08/07/2013 12:27PM

Closer Looks: Del Mar August 8, 2013


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Race 1

Koko Loca (IRE)
Won very nicely over this course a year ago so you know the place suits; that was enough to earn a main-track stakes shot in which she was actually favoried, though she left herself with far too much to do before running on for 4th; things have been spotty since and while she ran 3rd at BHP July 12 she was no threat (beaten 7 1/2 lengths); good news is there's a significan drop for this and again, you know she likes it here.
Speedi Mouse (GB)
Some good work in England last year before coming to the U.S.; first 2 starts weren't very pretty but she then went to GG May 24 for a race at this level and took a nice step forward, rallying for 3rd; that could be a sign she's acclimated to her new surroundings; but while she seemed headed the right way, why hasn't she been seen since, hmmmm?
Smart Striking
Proven a good fit vs. this caliber and comes off some nice outings at BHP; has some versatility, too, though she seems best when she sits and gathers herself for one big run; nice to see Maldonado stays with her.
Distant Image
Dueled for $40K here July 19 and paid the price; drop likely helps and surely she doesn't want to be dueling either; in fact, her best work has come from off the pace; Cerin moves her back to her claimed level and there's a nice :48.60 work Aug. 3 to encourage; wouldn't be shocked at all to see her bounce back with a better effort, but do you read anything into the fact recent regular pilot Leparoux ends up on Love Tale instead, hmmmm?
Secret Cove
Pretty solid veteran; comes off 2 nice outings vs. more expensive and she's had success here, too; Bejarano takes the call and after a decent 4th behind tougher she's worked nicely here twice wince; has some versatility, too, which gives Bejarano options.
Love Tale (GB)
Smart Striking got the better of her the last 2 times they met, but not by all that far so this gal is by no means outgunned; loved that she since posted a bullet :47.40 move at BHP July 30 - that says she's doing well; packs a pretty good punch when in the mood and it may be no small matter that Leparoux, who had been riding Distant Image regularly of late, takes a turn here instead.

Race 2

Inherit the Throne
She hasn't really threatened in any of her three starts but she passed a couple of horses in the stretch in her latest start and she gets an extra furlong to work with here; no real stars in the family but all 5 of her siblings are winners; can see her getting up in time to pick up a slice; consider for the exotics.
Sweet G
She got off to a poor start in her debut at but she didn't have any noticeable excuses when she finished a dull seventh when she ran here July 24; she did come back with a better work so maybe she'll run a better race; 5 of her 6 sibs to race are winners the best being 98K stakes-placed Sweet Tigger; prefer others.
Raja's Rose
She showed some speed in her debut but she got off to poor starts in her next two races; like the way she finished in her latest and it came in her first try over Polytrack; looks like she is headed in the right direction and she could do some serious damage if she gets away cleanly; playable.
Lovely Instinct
She broke a half-step slow but it wasn't that bad and then proceeded to drop well back while never really getting involved in her debut; strong second start stats for Palma, though and she's had three solid works here; 3 of 4 sibs are winners and two of them placed in Grade 3's; an interesting longshot in a weak race.
Swiss Sugar
She took them a long way in her debut and if she takes the expected move forward in her second start she could take them all the way this time; she is the first foal out of a mare that compiled a 1-0-0 record from 6 starts for earnings of $12K; an obvious contender but not sure about accepting what will likely be a short price.
One Two Remember
First from Solis didn't show much when she debuted in the same race the horse on the rail exits; it was just her debut, though, and the past five years Solis has a respectable 15 percent strike rate with 2-year-olds making thier second start in a maiden claiming race; dam could run but the best of her 3 sibs to race has earned $7K; passing.
Patty Wack
Second from Solis owns the best Beyer Speed Figures and she will be running for a tag for the first time; her last two races were both won by next-out stakes winners, Sprout won another stakes here July 19, and she has been working well enough leading up to her first start since June 1; the pick.
Jenneral With a J
Debuts for Craigmyle who since 2009 hasn't won with 13 first-time starting 2-year-olds; sire 1 for 6 with debuting babies; dam was unraced but her only other foal to race won her debut at 2 and another race as a 3-year-old; works from Los Al don't tell us much; passing.

