07/31/2013 10:30AM

Closer Looks: Del Mar August 1, 2013


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Race 1

Katy's Kitty
Drops back to the level of the outfit's claim following a weak spin against a better bunch that ran her local record to 0 for 4; mare hasn't shown the early foot of late that led to several sharp efforts last winter and fall, but maybe with the weight break and an inside draw this is the spot in which she's hustled early and gets back on track; consider.
Hawfinch (GB)
Four year old was unable to go on after making the top through soft splits from the inside draw at Hollywood last time; she did break her maiden on synthetic footing overseas as a baby and has shown that she can settle and pass runners as well; interim move suggests she may like this footing and the drop in half in claiming price doesn't hurt, either; contender.
Warrens China Doll
Tired after setting moderate fractions on the stretchout to 2 turns in her Hollywood finale; she could again be prominent from the outset, but still has plenty of questions to answer regarding her stamina and this barn has won just once race all year; passing.
Frequent Fame
Stretches out to 2 turns after showing little in her local sprint return first time for this outfit that boasts excellent numbers with runners tackling added ground; she's run quite well going long in the past and has won 5 times over synthetic footing; giving her the nod to get back on track and beat these home.
Memo to Kathy
Tries cheaper after failing to pick up her feet and finishing off the board for the third time in as many local tries a couple of weekends back; neither of her prior efforts on synthetic footing this year was much and now she'll pick up weight while switching to a pilot who doesn't win too often; passing.
Goes first off the claim for an outfit that won with a bomb the lone time it returned with one of these; wide trip didn't help much in that sprint crack here 2 weeks back, but she was ok going long on both turf and dirt up North and though she doesn't have much early foot maybe that last one helps to get her more involved from the bell here; worth a look in a weak gathering.
Secret of Success
Gray has yet to hit the board with winners and wasn't any type of factor late in either of her last 2 main track tries against N2Ls at Hollywood; limited winner looks to have a tough task ahead of her, even against this bunch; longshot.

Race 2

Midnight Lady
2 real nice outings to start her career, a romping win on BHP synthetic June 6, then a good 2nd after a lousy start vs. winners on turf; back to synthetic today but she's dealing with a couple real toughies; at least the rail has been nice all meet, but speed has done well, too, and the style she's shown so far likely means she has to go and get favorite Zuzu's Petals while outkicking Let's Get Frisky; but hey, she's got talent.
Comin Easy
Was gone 14 months but she came back at GG June 14 and whipped maiden claimers on turf; that's pretty darn good work by Hollendorfer to have her ready off such a long layoff; been given some time since to regroup and instead of leaving her in NoCal Jerry brings her south; that being said, it's first time synthetic and first time vs. winners, some nice winners at that, but she's worked well since and it's also encouraging he does not again risk her for a tag.
Smart N Dreamy
Kin to Sky Dreamer (G3 SP) moved forward nicely in start No. 2 to whip maidens at BHP June 21; of course, not only did she have a race under her belt but she dropped in class for that, too; good news, though, is she can obviously run some but now it's first time vs. winners and that winning Beyer (63) leaves her with quite a bit of work to do; nice, though, that Puype does not offer her for a tag and her 2 works over this track hint she likes it here.
Goldilocks Planet
Smart maiden win at BHP June 15, though the Beyer came back very soft (47); then tried this level and turf there July 14 and didn't run badly to be 3rd, but it's not like she was a real threat in the lane (beaten 5 1/4 lengths) and she was fairly well beaten by today's foe Midnight Lady; back to synthetic, which may help, though again her 2 synthetic Beyers mean she needs to find quite a few lengths to run with these.
Lets Get Frisky
Toss that May 19 turf try at BHP (ran 10th) and you're left with 3 strong outings, the first 2 on dirt at SA, and then June 23 at BHP when a sharp 3rd in a race like this; was only a nose behind Zuzu's Petals that day, too; must deal with that foe again but obviously there isn't much between them; Bejarano stays on this kin to multiple SW and multiple G3 SP La Nez.
Zuzu's Petals
No doubt the one to beat off 3 strong outings to start her career; last 2 Beyers (85, 81) are the field's best, but note when she got that 81 at this level at BHP June 23 she was only a lip ahead of Let's Get Frisky; must deal with that foe again here but this girl has more speed and will likely make 'Frisky and the others try and come and get her; 2 solid works over this track since.

