Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like?
Friday, July 16, 2016
On Friday, we’re headed out to Del Mar where we’ve got FREE PICKS & ANALYSIS on opening day from returning guest handicapper Sebastian Piscuskas (@seabass912).
Sebastian has been one of our featured West Coast handicappers for some time now. His picks at Del Mar and Santa Anita appear on most Fridays on Danonymous Racing. We thank Sebastian for sharing his thoughts today. We encourage you to give him a follow on Twitter when you get a chance. Take it away, Sebastian…
Race 1: 1-3-4-2
#1 Hadfunlastnight loves Del Mar. A definite horse for course the Papaprodromou gelding is returning from a brief layoff while working steadily during the break. Before his layup Hadfunlastnight ran a solid race for 16k, running into two of the better runners for the level. The drop in class and the stretch out make sense. The rail hurts and the other speed could prove problematic but there are questions of their soundness so I’m willingly to throw my hat in the ring with this runner. #3 Successful Runner makes his SoCal debut for Hartman, who has brought a string with him to Del Mar no doubt for the ship and win bonuses. This 7YO ridgling has never been off the board and surfaces off of a solid run last month in Kentucky. No works in the interim. Could be the perfect example of a horse who was brought to Del Mar to lose. For a long shot play I give #4 Saddle Soar a look. In his last start he ran into a sharp dropper in Iancol and ran in a stronger than usual race for the level. With a decent amount of speed to run into he could factor in the lane.
Race 2: 7-4-2
Two starts, two rail draws, and two races sent off at the exact same odds: That all changes today for #7 Radish. Finally drawn a good gate Gutierrez will finally have options while riding this daughter of Square Eddie. Her last race was incredibly good considering the winner had a perfect trip and drew off powerfully. This filly is the most likely winner of the day. #4 Starr of Quality debuts with a modest worktab for a trainer who has not had much success with his debut runners. She’s been pointed here since May judging by the gap in works. #2 I’ll Be Around was blitzed on debut by a nice filly and was beaten a head by the filly to the far outside. She drew well that afternoon and had little to offer which troubles me.
Race 3: 3-7-6-8
#3 Rye ran a much better than appeared third in his last start, running into trouble multiple times and receiving a less than stellar ride. Huge jock upgrade with Desormeaux who has been riding with renewed vigor of late. He’s dropped out to near last in his two efforts on the grass but he can be much handier. I like this horse. #7 Temple Keys ran into trouble in March and hasn’t been seen since. The lack of turf racing the last month at Santa Anita likely postponed his return so he surfaces here instead. He’s been gelded and has been training well and gets blinkers. A lot to like. Before his multiple layoffs #6 Do Some Magic was the best horse in the field. He broke his maiden two years ago in sub 1:34 fashion and has never missed the board in three route tries. 15-1 ML is enough for me to take a stab.
Race 4: 3-7-1
#3 My Samurai Warrior responded well to the claim by Glatt and won for the first time since October of 2014 after four consecutive drops. One would be concerned about a bounce had he not come back and worked 4F in 46.4. All systems go. #7 Madelyn’s Wild Max is another shipper for Hartman on the card. He just won for 25k and has drawn perfectly to contest this race. Only one work since May 30th. #1 Drover Crazy never struck me as a classy horse and now he drops in for 20k, where he has belonged all along. The rail draw is a hindrance.
Race 5: 11-5-3-4
#11 Grandma’s Hands is far away the horse to beat. In her last race she chased a stakes caliber horse in the lane in a strong final time. The extra sixteenth will only help her. The post hurts a touch but she appears talented enough to overcome. #5 La Boheme is a very nice filly with much upside. In her only poor effort in this country she was without the services of Prat. No coincidence here. Prat reconnects and the tandem draw a good gate to contest this one. Any extra ground will serve this one. #3 Lily Kai ran third in a Cal-bred stake in her last start to two highly talented runners. She’s been on the shelf no doubt waiting for turf racing to return to SoCal. The effort of her last race should have her in the mix.
Race 6: 6-3-12
#6 Wondrous Cat makes her first start for Koriner after a trainer change. In her two starts she’s been sent off at low odds and has failed to hit the board both times. Since moving barns she has worked forwardly and may enjoy the new scenery. #3 Turf Club Queen has the best back class of the field. Of course, eventually has to stop looking at what she’s done in the past and look at what she has been doing. She should have won her last race and she didn’t. Now she will be another short price, will she disappoint again? #12 Song for Jade was home and hosed in her last and got tagged at the wire. This horse is a stopper and I can’t imagine the extra sixteenth will help.
Race 7: 7-6-2-3
#7 Westfest appears to be another late developing 3YO for Baffert. Those are always dangerous but they are also almost always over best. This horse has never gone off at 2-1 and is listed at 3-1 on the morning line. No shot will he be anything near those odds. There’s no guarantee this horse can pass and judging by the tactics of his last race Bejarano may fear it as well. With that said, if he is capable stalking he will be the one to hold off in the lane. #6 Victory Call was not disgraced in defeat last time. He was poised and fell flat when the winner won in sub 1:15 for 6F. In short; the winner freaked and Victory Call was unlucky to hook him off the maiden win. With Southern Halo on the bottom the Callaghan trainee should be able to route. I love #2 Grazen Sky as a horse and he’s back on a surface that is fair to his run style. He’s winless in four starts at Del Mar but he’s hit the board in three of the four. He’ll be rolling in the lane.
Race 8: 2-9-7
Make no mistake; If #2 Moonlight Drive comes back like the horse he was before the forever layoff he will cruise in here. In his U.S. debut he rallied three deep, while the rails were out, struck the front under a hand ride and burst away when he leveled off. His final quarter was sub 24 and he broke 1:35 in February. For a newly turned 3YO that’s simply insane. Note the worktab, not the times but the frequency. #9 Dressed in Hermes won a stake in March and was then spotted a bit over his head, while not disgraced, in two graded stakes back East. He reunites with Smith who knows and rides him best. #7 Ebadan has been running against older and in his last start ran against a runner who has a big look in the Eddie Read on Sunday. Class says this guy is live.
Race 9: 10-8-4-5
#10 Chief of Staff hooked a buzzsaw in Arrogate in his last start and backed out. That could also have been his “bounce” race so the poor effort can be tossed out. He’s worked okay since and has drawn well with all of the pace in his inside. Gutierrez can give this guy a clean trip from the 10 hole. #8 Souper Knight is back to a route. It doesn’t seem like a strong move but I don’t question Miller at Del Mar especially first off the claim. #4 Got Even is a warrior. He’s winless at Del Mar but he simply will not quit and is drawn to the outside of cheap speed. He’ll be on the engine.
Race 10: 6-11-9-5
#6 Scuderia has run well in the McCarthy barn despite being winless. He’s bred to enjoy a route and gets blinkers for the first time. It looks like he’s turning a corner. #11 Alaskan Son intrigues me a little bit. He hasn’t shown much as a 3YO and that is concerning but he’s now with D’Amato and that is always a plus. Desormeaux takes the call and that leads me to believe this horse can run a little bit. #9 Langham is beautifully bred. 3YO debuters at this time of the year, particularly for Sadler, scare me a bit. This horse could be the goods but I fear he may need a start or two.
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