Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like?
Saturday, November 11, 2017
After all the hoopla of the Breeders’ Cup, we’re back in action for a regular Saturday of racing at Del Mar. This card features nine races, headlined by the Bob Hope Stakes, for two-year-olds.
We’ve got Robert Criscola (@itsgood2beking) providing FREE picks & analysis of all the action! Robert’s been our main California guy for a while now, and in addition to SoCal handicapping, does a trip notes column for the site every Tuesday! Be sure to check out his work.
Good luck, and take it away, Robert!
We have nine races to consider on this Veterans Day card at Del Mar. Appropriately, the Bob Hope Stakes (Race 5) is the feature. Let’s get right to the action.
Race 1: 1-4-7-8
#1 WENDY’S BACK drew much better than last time, where she was caught wide throughout. She should save ground today and have enough to pick off the cheap speedsters in the stretch. #4 WEATHER MARKET, by Unusual Heat, may relish the switch to turf and keeps Roman. #7 GEE STREET figures once more but has burned plenty of money in the past; underneath only. #8 ROLLING SHADOW intrigues on the switch to Prat.
Race 2: 7-5-2
#7 SALLY SIMPSON coughed up an easy lead last time but seems to prefer stalking and gets a favorable post to do so today. The rider switch to Maldonado doesn’t hurt either. #5 DANGEROUSLY CLOSE and #2 NORWEGIAN SPY both threaten to take this on the class drop. The former was a bit dull off the bench but drilled a bullet going three furlongs to prep for this.
Race 3: 6-2-7
#6 ISHI transfers to the red-hot Miller barn off a strong second at Pleasanton in his first true start (lost the rider early in his debut) and lures Roman; the pick. #2 VIOLENT RIDGE fought for second in his unveiling last month and earned a solid speed figure; respect. #7 MAVERICKS was rushed up after a slow start in his debut and chased four-wide before weakening late; eligible to improve.
Race 4: 8-3-5-6
#8 RUN LIKE RHETT has run second in three straight, all in similar spots, but may finally break through against this field. He should be close to a potentially dawdling early tempo, which gives him an edge over the deep closers. #3 RED KING, one of those who’ll be rolling late, probably wants more ground than this but can win if RUN LIKE RHETT misfires. #5 SUPREME VENTURE has longshot appeal trying the turf for Miller. The pedigree offers mixed signals but his speed could make him dangerous. #6 WALDORF moves up if there’s a scratch.
Race 5: 2-3-5
The Grade III Bob Hope Stakes
#2 MOURINHO was caught late by #5 BEAUTIFUL SHOT after blazing the way early in the Speakeasy Stakes last month. He picks up a furlong today but shouldn’t have to work as hard in this relatively compact field. He may have something left late under Van Dyke. #3 RUN AWAY seems to have peaked since his Best Pal win over this course based on his last two efforts. He’ll also be tasked with keeping the top one honest down the backstretch. Logical, but prefer MOURINHO’s potential upside. BEAUTIFUL SHOT took advantage of an ideal setup in the Speakeasy, which he may not get again. A minor award appears to be his ceiling.
Race 6: 8-1-4
#8 LORD OF CHAOS was close in two starts at this level at Del Mar this summer and is 4-2-0-1 over this course all-time. Bejarano’s choice gets a tepid nod. #1 CROWN THE KITTEN frequently finds ways to lose despite prime chances; perhaps the switch to Stevens will wake him up. #4 ROYAL ALBERT HALL appears to have lost a step in 2017 but is worth including as he drops to a realistic level.
Race 7: 8-3-4
#8 COOL BOBBY was a narrowly-beaten second on debut in a highly-rated maiden heat; the one to beat. #3 PITINO, a $950k son of Union Rags, shows sharp works for O’Neill; consider. #4 GRAYCASTER fired a bullet from the gate for his first start since July, a game second. He also adds blinkers and sheds weight switching to Roman, so he’ll likely try to wire them.
Race 8: 8-7-3
#8 TIZANILLUSION has been second in three straight turf sprints on the east coast but is fast enough to top these. #7 POWDER has won three straight but takes another step up the class ladder while making her turf debut. #3 PAINTING CORNERS is best of the rest.
Race 9: 4-1-6-8
#4 TISDALE was taken back early in his last start and regressed. If he’s allowed to wing it up front against this field that’s bereft of early speed he could run back to his convincing win over a similar group here last summer. #1 FREDDIES DREAM tries a new low; he won a race here in August and has hit the board in five straight. #6 ROMAN TIZZY won as the favorite vs. similar at Santa Anita last time but loses Desormeaux. #8 UCANTHANKMELATER can close for a small share.
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