Seems like we keep writing about the same things here in the first week at Del Mar: bias and the stewards.
They struck again on Sunday.
The speed bias on the Polytrack seems to be still there and jockey Rafael Bejarano still has his compatriots’ number.
Here’s a thought if you are jockey: follow Rafael. It’s your best chance to win, and if not, finish second. He seems to be making all the right moves.
Martin Garcia has caught on to the inside speed bias, but he also rode a couple of nice maidens trained by Bob Baffert. Socialbug ($3) is the monster she was touted to be and then Garcia got a great head bob in the third aboard Everton ($4). Garcia also rode Spring Moon ($13.80) to a win in the sixth aboard a 2-year-old maiden.
Ace handicapper Bob Ike correctly pointed out it always seems Bejarano rides second string for Baffert and Garcia gets the winning mounts. Bejarano finished off the board with Humor Me in the second, lost the head bob aboard Curly Top in the third and was third on Fascinating in the sixth. Sounds like a betting angle.
As for the stewards, one can argue all you want whether the decision to disqualify Cosmic Heat in the ninth race was right or wrong, but real question is why did jockey Edwin Maldonado have to file an objection before they even looked at it. It was clear to everyone Maldonado had trouble in the stretch aboard Fighting On, but the stewards apparently weren’t going to do anything about it.
And all of this on the heels of Friday’s non-disqualification in the CTBA Stakes. I wonder if any of the stewards need a vacation?
I don’t believe there should have been a DQ because Maldonado created his own trouble by not going through the hole fast enough, but that’s neither here nor there.
How would you like to be the poor soul who was alive in the Pick Six to the tune of $238,499.80 and have your horse disqualified? Talk about tough beats.
After one week at the seaside oval, on-track attendance is up one percent, on-track handle is up three percent and overall handle is up six percent. Now there is a huge Pick 6 carryover heading into Wednesday. It’s good to be Del Mar.