Race 3

Thunder Bonnet
Debuts with a solid set of works and the past five years Kitchingman has a 19 percent strike rate with juveniles debuting in maiden claiming races; sire 18/165 with first-time starting 2-year-olds; dam won a couple of sprints; 2 of his 3 sibs to race are winners; not out of the question.
Ritual Hills
Tribal Rule a very good 17 percent with first time starting 2-year-olds; $271K dam was a multiple stakes winner and 2 of her 3 foals that won were winners at two; barn not noted for having them fully cranked first time and the past five years Moger is 5/112 with first-time starting 2-year-olds; passing.
Vegas Bound
She has improved every time and gets a key rider change with Maldonado taking over; no published works since she finished behind Siver N Sassy in her latest, however; dam was unraced and lone sib's only win came on turf; prefer others.
Debuts for Hollendorfer who can have them ready to roll first time; his Grade 2 winning sire earned most of his $1 million running on grass; this is just his second starter from his first crop; dam won half of her 10 starts and earned $54K; this is her first foal; Bejarano attracted; playable.
Nice debut in Sacramento and the 51 Beyer Speed Figure she earned is easlily the highest among the horses that have started; $124K dam won a couple of races on the main track; only sib has won 2 of his 4 starts; past five years Miyadi is 15 percent with second-time starters; contender.
Silver N Sassy
First from Solis took a big step forward in her latest and she was stuck on the rail for a while so she might have won the race with a clean trip; it was a pretty slow race, though, and have a feeling some of the first-timers can run a bit; she is headed in the right direction, though; consider for the exotics.
She may have tipped her hand when she worked a snappy four furlongs over this surface July 27 and the past five years Mitchell has a 19 percent strike rate with 2-year-olds making their first start in maiden claiming races; sire 10 percent with debuting 2-year-olds; all 4 sibs are winners; son in law takes the call; the pick.
Debt Free Abby
Second from Solis showed some speed in her second start but wasn't much of a factor in her latest in a Cal-bred maiden special weight race; dam was unraced and lone sib is 0 for 7; Solis has solid recent stats with horses dropping into a maiden claiming race the first time but others look more attractive.

Race 4

Scorpion Warrior
When he doesn't make the lead or break sharply does not fire at all; a clean start is needed to see very-best form which we have not seen since fresh on synthetic 3-back; faded when troubled 2-back on turf vs. the winner and show finishers who posted 90-88 Beyer speed figures in next-out wins; the winner won 2 starts later in a DMR-150K stakes (91); drilled a 3F-bullet gate workout for the return to grass but cutting back to 5F adds to the appeal; still has something to prove on the green.
Sacred Ovation
7 of 9 races racing 1st at the 1st call so no doubt what he wants to do here make the lead then keep on going; the April winner repeated in a BHP-optional claimer with an 83 Beyer; has never raced this short but has the pace ability to be a major factor from bell to finish here.
Wild Media
Chased the runner-up finisher from last who Beyered 98 taking a DMR-optional claimer next out; his sire is 45-for-395 with 1st-turf runners; dam went 2-0-0-0 on grass; her only other foal to race did not compete on turf; 4-bullet workouts posted on dirt and synthetic surfaces for the grass debut.
Brutally Handsome
Lone win occurred off a 79-day absence but today races off a much-longer layoff for a capable barn with this angle (19% winners since 2012); huge race in August, 2011, just missing on DMR grass vs. the show runner who Beyered 90 in a next-out BHP alw. win; is trying to remember his best form today.
Strong Wind
Stakes winner on DMR synthetic seemingly hopes this one is moved off the grass; sire is 22-for-139 with 1st-turf runners; dam won 2-of-4 (41K) but did not race on grass; 2 foals to race on grass are 0-for-3 combined; 3 of 4 starts racing 1st at the 1st call but is entered in a field top heavy with other gate speed.
Unusual Heatwave
Stakes-placed in his last grass start but has been absent since last suimmer competing for an 0-for-6 long-layoff trainer since 2012; late runner has never been this short of a distance; the previous shortest test was his runner-up placement in the DMR-synthetic career debut at 5.5F.
La Mano Nera
Returns to the DMR turf the surface of his career-best Beyer at today's distance fresh last summer; figures to work out an ideal trip stalking the speed but has to find the missing late punch when the real running begins in deep stretch; good sign the win rider is listed right back.
Cast a Doubt
Sire is 21-for-138 with 1st-turf runners; dam finished off the board in her only grass start; her only foal to race turf Guidence System went 0-for-2 on the lawn; he rated well in last and expecting that same type of trip; has shown big gate speed in career but off last anticipating the same off-the-pace tactics; clearly grass is a ?
Yankee Rebel
Is a nose away from being 2-for-2; the debut win looks even better since the show runner Beyered 66 in his next-out DMR $62,500-maiden claiming win; victorious racing this far in the career debut then fired a career-best speed figure in his green debut; plenty of upside; just his 3rd race in over 1 year with steady dirt workouts for this.
Great sign that his 1st race off the claim was a career-best Beyer when exploding from off the pace to just miss; has never been this short of a distance so getting up in time is the lone issue about backing; 3-back the winner and show finishers posted 90-88 Beyer speed figures in next-out wins; the winner won 2 starts later in a DMR-150K stakes (91).
Eric the Ram
Trainer is 1-for the last-30 with turf winners while he has not cracked a grass exacta finish in 12 other green attempts; last victory was 13 races ago May, 2012, a BHP synthetic 40K-maiden claimer at 5.5F; three-back raced at his win distance chasing the show runner a next-out 80 Beyer 35K-claiming winner.
Versatile sort has fired well on both turf and synthetic surfaces; the 3-back win looks beter since the runner-up finisher Beyered 79 in his next-out CD-starter alw. win; right back in after 10 days ago tiring in New York then shipping out here.
Innocent Man
Major-pace presence racing 1st at the 1st call in 7 of 9 races; the winner from last repeated in a BHP-40K claimer with an 89 Beyer; he beat the 7th-place finisher an 89 Beyer BHP-25K-claiming winner; has never been this short of a distance during career but it sure seems to fit front-running style; would likely press it wide if in.

