07/19/2013 5:24PM

Closer Looks: Del Mar July 20, 2013

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Race 1

Surf N Ski
Troubled in his debut, he teased twice, then was inching away in last; 5/19 place horse graduated in next then was a well beaten second at this very level with a 76 Beyer; note it did take him several weeks to post a drill after the win but like fact he got a feel of the strip; note the poor debut came from the debut; still rates legit look.
 
Shining Son
He has wanted no part of turf so far; nice try up north two back and the winner that day repeated and than was 4th in $50K optional land; would expect him to settle, try to save a little ground, then hope the leaders wilt.
 
Congregationalist
The freshening worked to perfection for Cerin last time; besides last, the other race that screams off the page is the top Beyer, accomplished here in a live race; note place horse was over 3 clear in last; he's coming to the race right.
 
Rocky Barboa
Tough beat in the troubled debut, game in the win last time when show horse was over 3 clear and there doesn't appear to be any Clubber Lang's in here for Rocky 3; he looked no worse for wear after the win after the best of 37 bullet on the 26th; rates fighting chance.
 
Orangeyouacutie
Love the series of drills since the perfect-trip debut; show horse in last graduated next out in a maiden $25K claimer with a 70 Beyer; bullet on the 13th was 3 ticks the best over drill posted by Hotradamus, who is an 11-race maiden; probably needs to improve to cash here.
 
Lico
Took awhile to figure it out and he just may have hated the grass race in last; place horse in last took a $32K claimer next out with a 70 figure; note 2nd, 3rd and 4th finishers 4/7 graduated next out; needs a rebound run.
 
Wise Boss
Nothing like a quick turn on an investment to put smiles on the boys back at the barn; Pearson won a 3-pill shake for this runner; troubled in the debut, dueled into submission two back; soph got the last furlong in :12.98 in last; show horse in last was well clear; contention goes long.

Race 2

Shackbamalama
This colt is out of a stakes winning dam who won 3 of 10 turf starts for 157k, and even though it was after a layoff, it would have been nice to have seen him show more in his turf debut in his latest outing; prefer to keep looking around in here.
 
Avare
Stakes winning gelding won his only turf attempt when beating a sharp opponent in Tiz a Minister, and it's interesting to see him being reunited with Bejarano who was aboard for the Eddie Logan win back in December; maybe the drop in class is a concern, but going to respect him as a top contender.
 
Londinium
He appears to be well meant while dropping in class and getting a rider switch for his second start back from a layoff; this is an outfit that is off to a good start at this meeting and going to look for this runner to be ready for better while making his second start as a 3-year-old.
 
Magic Channel
His form racing overseas has been so-so at best, but can't ignore that he's making his first start for the Mitchell barn and that they see fit to call upon Leparoux; prefer to see a race out of this one before backing, and maybe he'll be worth looking out for down the road with the addition of Lasix.
 
Dirty Swagg
Stakes placed gelding ran some nice races as a 2-year-old, and maybe the drop in class can help him find his way back to one of his better performances; he was entered in an 80k OPC going 1 1/16m over turf here on Friday.
 
Tricky Shane
Hat Trick has proven to be a positive influence as a turf sire and this gelding has gotten the job done in two of four turf starts; he had a tough trip in his latest start after breaking slow and carrying ground around the turns, plus he made an early move to grab the lead entering the stretch; he has a live look to him in this spot.
 
Aerial Artist
Have to respect the improvement he's shown since moving into this barn and he's clearly a threat to make it back-to-back wins in this spot; however, he enjoyed a comfortable trip in getting the better of today's rival Tricky Shane last time, and that one might be tougher to deal with given a smoother journey.
 
Imperative
Not wild about Bernardini as a turf sire, but this gelding looks like a decent fit at this 40-35k claiming level, and he showed up with a respectable performance over turf at Golden Gate when last seen; note that his latest start was his first attempt with Lasix.
 
As Good as Gold
Like the idea of this runner getting back over turf, but he likes to be involved in the running early on, and after breaking from an outside post, he might find it difficult to contest the early pace and keep something in reserve for the run through the lane.

