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Del Mar Day 3
A one-mile claimer for $12,500 fillies and mares. Meh! No bet for me. Bold Cleo and Gold Datnoid washed out a bit in the paddock. Blushing Bear Cat and Red Neck Gal removed front bandages in their first start off the claim. Red Neck Gal was bet hard to 4-5, and pressed the pace en route to the victory. She was claimed by Jeff Mullins. Mikey Bones is a consistent filly, and she ran okay for second. Mikey Bones was taken by Doug O'Neill
Sometimes, the best betting opportunities don't arise when you love a horse to win. I've always found myself doing well when I find a favorite that I hate. Elusive Legend fit that category in the second race. He went off at 19-10 despite being away since November, and he only had a debut win on his form. I've said this a million times on the blog, but one of the worst bets in racing is the maiden graduate when he tackles winners for the first time at a short price. It's not about class. Rather, the maiden winner is likely to face more pressure and a tougher pace scenario. Let them beat you at underlaid odds. I have to admit that I didn't know what to make of Lochinvar's Gold. She hadn't shown a willingness to win in her last few starts, but it seemed too early to get off her, and she drew an advantageous inside post for this turf sprint. Plus, the 6-1 price seemed a bit high. I played her to win, and she worked out a nice trip for the red-hot Tyler Baze to win by a nose over hard-charging America's Friend. Nicole's Image threw a fit in the paddock, and America's Friend seemed a bit antsy as well.
I watched this race with my new friend, Travers Manley, and was pleased to spend time with the entire Manley clan at different times during the day. Their enthusiasm for the game is absolutely contagious.
Maiden claimers going short on the polytrack, and no one really stood out on paper. Tizzalating took all the early money off the Bill Spawr claim, but in-form speed Padach took the late cash to go off as the favorite. I landed on Heaven Tonight, a slight drop-down that didn't look very hot in the walking ring (literally shaking as she was waiting for the jockey to mount). Considering her apparent bout with nerves, Heaven Tonight ran pretty well. She dropped back before the turn before uncorking a wide rally to finish third. First-time starter Lucky Mite, a vet scratch on July 4, took advantage of the hot pace up front, and rallied stoutly along the rail to win at 49-1.
After the race, a jubilant fan yelled, "I got it! He had the world record."
What, what, what?
The fan pointed out to another racegoer that Lucky Mite had worked seven furlongs in 1:32 4/5 on July 7 at Santa Anita. It was the best of two works that day.
"A world record," the winning fan excitedly pointed out.
How am I not making tons of cash in each and every race.
The other, now bewildered, fan approached me, and we started to talk for the next few races. His name is Ed, and although not a FormBlogger, is a devout racing fan. He had his Formulator past performances with him, and started discussing trip handicapping and workout analysis with me. A really nice and knowledgable guy, and hopefully, we'll see him on the Blog in the future.
As the maiden claimers left the paddock for this race, two well-dressed couples carrying champagne flutes were being followed around by their own personal cameraman (not a Canon, folks, a TV camera), the cameraman's soundperson, and the soundperson's personal assistant. They posed in the walking ring like Paris and Nicky Hilton on the red carpet, and their walk from the paddock to the clubhouse needed two takes. One fan, perhaps a bit inebriated, got it in his head that one of the ladies was Jenny Craig.
Travers and I were watching the scene unfold, and the fan asked us, "Which one is Jenny Craig? The old one?"
"Oh, I don't think she'd appreciate that," I answered.
"HEY, OLD ONE!" the drunk yelled out.
The couples turned towards us, and scrunched up their faces as if they had stepped in a manure pit. I hid under my paper.
Apparently insulted that he was being ignored, the fan then began complaining about the rich and their snobby ways. It was a bit late for Bastille Day, but "Viva La Revolution."
Although Jenny Craig was listed as an owner in that race, I cannot confirm nor deny that she was anywhere near the vicinity of the Del Mar paddock.
This was the race I came to see. While watching race replays earlier this morning, I was intrigued by Lauren C's most recent race. He broke poorly, raced wide entering the turn, and was stuck in behind horses in late stretch. She was facing a field comprised of five recent maiden winners, and won over the Del Mar polytrack last year. At last, I found my win bet of the week, and I played most of my Lochinvar's Gold winnings on Lauren C's nose. She sat the second-over trip under apprentice Jose Campos, tipped out three wide in the stretch, and wore down the leaders to win at 7-2 odds. Freebiehadthemoves, a recent maiden graduate with an 86 Beyer, was hammered to 6-5, and finished third.