Race 5

Scatman Blues
First 3 starts came on grass, vs. straight maidens, even trying 1 1/4 miles last time; been freshened, moves to synthetic and drops and the latter could be big; after all, Gallagher is 3 for his last 5 (60%) with this class move; worked nicely a number of times since that last run, too, so maybe the move to this main track is also a better situation; all 8 sibs to race are winners including Stormy Seas (14 wins, $224K) and Stringtown Wonder (21 wins, $338K).
Money Machine
Kin to G1 Champagne winner Homeboykris has shown talent; was a solid 2nd for $40K on synthetic at BHP June 7, then a solid 2nd on turf vs. straight maidens there; back to synthetic and back in for a tag, both factors which may work in his favor; Miller off to a super start this meet and 3 works since say this guy is ready to go and ready to route for the first time.
Mikey T
Kin to G1 DMR Futurity winner Georgie Boy comes off a tough-beat 2nd on BHP turf July 12; at this level and distance on that turf he bided his time and finished well for 2nd, beaten just a neck; O'Neill saw fit to claim him for that hefty price ($50K) and drops him for his first starty for him; that's worrisome but O'Neill is 19% off the claim and this guy's 2 starts for a tag were his best.
Sir Searsucker
No factor in first 2 starts in the spring but hey, not only were those his first 2 but they came vs. straight maidens; freshened, came here after 2 months off and was a decent 4th in a sprint for this price here July 19; move to a route figures to help and that last run also means he's the only 1 in here with experience over THIS track.
Gentle Giant
Debut wasn't very pretty at all but hey, it was just his debut and you can always be forgiving about that first run; that being said, not much was expected in that June 16 run anyway (sent off at 41-1) and he was basically eased; Maldonado saw enough to ride that day but isn't there today; drops in for a tag with some steady works since; that's encouraging, yes, but we still don't know if there's any talent here, do we?
Cruel Spirits
Progressing nicely, even if a bit slowly; showed mnore speed in his last 2, both routes at BHP and stayed on for 4th and then 3rd; even so, it's not like he was a threat in the lane in either as he was beaten 4 1/4 and 6 1/2 lengths, respectively;freshened since and at least he comes out of a good heat - 2 he beat in that June 7 outing came right back to win; kin to Leah's Secret (9 wins, $1.1 million, multiple G2 SW).
Good news is he comes out of a good heat (produced 2 next-out winners); now the bad news - not only was he no factor that day, running 9th (so he may not deserve any bonus points for exiting a key heat) but that was also back on Feb. 9 and he hasn't been seen since; all 3 races came vs. straight maidens to there's a significant drop but the layoff, coupled with the fact he didn't show much of anything in his only 3 outings (all on turf) give cause for pause; at least Maldonado sees fit to take the call and this guy is kin to Tamborim (5 wins, $186K, multiple SW/SP) and Vini Vidi Vinci (7 wins, $65K).
Boss of Me
No real threat in first 4 starts, but it's not like he was disgraced either; last 3 came on turf and in those he was beaten 3 3/4, 5 1/2 and 3 lengths and all came vs. straight maidens; so, now he gets a significant class drop and there are 3 big works since including a bullet at SA July 4 (:47) and big 5f work here July 26 (:59.40, 2nd fastest fo 58 that day) so there's some longshot possibilities here.
Citron Kid
No factor at any point in first 3 starts; in his defense, all 3 came on turf vs. straight maidens so today there's a surface switch and pivotal drop; also nice to see Talamo sees fit to take the call; still, this guy hasn't shown much spark at any point so are the changes enough to matter?;
Cast a Vision
Big 2nd at BHP June 2 shows there's some talent here, but even so, on its own that run may not be enough; remember, that came on turf going 1 1/4 miles; yes, he ran well to be 2nd but he was no factor really at any point in his other 5 starts, all of which came at trips closer to this game; only 2 synthetic tries weren't much either; and while he did run very well June 2, what happened June 22 at about this trip, hmmmm (ran last of 8); worked since and drops but there are more questions than answers attached to this guy.

