Preview: It’s Christmas Day in July as Del Mar opens. This is the second year of the dirt main track and the new widened turf course. Just a reminder it’s been 3 weeks since turf horses race in Southern California. Last summer Rafael Bejarano let the meet with 14 grass winners followed by Flavien Prat with 13. However, at the recent Santa Anita meet, Prat lapped the field with 22 grass wins and scoring 34% of the time.
Race 1: 1. #3 Successful Runner (3-1), 2. Hadfunlastnight, 3. Saddle Soar. LONG SHOT: My Secret Affair.
Trainer Chris Hartman makes his first appearance at Del Mar, but make no mistake this guy can train with a 24% win percentage mostly in the Midwest. This 7-year-old has tactical speed, which is key on the main track.
Race 2: 1. Radish, 2. I’ll be Around, 3. Veiled Heat. LONG SHOT: Cougar Creek.
Race 3: 1. Glory Bound, 2. Rye, 3. Ace Deuce. LONG SHOT: Preacher Roe.
Race 4: 1. Nextdoorneighbor, 2. Drover Crazy, 3. Madelyn’s Wild Max. LONG SHOT: Cougar Country.
Race 5: 1. #5 La Boheme (6-1), 2. Cover Song, 3. Zip N Bayou. LONG SHOT: Grandma’s Hands.
We have already extolled the virtues of jockey Falvien Prat on the turf, who is on this filly for trainer Richard Mandella, who is 21% with beaten favorites and 32% in allowance races. Mandella and Prat were 18% at Del Mar last year.
Race 6: 1. Warren’s Honey Bee, 2. Turf Club Queen, 3. Silver Oak. LONG SHOT: Wondrous Cat.
Race 7: 1. #2 Grazen Sky (5-1) BEST BET, 2. Westfest, 3. Forest Blue. LONG SHOT: Missing Groom.
This colt owns the top Brisnet Late Pace Rating by nine points so I can see jockey Tyler Baze letting the speed go and closing in the lane. Trainer Steve Miyadi is 23% with beaten favorites.
Race 8: 1. #8 Arcature (8-1), 2. Dressed in Hermes, 3. Moonlight Drive. LONG SHOT: Diplodocus.
Tough to tell what happened in this 3-year-olds last race as he finished eighth. Maybe it was the longer distance as he shortens up here for Prat and Simon Callaghan. Prat had his choice of several in here and takes this son of Archarcharch. The trip will be key here as a full field of 14 is entered.
Race 9: 1. Got Even, 2. Dr. Dorr, 3. Chief of Staff, LONG SHOT: Mad Bum.
Race 10: 1. #9 Langahm (9-2), 2. Airlite, 3. Scuderia. LONG SHOT: Alaskan Son.
This is a first-time starter that cost over $400K at auction. I love this Australian sire Fastnet Rock and his offspring should love the turf and the distance. Trainer John Sadler is 21% with horses going a route first time and jockey Mike Smith rides.
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