Race 4

Broadway Nika
Major distance test as both wins accomplished at 6F; best Beyer speed figure posted on grass and is entered on turf Friday in DMRs 3rd at 5F for Cal breds in an alw.optional claiming ( $25,000 ) for a 77K purse; off the 2-back loss vs. East Sky seems better suited at shorter distances than 1 Mile.
 
Slammer Time
Winless in 15 races since October, 2010, an OTH-synthetic 75K stakes score at 1M and 1-16th; the 2-for-13 record with blinkers on suggests we could see an improvement now that the hood is back on for this; late runner needs a pace meltdown with Brown Boss and Unstopper Topper to score.
 
East Sky
Winning-fresh trainer off the career-best Beyer on turf; been rock solid off the March claim; snapped a 4-0-0-0 synthetic-surface mark 2-back when scoring right on the lead and figures to be a major pace presence here but 2-back win rider was not convinced going to Sizzlin' Joe for this.
 
All de Victors
Has not raced on a synthetic surface since 2 biggies at DMR last summer; last August finished 3rd behind the runner-up finisher a next-out 83 Beyer FPX-starter alw. winner; horse for the course won his DMR debut 1 year ago beating the show runner a next-out 77 speed figure16K-claiming victor.
 
Sizzlin' Joe
Troubled in latest; he is winless on synthetic surfaces and owns his lone win and best Beyer on turf; expected more run in last but lost all chance when stumbling at the start; lone win was a late rush and hopes to move forward well enough 2nd time off the bench to land a share; 1st-time Gomez riding who seemingly had other options here.
 
Brown Boss
Win rider takes Fonz; seems the one to catch off the sprint victory dueling for the front; has not raced longer than 7F; sire won 3-of-11 all victories on SA grass graduating at 1 Mile; 3-for-26 dam (116K) did not race on a synthetic surface but she won twice at 1 Mile on SA dirt; is a sibling to 140K-earner No Peso No Dance (10-for-30) who won all 10 of her races at 1 Mile or longer.
 
Soi Phet
Great sign that his 1st race off the claim produced a new Beyer speed figure Top when loose on an easy lead; does not figure to be able to get away with a 25 first-quarter fraction with these; drilled a good half-mile workout for this and is in light on the scale again; figures to be a major pace presence here.
 
Fonz
Has not raced longer than 6F; is by an unraced sire; is the 1st foal out of an unraced dam; lone synthetic start was a blowout win and has the right closing style to suggest 1Mile is right up his alley; 1st-time Bejarano riding who seemingly had other options here.
 
Unstopper Topper
On the lead in 4 straight starts all at longer; career-best Beyer was his last win right on the lead at longer off a 50-day layoff but is back in just 28 days for this; has Brown Boss and others to battle to the front with then hopes to hang on late for a share.

Race 5

Dancingtothestars
The winner and show finishers from last posted 91-88 Beyer speed figures in next-out BHP-90K stakes and optional-claiming wins; trainer yields just 8% fresh winners since 2012; saves ground stalking the pace then hopes to avenge latest loss vs. Unusual Hottie; will be taking a wait and see approach.
 
I Dazzle
Latest win rider and pilot of last lands on Top Kisser; ran well in defeat at today's distance on DMR grass last summer closing well; in recent sarts she has been more of a stalker type and figures to save ground from an inside draw then make one run.
 
A Jealous Woman
Projects to race on or near the lead for this; last summer winner at today's distance on the lead on DMR grass; she won right off the bench in January which why we expected more run in last; the 2-back runner-up finisher from last Beyered 87 in a next-out SA-Grade 2 stakes win.
 
Closing Range
Super trainer with winners 2nd time off the bench; posted her best Beyer at 12F on the lead but exits a race where she broke 10th of 11; 1st time in California with a major class test for this; Nakatani is 1-for-1 since 2012 riding for the trainer.
 
Unusual Hottie
Picks up 4 pounds off the win over similar rivals beating the runner-up finisher who Beyered 90 in her next-out BHP-72K stakes win; scary if runs back to latest; is perfect since the barn change; she won over the DMR turf at today's distance beating the show runner a next-out 86 Beyer SA alw. winner.
 
