08/10/2013 12:36PM

Del Mar: Brad Free's Analysis August 11, 2013

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Brad Free's Analysis [BEST BET: Tiz Flirtatious (8th race)]

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1 Shippers into Del Mar have had a big summer; Northern California-based based FASTER ACTION can continue the trend. Third last out in a $16k claiming sprint at PLN, he shows up for an $8k tag while picking up leading rider Rafael Bejarano. The gelding faces other speed, but does not require the lead. BEV N BUD finished more than three lengths clear of third in a good effort here the second week of the meet. When he gets into a groove, he typically strings together his good efforts. And he does like this racetrack. Three starts on Polytrack produced one win, two seconds. MARINE FOG, runner-up three straight vs. similar, is always in the hunt. Seems that he has lost the will to win, however. Closer Looks >>
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2 MAGIC CHANNEL appeared to be wiped out early when he was forced wide on the first turn in his U.S. debut. But he overcame the early trouble and stormed home late to win for a $40k tag. Up one level for $50k claiming (3-year-olds), he can make it two straight. He was ridden first out by Julien Leparoux, who switches to HORIZON SKY. The latter has been a disappointment in the U.S., with five third-place finishes followed by a fourth-place finish last out. All those starts were vs. allowance and/or stakes runners; this is the first time he has raced for a tag. A similar comment applies to DEMOCRAT DUCK, who ran poorly twice at BHP but drops into a claiming race for the first time. Closer Looks >>
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3 Class dropper SPOTTED OWL adds blinkers for trainer Eric Kruljac, who is 7-for-27 with blinkers-on maidens the past five years. The gelding chased the pace and retreated in his first start this meet against maiden 35-40s, and now drops to the maiden-20 bottom. He has enough speed to keep the pacesetter in his sights. That is DIVINE NOTION, who is likely to try to wire the field. He actually ran a decent race last time, though he lost by nearly 10 lengths. But the pace was brutally fast; he stuck in there to the stretch before backing up. The front-running winner of that race (Teton County) returned to win a starter allowance at Santa Rosa. Less heat in this field, 'NOTION has a shot to wire the field. First-time starter MARKET PORTFOLIO is a sibling to five winners, with a couple decent recent workouts. Closer Looks >>
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4 The pick-six sequence begins with a special-weight sprint for fillies and mares, and a potential single in FANTICOLA. Runner-up to subsequent champion Beholder last summer at this track, she returned opening week from a one-year layoff to finish second in another highly rated maiden race. The pace was fast, she lost ground racing three- and four-wide, and finished willingly. It was a good comeback by a good maiden who is a deserving favorite to win second start back. NOT MY TAP can improve after an okay fourth-place comeback, while trainer John Sadler entered two first-time starters with decent works including SWITCHED UP, a Pleasantly Perfect filly that is a half to multiple G1 winner Switch. NERO'S PLEASURE is the other Sadler. Also sired by Pleasantly Perfect, she is a sibling to G1 winner Burning Roma. ROCKABYE LADY showed high speed and tired in her debut. She could be the one to catch. Closer Looks >>
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5 LITTLE JERRY had a bad trip his first start this meet, finishing sixth without a fair shot. He was making his move into the stretch when he ran into a wall of horses and got blocked. By the time he was clear, the race was over and he was not hard-ridden thereafter. His two previous starts on turf were runner-up finishes, and with a switch to jockey Mike Smith and better racing luck, he can score a minor upset from off the pace. TREE OF LIFE, a stakes winner on the comeback trail, is one of two horses entered for the $80k claim tag. He has good works for his first start since January, and should fire his best race first start back. CACAU looked good winning a comeback sprint; he is likely to set the pace. He could get pressured from THIS ONE'S FOR MEL, runner-up against softer here on opening day. Closer Looks >>
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6 An interesting sprint for 2-year-olds maidens can be won by second-time starter DANCE WITH FATE. He trained super into his debut, but broke last, pulled his way into contention, then faded to eighth. After the takeoff, it was only a schooling run. He continues to post sharp work times, and figures to take a big step forward second out. He should appreciate the added distance of this six and one-half furlong race. SOUTHERN FREEDOM finished third in a promising debut here opening weekend, while racing greenly through the lane. He stretches from five and a half, to six and a half, and is a logical contender. AMERICAN PRIDE misfired twice as the favorite, fourth and second with ordinary figures. But he is quick, and likely to lead the field as far as he can. BOND HOLDER is racing into shape for trainer Doug O'Neill, who started the meet slowly before breaking out with five wins early this week. Closer Looks >>
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7 First time for a claim tag, the class-drop pattern of LADY ROSAMOND does not inspire confidence. Or maybe her connections are simply dropping her into a spot she can win. Her N1X victory in March would be fast enough for this $40k claiming field, she had a sharp workout here five days ago, and if she shows up she is the fastest in the field. Trust her? Not really. MAGESTIC STINGER and BOTTLE BLONDE both are first-off-the-claim and likely to improve for their new connections. 'STINGER was claimed in late May for $32k by Bill Spawr; the two and one-half month layoff is not an issue. Spawr has always done well with first-off-the-claims returning from short layoffs. 'STINGER ran well on this track last summer. BOTTLE BLONDE was claimed from a blah effort last time by Jerry Hollendorfer, worked well since, and is likely to return to form. ANITA MARIE has a win over the track, and moves up in class from $20k to $40k. Upset chance? Closer Looks >>
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8 The class of the field, TIZ FLIRTATIOUS should win this G2 turf route at a short price. She gave top-class Marketing Mix a battle last out in the G1 Gamely, missing by a head while finishing more than four lengths clear of third. This race was always the summer target for 'FLIRTATIOUS, who runs well fresh and has a solid workout pattern for her first start in slightly more than two months. She is everyone's pick six single. LADY OF SHAMROCK won the G1 Del Mar Oaks here last summer, but has not crossed the wire first in five starts since. Although her form is good, she has not taken the expected step forward in this, her 4-year-old season. Perhaps a return to the scene of her last victory will turn her around. Blinkers on. CUSTOMER BASE scored a sharp win last time out in a minor stakes at BHP. She is sharp, and moving up the ladder. This nine-furlong turf race is odd, all five entrants are closers. The pace will be tepid. Closer Looks >>
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9 First off the claim MAYBE TUESDAY (Jeff Mullins) and MR. MAKE BELIEVE (Jerry Hollendorfer) are the key starters in this $25k claiming route. Though MAYBE TUESDAY regressed the past few months, he was claimed two months ago by Mullins and has back races that are good enough. His most recent win was a $50k claimer on turf in January; expectations are he will return to form for Mullins, who has a 27 percent win rate (20-for-74) first off the claim the past five years. MR. MAKE BELIEVE misfired last time, but his previous form is solid and his workouts since being claimed by Hollendorfer suggest he also will return to form. The top pair are tough to separate. GOD OF WAR is likely to set the pace, while his stablemate MAJESTIC MOMENT will rally from the back. Closer Looks >>
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