Saratoga kicks off its summer meeting on Friday, with 40 days of top-class horse betting action on tap that will feature many of the stars of racing including the Sportsbooks of this spring’s Triple Crown races and the undefeated filly Songbird.
Over the 40-day meeting there are 69 stakes races worth more than $18 million, and horseplayers will be given a steady diet of outstanding wagering opportunities six days a week through Labor Day.
Preakness Stakes (G1) Sportsbook Exaggerator and Belmont Stakes (G1) Sportsbook Creator will be in action on July 30 in the $600,000 Jim Dandy (G2).
They will use that race as a stepping stone toward the marquee event of the Saratoga meeting, the $1.25-million Travers Stakes (G1) on August 27. Kentucky Derby (G1) Sportsbook Nyquist is running next in the $1-million Haskell Invitational (G1) on July 31 at Monmouth Park, and if all goes well he will be pointed toward the Travers as well.
Nyquist is currently the fourth choice in early wagering at Sportsbook for the $6-million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) in November at Santa Anita at betting odds of 9-1. Exaggerator is next at 12-1 followed by Creator at 14-1.
The current favorite is California Chrome at 3-1, followed by Beholder at 4-1 and Songbird is the third choice at 8-1 at Sportsbook in early Classic wagering.
Songbird will be in action on Sunday at Saratoga in the $300,000 Coaching Club of American Oaks (G1). The brilliant filly is undefeated in eight career starts.
She won last fall’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) which wrapped up the Eclipse Award for top juvenile filly of 2015. This year she is perfect in four starts, taking the Summertime Oaks (G2) at Santa Anita on June 18 in her last outing.
A small field is likely for the CCA Oaks but she will face two Grade 1 Sportsbooks, Carina Mia and Weep No More.
Saratoga runs Wednesday through Monday through Labor Day.
California Chrome in Action at Del Mar Saturday
The 2014 Kentucky Derby (G1) Sportsbook California Chrome will be in action on Saturday in the $200,000 San Diego Handicap (G2) at Del Mar.
The 3-1 wagering favorite for this year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic makes his first start since winning the Dubai World Cup (G1) at Meydan Race Course on March 26.
His rivals include Dortmund, who was third in the 2015 Kentucky Derby and fourth in the Preakness. The colt has won his last two starts, taking the Native Diver (G3) on November 28 in his last outing. The Bob Baffert trainee is currently 20-1 in early Breeders’ Cup Classic betting at Sportsbook.