07/24/2013 4:21PM

Closer Looks: Del Mar July 26, 2013


DRF Plus Preview

Race 2

Distinctiv Passion
Sire With Distinction gets over 3% first time turf winners, over 8% overall turf winners, according to DRF site stats; sire won 6 of 29 for $447K, was G3 SW, G2/G3 SP, off board only turf try; 2 of 5 sibs are winners including full-bro Italo 3 wins, $108K, SW on turf); dam unraced; showed enormous talent vs. peers only, though all that also came on synthetic and turf whereas today he faces elders and on new footing; working lights-out and considering he's handled DMR synthetic, BHP synthetic, SA dirt and PLN dirt odds are he'll handle this; speed and the rail makes him scary, scary, scary.
Blossomed early last year and really put it all together here - he blasted optional claimers on this course last Aug. for a 96 Beyer, his career-top; hasn't run since fading in a turf stakes at SA Feb. 24 but he's been working smartly for a trainer who does very well off a long layoff like this, and you know this guy loves it here an dplays this game well.
Won 3 of his first 5 turf sprints, all in the winter/spring of 2012, and was a superb 4th (beaten only a half) in a turf sprint stakes here last Aug. 15; however, he wasn't seen again until this spring and while his 2 return runs weren't bad they didn't exactly get the pulse racing; freshened again and there's also a significant drop and maybe that can get him back on track...maybe.
Game win on the BHP sod June 7; hasn't run since, which is a bit worrisome; after all, you don't normally take a horse who suddenly seems to put it all together and put him away for nearly 2 months without good reason; at least there's no panicky drop by O'Neill and Gutierrez stays; ample speed to be in the thick of it from the start.
Sirocco Strike
Tough-luck 3rd at BHP June 7; he had traffic issues into the lane and once clear he finished well, but couldn't get to today's foe Basmati (ran 3rd, beaten 3/4 of a length); good news, though, is he came right back to be a game winner there July 4, beating the red-hot Et Tu Walker, who'd won his previous 3 starts, all grass sprints; ample tactical speed to bein a good spot and he darn near won the Green Flash here last Aug. 15 (3rd, beaten a neck), his only prior start here.
Had things going awfully in the spring of 2012 as he came back to win 2 nice turf sprints at BHP; the pattern since, however, is worrisome - dull run in a stakes there on July 1, 2012/layoff/dull run (6th) in a turf sprin there last Aug. 30/another long layoff (almost 11 months); at least it's nice to see Bejarano takes the call and there's no drop but again that pattern is disconcerting and he certainly found no easy spot for his return.-Michael Hammersly

Race 3

Short Sword
Sired by Southern Image who won multiple G1 stakes and 1.84 million overall (his offspring have scored in 13 out of 149 debuts); the dam won 4 of 21 and 160K; there are no winning siblings to highlight.
Hector O
He is among the first crop to race from Mon's the Man who won 2 of 10 and 55K; the dam won 1 of 2 and 37K; among the winning siblings is 29K bankroller Swiss Hero; shows only a modest work tab.
Z Z Way
Progeny of Aragorn, a G1 turfer who amassed 1.52 million, have scored in 12 out of 119 initial starts; the dam won 3 of 14 attempts and 104K; among the winning siblings is 76K earner Arathorn.
Golden Dynamo
This gelding's sire won multiple G1s and 2.05 million; the dam won 2 of 27 and 22K; sib to 15K earner C O Jamme Mae; drops down from special weights where he did not have the smoothest of starts; fair blowout thereafter.
Salt Power
Flashed decent early speed in his maiden voyage before failing to fire second time out; the sire won a G1 and 536K; the mom won 5 of 24 and 145K; this is her only foal to compete; should upgrade today with class relief.
Punxsutawney Phil
Could not keep pace against better company last month; his sire won a G2 and 1.51 million; the dam won 5 of 24 appearances and 183K; winning siblings include 86K earner Sweetrayofsunshine; mild gate workout last week.
Black Tie
Drops down today following bumpy maiden voyage earlier this month; his sire won multiple G2s and 1.14 million; the dam never made it to the starting gate and this is her only foal to race; generous odds once again.
Slow but steady improvement to the work tab; his sire won multiple G2s and 1.04 million; descendants of Surf Cat are zero for 10 as far as winning their first test; the dam won 6 of 37 and 272K; there are no winning sibs to mention.-Jim Kachulis