Top Kisser
On the lead in 4 of 5 races but latest was on the front through easy fractions and likely won't get off so easy if she wants to make the front with these; keeps the 3-time win rider which adds to the appeal and saw her rate to win 3-back.
 
Long Face
Lone win this year was via DQ; she looked good here last summer winning on DMR turf at today's distance which prompted a DMR Oaks Grade 1 start; wish she showed up with more run in latest when no match for similar rivals.
 
A Time to Love
Faded to finish 6th the last time sent this far; exiting sprints she figures to break sharply but catches a field top heavy with other gate speed; last time racing long was an off-the-board fade; new trainer is 0-for the last-7 first-time out with newly-acquired runners.
 
Appealing (IRE)
Middle moved in last dueling for the front then beat 2 runners home to post her lowest USA Beyer which snapped a 2-race win streak; 12%-winning fresh barn for a 22%-jockey-trainer combo; 2-back win was on the lead and figures to be a major pace presence in a race filled with other gate speed.
 
Maker Or Breaker
Won her only race without blinkers and the hood is removed for this; sire is 23-for-233 with 1st-turf starters; dam did not race on grass but was a stakes winner (4-for-12, 241K); 1 foal to race on turf finished off the board in his only grass start.
 
Silver Hustler
40-1 near-upset when chasing Top Kisser who follows her here; CD win vs. alw. runners was freshened up so was not shocked she ran so well off-the-bench in last; the 2-back winner repeated in an SA-Grade 3 with a 93 Beyer; best Beyer on a wet turf course 3-back vs. the winner who repeated in an AP-Grade 3 stakes with an 87 speed figure.
 
Hard to Resist
Has been in best form in races traveling this far; wish she showed more run in the DMR stakes loss 1 year ago; her 21%-winning long-layoff trainer since 2012 adds to the appeal; won at longer on DMR grass 2 summers ago; winless since May, 2012, at today's distance on BHP turf.
 
Good Karma (ITY)
Ran to the 61-1 odds when beating 1 runner home facing this same group again is ranked as an outsider; breaks widest here which doesn't help the confidence level for a huge turnaround exiting her lowest USA Beyer; last win was March, 2011, in Italy; a tough call.

Race 6

Kimnjet
A steady set of works at five-eighths is on view; his sire won multiple G3s and 173K (offspring of Bernstein have won 10 percent of their debuts); the dam went zero for 4 lifetime; there are no winning siblings to mention.
 
Southern Freedom
His sire won at the G2 level earning 475K; progeny of Pure Prize have won 40 out of 355 initial starts; the dam was without victory in 5 attempts; among the winning siblings is 117K earner Reconstruction.
 
Guns Loaded
Some upbeat workouts from the gate of late; his sire won a G1 and 570K in total; descendants of D'wildcat are 26 for 233 first time out; the mom won 2 of 17 and 18K and this is her sole foal to make it to the races.
 
Wisdom of Crowds
Curious arrival was sired by multiple G2 type Strong Contender who banked 618K and whose progeny have won 5 of 69 debuts; the dam was zero for 6 lifetime; winning siblings include 111K earner Victory for V L T's.
 
Global View
From multiple G1 victor Galileo, who won 2.24 million and whose descendants are 7 for 45 as far as winning their first venture; the dam involved was unraced; winning siblings include 78K earner Turning My Head.
 
Indexical
There are fairly even intervals to the work tab, a good sign; his sire won a G1 and 450K and Latent Heat's offspring are 10 percent winners first time out; the dam won 1 of 7 and 85K; winning sibs include 110K earner Master Achievement.
 
Shakahari
Shows some of the better a.m. moves in this field; his sire won a G1 and 616K; descendants of Indian Charlie are 97 for 602 in their first test; the dam was zero for 4 lifetime; sib to G1 turf specialist Sweet Talker who captured 1.09 million.
 
Dothraki
Displayed improvement in the latest gate drill; his sire won 7 of 11 and 1.87 million; progeny of Rock Hard Ten have won approximately 12 percent of their first races; the dam went 7 for 15 earning 441K; winning sibs include 169K earner Stormandaprayer.
 
