Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s Daily Del Mar Handicapping Analysis, Wagering Strategies, and Workout Commentary identify those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.
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Grade A=Highest degree of confidence
Grade B=Solid Play.
Grade C=Least preferred or pass
Grade X=probable winner but likely at odds too short to play
RACE 1: Post: 1:30 PT Grade: B-
Main ticket: (in order of preference): 2-Hondo Crouch; 3-California Tiger
Forecast: Hondo Crouch earned a career top speed figure when second in a similar state-bred maiden special weight sprint here last month and not much more will be needed to earn his diploma in this moderate affair. The Mark Glatt-trained gelding should settle in the second flight and have dead aim and every chance from the quarter pole home. California Tiger, a beaten favorite when fifth the same race our top pick exits, gets off the race and probably will be in the first flight throughout. His race before last – a nose defeat last spring at Santa Anita – charts quite well and makes him a “must use” in rolling exotic play.
RACE 2: Post: 2:04 PT Grade: B+
Main ticket: (in order of preference): 1-Precocious Times; 7-In Your Face.
Forecast: Precocious Times lands the good rail and is guaranteed to soft, ground-saving trip. She ran into a roadblock when third in a similar affair, and a strong case can be made she actually should have won. With clear sailing today, the John Sadler-trained filly should be along in time. In Your Face makes her second start off a layoff and should be fitter and sharper today after finishing second in the same race our top pick exits. She has a prior win over the local lawn and with expected improvement today the Peter Eurton-trained daughter of Violence projects to settle in the second flight and then produce a dangerous late kick.
RACE 3: Post: 2:36 PT Grade: B+
Main ticket (in order of preference): 5-Breakfast Ride; 6-Divine Armor
Forecast: Breakfast Ride, a first-off-the-claim play for Peter Miller, makes his first start since being gelded, so we’re expecting the son of Distorted Humor to improve considerably over a main track we know he prefers. There are a couple of speed types drawn inside, so we anticipate him settling in the second flight outside and then responding when called upon. Additionally, he’s reunited with “win rider” Juan Hernandez, another najor plus factor. Divine Armor was scratched yesterday for this spot and probably can improve his last outing. However, the barn has been ice cold in recent months and makes him hard to back with confidence.
RACE 4: Post: 3:07 PT Grade: B+
Main ticket (in order of preference): 3-Daddysruby; 4-Gentle
Forecast: Daddysruby is undefeated in three starts and moves into open company after handling state-bred rivals over the local lawn in gate to wire fashion last month with a career top speed figure. She’s certainly not a need-the-lead type, so top rider Juan Hernandez can assess the early pace flow and pick his strategy. Gentle was very impressive in victory when breaking her maiden fresh off the place last month over this course and distance while earning speed figure good enough to win right back at this level. She needs to be held up early before producing her strong late kick.
RACE 5: Post: 3:38 PT Grade: C+
Main ticket (in order of preference): 5-Strange Addiction
Forecast: Strange Addiction doesn’t have a whole lot to beat in this maiden $50,000 claiming abbreviated sprint so we’ll go with her on top but without any great degree of confidence in a race that really offers no viable alternative. This will be her first start in a seller and the class drop should make a winning difference. The daughter of Good Magic is listed as the 5/2 morning line favorite, and we probably should not take much less.
RACE 6: Post: 4:10 PT Grade: C+
Main ticket (in order of preference): 10-Over Attracted; 7-Teen Drama.
Backups/Savers/Underneath: 8-Inner Beauty, 12-Rakassah.
Forecast: Over Attracted was overmatched in the Osunitas Stakes around two turns but today drops in class and backs up to a sprint,. A two time winner over the local lawn and arguably most effective going short, she projects to enjoy a comfortable second flight trip and have her chance to tag the speed close home. Teen Drama just won at this level over this course last month with a solid number, and if she can turn in two alike the Steve Knapp-trained filly can be dangerous again. We’ll sink or swim using just these two on our main ticket but if you feel the need to include a few more, go right ahead.
RACE 7: Post: 4:40 PT Grade: B+
Main ticket (in order of preference): 6-Mr Fisk; 1-Tahoe Sunrise
Forecast: Mr Fisk had a disastrous trip in the Oceanside Stakes on grass, so just toss that race out and key on his excellent runner up performance behind Geaux Rocket Ride in the Affirmed Stakes at Santa Anita. He’s reunited with “win rider” Juan Hernandez and could produce a winning late kick if given the patient ride he prefers. Trainer Bob Baffert’s other entrant has a big chance as well. Tahoe Sunrise stretches out for the first time and based on pedigree the son of American Pharoah should handle the trip. From his inside draw, he might be wise to take the initiative as the controlling speed, and with steadily rising speed figures he could easily be this good at 4-1 on the morning line.
RACE 8: Post: 5:10 PT Grade: C+
Main ticket (in order of preference): 3-Don’t Ju Forget; 11-Cornelia Fort; 12-Golden Again
Forecast: Don’t Ju Forget seems as good as any in this first level allowance turf raffle for fillies and mares. Second in her last pair with solid numbers, the daughter of Misremembered is drawn nicely inside and should settle into an ideal second flight, ground-saving trip and have every chance when the pressure is turned on. She’s unproven around two turns but we still believe that under the right conditions she can handle the distance. Cornelia Fort and Golden Again have form that make them contenders but are drawn poorly for this distance and will need some luck to get over and save ground before the field hits the clubhouse turn. Tread lightly here.
RACE 9: Post: 5:40 PT Grade: B+
Main ticket (in order of preference): 9-She Is Romantic
Backups/Savers/Underneath: 5-Spice; 3-Tap Your Dream.
Forecast: She Is Romantic had enough trouble from her rail post position to cost her a chance when debuting in a similar maiden main track sprint for juvenile fillies last month. The Peter Eurton-trained daughter of Blame, a $550,000 OBS April sale purchase, remains highly regarded and should be given a chance to step forward big time from today’s much better post. Two nice easy breezes since raced should tick her over nicely. Spice and Tap Your Dream were impressive in the preview sessions at their respective sales and both could be live at first asking. Toss then in for protection.
RACE 10: Post: 6:10 PT Grade: A-
Main ticket: (in order of preference): 5-Almendares; 2-Conclude
Forecast: We absolutely loved the way Almendras blew past his outclassed rivals in his U.S. debut in a much softer allowance event earlier this meeting and despite the step up class we think the Phil D’Amato-trained gelding can handle this tougher assignment, especially with an extra furlong to work with. We expect to see him settled somewhere in mid-pack and then be ready to cut loose when given his cue at the head of the lane. D’Amato also will saddle the morning line favorite, Conclude, who is a quality colt but may be challenged by today’s trip. If allowed to cruise early without being pressured, the son of Collected could take this field a very long way.
RACE 11: Post: 6:40 PT Grade: B
Main ticket: (in order of preference): 6-Big Hand; 1-James Gang
Forecast: Big Hand is the one to beat in the nightcap, assuming he has one good one left. The Tim Yakteen-trained gelding plummets to the $16,000 restricted (nw-2) claiming level after failing to be competitive in a string of allowances races, so it appears he’s simply being culled from the stable. At 4-1 on the morning line he’d be a reasonable gamble, but we suspect he’ll go lower in this six furlong main track dash. James Gang is a “must use” in his first start since being claimed for Doug O’Neill for this price last month. We like the blinkers off maneuver and the bullet gate drill since raced.