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DEL MAR SPOTLIGHT RACES:
Seventh Race: Post: 1:59 PT
Top Pick: 3-Nice Guy Clay (3-1)
Lightly raced gelding takes a realistic class drop to the restricted (nw-2) $16,000 claiming ranks and appears to have found his winning level. The Brian Koriner-trained sophomore has earned speed figures in each of his five career starts that are better than par for this level, and in a race that projects to have a moderate early pace the son of Curlin to Mischief should be comfortably placed on or near the lead throughout. An easy recent three furlong breeze five days ago should tick him over nicely, so at 3-1 on the morning line let’s use him on top in the win pool and in the various rolling exotics. Main contender 9-Sawasdee can be included to a lesser extent as a backup or a saver.
Eighth Race – Post: 2:30 PT
Top Pick: 2-Cute Khloe (5/2)
Didn’t receive any wagering action (30-1) in her debut but ran a winning race when a troubled second (off slowly, shuffled back inside on turn, beaten less than a length), in a similar straight maiden turf dash for fillies last month at Santa Anita. The daughter of Hard Spun seems likely to build on that favorable impression with three nice breezes in a healthy pattern since raced, so with good racing luck the Shelbe Ruis-trained juvenile seems capable of graduating while offering good value at or near her morning line of 5/2. For protection, you may choose to include Irish import 1-The Wild Gazer somewhere, though she seems pretty short at 6/5 on the morning line. Her form overseas is okay (not great), but she’s clearly faced tougher foes that today’s group and the Jeff Mullins barn generally does well with European imports.
DEL MAR RECOMMENDED ROLLING EXOTIC STRATEGIES:
1st race: 1-Virat; 2-Handsome Ticket
2nd race: 2-Of Good Report; 1-Safe Combination
3rd race: 5-Spiritist; 3-Big Stick
4th race: 6-Opry; 1-First Premio
5th race: 5-Where’s Frankie
6th race: 7-Sister Otoole; 3-Quattroelle; 4-Dramatizer
7th race: 3-Nice Guy Clare; 9-Sawasdee
8th race: 2-Cute Khloe; 1-The Wild Grazer