Del Mar, Horse racing

Updated Del Mar picks for Saturday, Aug. 31

FIRST RACE: 1. NIGHT DANCE (best bet), 2. Suances Flower, 3. One Magical Girl. LONG SHOT: Rossi Reserve.

Trainer Mike Mitchell is always competitive in the claiming ranks. He’s trying something different here with NIGHT DANCE as he goes route to sprint with this 4-year-old filly. But one area where Mitchell really excels is third off the layoff. He’s 6-for-9 the last three years at Del Mar in that category so go with the flow.


SECOND RACE: 1. Southern Freedom, 2. Confisio, 3. Bourne Hot. LONG SHOT: Even Echo.

SOUTHERN FREEDOM is sitting on a win and is bred to love two-run trip on the Polytrack for 2-year-olds. Mike Smith takes over for an absent Julien Leparoux as Jerry Hollendorfer.


THIRD RACE: 1. Danderek, 2. Senator Bob, 3. Husband’s Folly. LONG SHOT: So Elite.

Hollendorfer tries to go back-to-back here as DANDEREK went wire-to-wire last time and now takes a minor drop in class. Jockey Rafael Bejarano is at Saratoga on Saturday so Corey Nakatani takes over.


FOURTH RACE: 1. Cautious Giant, 2. New Year’s Day, 3. Carson’s Ten. LONG SHOT: Candy Boy.

CAUTIOUS GIANT comes from the Jerry Quinn/Carla Gaines barn. He got off to a slow start in his debut, but make no mistake he is bred top and bottom to go around two turns, which he attempts here.


FIFTH RACE (Harry F. Brubaker Stakes): 1. Liaison, 2. Hawk’s Eyes, 3. Sky Kingdom. LONG SHOT: Summer Hit.

LIAISON was suppose to run in the Pacific Classic last weekend, but was scratched to run in this spot. He finished a disappointing sixth in the San Diego Handicap, but might be due to turn it around.


SIXTH RACE: 1. Socialbug, 2. Llandudno, 3. Tribal Peace. LONG SHOT: Spring Breeze.

SOCIALBUG was outstanding first time out for trainer Bob Baffert and while she might have missed some time after her July 21 maiden win, she appears to training just fine to make it 2-for-2 lifetime.


SEVENTH RACE: 1. Swissarella, 2. Stole a Kiss, 3. Eddies Curl. LONG SHOT: Keepnherinthedark.

SWISSARELLA and STOLE A KISS come out of the Sunday Rules maiden race. All Sunday Rules did was win a Cal-bred stakes race on Wednesday. SWISSARELLA has tactical speed and jockey Gary Stevens retains the mount.


EIGHTH RACE: 1. Blue Tone, 2. Northern Iowa, 3. Tiz the Truth. LONG SHOT: Indycott.

BLUE TONE was the 8-5 favorite last time at this level and finished third while pressing the pace all the way around. He has had a good work since that race and Smith takes over for Bejarano.


NINTH RACE (Grade I Del Mar Debutante): 1. She’s a Tiger, 2. Awesome Baby, 3. Fascinating. LONG SHOT: Bajan.

SHE’S A TIGER finished a half-length behind Concave in the Sorrento Stakes. Trainer Jeff Bonde puts blinkers on here and Stevens takes over for Frank Alvarado in the saddle.


10TH RACE: 1. Rookie Sensation, 2. This One’s for Mel, 3. Cacau. LONG SHOT: Heir of Storm.

Jockey Victor Espinoza had the choice of three horses in this spot and he chooses ROOKIE SENSATION, who lost by a neck to the highly regarded Surfcup.


11TH RACE: 1. Wasted At Midnight, 2. Perfectamente, 3. The Magic Stone. LONG SHOT: Miss Charming.

WASTED AT MIDNIGHT finished four lengths behind the aforementioned SOCIALBUG in her first race in 11 months last time. She should be fitter in this spot.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter


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