07/30/2013 11:13AM

Closer Looks: Del Mar July 31, 2013


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Race 1

It Doesn't Add Up
Was between runners in a tougher spot in the lone synthetic outing; gelding has the speed to flee the fence and nothing wrong with the blowout on the 23rd; the show horse in the OP finale last year cashed 6 times since, the last in a $35K optional with a 96 Beyer; and the winner 4/12 repeated in an N1X at PIM with an 86 Beyer; this guy looks live.
Position A
Over two times as many slices as wins; pro has the two races to draw from now and he has beaten higher-priced foes in the past; 6/9 show horse won next out on the drop into an $8K claimer; legit player with slight improvement.
Would love to see this hot claim box item find that killer instinct somewhere; the 5/27 show horse took a state-bred N1X fray with an 86 Beyer; not thrilled with local record but at least he boasts a local recent drill; will be rolling late if at all.
Afleet Cowboy
Gelding has never been in this cheap; place horse two back cashed next out in a $12.5K claimer at Northlands with a 75 Beyer and then broke down; 6th finisher in last won for this price next out and the 8th finisher took a $5K SAC seller; due to punch it on in.
Love That Action
The drop is logical as he has only been in the money once since the last win; he only beat 2 to the wire in the other synthetic try; shades off, just like they were for the last win; backers have to hope the dip in class shakes him up.
Beaten a length and three quarters in the best local out and that came in a maiden $40K claimer; fully extended for the last win and can't be thrilled with the defeat vs. softer in the May opener; could flash speed but not sure he'll be around at the end.
Me Likey Mikey
Under purchase price for the first time; a bit more keen to run in the work on the 24th but he has been sluggish out of blocks in the last pair; inside speed has been very live this meet and note post 7 at this distance this stand is a dismal one for 22.

Race 2

Cravin' the Heat
Nice 2nd for $75K on SA sod March 16; was then gone 4 months and was a so-so 4th here July 24, but not only was she dealing with the layoff but she was facing straight maidens, and elders for the first time; now has a race over the track and there's the most important drop in the game; 3 of 5 sibs to race are winners including Lindz Winz (4 wins, $235K, SW).
Sire Rhythm gets over 8% debut winners, according to DRF sire stats; sire won 6 of 20 for $1.5 million, won G1 BC Juvenile, was champion 2yo, won G1 Travers, also multiple G1 SP and G3 SW; dam's 2 foals are winners: here Be Dragons (1 win, $10K) and Cori Celesti (1 win, $9K); dam had 1 3rd from 4 starts for $2K; been working along steadily and the experienced faces aren't exactly overwhelming, are they?
Miracle Merger
Takes the most important drop in the game; trouble is, she's been in at about this level before and found these waters a bit too much; surely it's better than facing straight maidens, and that July 24 run also came after over 11 months on the bench; has that run under her belt, there's the drop and she gets blinks.
Little Bit Cactus
Invades from TUP where she did some awfully good work on grass; that's key because you've seen many a horse handle grass then come here and handle this place; blinks on for Mullins and it's no small matter Bejarano rides, too; hasn't run in 3 months so that's an issue but she's up in price and has worked steadily the past month or so for a trainer who's good off this type of layoff.
Rsweet Serendipity
Debut wasn't very pretty but hey, it was just her debut and you can always be forgiving about that; it also came vs. straight maidens so not only does she now have some experience but there's a pivotal drop; also nice to see her connections wheel her back so quickly with the drop, and they also add blinkers; 4 of 5 sibs to race are winners including Drought Breaker (6 wins, $213K, SW).
Classic Candy
3rd in a spot like this at BHP July 11, yes, but let's face it - she wasn't really a threat in the lane (beaten 10 lengths); does have some tactical speed and it's nice to see no further drop for this, and there's a soldi work here July 21 to encourage; 2 of 3 sibs are winners including Fifth Avenue Style (2 wins, $24K).
Sire Redattore gets over 6% debut winners; sire won 15 of 32 for $1.7 million, was multiple G1 SW in Brazil, won G1 Eddie Read, G1 Shoemaker Mile, was multiple G1 SP and G2 SW in U.S.; dam's only foal is Better Bet (1 win, $67K, entered in today's Graduation Stakes, race 7); dam won 2 of 21 for $84K; some steady works for a trainer who can fire first out.
Jen's Hot
Sire Unusual Heat gets over 9% debut winners; sire won 6 of 16 for $142K, had 3 SWs and was G3 SP in Ireland; dam's only foal was off the board in only start; dam won 1 of 4 for $10K; some solid works to indicate there's some talent here.