Race 6

He won the Grade 2 San Antonio at Santa Anita in 2011 but he's never won sprinting and he is winless running over synthetic surfaces; that was a decent effort in his latest race on Cushion track at Betfair Hollywood Park, however, and it will be interesting to see how he runs wearing blinkers for the first time in his 22-race career; some things to like but he could be up against it leaving from the rail and he'll look a lot better when he stretches out to a middle distance.
Fury Kapcori
Came close to winning the Grade 1 Cash Call Futurity the last time we saw him in Dec. and he's had plenty of sharp works leading up to his return so he should be fit enough; the past five years Hollendorfer has a 17 percent strike rate with horses returning from a layoff of 180 days or more; the horse that edged him in the Cash Call just missed in the Grade 1 Fountain of Youth in his next start; Oxbow, who finished fourth, went on to win the Preakness; first time with older horses but he looks live coming off the bench with Bejarano riding.
Goes from one good trainer to another and Mullins can have them ready to roll coming off this type of layoff; horse that won his latest at Churchill came back to finish second in the Grade 3 Jersey Shore at Monmouth July 4; this guy won six times over the Polytrack surface at Woodbine so he won't mind the surface switch; another possibility in a wide-open event.
He might not have the credentials that some of his rivals do but at least he's been running recently and is coming off of two solid races at Betfair Hollywood Park; he won a key race two back and he earned his career-best Beyer Speed Figure when he finished a clear second in his latest; sharp work here July 20 and he could be ready for a peak effort in the third start of his current form cycle; the pick.
Wine Police
He held his own running against the likes of $1.9 million Grade 1 winner Stay Thirsty and 2011 Breeders' Cup Mile winner Caleb's Posse; that was quite a while ago, though, and this is his first start since something went wrong when he finished eighth in the 2011 Malibu; the past five years Dominguez has won with 35 percent of his starters coming back after being away for a year or more, however; first time on a synthecic surfcace adds another piece to the puzzle; tough call.
She Digs Me
This one hasn't been away as long as his stablemate but he just hasn't come close to being competitive in any of his races since he won the Grade 3 Sapling as a 2-year-old in 2011; only three starts last year after he finished last as the chalk in the Grade 2 Nasua in his final start at two and his works leading up to his return don't exactly jump off the page; passing.