Race 4

Miss Radiance
Has already won three races, including a pair at this level - but remains eligible by racing for the 40K tag, just as she did last out under the optional claiming conditions; only prior start at Dmr resulted in a third in the Poly; she's a versatile filly that handles any surface; choice to repeat.
Black Witch
Chased fast splits on the turf last time and stopped, finishing 10th; this miss has hit the brakes in three of her races, but has twice rebounded from double-digit margin defeats to come back with nice efforts (a win and s second); early speed and Baffert in her corner.
Was a mile out of it last time out at Hollywood and then was steadied in the lane; not exactly a favorable trip; is likely better than what she showed in finishing fourth that day; she was third two back in a slow paced race, just a neck behind Black Witch; winning trainer /jock combo.
Lady Asano
Was laid off for a while after a troubled run in the Las Virgenes; swift works since for Sadler, first at Hollywood and continuing here at Dmr - though coming off the bench he is going to want to put more into her training; has upside.
Special Charm (IRE)
Is more accustomed to racing on turf than synthetic, but she's handled the Poly well; she has two seconds and a third; nevertheless, that last race resulted in a last-place finish and a layoff, and the fact that she took 14 starts to break her maiden is discouraging.
Atlantic Swing
Showed promise overseas, and received a nice Racing Post racing for a performance on the all weather and Dundalk in her final race of 2011; just one race last year, though - a fifth in the Vanity - and now she returns from 13 months; shows some gaps in her works, further hinting of issues; prefer others coming off recent starts.-Byron King

Race 5

Mia's Storm
Sire is 1 for 8 with his newcomers and the dam won 4 times (1 sprint) prior to dropping 6 winners, the last 2 of whom did so first time out; barn doesn't usually ask much of its babies and the inside draw could be a problem for an inexperienced runner, but this gal has been working well of late.
Sire gets 12% first out winners from his offspring and the dam won once from 2 career sprint starts; 3 of hr 4 sibs to race were sprint winners including SW and 227K earner Southern Dude; works aren't much, but the barn has had a nice year and they do ok with their debut runners.
Nikki Allyn
Sire gets 10% winners from his debut runners and the unraced dam dropped 5 foreign winners including multiple SW and 676K earner Duff; barn has gotten off to a strong start at the stand and they usually have their newcomers ready to roll.
Cheeky Stone
Sire gets about 11% first out winners and the dam was winless from 9 tries before dropping this gal; works don't jump off the page, but they are well spaced and the barn is proftiable with its debut runners.
Diamonds Dena
Sire hits with 13% of his newcomers and the dam won 3 times (1 sprint) while banking 169K in her career prior to dropping winners from each of her 2 foals to race including 5 time sprint winner and 150K earner Santa Baby; barn doesn't usually do its best work first out and the drills don't impress.
Sweet Millicent
Sire is 1 for 23 right out of the box and the unraced dam dropped 3 winners from 4 foals to race; barn brings them over ready and they secure the services of a solid journeyman pilot for this one; 7/11 drill went longer than she'll be asked to tackle today and that may have helped leg her up for this run.
Back to Life
She's one of just 2 with experience in here and though she offered little in her debut, that's a big edge; barn does nice work with its second out runners and this gal did look to take to the local main track in her drill last weekend; dam was 0 for 1 and she dropped a 3 time winner (0 for 2 sprinting) from 2 other foals to race.
Drew the fence for her unveiling on the Hollywood lawn and didn't really get involved in that MSW heat; she'll start from an outside draw while being offered for a tag today and her synthetic drills aren't anything special but it's nice to see Bejarano take interest; SP dam won 6 sprints and earned 106K before dropping 2 sprint winners from 3 other foals to race.
Sire gets nearly 15% winners from his debut runners and the dam was winless from 4 starts prior to dropping a 2 time route winner; outside slot is no bargain at this trip and her drills don't suggest she has a lot of lick to overcome it, but the board should tell a better story.-Steve Grabowski