Race 3

Warren's Jeff G.
Recent turf form isn't very encouraging and the only time he ran over Polytrack he didn't pick up his feet; lone win came going seven furlongs at Fairplex over a year ago so you might want to wait until he shows up there again; slow work here July 27 has us heading in other directions.
Solid South
Favored in his latest at this level but he ran into a tough one and had to settle for third; Soi Phet looked good winning a $25K optional race for Cal-breds with a 92 Beyer Speed Figure here July 20; the horse that finished second in his previous race won his next two on turf including a first-level allowance race here July 27; Bejarano sticks; big shot.
Psalm Sixteen
This is a filly taking on the boys and she will need to improve on what she has shown us so far to make a serious impact; she does have some speed and she lost any chance she had when she stumbled at the start in her first try with winners; she ensures an honest pace but hard to see her being in the mix at the finish; passing.
Langfurs Lightning
This will be the third start of his current form cycle so maybe he is coming up to a peak effort; he should also appreciate the move to a middle distance and it is interesting to see Stevens accept the call; the only time he came close to winning at this level was when Stevens was aboard; he has worked his way into the super in four of his five races since he broke his maide so he should be part of any exotics ticket.
Spring Up
Claimed by Sadler out of his sharp win over $20K maidens here July 17 and the past five years Sadler has a 28 percent strike rate with claimed horses running back the first time; he faded in his ony route try but his dam won a Grade 2 going 1 1/4 miles in South America and also a flat mile at Monmouth so he should get the distance; he obviously improved tremendously in his first try on Polytrack and with his good tactical speed he should get a nice trip sitting off speed that isn't going to last; the pick.
Awesome Address
Took the plunge in his latest at Betfair Hollywood Park and he rewareded his connections with a front-running win; he is going to have to deal with other speed in his first try with winners, however, and it would have been nice to have seen him make it back a little sooner; Sheriffs does have solid stats with horses coming back from this type of layoff but this guy hasn't fired coming off similar breaks in the past; maybe for the exotics but that's about it.
Magnum Force
He finished a length behind Solid South in his latest but at least he made a threatening move before Soi Phet ran away and hid from the field; toss his two tries on turf and he's been in the mix in just about all of his races; he does his best running lagte and there should be an honest pace for him to work with; contender.
3-year-old didn't break that sharply in his latest sprint but he didn't give up and he made a strong late move to get up for third; Bejarano bails but no complaints with Leparoux taking over; the main concern is the only time he hit the board going around two turns was in a first-level race for Cal-breds on the Santa Anita turf course; not sure what to make of his very slow work at BHP July 26 as well; Solid South was pretty far in front of him when the met at this level three back so at the most we would use him on the bottom half of an exotics ticket.