You never know what you're going to see at the track. The fifth race was a high-priced maiden claimer for inexperienced juvenile performers. I was interested in Vladimir Cerin's first-time starter, Deltamax, a son of first-crop stallion Omega Code out of an Awesome Again mare. He opened up at 34-1, and that's usually not a promising sign. Then, I got more than an eyeful of him in the paddock. Apparently, Deltamax got a whiff of one of the fillies schooling before the race, or the scent of one of the fourth race ladies was still in the vicinity. Let's just say he was, erm, excited to be making his career debut. Very excited. So excited that he was going to trip over himself. There was no way I could, erm, touch him after these antics so I passed the race. Not surprisingly, Deltamax broke poorly, and ran last all the way around the track. Fu Peg He Rat made it two on the day for the owner/trainer/jockey trio of Mr and Mrs. Larry Williams, Clifford Sise Jr., and Tyler Baze.
Played a small win bet on Go for Cover at 15-1 for his turf debut, but he had no stretch pop, and finished off the board. Let Us Prey, a European import now trained by Kathy Walsh, uncorked a powerful stretch rally under Mike Smith to win going away. This colt may be stakes-bound.
Wesley Ward is a wizard with juveniles, and his Streamin Heat went gate-to-wire in track record time for 5 1/2 furlongs in the CTBA for 2-year-old fillies. I played Ten Churros, who chased the winner in vain before tiring in the stretch.
Sat out this Cal-bred 10K claimer, but it was nice to see another gate-to-wire winner. Kilmartin Hall went to the top at 16-1, and kept right on going. This track played very fairly all day long, and we can only hope that track management has finally figured out this synthetic surface.
Let's see if I can blow the profits tomorrow. If past performance is any indication, I probably will.
I was at Del Mar today to witness one of the top 3 handicap horses in the country, WELL ARMED, toy with the field in the San Diego Handicap. He ran them right off their feet and was much the best. I think it's time to start giving this horse his due. After all, he did beat HEATSEEKER in their only two meetings. Congratulations to Mr. Casner for all he did to take care of WELL ARMED and bring this fine horse back to the races in such top shape!
Tinky; I believe that you are spot-on regarding A. P. Indy as the most effective sire at 10 furlongs-plus. What do think of Tiznow, and Empire Maker as threats to this ranking? I thank you in advance. Van Savant
Alan, again major thanks go out to you with the contest. Good points there MikeS.
KYL Syndicate, Agree with your analysis of the Meadowlands Pace. Going 3 wide in harness racing is begging for defeat. Yet, it took a world record (for 3 year old pacers) to beat Somebeachsomewhere by a head. I was privilged enough to see the "Beach" last year in the Nassagaweya Stakes the same night Donato Hanover won the Canadian Trotting Classic.
Sund. DMR 7/20 Thoughts Keys and what the heck. Think this card has the potential to score several midprice plays in key races. A. Gryder doesn't have any mts today after a big Sat. 1-2,4,7 2-9,10,8 3-8,9,4,7 4-10(has wo over surface)9(looks his horses are fit)2,1 5-Playing against the speed on trf. 4(really has improved)6,8(Ronnie Mac looks poised for a big mt) 6-think this comes down to 3 horses-4,3,5-7 in a money spot 7-1,5(is this race all bout them?)How bout a wild LS(DD type)9-BM LordatWar(does well on poly) 8-2,4,3 9-Think you can go 2 deep in here. 10 and 1(the one will be overlooked in the wagering I feel pretty good bout this card
Cary, My first name is Travers, not Manley. I was named after the race. Oh and yes I will be at my first Travers Stakes this year. I have waited 19 years to get there and I will finally be present at the Spa to see "my race."
Justin and Sobhy, Good luck to Star of David today in the Colin Stakes at Woodbine. He'll win, right?
Alan, Contst Picks: San Diego - Well Armed Greenwood - Bureaucratic Thanks!
Steve T: You might want to pick someone other than Fleet Caroline to win the 7th race, unless you really expect her to run in both the 7th and 9th races. Annie
peacerules; I have often pondered your very question, but simply ignored a comparitive analysis due to my bias towards Saratoga. This year, however, I have decided to try and play both tracks, as my stints with Santa Anita and Hollywood Park were somewhat successful. That said, I do not expect Del Mar to play anything like the two aforementioned tracks, although I do expect that with my experience, limited skills, and the help of this fine group of FormBloggers, I stand a punchers-chance at eeking out a small profit. As for Saratoga, I must say that I long for yesteryear. Try as I may, I find myself grinding away on un-interesting statebred races, and short, stakes-quality fields. I also am more cynical in my evalation of the trainers out there, and understand that I have nothing to base this on (well, that's not true, I base it only on the fact that Todd Pletcher has a large stable out there, and I don't believe that he is always on the up-and-up). Finally, I am going to evaluate both meets this summer, and make my own determination. I expect that I will find both meets vexing, entertaining, and frustrating. We shall see. Tinky; Thank you, kind sir. Van Savant