Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like?
Wednesday, August 8, 2018
The racing week begins anew at Del Mar, with an eight-race program on the schedule. The first race is scheduled for 2:00 PM PDT.
We’re happy to have Michael Tartaglia (@mjtags11) providing FREE picks & analysis of the card. Michael’s a long-time racing fan and an avid follower of the Del Mar meet. You can catch his thoughts on all the action in SoCal every Wednesday here on Danonymous.
Good luck to everyone playing along out there!
It is a lazy Wednesday at Del Mar with no stakes races on the eight race card. But it does lead into a busy weekend with the Solana Beach on Friday, the Best Pal on Saturday, and the Rancho Bernardo Handicap on Sunday. We also see three big carryovers: a $32,111 carryover in the Super High-5, a $40,149 carryover in the Pick-6 Jackpot, and a whopping $91,748 carryover into the Pick 6. Let’s see if we can take one of those down today, or if they will sustain themselves into the busy weekend.
(1) LOB CITY draws the rail in the opener for trainer Gary Sherlock. She returns to dirt after a start on the Los Al dirt a month ago. Her last turf start was against much better but does drop back into company that she can win against. Her back class shows that she fits well and is eligible to improve in her 3rd start off a layoff. It is only her second start on turf this year and I think she will show a lot more of what she did last year than what she did last out.
(7) WAR MOCCASIN is another coming out of the Los Al dirt and making a return to turf. After being claimed last time out, this one looks to get a win on the season when she teams up with Stewart Elliott. Her turf form and speed figures suggest that she is better than much of the field when she is at the top of her game. I like her from the outside.
(5) BELIEVE INDEED is only on here because I really don’t like anyone else. I’m not a huge fan of NY to CA turf angle…. But I really don’t see anyone else rounding out the top three. She has won two straight, turning her Tampa Bay Downs win into a Belmont Park win last out. She would have won more if she didn’t run into Jermyn Street for three straight races at Tampa. Lots of talent – let’s see if it translates to the West Coast.
(3) ABOVE BOARD is coming back from the first race of the meet, where he faced a tough horse in Popular Kid. He now finds himself as the lone speed in this routing affair. Assael Espinoza will have the controlling horse in this race who did just win two back and finished second at about this level at this distance three back to a very nice horse in Rprettyboyfloyd.
(4) PLUM DANDY tried turf against much tougher only 6 days ago. He now gets back to dirt and shortens up. Doug O’Neill now drops him back into claiming company in his second start off the claim from Richard Mandella; his win two back came in a very similar spot on the dirt at Los Alamitos. He does also have a routing win at Del Mar from last year on his short resume that very much helps his case here. Might be able to sneak a bit of a price on him as well. Lot’s to like.
(2) MY FARMER is a longshot that I really like in this spot. Winner last time out with Edwin Maldonado aboard, this Papaprodromou trainee hopes to get his trainer his first win of the meeting in this spot. Last time out, the lightbulb went off when the blinkers came off – this is an angle that I love to play; he may be stepping up in class, but he was stepping up for the third straight time – he is primed and ready and could pop another here.
(4) HARTEL is my best bet of the day on the switch to turf. Flavien Prat is one of the best jockeys on the turf and gets a horse that has been clamoring for a try on the grass. Speed and fade on the main track, dirt just was not the thing for the 2yo first time gelding son of City Zip. Blinkers come off here for Peter Miller, who is hitting at 27% with that angle. The sharp workout last time out shows that he is a different animal and ready to run.
(5) LINCOLN CITY is a first time starter that should kick away well. While I don’t see him winning, his breeding suggests that he will fit in well sprinting on the turf at first asking and should perform well enough to get a piece of the top three.
(8) FLYING SCOTSMAN is a first-time-starter for Jerry Hollendorfer, who always gets his 2yos to do well at first asking. He isn’t known to be the best turf trainer, but this son of English Channel has been working out well in the mornings and could be ready for a good one. Tyler Conner has won 29% of his mounts for Hollendorfer in the last 60 days and placed in 43% of them out of 14 rides.
(1) KELSEYBELLE comes in from Golden Gate Fields and is trying natural dirt for the first time. She has been sharp in all of her recent starts, but coming up empty at the end. I think the switch to a much less tiring surface should help sharpen her up on the rail. I don’t love the short price, but I do think she is the one to watch in this spot.
