BetAmerica’s horse racing pick of the day: July 22, Saratoga
Weekday picks and plays for Thoroughbred racing.
Wednesday, July 22
#1 Cross Border (1-2 on the morning line) is an overwhelming favorite, after he finished fifth by a length in the July 4 Manhattan (G1) at Belmont Park.
Conventional thinking tells us the drop in class for a stakes restricted to New York-breds will make Cross Border tough to beat.
But Cross Border has done all his best running over extended distances, which is not surprising, because he is a son of Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) winner English Channel, out of a mare by Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Empire Maker. Cross Border is bred to thrive running long, so it is hard to trust him at a short price and shorter distance.
Instead, let’s take a chance with #6 Blewitt (2-1).
Although this delicate 6-year-old has never run on turf, the progeny of sire Uncle Mo strike at a 14% rate when they try grass for the first time, so there is reason to believe Blewitt might enjoy the surface switch.
Blewitt has shown plenty of talent on the main track. Two starts back, he wired a 1 1/16-mile allowance at Gulfstream, where he won by five lengths (a 100 Brisnet Speed rating), over future stakes winner Moretti.
Blewitt has tactical speed and should work out a clean trip from post 6 under jockey John Velazquez, so let’s bet him to win and play him on top of Cross Border in a straight exacta.