07/22/2011 9:49PM

Summer opinions


The handicapping notebook fills up quickly in summer, with stuff like this …

# Sure, new bets are fun. But no thanks Saturday to Del Mar’s head-to-head wager in the Eddie Read. Caracortado at odds-on, or Acclamation at even-money, is not my cup of tea. Those are estimated odds, head-to-head only.

# On the other hand, the 5-1 morning line on front-runner Celtic Princess is mighty appealing. Come and catch her.

# Too bad the trainer of Celtic Princess is so cold, however. The CTBA Stakes win Friday by Heleonor Rugby ($7.80) was A.C. Avila’s fifth win in his last nine starters. Sure, Avila is “cold.” As in red hot.

# Speaking of hot trainers, Pete Eurton has four wins and five seconds from his last nine starters at Del Mar and Hollywood Park. That includes the impressive juvenile filly Weemissfrankie, who won her debut July 20 and will reappear Sept. 3 in the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante.

# Caracortado is the proper favorite Saturday in the Read, but later this meet if he runs back in the Pacific Classic, he will be on the wrong surface (main track) at the wrong distance (mile and one quarter).

# Update on the Del Mar “ship-and-win” handicapping angle (through race 6 Friday): 10 starters, one winner, $13.80 total payoffs. That’s a flat-bet loss, 24 races into the meet.

 # Hakuchi probably is not good enough to defeat Home Sweet Aspen in race 7 Saturday. However, South American imports have done amazingly well over the years at Del Mar. Hakuchi, from Argentina, is 10-1 making her U.S. debut in the allowance sprint. Bombs away?

# Am I the only one who considers Royal Delta to be a standout Saturday in the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga?

# Daily Racing Form ace New York handicapper Dave Litfin picked California shipper Plum Pretty in the CCA Oaks. But what does Litfin know, anyway? He only picked four consecutive winners Friday at Saratoga (races 2-5) that combined for a $432.50 pick four (for $1).

# Summer at Del Mar will not be the same without classy veteran sprinter Cost of Freedom, the Grade 1 winner who broke his maiden at Del Mar in 2006 and campaigned here four of the past five seasons. Cost of Freedom, however, was not nominated to the G1 Bing Crosby on July 31 and has not worked since June 26.

# Euroears might knock off Smiling Tiger next weekend in the Bing Crosby if he runs as fast as he trains. A Grade 2 winner and runner-up last out on synthetic in Dubai, Euroears has three successive bullet works including a 1:11.40 gate work Monday at Del Mar. Full speed ahead.