Race 6

Sweet Assay
Been given time since wanting no part of the mile game; must respect the sizzling speed she flashed down the hillside and the winner 2 back repeated in a $62.5K optional, was 4th beaten a length and a quarter in the Osunitas here 6 days ago; snappy move on the 15th screams off the canvas; could prove hard to collar.
Tribal Chatter
Shorter trip can't hurt as she was all out for the lone win; pace does figure to be hotter than what she has been seeing of late; steady drills coming to this race, she was hung wide in last and she has a right to mature with class as kin to stakes winner and near $500K earner Swift Winds.
Two dull ones beating nobody since successful local debut; there is speed inside and outside of her and that's probably not a good thing; could see her muddling the pace, not sure she will be around at end.
Darling Dodie
Sent along in last but she has showen the ability to track and succeed; place horse in the 2012 closer won 4 times since, the last in a $62.5K optional with a 90 Beyer; note it took her over a month to post a recorded drill after the last race; she caught the fastest pace of her career in her only poor effort; at least you have to respect her consistency.
Blake's Magic
Almost blew out the tote at 38-1 in the debut and she proved she improved with the rally in last; pace should be hot enough for her today and she has a right to mature with class as kin to Mobil, who won a ton of stakes and banked over $1.8 million; don't ignore.
Madre Luna
Canani has treated her with kid gloves as the races are spaced; note the March finale came back double live and mare at least got a move down here; timing will be everything; if she relaxes and the pace is contested, all the better.
Shrinking Violet
Miss drifted in early, impeded one foe, then bothered the eventual 4th finisher; the 4th and 7th finishers in last took $75K optionals in next with 74 and 64 Beyers respectively; first time no blinks, wonder if they were off the for solid July 8 move; respect these connections.
Lemon Hero
Troubled but inching to the winner in the local effort last year; in tight last time, could see miss sitting a nice stalk and pounce trip; she has had the two races now to recover from the taxing May opener; must surely be left in the exotic conversation at least.
Fresh and dangerous and the drill are well spaced; would envision her pretty far back on the cut back but she could be fresh enough to maintain contact; the blood is there for her to grow into her skin as kin to over $220K earner Shift in Power; rates upset glance.
Warren's Blossom
Ambitiously placed for the comeback; stakes placed runner got away with moderate splits for the last win and it was ages ago; nothing wrong with the local grass spin but would try to get a good look at her on the track before taking a swing.
Brings speed but she has had a tendency to get late since exiting the Daisycutter here last year; the 5th finisher 6/9 cashed next out in a $25K claimer, then was out of the money in a $75K SAC stakes; winner 6/9 took a $58K PLN stakes next out with a 90 Beyer; in good hands and she should be well placed; Miyadi can spot them.-Brian Mulligan

Race 7

Mr T Bird
Adds 2.5F onto the distance of his longest-career race which was his most-recent start on turf; defeated more than 36 lengths combined in 2 synthetic surface starts during career; is 1-for-1 for the new barn on turf; grass and dirt have been his best surfaces but returns to synthetic for this.
Lime Rickey
Rider from last 7 starts sides with Kettle Corn; makes his 1st start on a synthetic surface today which is the main concern; posted a 5-0-1-1 record since the September claim; has been idle 48 days for a high-percentage fresh and turf-to-synthetic trainer; defeated the 2-back show runner who Beyered 90 in his next-out BHP-optional claiming win.
Hard to take the 0-for-14 synthetic-surface record but has produced 9 minor awards so often races well in defeat; has never raced this far on synthetic but was solid 3-back at today's distance on dirt when defeated by Sky Kingdom; off latest is ranked a notch below the top contenders.
Majestic Moment
Adds 3F onto the previous-longest distance test of his career; was screaming out for more distance in last and gets it here; best Beyer was 2-back right off the bench when defated by Rousing Sermon; finished 7th and 9th when badly outrun in 2 DMR synthetic starts.
Kettle Corn
Has never traveled longer than a mile and a quarter; a great sign that he saved the career-best Beyer for last with 1st-blinkers and the hood remains on for this; rider from latest stays here when seemingly having other options; the added distance figures to help the cause; should be tough to hold off in deep stretch.
Sky Kingdom
Likes to be forwardly placed; hopes to sit just off Blueskiesnrainbows and Golden Itiz then get 1st run on the closers; has never been this far on synthetic but won on dirt traveling 12F three races ago; would have to hold off Kettle Corn which he wasn't able to do in last; seems best on the main track not synthetic.
Richard's Kid
Was 2-5 odds in this event last year winning with rider Bejarano who shows up on Kettle Corn for this; unfortunately his 2012 Cougar win was his last victory; the last synthetic start was 3-back chasing the runner-up finisher who Beyered 96 in his next-out MTH-Grade 2 win then took the G1 Man O War with a 97 speed figure.
1st start for a new trainer saw him beat 1 runner home while making his stakes debut in a tough spot today; won at longer than this 2-back which represents a career-best Beyer; the 2-back win rider lands on Mr T Bird; new jockey is his 6th in as many races which is not a good win angle.
Golden Itiz
Claimed for this by a high-percentage trainer with this angle; won right on the lead at shorter in last but has raced well from just off the pace also; has to outbreak Blueskiesnrainbows to get the front; longest prior race at 10F on turf was a 12th-place finish posting his 3rd-lowest Beyer of career.
Rousing Sermon
Rock-solid form getting the rematch with Golden Itiz; exits his best Beyer since July, 2012; has not raced past 9F during career and was outfinished in those races suggesting 12F will be a real-stamina challenge; latest-win rider lands on Kettle Corn for this.
Raced on the lead in 4 of last 5 races; appears the one to catch today stretching out to his longest-distance test in career by 3F; did not make the lead in last racing without blinkers; owns a 3-0-1-0 record without blinkers during career.-Art Gropper