Race 4

Beast of Bourbon
Lack of speed a concern and not sure he will be able to take advantage of the quick run to the first turn; the 5/24 place horse took a $40K starter in next, and then won an N1X fray with and 89 Beyer; decent blowout on the 24th; must hurry.
Hurry Home Clover
This guy looms an astute claim since he is already proven here; he has much more speed than he just flashed and note the 2nd and 6th finishers 5/27 won next out; trainer has had some big meets here over the years; look out.
Warren's Joe T.
Cashed on the stretch out on the conventional dirt, has not been close to a winner since; hung wide in last but he has been handled by a number of today's foes; at least runner got a feel of the strip last week; he does have sneaky speed and could muddle the pace.
Lite That Baby Up
At least he has won on the synthetic; only in the money once since the taxing nose win; the 1/24 winner repeated in a $32K claimer and then won again 6/28 in a $20K claimer for Spawr; will likely be in the picture late if at all.
Suances Candy
Hung wide in last but if he can revert to the June form, he must be considered; sire carried speed long, dam was a 7-furlong specialist and a late fourth in lone mile try; this is her first to race; he has the two local works to be acclimated here; expect much better effort.
Hy Danger
Off poorly in the lone synthetic trip; she closed into the slow splits in the turf win; pushed along from the fence in the Texas finale; invader may like it here.
Chico Suerte
Protected in last, in career soft spot, maybe connections were looking to this spot all along; he may also not cared for the rail in last; the 4/25 show horse graduated next out and the winner that day cashed right back in a $40K starter, than was out of the money twice; must pick it up.
Prime Number
Gelding can give you a :44 and change half if in the mood; nice; like the way he was coming on late in last; pretty snappy second best of the morning blowout here on the 21st and he has a right to get the distance as kin Pirates Deputy won multiple routes and banked over $400K; could very well make amends for flop as chalk.
Almost Better
Runner nearly overcame the poor start in last; clever blowout last Thursday and Nakatani got a chance to figure him out; could see him sitting a nice stalk and pounce trip; contention goes deep.
Jay's Firetruck
Tough beat two back, but one for 17 is a tough number to embrace no matter how you slice it; pro did run well here last year in defeat and he did make up some ground late in last; the hotter the pace the better for this guy.
Hoosier Diddy
Turf to synthetic did the trick for the maiden breaker, now runner tries to stretch out successfully; soph basically just passed a couple of tired horses in last; would tread lightly here.
The spotty race record is a concern; life and death to beat the big field two back, he found it much tougher carrying speed vs. winners; the 4/21 show horse has won twice since, the last in a $20K claimer here on 7/24; never in the money on the synthetic, that must be addressed.
Sun Catcher
Colt took to the highway known as Sacramento showing career speed in the process; not disgraced in the races back East and he has flashed more speed than he did in the win; considering the draw, this guy may be compromised by the slot this time.

Race 5

All Star Bell
Projects to race on or near the lead with Brave Act; travels beyond 6F for the 1st time; his sire is 22-for-138 with 1st-turf runners; is out of a 3-for-11 grass dam (109K) who produced no winners on grass from 2 other foals to race (0-for-4 combined turf).
Awesome Okee
Took zero betting money in the career debut then rallied mildly vs. the winner who repeated in a BHP alw. with an 81 Beyer speed figure; sire is 6-for-101 with 1st-turf runners; is out of a 3-for-5 grass dam (47K) who produced 2 turf winners from 2 foals to race on the green including stakes-placed Seminole Native (3-for-18 turf 176K).
Little Professor
Z-pattern debut racing midpack dropped back then re-rallied vs. the winner who repeated in a BHP-optional claimer with an 80 Beyer; has Volkonsky to beat here getting a negative 2-pound swing for this; some runners improve dramatically 2nd-time out and he posted a DMR-bullet workout for this so would not mind this rained off the grass onto the synthetic surface.
Bet hard in all 3 exacta finishes; he figures for an ideal trip stalking an All Star Bell-Brave Act potential speed duel; the winner 2-back repeated with an 80 Beyer; the DMR synthetic workout for this was not very appealing but that is the lone knock against.
Red Globe
The winner from last repeated in a DMR-optional claimer with an 86 Beyer; he beat the 5th-place finisher from last a next-out DMR-20K-maiden claiming winner (65 speed figure); is back in with Cal-breds and returns to the distance of his career-best Beyer so has some good-win angle looming for this.
Defeated 5 runners combined in 4 defeats; off the bench following another outrun effort fading in last 2 losses the most recent at today's distance; new rider wins 25% for the barn since 2012; mild worktab making his 1st start for a new trainer; will be taking a wait and see approach.
The 1-for-19 long-layoff trainer since 2012 does not help the confidence level off the vacation; finished 6th twice in 2 DMR grass routes during the 2012 season; improved when blinkers were added posting a pre-rest career-best Beyer; the 2-back winner repeated in an SA alw. with an 87 speed figure.
Heat Flash
Has never raced this far exiting his 1st route test where he middle moved vs. Volkonsky who has defeated him twice among his last 3 starts; was best at 6F and serious issues if he can get the distance for a rider who began the 2013 Del Mar meet on an 0-for-21 string.
Brave Act
Much-improved gate speed since blinkers were added; opened up a 6-length lead in last but could not hang on; perhaps wants to sit just off All Star bell for this then get 1st run on the closers?; know him early but unsure about late.
Wings of Mojave
Even-debut finish when chasing Volkonsky; some runners move forward 2nd time out and he has plenty of room to improve; 1-for-11 trainer with 2nd-time starters since 2012 does not add to the appeal; did not show any gate speed in the unveiling after a good 4F drill for this; expecting this one to race a lot closer to the pace 2nd-time out then hopes to kick in when the real running begins.