Race 3

Filly makes her first start in better than half a year while stepping back in with statebrds in her return to this venue; she's never gone this short but she did break her maiden at 3/4s last summer and she's working rather quickly for a barn that's had some recent luck with its returnees.
Gets back in with statebreds while making her first start off this sharp outfit's claim; mare was used in pace when beaten chalk at the trip here last summer and she still knows only one way to run; if she's able to beat the rail drawn absentee from the gate she could have things a little easier at this shorter trip; looks like they may have to come and get her to win.
Puff Pastry
Took her a while to get through the maiden ranks and her first with winners wasn't very encouraging; she did suffer through a wide trip after breaking from an outside draw in that one and maybe she sits a better trip from here, but she's still got some improving to do to step with some of these.
Atta Girl Alma
Runner up in her last 2 at this level worked a sharp half mile over the local main track in the interim and she'll retain Bejarano for her first crack on this course; she does cut back a panel here and that may not be insignificant, but there does look to be some speed in here to set up her kick; they'll have her to beat.
Hood goes on after coughing up the lead going a bit further in her Hollywood finale; maybe the shorter trip helps and she does get a pilot who figures to be highly motivated in his return to the track, but if the plan is to try and put her on the lead she's going to have to work pretty hard to fend off challenges from the outset in this spot; siding with others.
Nava Nataly
Lightly raced 4 year old ships back down here for her first start in nearly 9 months; her lone local experience came at the trip and level last summer and she wasn't beaten much at all at the finish; filly has proven she can fire off drills and she does look to get a solid clip in front of her again in here; consider.
Brilliant Melody
Starts from the outside slot in her third start of the yearafter failing to go on late from an inside draw on the Hollywood main track; filly wasn't bad in her lone surface spin down the hill last fall and she should be able to relax more easily from here; cut back to this trip also figures to enhance her late interest and a top turf pilot gets aboard; worth a good look.
Tangerine Tickle
AE just missed in het Hollywood return from better than a year and a half on the bench; she's had 4 weeks to get over the effort and moving off the fence should help this slow breaker; with a sharp recent drill in tow she figures plenty dangerous if a scratch allows her to go.
Ziva the Diva
AE was runner up in her last 2 up North including a big pace effort first time out this year in her turf debut; her early foot could be a challenge from here and she hasn't been working particularly well of late; helps push the pace if she meets the starter, but don't think she'll be around at the wire.
Vegas Rules
AE switches surfaces after a decent pace effort at the level prior to the time off; her lone grass try wasn't much and her game is speed which won't help her much from out here, but her most recent score did come over the local main track and maybe the local return would help move her up some.
Totally Blonde
AE is a limited winner stepping back up to face statebred allowance runners if she gets to go here; maybe she has some bottom from the recent route try, but neither of her turf tries was much and don't know that he'll be any better in here.
Backwoods Belle
Fresh filly makes her first start off the claim by an outfit that's had some luck with its limited runners at the stand; AE has searly foot and she worked well over the Hollywood main track last month, but the dam was 0 for 1 on the green and her other winning foal, SP Bluegrass Reward, a 193K earner, was winless from 3 sod spins.
She's mired on the AE list to make her first start in nearly a year since being taken out of a local heat at the level by this barn; mare has been working regularly for her return and this barn does know how to place them; back numbers are the best of the bunch and she does own a win over the course; doubt she draws in but is a big threat to return running if she does.
One Magical Girl
AE isn't likely to make her first start off this barn's claim and try the lawn for the initial time in this spot; she's been a solid main track sprinter but her sire is 0 for 13 with his initial surface runners and the SP dam was off the board in each of her 3 sod spins; lone sib was 0 for 1 on the green.

Race 5

Oso Smart
He ran well at second asking after being claimed out of his career debut and this colt is a 1/2 to G3 winner A La Reine (5-14, 266k, including 4 of 7 turf starts for 199k); he's ideally drawn in post one at this trip and like to see that he has experience at today's distance.
Papa Turf
Sire wins with approximately 14% of his first-time starters and with approximately 8% of his turf starters, and dam won three of 12 starts for 91k, including one of five turf starts for 43k; 220k purchase makes his career debut at a demanding distance.
Be You
He was basically outrun at every point of call in his career debut after going to post at just over 46-1 and he will have to be ready for a sharper try if he's planning on seeing his number posted on top after this one is run.
Tax Enough
Reddam-owned colt looks like he ran so-so at best in his first two starts racing overseas, but he will be making his first start in America with the addition of blinkers and Gutierrez is signed on.
Carson's Ten
Sire wins with approximately 13% of his turf starters and this is the first foal to race from a dam who was winless from three starts and she didn't make a turf start; interesting to see Gomez get the call for his first turf start.
Bourne Hot
Sire wins with approximately 13% of his turf starters and dam was unraced; he attracted the services of Bejarano for his career debut, and even though that wasn't a sharp showing at first asking, perhaps he's meant for turf.
Diamond Bachelor
Sire wins with approximately 9% of his first-time starters and with approximately 12% of his turf starters, and this is the first foal from a multiple stakes placed dam who won once from six starts for 59k, including 1 of 4 turf starts for 38k; this is a difficult distance for a firster, but this 570k purchase is by a top turf sire and attracts Leparoux.
Irish Ninja
Sire is 0-for-8 with his first-time starters and 0-for-1 with his turf starters, and dam won once from six starts for 49k, and she didn't make a turf start; another firster in here faced with the tough assignment of going a mile.