Hi Fashioned
The grey was sired by Old Fashioned who garnered 583K including a G2 score (his offspring are zero for 3 in debuts); the dam was unraced; winning siblings include 47K earner Aroyalsweet.

Race 7

What a Spot
Tries synthetic footing for the initial time while making her return from better than 4 months on the shelf; filly proved she could fire off drills first time out and maybe she just didn't like the green when trying winners down the hill; she'll step with older here and she'll need to improve from a figure standpoint, but her Hollywood drills suggest she may take to this surface.
 
Hail Mary
Statebred really took to synthetic footing in the huge stakes score 2 back at Hollywood and wasn't disgraced with open stakes foes prior to the freshening; filly has the speed to be involved from the bell on the cut back to this trip and she's run pretty well off works in the past; one to beat in this spot.
 
Heat Trap
Took both of her starts on the Hollywood lawn and now she'll move in to try open company in her initial main track try; 4 year old has shown the ability to pass runners which is encouraging for an inexperienced animal and she clearly has ability; if she handles the new surface she can have a say in the outcome.
 
Raucous Lady
Just at the local trip last summer and she'd run pretty well out of town prior to the stakes flop in her first start of the year; New York bred goes first time for an outfit that has its runner primed for the stand and a top pilot gets the call; worth a good look.
 
Wild in the Saddle
Got up to beat Cal breds with a light number when switched to this bug in her return to synthetic footing; field's lone 5 time winner will have to step things up in order to go with these open runners; siding against the repeat.
 
Imwiththeblonde
Sophomore tries older runner for the initial time while making her first start in half a year in this spot; she showed good speed here last summer and boasts some solid drills for her return to the races; Bejarano takes the call for a barn that took a division of the Oceanside here on Opening Day with an absentee; it looks as if they'll have her to run down.
 
Woodlandsway (GB)
Sophomore boasts a quick recent dirt drill for her return to sprinting following a couple of also ran efforts going long on the Hollywood lawn; she did break her maiden sprinting on synthetic footing overseas and maybe she has a little extra to offer late here, but despite the likely big price, don't know that she fits so well.
 
Malibu Honey
Lightly raced filly is her barn's second runner in hereand she'll try this type of footing for the initial time; she's shown some ability in her starts and did run well off works first time out; price should be much better than it was at Hollywood.
 
Song of a Witch
Tries better in her return from the 3 month break with a couple of solid recent dirt drills in her; sophomore has only run once on this type of footing and that came before she'd hit her best form; she'll need to return a lot faster than she was pre-rest in order to get in the mix here.
 
Ostourah
Outside drawn filly was pretty sharp placing in her first crack over synthetic footing at the level last month at Hollywood; she's since returnd to work well and she should be able to employ the tracking tactics that were successful for her first out on the green in New York; contender.

Race 8

Barocci (JPN)
He's been very good since shipping to Southern California and moving into this barn, and that was a really nice third place finish he recorded in a G2 event when finishing right behind today's rival Lucayan two starts back; have to respect his chances while going out for a barn that has started off well at this meeting.
 
Sofast (FR)
He's a G3 winner racing overseas, and even though you have to go back to September 2011 to find his latest win, he's run very well against some strong competition in a number of starts since then; interesting to see Leparoux land here.
 
Fed Biz
Grade 2 winner is a son of top turf influence Giant's Causeway and he's run well in both of his turf attempts, including a G1 placing in the Kilroe at Santa Anita back in March; like the idea of this colt jumping out on top of this field from the break in an attempt to take them the distance; 3rd finisher from latest won next out at Bel on 7/6 going 1 1/8m in a G2 with a 107 Beyer.
 
Jeranimo
He finished second in this event in 2011 and this G1 winner is obviosuly capable of putting in a serious bid for the top prize on his best day; mildly concerned that his two most recent races haven't been up to par, but ignore the fields lone million dollar earner at your own risk.
 
Cogito
Relatively lightly raced 4-year-old is clearly very well regarded by the fact that he was entered in the Jamaica and the BC Turf in his first two starts in America as a 3-year-old; feel that there's a chance that we haven't seen the best of him yet and perhaps shedding the blinkers will agree with him.
 
