Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like?
Saturday, November 25, 2017
Closing Saturday at Del Mar is going to be a big one. There’s three stakes races on the card: the Jimmy Durante, the Hollywood Derby, and the Native Diver.
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!
The Bing Crosby meet closes on a high note this weekend as the Grade I Hollywood Derby anchors the Saturday action. There are nine races in all, let’s dig in!
Race 1: 5-4-8-1
#5 OVERCOMER just missed winning in his last try in a similar spot at Los Al; should be rolling late. #4 AIRFOIL is just 1-for-11 over this course but has hit the board in each of his last four starts. #8 INDAVIDUALIST has the speed to clear these but was lousy in his first start outside the Miller barn when last seen. #1 KARMA KING moves up if there’s a scratch.
Race 2: 13-3-5-7
#13 SLICK TRICK (AE) lures Van Dyke, has drilled well for Sadler, and has a solid turf pedigree; lots to like at 10-1. #3 IPPODAMIA’S GIRL gets an upgrade to Bejarano as she’ll likely attempt the gate-to-wire win. #5 BUNNY YOGURT flew late when she debuted downhill last month and gets extra ground today but has an uninspiring rider assignment. #7 PAVED attracts Velazquez off a solid unveiling in which she rallied for third.
Race 3: 7-3-1-6
#7 DUKES UP gets a big rider change to Bejarano as he goes first off the Bonde claim (19%) off two straight wins; should fly past them in the lane. #3 BEAUMARCHAIS and #1 TRIBAL JEWEL weren’t separated by much when they met last time out; use both. #6 OUT OF PATIENCE lures Castellano as another solid off-the-pace option; last two works are sizzling.
Race 4: 2-7-8-9-11
#2 SPANISH HOMBRE has won his last two turf miles and put on a show in his latest go. His last effort at this level can be forgiven as it came going longer. #7 SALTINI took a big step forward in his second start off the bench when last seen; could have even more to offer today at healthy odds. #8 TRISTAN’S TRILOGY has hit the board in his last two, runs as a first-time gelding today, and switches to Desormeaux. Lone knock is the 1-for-14 career record. #9 SOGLIO and #11 LAZZAM closed in tandem to finish noses apart last time out; both are exotics candidates here.
Race 5: 1-2-5
The Grade III Native Diver Stakes
#1 MUBTAAHIJ was a Grade I winner at this distance two-back before biting off more than he could chew in the Breeders’ Cup Classic; the pick. #2 TOP OF THE GAME turned heads as he crushed HOPPERTUNITY off a long layoff in last month’s Comma To The Top, but the dreaded ‘bounce’ could come into play here. #5 IRISH FREEDOM fits on speed figures.
Race 6: 1-2-3
#1 ONE I’M RUNNING TO, winner of two of his last three, is fast enough to vie with these at a good price; upset special. #2 EIGHT SPOKES ran competitively at this level last year; consider. #3 THE STREET FIGHTER is running out of chances to prove he’s not a moneyburner; his latest loss to 31-1 #8 GETOFFMYBACK bordered on inexcusable.
Race 7: 4-7-6-9-2
The Grade I Hollywood Derby
#4 SHARP SAMURAI won his fourth straight stakes race with frontrunning tactics in the Twilight Derby last time out. He’s turned into a monster since switching to Stevens; hard to find a reason to bet against. #7 MO TOWN impressed in his turf debut last month but steps up in class considerably. However, he was a stakes winner at two and Velazquez sees fit to fly in for the assignment. #6 SOUPER TAPIT, a recent trip notes subject (http://www.danonymousracing.com/trip-notes-robert-criscola-tuesday-november-14-2017/), has longshot appeal while keeping Lezcano. #9 BIG SCORE and #2 BOWIES HERO, second and third behind SHARP SAMURAI in two straight races, are logical underneath.
Race 8: 6-10-8
#6 SAMDAR, a $240k son of Uncle Mo that’s a half to three winners, sports some sharp AM works for Baffert and gets Castellano aboard. #10 CONCUR, second to a stakes-placed winner on debut, switches to Velazquez as he gets what should be an appreciated extra furlong. #8 PRAETORIAN cost a great deal at auction ($850k) and lures Smith for his debut but is working like he may need one.
Race 9: 1-13-3-7
The Grade III Jimmy Durante Stakes
#1 CASINO RED broke her maiden last time out in her first U.S. start off a May layoff. She should improve with the rust shaken off and help Bejarano cap off a good day. #13 FATALE BERE drew poorly but is the class of the field having won the Surfer Girl two starts back. She drops out of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, in which she was a respectable fifth with a wide journey. #3 ONE FAST BROAD, fourth in the Surfer Girl two starts ago, was a game winner of the Golden State Juvenile Fillies when last seen. #7 EVER SO TRUE is still a maiden but missed graduating by less than a length last time out and lures Velazquez.
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