Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like?
Wednesday, August 31, 2016
On Wednesday, we’re headed back out to Del Mar where we’ve got FREE PICKS & ANALYSIS from returning guest handicapper Bryan Simpkins (@bsimp30).
Bryan is a Las Vegas native and works full time in publishing by day and is a horse racing fanatic in his free time. He usually provides SoCal picks on Sundays, but he’s put together a special Wednesday Pick-5 Edition for us today!
Take it away, Bryan…
Today we’re going to take a brief look at the Pick 5 on an otherwise sleepy Wednesday afternoon at Del Mar. Instead of trying to pick winners we will try and figure out which horses must be included and which can be left out while also trying to find value and keep the ticket affordable.
50c Pick 5
Race 1: 3
Race 2: 1,2,3,4
Race 3: 1,2,3,5,7,8,10
Race 4: 1,5
Race 5: 9,10
Race 3: #7 Peppermint Kitty (5-1)
Race 5: #10 Highly Acclaimed (5-1)
This is a really weak race for the level and #3 Californiasummer’s class should carry her through. Her first, third, and fourth career starts are plenty to get it done here and the clockers were high on her most recent work. The other contenders just look really bad. #2 and #7 are easy tosses. #4 has given no inkling whatsoever of any talent. That last race for #5 Feel Freely was extremely weak and this is a big step up in class. She stopped dead in the final furlong and is going further today. Toss. #6 It’s Not So Easy had a promising debut but has remained stagnant since and would need to jump up to beat the favorite. The one to fear is #1 Pattinforadance. I like the pattern and Desormeaux typically brings them along slowly. There was legitimate trouble in the last race, but she is going to be so far behind the favorite early I can’t see her going by late.
#2 Airfoil looks like a vulnerable favorite. He was a void claim last time, takes a huge drop, and Gonzalez bails. We will use but try and beat him. Program numbers 1-4 should get us through. #1 Basmati was much the best last time and fits perfectly in here. Diodoro isn’t going to mess around with levels with a 7 year old gelding who has already paid for himself. The slight drop makes perfect sense and he looks tough. He is the pick. #3 Madelyns Wild Max ran a winning effort rallying at a shorter distance and finishing second to a runaway winner who earned a huge figure. Either of the Churchill or Keeneland races but him in the mix at a price. #4 Dadtaughtmewell looks likely to fire his best effort first off the claim for Hess who legs up his main man Desormeaux (25% win 58% ITM, huge flat bet profit). The jockey change is significant and all he has to do is repeat any of his recent efforts to figure.
This looks like the race most likely to produce an upset. The favorite was just beaten 40 lengths off a 2.5 year layoff and nosedives in class. The pick is #7 Peppermint Kitty. Fast works at San Luis Rey usually translate to the afternoons and this one is working abnormally fast for this level. Miller is very profitable debuting with maiden claimers and Desormeaux is enticed. Very live at a price, but check the tote. Usually when the Miller’s are dead on the board they run poorly. #1 One Smart Cat took money upon debut and dueled and weakened. The runner up came back to win at the level and O’Neill has taken his time getting her back to the races. #3 Patience Lady and #10 Dixie Dame are very similar. They continuously finish in the money without really threatening, but are probably both best used at a price. I’m going to begrudgingly throw in #2 Stylistic as she has to be better than her 2 dirt starts would indicate. Palma has blown up the tote before in similar races and although the clockers aren’t high on the works of #8 Shining Eva, we can throw her in for a couple extra bucks. Although a bad favorite, #5 Pragmatical is working well and needs to be included.
This race can confidently be narrowed down to two: #1 Plane Lucky and #5 Chao Chom. Plane Lucky was almost certainly best in the common race breaking slowly and then rushing up near the lead. Horses in that situation almost ALWAYS fade but Plane Lucky stayed on well to be beaten just under a length. Right after I watched that race I planned to single her next out, but I believe Chao Chom is also a must use. The clockers noted she had a very subpar workout before her last race and she was buried on the rail. She was off slowly, got shuffled back and still made a nice run late. Clockers have her working much better since and she looks likely to produce a very strong effort in here.
The pick in here is #10 Highly Acclaimed. All reports coming from knowledgeable people at Del Mar (both clockers, trainers, and just about everybody else) was that this one couldn’t lose first time out. I remember watching an interview with trainer Adam Kitchingman explaining why he scratched a horse of his out of it’s debut because he thought the horse would win any normal MSW but didn’t want to go up against Highly Acclaimed. Highly Acclaimed was off slow, rushed up to the lead and faded. Victor sticks around and he goes inside to outside. Before the debut Highly Acclaimed and the #2 Drinks at Sunset worked in company and our choice absolutely bowled him over. Very likely winner. Sidenote: the Kitchingman horse won the next day. The trouble is that the debut race came back very slow. The only other one to consider is #9 California Clone. His debut towers over anything anyone else has run in here, but I do find it interesting that it appears Baze had several choices in her including her and ends up elsewhere. Clockers say he is training well.
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