Top Horse Racing Picks for Saturday, July 30, 2022

| July 29, 2022 1:49 pm PDT

We’ve got a triple fistful of stakes races to assess for my horse racing picks for Saturday from three of my favorite raced tracks—Del Mar, Laurel Park, and Saratoga Racecourse.

Included among these tough competitions are Saratoga’s two graded matches, the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (Grade I) and the Jim Dandy Stakes (Grade II). But let’s not forget the epic runs Del Mar has in store for us–the San Diego Handicap (Grade II) and the Bing Crosby Stakes (Grade I).

And Laurel Park brings us five—count ‘em, five—stakes races And all three tracks have some underdogs with ambition that should keep our bankrolls very happy indeed.

Don’t forget to check out the full race cards of for all three tracks at one of our best sites for horse racing betting.

Good luck!

Saturday’s Horse Racing Picks for Del Mar Racing

We look first a three solid dirt track runs at Del Mar that include the Bing Crosby Stakes and the San Diego Handicap.

Race two

This is a one-mile allowance optional claiming race on the dirt track for California-bred or -sired three-year-olds and upward. I’m banking on the 4/1 underdog, Exceed Speed Limit, ridden by top jockey John R. Velazquez.

The real standout in this nine-horse field, this four-year-old chestnut gelding finished in the money nine of his 12 career starts, winning four.

Exceed Speed Limit’s numbers are a statistical match with Quick Buck, the morning-line favorite, who moneyed three of his four starts, winning one. I’ll take experience every time.

Michael W. McCarthy, who brought Rombauer to a win in the 2021 Preakness and a third in the Belmont Stakes, trains Exceed Speed Limit for owners STD Racing Stable and Andy Miller.

Race eight — Bing Crosby Stakes (Grade I)

This is a $400,000 purse, six-furlong race on the dirt track for three-year-olds and upward.

My money’s on the 6/1 sleeper, Principe Carlo, piloted by veteran jockey Victor Espinoza.

This dark bay six-year-old moneyed 17 of his 26 career starts, winning eight. More importantly, he’s shown better success at the stakes level than his competitors in this ten-horse field, particularly in recent months.

Twenty-year horse racing veteran Librado Barocio trains Principe Carlo for owners David A. Bernsen, LLC, Mia Familia Racing Stable, and Rockingham Ranch.

Race ten — San Diego Handicap (Grade II)

This is a $300,000 purse, 1-1/16 miles dirt track run for three-year-olds and upward. I gotta bet my two dollars on the 5/2 favorite, Country Grammer, with John R. Velazquez in the irons.

This five-year-old bay hasn’t done worse than second in his last four races, finishing second in the Saudi Cup in February at King Abdulaziz Racecourse in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and then winning the Dubai World Cup in March at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai, UAE.

Country Grammer is tanned, rested and ready.

And for the record, Country Grammer finished in the money seven of his ten career starts, winning four.

Thoroughbred racing Hall of Famer Bob Baffert trains Country Grammer for owners Commonwealth Thoroughbreds, LLC, Winstar Farm LLC, and Zedan Racing Stables, Inc.

My Saturday Horse Racing Picks for Laurel Park

Laurel Park features five stakes races on its race card, so stand by for some horse racing picks from both the dirt track and the turf course.

Race five — Miss Disco Stakes

This is a $75,000 purse, seven-furlong dirt track run for three-year-old fillies. I’m going to agree with the morning-line on this one and bet my money on the 7/5 favorite, Divine Huntress, with veteran jockey Victor R. Carrasco aboard.

This bay filly finished in the money for four of her seven career starts, winning two—which belies her superior experience and performance at the graded stakes level. Her most recent finish was a second place in the Acorn Stakes (Grade I) at Belmont Park in June.

In this seven-horse field, Divine Huntress is the one most likely.

Horse racing veteran H. Graham Motion trains Divine Huntress for owners Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Long Valley Stables, LLC.

Race six — Jameela Stakes

This is a $75,000 purse, 5-1/2 furlongs turf run for fillies and mares three years old and upward. I like the 5/2 morning-line favorite, Can the Queen, ridden by Victor R. Carrasco.

This six-year-old may mare moneyed eight of her 17 career starts, winning six—which gives her the statistical lead among this competitive nine-horse field.

Rodolfo Sanchez-Salomon trains Can the Queen for owner Joanne Shankle.

Race seven — Star De Naskra Stakes

This is a $75,000 purse, seven-furlong dirt track run for Maryland-bred or -sired three-year-olds. I’m betting my two dollars on the 8/1 deep sleeper, Local Motive, with veteran jockey J. D. Acosta in the irons.

