Weekend Racing Big Stakes: Del Mar and Saratoga Race Course have the big races coming up this weekend, with the Pat O’Brien Stakes coming from Del Mar and two Grade I stakes coming from Saratoga. As you plan your wagering for the weekend, take a look at our thoughts on these four scrums.

Also, don’t forget to check out all the different betting pools, head-to-head odds and other amazing action possibilities available at JazzSports.ag ahead of the 2020 Kentucky Derby. 

Weekend Racing Calendar

Saturday, August 29

Pat O’Brien Stakes (9:38 pm ET, TVG, Del Mar)

           Grade I

Horse                                      Odds

Giant Expectations                    +225

Flagstaff                                   +350

C Z Rocket                                +400

Vertical Threat                          +450

Law Abidin Citizen                     +800

P R Radio Star                           +1600

Manhattan Up                            +1600

Blameitonthelaw                       +4000

Weekend Racing Pat O’Brien Stakes offers a guaranteed slot in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile for the winner, going seven furlongs on the dirt at Del Mar. Flagstaff has only won one race in four starts in 2020, but he had a tough opponent in McKinzie in his last race. In April, at the Count Fleet Stakes at Oaklawn Park, Flagstaff was mounting a furious comeback before coming up just short. His win this year came at the San Carlos Stakes at Santa Anita.

Law Abidin Citizen has run at Del Mar six times and has yet to win. His best career race came here as well, as his last race here was the Bing Crosby Stakes (Grade I), where he came in third. In 27 races overall, Law Abidin Citizen has two wins in Grade III stakes.

Giant Expectations makes his first start since the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, where he had a disappointing race. In the 2019 Pat O’Brien Stakes, he came in second, and he took first three years ago.

Sword Dancer Stakes (5:43 pm ET, Saratoga Race Course, FS2)

           Grade I

Post                 Horse                                           Odds

1                       Highland Sky                               +1200

2                       Aquaphobia                               +400

3                       Marzo                                          +1000

4                       Channel Maker                          +600

5                       Corelli                                          +600

6                       Cross Border                              +300

7                       Pedro Cara                                  +1000

8                       Sadler’s Joy                                 +250

The winner of this race gets an automatic entry into the Breeders’ Cup Turf. Sadler’s Joy crossed the line first in the Bowling Green Stakes (Grade I) on August 1 at Saratoga, but a steward’s inquiry ended up dropping him to fourth place. The win was awarded to Cross Border, who has won all five of his starts at Saratoga. However, the only time he won against a field of this quality came via that disqualification at the Bowling Green Stakes.

Channel Maker has gone more than a year without a win, but he has won more than $2.2 million in earnings over his career and is at a level where he should contend in Grade I stakes.

Forego Stakes (5:07 pm ET, FS2, Saratoga Race Course)

           Grade I

Post                 Horse                                           Odds

1                       Everfast                                      +3000

2                       Whitmore                                   +350

3                       Lexitonian                                   +1000

4                       Funny Guy                                  +450

5                       True Timber                               +2000

6                       Complexity                                 +400

7                       Win Win Win                               +1200

8                       Firenze Fire                                 +800

9                       Majestic Dunhill                        +2000

10                    Mind Control                              +600

11                    Fortin Hill                                    +600

Whitmore comes in with 35 career wins and a lifetime earnings total of more than $3.1 million, and he looks to become just the third horse to win the Forego Stakes more than once. Groovy (1986-87) and Quick Call (1988-89) are the other two. Whitmore won this race in 2018 and has six graded stakes victories: the Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (Grade III) three times, the Maryland Sprint (Grade III) and the Phoenix at Keeneland (Grade II). He has also won four straight Hot Springs at Oaklawn, dating back to 2017. His last race was at the Alfred G. Vanderbilt (Grade I) at Saratoga, where he was the runner-up to Volatile.

Mind Control finished third at the Alfred G. Vanderbilt in his last race. He won the Hopeful (Grade I) in September 2018 as an underdog and won the H. Allen Jerkens (Grade I) at Saratoga in 2019. His last training workout saw him roll through five furlongs in 1:01.20 on August 22. He has five graded stakes wins in his career.

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