Race 8

Lucky Student
She has the speed to flee rail for sure; check out the turf splits in Anita finale; miss got a boost when the winner of last repeated in a state-bred N1X by a nose with a 75 Beyer; connections would love to see her start acting like top kin Our Road Scholar, an over $200K earner; respect in career cheap spot.
Pearl de Vere
Eurton 1 for 11 the last 5 years with first off the claim runners but that winner paid over $23 and 3 others ran in the money; soph could be in a stalk and pounce mood on the cut back; she appears to like the track off the drill 10 days ago; that move was tied with No Contingency, who won racing debut for only score in a maiden $75K claimer; this guy looks live.
Holiday N Newport
Pender off to great start here and this gal ran fine for Baffert in the first pair; she was flattered when the winner of last clicked right back in a $40K starter with an 80 Beyer; 1 for 4 dam took a route; 2 of 3 siblings won; top kin Winning Star took 3 of 27, banked $65K; would have liked to have seen a local work.
My Best Ten
Walsh good with this move; she is 6 for 30 or 20% the last 5 years with second off the layoff maiden claimers; she lost best chance when she hopped in the air; the debut came back ultra live as the place and show horses took maiden $20K claimers, 7th finisher was 2nd a head at that level, 10th finisher won in this league and the 9th finisher shipped to Los Al and beat up on maiden $3500 sellers; stakes placed 1 for 8 dam cashed on grass; family solid; all 6 siblings won; 3 won at 2; top kin Ramazutti took a Grade 2 on way to over $300K career; a clean break and it could be a new ballgame.
Elegant Bel
Speed has been golden here so far and this gal should be rolling hard; she has a right to grow into her skin as kin Mistical Plan took a Grade 1 at 4, banked over $800K; trainer has spotted them just fine this year with limited starters.
Here's to Rose
First time under purchase price; bullet spin on Sunday in Inglewood was tied with Not My Tap, a 0 for 2 Baffert charge that posted a 74 Beyer when 4th on 6/29; rare Ohio-bred in Cali, she has a chance to grow with grace as kin to G3 winner and near $400K earner Cryptoquip; she fits nicely.
These are her friends if you key off the SA debut; miss made a nice move to get within less than 2 of the leaders at the top of the lane in last; got a feeling she'll move forward here.
Dolphin Shorts
Mitchell 18% the last 5 years in a 61-runner sample with debuting maiden claimers; Langfuhr has hit with about 10% of his firsters in a 827-horse study; sire didn t race at 2, won debut at Woodbine, won multiple Grade 1s; dam lost 5 times; all 4 siblings won; one took debut over 2 foes in a marathon in the Dominican Republic, top earner took 5 of 17, banked about 30 grand; drills ideally placed.
Moonlight Splitter
Puype a 25% trainer the last 5 years after 67 starters with MSW to maiden claiming moves; stamina must be addressed after pop and stop debut; dam just one for 16; 4 of 5 siblings won including SP 8 for 29 racer and near $140K earner Peachy Kiss; if she can run at all, she figures to show it here.
Irish Winnie
Broken Vow has hit with about 10% of his firsters in a 566-horse study; sire took multiple Graded stakes, won 9 of 14, earned over $700K; stakes winning 7 for 24 won at 2, dam banked over $270K; this is her first to roll; drawn right.-Brian Mulligan