Race 7

Little Emily
Had things going along nicely last summer/fall but after 6 months off things haven't gone so well this year; in her defense, she's been facing some toughies and when she added blinkers at BHP July 5 she opened up a big lead, using up too much fuel, and fell apart; well, she's still facing some toughies but it's a better trip and more prudent use of her speed could mean she's still got some run in her turning for home - but it's no easy spot to be sure.
A Jealous Woman
A touch of class here; she's a multiple SW and she's usually accomplished her best stuff by using her speed; trouble is, her speed hasn't been as pronounced in recent months; at least should appreciate the class drop so maybe that can help, but you have to wonder if at age 7 after so many tough races that she's lost a step or 2.
Lone turf try wasn't too hot but Baffert knew who he'd be running against here so the fact that he opts for turf again, after 4 months off, is encouraging; certianly has speed and while that lone turf try wasn't much, it came sprinting when she chased hot splits - today she's going longer so the splits won't be as harsh, and she's certainly bred for this game being by quality grass sire Trippi.
May be sitting on a win; she's been on a steady stakes diet since winning 2 straight last fall/winter, and while those stakes foes proved a bit too much for her she was in no way disgraced; only 6th in the Osunitas here July 20 but was beaten jsut 2 lengths by some tough gals; today's drop may be just what the Dr. ordered.
Miss Ellany (IRE)
No denying her sharpness as she comes here in quest of a 3rd straight win; that being said, she controlled the pace in those 2 BHP victories - it maynot be quite so easy to do this time as there's ample other speed signed up; other side of the coin could be that she's fully acclimated to her new surroundings and that Maldonado has the right touch with her.
Hard to Resist
Hasn't been seen in almost 7 months; remember, though, she found herself facing graded stakes types a few times so there's some quality here; also she's proven over this course, having won here in 2011; layoff is a bit worrisome but she's worked steadily, has run well fresh and boasts plenty of strong recent works for this comeback.

Race 8

Must be respected on the drop alone; 1 for 6 dam banked nearly $17K; this is her first to race; like the series of local drills coming to this race and the inside has been very live this meet.
Point Happy
Once they start failing double digit times, the wind generally goes out of the sails and why did he have to take 2012 off?; backers may get a brief threat, not sure he'll be around at the end.
Ancient Stone
Runner rushed up after bobbling in last but note the 2 regressions since the tough beat in May debut; at least there are several multiple race minor winners in the tree; would have liked to have seen a local work.
Triple Jeopardy
He's flashed speed just once; this is a tough sell since he has never run in the money; and he only beat one horse in last, the first on the synthetic; hard to adore.
Maybe connections had this race in mind all the time as gelding ran well here last year in defeat; show horse in last won at this very level next out and the winner repeated in a $$16K N2L seller; surprise package.
Dutch Courage
Second time routing and he has the two races to draw from now; new bug takes the reins, hard to fathom that will be the cure all.
Neil Healy
Shades off, P Val on with a best of the morning bullet last Friday in tow; runner has a feel of the surface now and he did show a nice turn of late foot two back; can't be counted out.
At least soph got a feel of the course; place horse two back graduated next out and the winner repeated in a $40K starter here with a 69 Beyer; stakes winning 3 for 6 dam banked nearly $75K; this is her first to race; due.
Tiz Futurity
He can flash sneaky speed at times; would think long and hard before taking too short a number.
Perfect Jersey
In good hands and he's never been in this soft; dam won multiple Grade 1s, carried speed, banked nearly $600K; 2 of 3 siblings won including Grade 1 winner and over $800K earner Jersey Town; homebred has the blood to thrive.
Affirmed Arch
Can't be thrilled the way he has caved in routing so far; connections would love to see him start acting like top kin Salty Romance, who banked over $225K; look for rider to send and try to steal it.
Mr. Fitzramathorn
Could be more relaxed and aware of surroundings without blinks; SW 11 for 57 dam banked nearly $275K, won 5 routes; 3 of 4 siblings won, each won twice, top earner banked about $45K; one angle to think about: this rider is 4 for 17 for Mulhall in the last year or so.