Race 7

El Commodore
Showed some good things earlier in the year, and now shifts out west after showing speed and fading at Belmont; graded placed two starts ago and now making his second start off a layoff; still like other more.
Irish Art
Although accustomed to racing shorter, this one is fully capable of going a mile; he has three runner-up finishes in as many starts at this distance; a bigger concern is the layoff of over 5 months; not convinced we will see his best after such a long hiatus.
Old Time Hockey
Was a G2 winner over this course last year; a little concerned about how this one makes problems for himself; note all the times he has drifted or lugged out; and other times he has started poorly; good trainer/jock combo.
Lucayan (FR)
Ran so well off the bench to be second to Obviously in the American Handicap, but then bombed in the Shoemaker when kept closer to the place; many people believe former Euros will bounce after big first-out U.S. efforts; perhaps that was him, or maybe he didn't respond as well to being kept closer to the leaders; showed quality overseas with a G1 win and seems the class of the field; choice.
Ashtar (CHI)
Not excited about this one; he hasn't been competitive for a long time and would seem highly unlikely to turn things around against this group; inferior from just about every handicapping perspective.
Hawk's Eyes (BRZ)
Was too keen first time in the U.S. and might have been raced beyond his best, too; in Brazil he was most effective as a miler; so he gets back to doing what he did best there; improvement anticipated.
Second City
Was bought for a bundle after winning the BC Derby with a troubled trip, but he has really struggled since; other than his effort in the Super Bowl Party - which came against starter runners, he hasn't run competitively for his new connections; pass.
Camp Victory
Runs for a 100K tag here and is sure to appreciate a class drop; he has raced in graded stakes race after graded stakes race; though he has won at the distance, his connections have concentrated him more in sprints, particularly on the synthetic, over the past couple years; blinkers off - perhaps a move to have him settle on the stretch out to a mile.
Kid Edward (IRE)
Exits a productive race, albeit against much easier N2X runners; that was a brave effort for a horse that hadn't raced in nearly two years; that was taxing race, however, and sometimes a race like that can knock them out when returning from an extended layoff.

Race 8

Warren's Tyler S.
Backers have to hope he can respond in the career soft spot; place and show horses two back graduated next out and the winner that day repeated in a state-bred N1X, then was 3rd a neck in an open N1X fray; winner of last clicked via DQ in a state-bred $25K optional on 7/11; pivotal rider move when consider Bejarano is 25% for this outfit.
The Gatekeeper
Despite being forced to steady with no whip, he was still getting to the leader late; winner 5/11 repeated in a $16K N2L fray with a 59 Beyer; there is class on the bottom side as Grade 1 winning 11 for 19 dam earned over $650K; must be left in the mix.
Candy Sweetheart
This is a first-time gelding; in good hands, like the local spins and note she speed he flashed in his debut; runner still has a chance to have a nice career as a full to May Gal Candy, a 12 for 25 over $200K player; try to get a good look at him on the track.
Grand Gambler
At least he got a feel of the strip; don't be shocked if he flashed move speed here; SP one for 4 dam banked about 18 grand; 3 of 4 sibs won, top kin Resonate took 11 of 28, earned about $55K; runner seems to be figuring it out.
In a Wine Tizzy
Bothered early and now up for sale for only the second time; best stuff has come long on grass so this runner may have to come from a bit off the pace here; with a clean trip, it could be a whole new ballgame.
Spot of Thunder
This is a first-time gelding; dam out of the money twice; this is her first to race; homebred was hung wide in the debut; tab tote action.
Know Plans
He walked out of the gate but if he breaks considering the drop, he could run much better; dam lost 5 times; several multiple race winners in the tree; one took a stakes and earned nearly $200K; top kin and full sister Lightmyfirebaby won three stakes, earned almost $450K; not impossible task.
Saint Leo
Gelding has teased several times but there are stamina concerns; he has lost ground in the drive every single time; apparently not much of a work horse; would expect Martin to send hard and hope for the best.
Jeffery's Pride
Can't be thrilled with the local slate; he has been off slowly a number of times and that must be addressed as to what price one will accept.
Si the Ocean
Considering he split the field, the debut was not all that bad; 8 for 41 dam banked $165K; lone half sis to race Sicy took 10 of 40, earned $55K; like the series of drills since the debut and got a feeling we have not seen the best of this one.
Boxcars in the show spot a few times so some may consider him on the bottom of some exotics but after 15 of 20 beats, it's just hard to find the upside; not my kind of play on the top.
Music Is Magic
Truly Met 3 for 41 with debuters; 4 of 5 of G3 winning sire s wins came on grass including first time he tasted stuff; 2 for 23 dam earned over $180K; this is her first to race; could need experience.
Milk Man Ray
Nearly three clear in last, this guy is overdue to hit paydirt; might be the bomb in the gimmicks if he gets a shot to suit up.
One Mint Julep
New bug and blinks this time; the other races with the shades, he ran dead last; it is not out of the question this runner to thrive in time as he is kin to Awesome Gem, who won a Grade 3 at 9 and banked over $2.8 million; look for him late if at all.