07/18/2008 11:46PM

Del Mar Day 3

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Race 1:
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

Race 2:
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.

Race 3:
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.

Race 4:
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.

Race 5:
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.

Race 6:
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.

Race 7:
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.   

Race 8:
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.