(3) SPECTACULAR STORM gets blinkers on for this start and gets to have Tyler Baze aboard. Now stepping down in class for trainer Jorge Guitierrez, this filly is hoping that this field is more of what she can face. I like the blinkers angle here with a horse that generally hasn’t had a lot of early kick and with some starting problems. If she can get that ship righted, she might have enough late to kick away from the field.
(7) SNAKED is coming off a very long layoff, last racing in October. Now getting blinkers on for this speed and fade type, I’m hoping the layoff proves to be the cure and she decides to sustain her speed to the end. If she gets to the front, she should be able to take this field gate to wire if she can sustain her run. I think she has a huge shot to today.
(1) MONGOLIAN WINDOW broke a bit slow last time out and was never comfortable, but did make a good late rally; now she steps down in class and switches to Tyler Baze, who has ridden her to two excellent efforts. I really like this spot for her and I think Peter Miller has a very live one on the rail in this turf affair.
(2) ARROWSPHERE romped last time out without ever looking back. But that happened on the dirt. Now she steps way up off that maiden score into allowance company, with a lot of horses who are dropping. That might not seem like a winning angle, but everyone else in this race, with exception of the other maiden winner last out Marjorie E have been well beaten, this seems like a much lesser spot. Peter Eurton is generally really good with last out winners, and I do like the return to turf for this filly after the lightbulb went on in her 14th start.
(4) MARJORIE E is improving well in her last two starts, stepping onto the turf nicely two back and then winning last time out. Just like Arrowsphere, she is making her debut out of maiden company, but finds the right spot to do it in. A live one and a major player in this spot.
(4) LUNAGONNAMOONYA drops out of a state-bred maiden race where she stood no shot against some of the best 2yo fillies in California right now. This daughter of Lucky Pulpit gets spotted in a much easier race by trainer Mike Puype, who is excellent at dropping into maiden claiming company. In a field with a lot of first time starters, that one race of experience might be what she needs to best her competition.
(5) CROSSHAVEN, off her last workout, looks to be a sharp one to start for Andy Mathis. She worked out well and her pedigree suggests that she will be ready to go first time out. She has a very good shot to finish in the money here.
(6) STORMS A BREWN might end up being the only one to show early speed here, if none of the first time starters can get to the front. She is the pacesetter in this race and will be looking to get a clear lead unlike last time out. Already has a good run over this Del Mar main track and looks to come back and do better.
(5) RIVER ECHO gets to play the lone speed train here in this one mile dirt affair. While speed has not been doing too well at Del Mar lately, I will look to that luck changing this time around. River Echo was 3rd on Opening Day to a really good horse in Shivermetimbers. He had a lot of pace to contend with there but today he has none of that. I look for him to grab the lead and go around without giving an inch.
(4) SUPER DUPER COOPER would love to make it two for two this meet after winning on Opening Day. The third place finisher in that came back to win next out and since that start he was very sharp in his workout. He is doing well and is live to come back and win on the slight step up.
(2) KIDMON is going to be trying a route distance for the first time. John Sadler does well with first time route horses and very well with sprint to route. Flavien Prat gets aboard here which helps me lean towards this is a good sign. He has had time off and is coming into this spot with a lot to like. Let’s see if he has enough to win this one here.
(10) AWESOME E K has the right running style for this spot. Although the connections might not be having the best of luck at Del Mar this meeting, this gelding find himself a spot built for him. Coming off a long layoff, this horse towers over the competition speed figure wise and has improved in his last three. He was third last out in May to a next out winner and gets to keep Israel Ocampa aboard, who seemed to figure this horse out last time.
(4) WELLDIDYOUGETIT improved bigtime in his switch to dirt. Tyler Baze stays aboard for Mark Glatt as he looks to improve even more on that last effort. He had that last run come over this Del Mar track and gets a field of a lot of horses that are tailing off in form. He may be ready to win in this spot, or at the very least run very well.
(2) BLAZE OF GLORY for David Jacobson already has two starts on the meeting. The first one was a good tune-up where he was wide off the far turn and didn’t get the going while the second was a strong run near the front to finish just a length short. Now getting Geovanni Franco, this son of Street Sense is one to take very seriously here.
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