.

Itsinthepost missed by less than a length when posting a rallying second in this event last year and should appreciate the stretch out in distance after a weakening effort in the 1 1/8-mile Eddie Read (G2) in which I thought he was too eager during the early stages off the freshening. There is much less speed entered here and the multiple Grade 2-winning gelding has the right run style to receive an ideal trip just behind the early leader. He’s the one to beat from a class perspective but the 0-for-10 record over Del Mar’s turf is disconcerting.

Multiplier brings improving turf form into the race and should receive a similar trip to Itsinthepost. A career-best performance looks possible from the four-year-old gray colt, who switched from dirt-to-turf three starts back for Peter Miller and is starting find his groove. After defeating allowance rivals, Multiplier stepped up to face better in the Manhattan (G1) at Belmont Park and missed by 1 3/4 lengths. He was outfinished in the Eddie Read last time but tried hard all the way to the wire and today’s jockey switch could prove beneficial.

Itsinthepost and Multiplier are both viable win contenders, but I will go a different direction.

KENJISSTORM stretched out to 10 furlongs with a fine second in the Charles Whittingham (G2) last out and may prove to be the controlling speed today from the innermost post with Gary Stevens, who won a turf route at Del Mar Friday evening. Kenjisstorm has won over the course previously and the six-year-old will be making his fourth start of the season for new trainer Phil D’Amato. The chestnut displayed an aptitude for longer distances in the Whittingham and should be able to conserve his stamina for the latter stages as the expected lone speed here.

$25 Win 1

 Good luck!