Horse Racing picks for Saratoga on Sunday, July 18: Lil Stevie to come up big

Swiss Skydiver wins the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Racetrack.
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Ricky Dimon

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Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports -- just about any and all you can think of! -- and coaching tennis in Atlanta, GA. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me. For Ricky Dimon media enquiries, please email
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There is plenty of great horse racing action to look forward to across America on Sunday, including at Saratoga race track. Here are three runners whom we think look to be a class above the opposition in their respective races. Let’s dive in and take a look at some potentially lucrative plays.

3:21 pm Saratoga (Race 5) – Lil Stevie +300

A son of Bustin Stones, he cost $40,000 as a yearling and has really impressed with his morning work at Pimlico in recent weeks. Trained by Brittany Russell, he’s a full brother to Fleet Warrior and is bred to be a useful. He’s shown plenty of speed in that aforementioned morning work and that will stand him in good stead, as he’ll be in the perfect position throughout the race. Irad Ortiz Jr takes the ride, which has obvious positives, and he has an excellent chance of making a winning debut.

5:05 pm Saratoga (Race 8) – Betsy Blue +400

Finishing second on her racecourse debut, Linda Rice’s filly hasn’t looked back subsequently, winning four races on the spin. She has gone up the grades in impressive fashion and in her two most recent starts, she’s claimed success in both allowance and stakes races in New York. She powered clear impressively to win the Bouwerie at Belmont last time and we are yet to see her limitations exposed. Back down in grade, she’s likely to prove tough to beat if maintaining this level of form.

5:39 pm Saratoga (Race 9) – Mischiefful +800

Ian Wilkes’s charge has won two of her five career starts, graduating at the second attempt with victory at Gulfstream back in March. Switched to allowance company thereafter, she had run two strong races in defeat prior to her last time out victory at Churchill Downs, where she drew off in impressive fashion in a $102,000 contest. This is a tougher assignment, but she remains totally unexposed as a sprinter and as a horse who likes to race handily, gate two is a huge advantage. With further improvement more than plausible, she looks extremely overpriced.

Late Pick 4

Race 7: 1, 5, 9
Race 8: 7, 8
Race 9: 2, 4, 5
Race 10: 4, 7, 10
$0.50 Late Pick 4, cost $27.00

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