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Monday, July 31
Saturday picks

The Hopeful Stakes
9th Saratoga
Distance: 7 furlongs
Purse: $200,000
For: 2-year-olds
Grade I

The 96th Hopeful has attracted an interesting field of 12, including a couple of horses who are difficult to get a read on. We'll go with one of them, One By The Knows, who has been killing them in strange places like Turf Paradise, Prairie Meadows and Canterbury Park. Granted, this horse has never beaten anything close to what he'll be facing here, but he's been winning by wide margins in fast times. Someone was impressed. The horse was a private purchase and has been turned over to Elliott Walden. City Zip is obviously the horse to beat. He's won three straight stakes, including two over this track, and it doesn't look like he's going to slow down any time soon. Saint Verre is another mystery horse in here. He ran a hole in the wind at Philly Park, where he won a 5 1/2-furlong race in 1:02 3/5. But can a maiden winner from lowly Philly win the Hopeful in his next start? Macho Uno was an impressive maiden winner for Joe Orseno, but ran like an inexperienced horse that day. This might be too tough for him. Wayne Lukas will try and rebound from a horrible meet with Yonaguska and Scorpion. Both have a chance.

Picks Summary: 1. One By The Knows  2. City Zip  3. Saint Verre

The Del Mar Debutante
8th Del Mar
Distance: 7 furlongs
Purse: $250,000
For: 2-year-old fillies
Grade I

Give Praise made the successful jump from a maiden claimers into stakes competition when winning the Sorrento. Will sit off the pace and is one of the few in here who looks like she can definitely handle seven furlongs. Notable Career will likely go off the favorite here, but we'll try to beat her. She faded in her last at 5 1/2 furlongs and might not like the increased distance. Still good enough to finish second here. Sea Reel closed for second in the Sorrento, should be a factor. Euro Empire upset Notable Career in her last start, but might not be able to duplicate that effort.

Picks Summary: 1. Give Praise  2. Notable Career  3. Sea Reel

The Arlington Sprint
8th Arlington
Distance: 6 furlongs
Purse: $100,000
For: 3-year-olds & upward

Bet On Sunshine looks like he should dominate this field. He's 3-for-3 and meets little here. Expect 3-5 or lower, but how are you going to beat him? Chindi looks second best here. He was just a distant second last out but ran into a pretty tough field in the Iowa Sprint Handicap at Prairie Meadows. Magic Doe can set the pace here under Carlos Silva. May hang around for a share after a decent try in a handicap race.

Picks Summary: 1. Bet On Sunshine  2. Chindi  3. Magic Doe

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