In this seven-horse field, this bay gelding has proven his mettle in more stakes runs than the rest of the field combined. For the record, Local Motive finished seven of his 11 career starts in the money, winning four. Ten of his starts were in stakes races.

His most recent wins include the James F. Lewis III Stakes (Black Type) last November and the Miracle Wood Stakes (Black Type) in February–both here at Laurel Park.

John E. Salzman, Jr. trains Local Motive for Bird Mobberley LLC.

Race eight — Ben’s Cat Stakes

This is a $75,000 purse, 5-1/2 furlong grass run for Maryland-bred or -sired three-year-olds and upward. I like one of the second-favored entries (there are two horses at 5/2 in this race): Jaxon Traveler, piloted by veteran jockey Feargal Lynch.

This four-year-old dark bay colt finished in the money 15 of his 16 career starts, winning six. His most recent win was the Maryland Sprint Stakes (Grade III) at Pimlico in May.

Hall of Famer Steven M. Asmussen trains Jaxon Travler for owners West Point Thoroughbreds and Marvin Delfiner.

Race nine — Deputed Testamony Stakes

This is a $100,000 purse, 1-1/8 miles dirt track run for three-year-olds and upward. I like the morning-line’s 3/1 favorite for this race—Magic Michael, with top jockey Jaime Rodriguez aboard.

This five-year-old chestnut gelding moneyed 16 of his 27 career starts, winning ten. His most recent stakes win was the Greenwood Cup Stakes (Grade III) last September at Parx Racing.

Of this seven-horse field, Magic Michael has the most consistent record for posting triple-digit speed figures.

Among the top 100 in wins, earning, or both since every year since 2007, Jamie Ness trains Magic Michael for owners Morris E. Kernan Jr., Yo Berbs Racing, and Jagger Inc.

Saturday Horse Racing Picks for Saratoga Racecourse

In addition to a big field (16 entries) allowance race, Saratoga brings us the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap and the Jim Dandy Stakes. Time for some pro-level wagering. What’s that you say? This would be a great time for some free horse racing picks? I believe you’re correct!

Race eight — Alfred G. Vanderbilt H. (Grade I)

This is a $350,000 purse, six-furlong handicap for three-year-olds and upward. Easily the no-brainer call of the day, I’m backing the 1/5 morning line favorite, Jackie’s Warrior, piloted by ace jockey Joel Rosario.

This four-year=-old bay colt finished in the money 13 of his 15 career starts, winning 11 of them. His three most recent wins were the Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (Grade III) at Oaklawn Park in April, the Churchill Downs Stakes (Grade I) in May, and the True North Stakes (Grade II) at Belmont Park in June.

Steven M. Asmussen trains Jackie’s Warrior for owners J. Kirk Robison and Judy Robison.

Race nine — Jim Dandy S. (Grade II)

This is a $600,000 purse, 1-1/8 miles dirt track run for three-year-olds.

This could be the tightest race of the weekend, but I’m backing the second-favored (at 8/5) Early Voting, ridden by top jockey Jose L. Ortiz.

This three-year-old dark bay colt moneyed all four of his career starts, winning three.

While the favorite in this race, Epicenter, has a very fine record (all five of the horses in this race have that), Early Voting has already beaten Epicenter in a Grade I stakes race this year—the Preakness.

Chad C. Brown trains Early Voting for Klaravich Stables, Inc.

Race ten

This is a 1-1/16 miles allowance run on the turf course for three-year-olds and upward. This is a big field (16 counting coupled entries and MTO also-eligibles), but I see some clearly superior entries here. Both of my picks here, incidentally, have some good stakes-level experience.

If Luiz Saez rides the MTO/also-eligible Therisastormbrewin into the starting gate, bet the pair to win. The morning line has them at 6/1.

The six-year-old Therisastormbrewin moneyed 18 of his 28 career starts, winning five. The gelding is trained by Rudy R. Rodriguez for Ryan Racing, Inc.

If that doesn’t happen, then back the other 6/1 underdog, Colosseo, with Joel Rosario aboard. This chestnut colt moneyed six of his eleven career starts, winning two.

Wayne M. Catalano trains Colosseo for owners Albert Frassetto, John D’Amato, and Richard Marini.

More Betting Predictions

J.W. Paine
J.W. Paine

J.W. Paine is one of the most experienced writers at He's written for television and the printed media, and is a published novelist (as Tom Elliott).

Paine loves writing about Las Vegas nearly as much he loves living here. An experienced gambler, he's especially familiar with thoroughbred horseracing, poker, blackjack, and slots.

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