Race 6

Red Defense
Looks outclassed based on current form; he only narrowly won for 10K last out, and is now in with optional claimers; inside post has won at a high % clip this meet, but doubt this one will add to that total; back class the appeal to this one.
Sourdough Sam
Layoff-prone runner was a stakes winner back in October of 2011 but started just 3 times last year and hasn't seen action for almost 15 months; with horses returning from layoffs of that lengthy, it is typically better to see a comeback race from them before supporting; at least the barn can strike with long layoff types.
Indian Classic
Like this one's consistency and current form; his only poor showing came against stakes horses on the dirt; all the other race have been very good; has never raced on the Poly, but handled the Cushion track at Hollywood with a number of competition efforts there; beaten chalk looks like a force right back; doesn't catch a particularly speedy field and should get a good trip on or very near a slow pace; choice.
This one has been getting pieces against this level of competition for a long while now; he also exits a couple pretty nice races; but given his lack of early speed and 1 for 17 record, he seems best restricted to the bottom of the exotics.
Relentless Heat
Having made just 4 starts this year and being a 6-year-old, his connections are getting aggressive with their placement of this horse; they drop him in for 25K after competing against much tougher; he also gets to face Cal breds for the first time since the fall of last year; very slow works since June.
Passing Game
Didn't produce last time out when ninth on the grass; his preceding starts were much better; chilly connections and very little sprint speed; connections try the shades in search of a wake up.
Ballard Ruler
Showed a lot of positives last year with a win at first asking over this track, and then following that race with a fourth and two runner-up finishes; works stretch all the way back to May 20, and he has been going at least 5f since June 15; dangerous off the bench despite being away for 258 days.
Morning Fog
Won a 62.5K optional claimer two starts ago at GG before failing to fire most recently; that explains his presence for a 25K tag; runs well fresh and picks up Bejarano and was second in one start over this track last year; a lot to like.
Has raced mostly on dirt tracks and seems to prefer such surfaces; he is 9-1-1-2 on the all-weather but has a superior dirt mark; 5-0-1-1 at Del Mar; quick local work since arriving from New Mexico.
Bench Points
Class dropper has not recorded a top-3 finish in 2012-2013; so the move to face easier is clearly a positive; has plenty of back class - he was once a classy horse; is 2 for 4 over the Dmr main track; fondness for the local surface is the principal attraction.

Race 7

Gangnam Guy
Sharp efforts each time by this colt who survived heavy pace pressure to graduate a month ago; held very well on 6/9, a virtual match race with the winner who went to post a slight favorite; dangerous speed factor from the fence here.
Solid Wager
Lost a blanket finish earlier this month when forced to steady off heels and then rally wide; should receive excellent early position today once the inside runner is sent to command; very logical candidate with a clear run.
Betting McCann Can
Broke maiden out-of-town in modest time and the local recent workout thereafter does not really inspire; will probably have to rally from much further back here and cannot be given the main recommendation.
Smoove It
Upgraded since that initial showing behind Moving Desert but benefited by inside position in that tally; her most recent a.m. move from the gate was an improvement as well; the betting value will certainly be there.
Testify Under Oath
Newcomer was sired by turf specialist Whatsthescript who won 7 of 27 races, including a pair of G2 stakes, en route to earning just over a million dollars (his offspring are zero for 1 thus far in debuts); the dam won 5 of 24 and 176K and this is her only foal to start.
Moving Desert
Her stalking style, and this post position, suit her perfectly and she seems more than capable of making first run on the inside speed as a result; 2 races back, she was caught in a 3-wide dueling position yet held on fairly well; maturing filly should be respected.
Better Bet
Kept earning checks against some of these same foes before finally breaking through very recently; would appreciate a more intense pace than what he received in that placing a month ago; can easily round out the exotic payoff today.
California Chrome
Adds blinkers after being jammed up between rivals in his first test against winners; recent workout activity is way above average and he reverts to the original, and winning, pilot; may fly under the betting radar.
Willie B Awesome
Brave in defeat 18 days ago when narrowly losing to Alpine Luck who controlled the race throughout with inside position; he made a swift move to the lead in the previous run only to run out of gas very late; this minor cutback in distance should work in his favor but the wide slot is a concern.

