Del Mar, Horse racing

Updated Del Mar picks for Friday, Aug. 23

Don’t forget first post is 4 p.m. on Fridays and there will only be seven races on the card. The Pick Six will start with the second race.

On Thursday, jockey Edwin Maldonado and trainer Steve Miyadi took the first two races on the card. They are a good team to watch for in the final days of the meet.

Speaking of teams, trainer Barry Abrams and jockey Corey Nakatani scored their third win of the meet when Starspangled Heat ($15.40) won on only five days rest.

Top trainers John Sadler and Doug O’Neill both had wins. O’Neill now has 13 wins over the last 12 days of racing. Both barns could be live this coming weekend with the big money on the line.

Trainer Neil Drysdale won his third race in the last four racing days while leading jockey Rafael Bejarano won two more on the card.

It should be interesting to see how many wins Bejarano has on Sunday’s 11-race card with former Del Mar riding champ Joel Rosario shipping in from Saratoga.

FIRST RACE: 1. Humorous, 2. One Firm Cat, 3. Change of Plan. LONG SHOT: Space Runner.

There’s that guy Miyadi again in today’s first but he has Martin Garcia on HUMOROUS today. The gelding takes a drop in class and has a good work since his last race.

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SECOND RACE: 1. Steppingood, 2. Heyyoucan, 3. Salt Power. LONG SHOT: He’s a Wizard.

Trainer Adam Kitchingman hits with 30 percent of his debut maiden claimers and that’s what we have here in STEPPINGOOD. The 2-year-old gelding gets speed jockey Maldonado aboard and the jock/trainer combin have hit at a 38 percent clip the last two years.

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THIRD RACE: 1. Meltarib, 2. Ricspretentiousgal, 3. The Only Key. LONG SHOT: Prettypriceygirl.

MELTARIB takes a slight move up in company after a fourth-place effort. Hopefully, jockey Agapito Delgadillo learned from his premature move in the last race and will wait a little longer before pushing the button.

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FOURTH RACE: 1. Sugar Spice, 2. Quinnette, 3. Tiz the Route. LONG SHOT: Granny Calling.

SUGAR SPICE makes a class move up off a gutty victory over the Polytrack for trainer Vann Belvoir. TIZ THE ROUTE was claimed by trainer Mark Glatt out of her last, drops in class and has a big work over the track since the race.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Broker Brett, 2. Green Beret, 3. Southern Sunrise. LONG SHOT: Expo and Fig.

BROKER BRETT is from the Sadler barn and takes a class drop out of a race that has produced three next out winners. GREEN BERET is from the Eric Kruljac barn and he likes to give them one and then put the hammer down second time out. EXPO AND FIG could be live first time out off those decent works.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. MIDNIGHT MUSIC (best bet), 2. Silver Hustler, 3. Topic. LONG SHOT: Good Karma.

MIDNIGHT MUSIC will be making her third start in the country for trainer Tom Proctor and she appears to be moving in the right direction. TOPIC is from the Drysdale barn and she finished third in the Grade I American Oaks. NOTE: MIDNIGHT MUSIC has been scratched so this race is wide open.

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Tuckers Point, 2. Chocolatier, 3. Alkaray. LONG SHOT: On Holy Ground.

This looks like a wide open race as many of these have been facing each other at this level. TUCKERS POINT was claimed last time out by Peter Miller and he puts go to rider Garrett Gomez on board. Look for an improved effort. ON HOLY GROUND has speed and is coming out of a key race.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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