Del Mar, Horse racing

Del Mar opinions for Saturday, July 22

Preview: The great Arrogate will run in today’s San Diego Handicap and that’s worth the price of admission right there. Jockey Rafael Bejarano seems to be on an every other day binge right now as he had four winners on opening day and two of the first five races on Friday’s card.

FIRST RACE: 1. #5 True Ranger, 2. #8 Looks Good N a Tux, 3. #1 Golden Atlantic. LONG SHOT: #4 Where’s Bubba.
True Ranger has never been off the board in three tries on the Del Mar main track with a 3-1-1-1 record. Jockey Jamie Theriot is 27% with trainer Ryan Hanson, who is 25% in dirt races.

SECOND RACE: 1. #4 Alley Boss, 2. #6 Cherubim, 3. #3 Pray Hard. LONG SHOT: #1 Kaabraaj.
Alley Boss comes out of a key race that has produced two winners from five starts. This colt has been throwing bullets in morning works at San Luis Rey Downs and seems to be ready for an upset.

NINTH RACE (San Diego Handicap): 1. #3 Arrogate, 2. #5 Cat Burglar, 3. #4 Donworth. LONG SHOT: El Huerfano.
Did you really expect me to pick against the big horse? I think trainer Bob Baffert will run 1-2 here. This is just a work out for Arrogate and he should be able to toy with this field.

For the rest of my selections go to:
http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/sports/sd-sp-nahills-del-mar-picks-for-july-22-story.html

Good luck.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Horse racing

Del Mar loving life

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

DEL MAR —- It’s good to be the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, especially on Saturday.

Bettors wager a record $761,679.80 in the low takeout Pick 5, $337,895.94 in the Pick 6 and $822,781.34 in the Pick 4.

Overall, Del Mar was up $1.6 million in total betting handle over day No. 9 of the meet in 2012. Total handle today was $17 million and it was $15.4 million a year ago.

Wow. Looks like no cares if there is an inside speed bias —- and there still is on after two weeks of the meet.

On the track, Kettle Corn ($9.20) beat the favored Paynter in the featured San Diego Handicap.

Paynter, one of Bob Baffert’s big horses who almost died a year ago, was not disgraced in defeat, losing by a half-length in his second race of his comeback.

Baffert said on Twitter: “PAYNTER ran a great race. He should move forward after that. They ran fast.”

Jockey Rafael Bejarano seemed to have a different opinion.

“He never seemed comfortable out there. I felt like I had plenty of horse, but he just wasn’t liking what he was doing. He was right there on the turn, but he didn’t have enough at the end.”

For a second race back, it looked pretty good, especially when you consider Kettle Corn just missed the track record at 1 1/16th mile on the Polytrack. Kettle Corn ran a 1:41.83 and the record set by Zenyatta is 1:41.48.

The other stakes race of the day, the Fleet Treat, was a highlight for another reason.

There was a $200,000 show bet made at Santa Anita into Del Mar’s pool on 7-10 favorite Doinghardtimeagain.

There was plenty of cheering when Doinghardtimeagain finished fourth, missing third place by a neck.

It triggered huge show prices of $8.40, $25.40 and $26.60.

Some people in the press box were very happy to take the money and run.

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Horse racing

Del Mar picks for Saturday, July 27

FIRST RACE: 1. Inner Groove, 2. Night Dance, 3. Lilly’s Perfect. LONG SHOT: Skinny Genes.

INNER GROOVE is 2-for-2 over the Polytrack and draws the cozy No. 1 post going long. Expect jockey Joe Talamo to go to the front and let them try and catch him.

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SECOND RACE: 1. American Pride, 2. Little Shack, 3. Bond Holder. LONG SHOT: Papa’s Paisley.

AMERICAN PRIDE has some experience while many in this race are running for the first time. This appears to be a wide open event.

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THIRD RACE: 1. U R My Candy Girl, 2. Scary Fast, 3. Secret Memo. LONG SHOT: Katey Pie.

Bejarano and trainer Bill Morey are a tough team to beat which makes U R MY CANDY GIRL interesting first time off the claim.

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FOURTH RACE (Fleet Treat Stakes): 1. DOINGHARDTIMEAGAIN, 2. Sweet Marini, 3. Tribal Peace. LONG SHOT: Zuzu’s Petals.

DOINGHARDTIMEAGAIN just won the Grade II Hollywood Oaks and she drops into a Cal-bred stakes to get a little chump change for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer and Bejarano.

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FIFTH RACE: 1. Splendiferous Moon, 2. Bas, 3. Now Hope. LONG SHOT: Patienceisavirtue.

Trainer John Sadler drops this daughter of Malibu Moon after a brief freshening. Jockey Edwin Maldonado takes over and should put her in the winning spot.

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SIXTH RACE: 1. Magic Daddy, 2. Quality Plan, 3. Sweet Sunshine. LONG SHOT: Chief Lion.

Another maiden race, but this one is 3-year-olds and up. Trainer Bob Baffert seems to be putting Martin Garcia on his well meant horses and Bejarano on the second string. That’s what we have here in MAGIC DADDY, a first-time starter, and QUALITY PLAN. Can you say exacta box?

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SEVENTH RACE: 1. Bio Pro, 2. Tom’s Tribute, 3. Swift Eagle. LONG SHOT: Somethings Unusual.

There’s a reason this race is in the Pick 6, because it’s tough. Trainer Howard Zucker always points to Del Mar and is sneaky on the grass. His BIO PRO is coming off a win and moving up in company.

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EIGHTH RACE (San Diego Handicap): 1. Liaison, 2. Paynter, 3. Clubhouse Ride. LONG SHOT: Chief Havoc.

Am totally shocked to see Paynter run on the Polytrack. Baffert hates it. His owner, Zayat Stables LLC, hates it. Only reason must be to keep the last year’s Belmont Stakes runner-up close to home. Still, going to take the “other” Baffert, Liaison. He has a third over the Del Mar Poly and he is 3-for-6 at the distance. Totally left KETTLE CORN out of the top four because think he’s coming back too soon after a second-place finish to Game on Dude in the Hollywood Gold Cup.

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NINTH RACE: 1. Corsa Di Cavalli, 2. Judge Carr, 3. Salah Champ. LONG SHOT: Life a Riley.

CORSA DI CAVALLI is coming off a two-year layoff, but if anyone can get the 4-year-old colt ready it’s Sadler. The son of After Market broke his maiden at first asking at the seaside oval.

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10TH RACE: 1. Iconic Spirit, 2. Tappingintherain, 3. Winning Rhythm. LONG SHOT: Charm Catcher.

Could be a big day for the Sadler barn. ICONIC SPIRIT finished second at this level four straight times and today is graduation day. TAPPINGINTHERAIN is by Tapit and should appreciate the extra distance. She might go to the front on the stretch out.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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