Race 8

Inside speed has been solid this meet but with limited zip here, that's a concern; backers can point to the fact both siblings won, and one cashed 9 times in the minor leagues; hard to take a positive stance with this runner.
Party Bus
Over 4 clear as hungry tyro takes the reins; she has some work to do to match top kin Cherry Lady, a 3 for 67 over $150K player; with a hotly-contested pace, this runner could make an impact.
Huera Bonita
Miss was rolling late and she should have her sea legs under her by now; at least she got a feel of the surface last Wednesday; slight improvement and she will make some noise.
Warren's Chaser
Freshened, she drops and is in light; she has not shown much speed and that must be addressed; 5th finisher in last won at this level, the winner repeated in a $40K starter and three others ran second; it looks like she has a good foundation and the drill on the 19th is eye-catching.
Tap Tap Ur It
She caught the fastest first quarter of her career in last and could not keep up; like the spacing of the return drills but would have liked to have seen some local activity; the 4th and 6th finishers in last won in this league, the 12th finisher took a maiden $10K Charles Town event and the winner repeated in a $16K N2L; at least a half sister won once; can ' count out.
Margies Rule
Backers have to hope the extra sixteenth works to her favor; the winner of the GG race repeated in an $8K N2L at PLN and then was 2nd here beaten over 2 in an $12.5K seller; a few wins in clan, none were special; the hotter the pace the better.
Rich in Tradition
Miss has more speed than she has shown of late but after 10 or 12 beats, the wind generally goes right out of the sails; she has been value in the gimmicks a few times, that is where he strength may lie once again.
Athina Lee
Had to off for so long for a pretty serious reason but the drills are ideally spaced and the drop can t hurt; the 3rd and 4th finisher of the 2012 closer took MSW frays next out; stakes placed 4 for 25 dam won at 2, banked nearly $60K; the sibling to win took 4 of 20, earned nearly $100K; if she has any talent, today should be the day to show it.
Star of the Night
Ran well two back despite the poor start but could not carry on with the momentum; pretty nice move last Thursday; rates upset glance.
Precious Best
Best Minister 0 for 32 with firsters; SW sire took 4 of 20, banked over $250K; dam s lone win came at 2; several multiple race winners in the family including speedball, 5 for 13 Grade 2 winner and over $700K earner Bob Black Jack; drill on the 20th suggests she may have speed.
And She Was
Marino Marini about 15% with firsters in a 165-runner sample; sire won first 2 starts at 2 including a stakes, banked nearly $300K, all the wins came on grass; SW 4 for 18 dam earned over $260K; the full bro to win, Close Pursuit, took 4 of 16, banked over $50K; she cost $1,300.
Flaxen Maiden
If you figure she was dead short in last, then there is something to work with here; one angle to think about: note her career best Beyer came in the second off the layoff run; barn due to get rolling.
Charger Girl
Mare has yet to raise a gallop; 2 for 6 dam won at 2, earned 10 grand a start; 5 of 6 siblings won; top earner needed 41 starts to make less than a grand an appearance; can't boost.
Hung wide in last but the race over the surface can only help; she also bobbled two back; like the draw if she goes and she seems to be figuring it out; legit player if scratches are kind.