Best Horse Races Around the US for California Bettors: Aug. 13

When is it worth getting up a little early? When there’s a stacked nationwide program like this one awaiting California horse-race bettors.

California gamblers already can plan to participate in the West Coast’s finest meet, the summer program at Del Mar. It starts at 2 p.m. We’ve got a full breakdown of this weekend’s Del Mar horse betting.

But, throughout the US, some terrific betting opportunities await in major East Coast races, whose cards start in the vicinity of 9 a.m. California horse bettors can access all those races via simulcast at Del Mar or via horse betting apps like TVG.

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Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, which starts at 9:45 a.m., has a loaded program that includes:

  • The $1 million Arlington Million
  • The $500,000 Beverly D. Stakes
  • The $200,000 Larned Stakes and Lady Tak Stakes

And they aren’t only the majors. Every race on the card has a purse above $100,000. And many have big fields.

Saratoga in Saratoga Springs, New York, starting at 10:05 a.m., has several noteworthy races:

  • The $500,000 Fourstardave Handicap
  • The $200,000 Saratoga Special
  • Six other races in the neighborhood of $100,000

Woodbine in Toronto has a nice four-race package for simulcast bettors:

  • The $126,800 Race 5 (Maiden Special Weighs)
  • The $150,200 Trillium Stakes
  • The $150,000 Bold Venture Stakes
  • The $108,000 Race 11

Thistledown, outside of Cleveland, starts at 9:20 a.m. and has one of its best cards of the year. Under a grouping called Best of Ohio, it fashions five $100,000 races. They are:

  • Miss Ohio Stakes
  • Cleveland Kindergarten Stakes
  • Pay The Man Stakes
  • Honey Jay Stakes
  • Governor’s Buckeye Cup

And this is just part of the nationwide sample.

Bettors observe two possible advantages in this menu. They can watch the patterns of races at one particular track and try to get a feel for what’s going on at them regarding pace, etc. They can also hone in on the biggest races.

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Arlington Million, Churchill Downs

This race is 1 1/8 miles on turf. Here are the post positions and initial odds. Betting prices won’t be official until post time, per pari-mutuel rules.

    Set Piece4-to-1A resolute fifth in the Forbidden Apple Stakes, Grade 3, at Saratoga last month. Was dead last and hit the mid pack. Must move sooner.
    Sacred Life9-to-2Nice win at even money at the Monmouth Stakes at Monmouth Park in New Jersey.
    Field Pass8-to-1Beaten both in elite and in Grade 3 company. Did manage to win the Texas Turf Classic at Lone Star in his last outing.
    Smooth Like Strait5-to-2As in straight to the window. Has finished in the top three an amazing 13 times in a row. Second in the Del Mar Mile, City of Hope, and the Breeders' Cup at Del Mar last year. Solid as they come, but has trouble winning. Seconditis. Must now stretch to 1 1/8 miles.
    Megacity15-to-1Second to Field Pass in the Texas Turf Classic. Will have to step up to beat these horses.
    Santin3-to-1Odds reflect respect for winning the Turf Classic at Churchill Downs in May. A perceived home-course edge. No excuses in running in the middle of the pack at the Manhattan Stakes after that. Was in position, second around the turn, but was bested.
    Admission Office10-to-1Won the Arlington Stakes, comes back to a distance that could be more to his liking. Does not have the class level of Smooth Like Strait, but could threaten on his best.
    Cavalry Charge20-to-1Eighth to Santin in the Turf Classic.
    Cellist15-to-1Hung on to win the Grade-3 Louisville at Churchill Downs. Game. May be outgunned, but likes this surface and should give good effort.

    Fourstardave Handicap, Saratoga

    Here’s a look at the Fourstardave field. Odds less relevant in a five-horse field. Most are in the 5-to-2 range, the longest was 6-to-1. No horse was a short price. The distance is 1 mile on the turf.

    Regal GloryHas  been aptly named over the past few months. Trained by four-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Chad Brown, the 6-year-old Animal Kingdom chestnut mare has been on a roll. Regal Glory has triumphed in the Matriarch, the Pegasus Filly and Turf, the Jenny Wiley and Just A Game Stakes races.
    MasenHas been on a good run, capturing victories in the Seek Again and the Poker races at Belmont.
    Casa CreedMade a thrilling run down the lane to nip a pair or rivals in the Grade 1 Jaipur Stakes. Returns to the Fourstsardave, in which he finished third last year.
    Get SmokinHas not won in over a year. Fourth in the Forbidden Apple Stakes last month.
    Front Run The FedComes off a win at the Van Cleef Stakes at Colonial Downs. Otherwise has been in the mid-pack for most major races.

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    Woodbine Racetrack (Toronto, Ontario)

    Here’s a look back at Woodbine, which produced big-time bucks in its finale last Saturday. On the whole, Woodbine fashioned many winners between 3-to-1 and 5-to-1.

    But here’s what happened in a 13-horse field in Race 10.

    Kimono Kate became the 5-to-2 favorite and got the best of 3-to-1 shot Know How at the top of the stretch. That paved the way for Retail Therapist to come bounding down the lane at 26-to-1 and win. That completed a $226 exacta.

    High Treason got up for third at 8-to-1 a couple strides before the wire. That completed a $1 trifecta payout of $544.

    Zippity Day, at 15-to-1, nipped Know How  just at the wire for fourth. That helped complete a big number. The $2 superfecta paid $19,265, meaning the $1 version was $9,617 and the 10-center was $961.

    How could some bettors get this? Other than having an angle on the other horses, the bettor could have keyed Kimono Kate, the favorite, in two bets totaling $12.

    The first was a $1 trifecta key putting Kimono Kate in the first slot with three other horses. Cost: $6.

    The second involved putting Kimona Kate second with the same three horses. Cost: $6.

    Ideally, Kimono Kate finished second with a 26-to-1 shot on top and an 8-to-1 shot third.

    Now, you do have to have an inkling that your horse will run first and second. And what made this ticket is the fact that the other favorite ran out of the money. Nonetheless, this approach will at least put you in the ballpark for some nice payoffs.

    About the Author

    Dave Bontempo

    Dave Bontempo is a writer for California Casinos, and has covered the horse racing and boxing industry extensively since the 1980s. He was an award-winning writer at the Press of Atlantic City. As a broadcaster, he has won the Sam Taub Award for Excellence in Boxing Broadcasting, issued by the Boxing Writers Association of America. He has called major fights for HBO, ESPN, Showtime, and other networks since the 1980s. He is in the New Jersey and Atlantic City Boxing Halls of Fame. Dave shifted gears to cover the emerging legalized sports-betting industry in 2018. He now serves as the go-to authority on horse race betting across multiple websites, including California Casinos.