Fly Lexis Fly
Sire wins with approximately 14% of his turf starters and this is the first foal from an unraced dam; his most recent workout looks very sharp, and connections had to be pleased with the way he got over turf in a workout on June 28, but this has to be considered an extremely difficult spot for his first turf start.
 
Middie
Respect the fact that he earned a G1 stakes placing over turf when finishing behind Wise Dan and Optimizer two starts back at Belmont Park, but his career best Beyer Speed Figure was earned over a synthetic surface, and his best effort over turf doesn't appear to be quite strong enough to get the better of this field.
 
Slim Shadey (GB)
Have to respect the type of performance that this multiple graded stakes winner is capable of on his best day, but he does appear to be at his best when he can grab the early advantage, and he'll have to hope that Fed Biz decides to tap the brakes a little bit through the opening stages for that to happen in this event.
 
Lucayan (FR)
He's a Group 1 winner racing in France and he ran a big race in his first start in America when finishing second behind the razor sharp Obviously; maybe there's something to be said for Leparoux piloting another in here, but still feel that this colt commands top contender status.
 
Vagabond Shoes (IRE)
One of two signed on in here for Hronis Racing and Sadler, and Barocci does appear to be the stronger of the two; it is interesting to see his connections send him out in another graded stakes, as if to say they feel that he's capable of better, but he looks like more of an outsider.

Race 10

Dark Timbers
Like the way he was gaining late in last; the 6/15 winner repeated in a $40K starter by a head with a 75 Beyer; backers can point to the fact both sibling won thrice in the minor leagues; hustling bug strings along.
 
Affirmed Arch
Soph is approaching the proper level; he was just overmatched early in his career; he has a lot of work to do to match top kin, stakes winner and over $225K earner Salty Romance; Beyer going in the right direction.
 
Destino
Colt regressed with the shades in last; the 5/25 place horse graduated next out at this very level with a 70 Beyer; lack of speed a genuine concern and it's hard to find the upside after 19 defeats.
 
Neil Healy
Nice try on the but back and he got a feel of the distance to boot; runner got the last furlong in :12.75 in last; look for rider to try to get him to settle, save ground, then gun in the late stages.
 
Patriotic Lion
Flashed career speed on the cut back in last; rider got off to a good start here on opening day but this runner has not lost 25 times because he has a heart of gold; top last-race Beyer in the pocket is an obvious plus; there are still some questions.
 
Tiz Futurity
This is a tough sell as he has never run in the money; beaten nearly 20 lengths the last time at this distance; hard to build a winning case here.
 
Somewhere With You
Hung wide in last but Bejarano got a chance to figure him out; off a career figure, blowout on Monday should have him on his toes for this; he came home the last furlong in :13 flat; look for him in the final 100 yards.
 
Riseseastsetswest
Nice close in the debut and the drop can't hurt; stakes winning 3 for 6 dam earned over $70K; this is her first to race; he could be on the muscle with the blinks this time; interesting.
 
Captain Camelot
Maybe he just needed the last effort; dam third in only start; at least the 2 siblings won 11 times combined; back to the original pilot; got a feeling we have not seen the best of this guy.
 
Dewrag
The hotter the pace the better for this guy; must hustle to match lone kin that won thrice and banked over $50K; Bisono got a chance to figure him out; with his style, he will have to avoid a traffic-filled trip.
 
Milk Man Ray
Split the cast the other time at this trip; and he lost ground in the lane that day; like the draw here but this guy has to pick it up.
 
Thrills and Chills
In for $15K less than purchase price; 1 for 11 dam took a route; both siblings won and top kin earned $55K taking one of 14; legit excuse when he hopped in the air; should run much better on the class dip.
 
Chocolatier
Must be given legit look on the drop alone; 1 for 6 dam earned over $16K; this is her first to race; if this guy can run at all, he figures to show it today.
 
Spot of Thunder
This is a first-time gelding; the extended layoff is a valid concern; dam out of the money twice; this is her first to race; lean toward watching a race or two before getting overly involved.