Del Mar announced late Saturday that it will take the two races set for the turf on Sunday will be taken off following a rash of fatal injuries on the new surface. I will update the picks in the fifth and ninth races after the scratches are announced Sunday morning. (Editor’s note: due to family health issues, unable to update today)
Del Mar Thoroughbred Club president Joe Harper is absolutely making the right move. They need to figure out this new turf course that was installed this year.
I had a track official tell me this week he could hear the horses’ hooves on the turf course, a sound you shouldn’t hear on a grass course.
I’ve felt all along the course was too hard with all of the fast times this meet, but I also trust turf superintendent Leif Dickinson, who has always been up front with me over the years.
Personally, I think they need to water it more, but who knows if that is the answer. Time will tell but Del Mar will come with an answer, even if that means cutting back on grass races or cancelling them all together for the meet.
FIRST RACE: 1. Tribalist, 2. Bookworm, 3. Rainbow North. LONG SHOT: Droppin Buttons.
SECOND RACE: 1. Take It Easyplease, 2. Desert Steel, 3. Forever Dorthy. LONG SHOT: Soul Flyer.
THIRD RACE: 1. Friendly Banter, 2. Malibu Way, 3. Forever Freedom. LONG SHOT: Street Serenade.
FOURTH RACE: 1. Chati’s On Top, 2. Tiz a Kiss, 3. Passionville. LONG SHOT: Quinnette.
OFF THE TURF!!!
FIFTH RACE: 1. Mega Heat, 2. Ethnic Dance, 3. Rock Me Baby. LONG SHOT: Affrettando.
SIXTH RACE: 1. Nothing But Air, 2. Hollywood Producer, 3. Betty Bing Bing. LONG SHOT: Tim’s Go Girl.
SEVENTH RACE: 1. Miss Mandate, 2. Make the Sun Shine, 3. Starlet O’Hara. LONG SHOT: Wahine Warrior.
Trainer Mark Casse trains both MISS MANDATE and MAKE THE SUN SHINE. MISS MANDATE will be the longer price and she was training great at Churchill Downs before her debut, when she went off at 2-1 and finished fifth. Now with a little seasoning maybe she is the play.
EIGHTH RACE: 1. Kobe’s Back (best bet), 2. Goldencents, 3. Declassify. LONG SHOT: Pablo Del Monte.
The Grade I Bing Crosby is filled with a ton of speedsters and this John Sadler-trainee, KOBE’S BACK, appears to be the only one who can come from behind. The 3-year-old gets a break in the weights and has a strong work over the track. Jockey Joe Talamo rides for the first time. GOLDENCENTS is the horse to beat in my book for trainer Doug O’Neill and jockey Rafael Bejarano. He lost this race a year ago by a head. I will definitely put in an exact box on the top two.
OFF THE TURF!!!
NINTH RACE: 1. Personal Diary, 2. Disregarded, 3. Alexis Tangier. LONG SHOT: Kool Kat.
10TH RACE: 1. Miss Kit Kat, 2. Mom’s Winner, 3. Q’ Viva. LONG SHOT: Inflamed.
@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter
Saturday’s top choice winners: 2 (Go West Marie $5.40, fourth race; Winning Rhythm $11.40, fifth)
Saturday’s second choice winners: 1 (Fed Biz $8, eighth)
Saturday’s third choice winners: 2 (Big Cazanova $7.40, seventh; Grachus the Hunter $11.60, ninth)
Saturday’s long shot winners: 0