08/15/2013 9:53AM

Del Mar: Brad Free's Analysis August 16, 2013

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Brad Free's Analysis [BEST BET: Sizzlin' Joe (5th race)]

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1 First post Friday, 4 p.m. SALAH CHAMP is the choice, based on a creditable comeback three weeks ago. It was a fourth-place finish, first start back from a layoff. Mike Mitchell drops him a notch to the bottom ($16k, N2L), and with logical second-start improvement he can win as the best horse in the field. It is his first time at this bottom level, a positively strong factor.DOCKWEILER returns from Northern California in top form. Third and second at Santa Rosa and Pleasanton, he fits here if he handles Polytrack. MAYAN EYES was not disgraced vs. better. CUNNING RIDE is lightly raced (three starts) with some speed. Closer Looks >>
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2 The pick six (races 2-7) starts here. It is true that FIELD REPORT always finishes second. And he might do it again in this turf sprint for Calbred N1X. Runner-up five recent starts, many times at short prices, the gelding could have a pace edge in a race without much speed (aside from also-eligibles). If the AE's do not draw in, 'REPORT can race gate to wire. Or, finish second again. BALLARD RULER lost his chance early in his comeback, a stumble at the start to be away nearly last. Not sure if the 3-year-old has sufficient ability to compete vs. older due to low figures, but he trained like an improved colt into his return, and should make a step up with a clean start and a race under his belt. Sired by Tribal Rule, turf is fine. He warrants another chance. The also-eligibles with a chance are D' OBSESSION, MY SLEW and SPACE RUNNER. The last start by D' OBSESSION were two wins, two seconds at this class level. MY SLEW beat the top choice last time; SPACE RUNNER is a low claimer with a lot of speed. Closer Looks >>
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3 YODEL UP A STORM was claimed by John Sadler off a runner-up debut two months ago. He has a bunch of fast recent works, and returns at the same level (2yo Calbred maiden-50). Bullet work eight days ago at BHP. FRANDONTJUDGE debuts for trainer Doug O'Neill, her works look okay on paper. The Benchmark filly is a sibling to stakes winner Bench the Judge. GRAMMY BIG MOUTH is a sibling to winners Grumpy Small Mouth (debut runner-up) and Al Swearengen (maiden-8k debut winner). It's about time for trainer Peter Miller to kick back into gear. MARL HOOCH has decent-looking works at Golden Gate. She makes her debut for Steve Miyadi with Edwin Maldonado aboard. Consider her "live," like several others. Closer Looks >>
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4 This turf race for maiden fillies and mares is impossible. The ones with decent form at this level are slow. That might leave lightly raced stretch-out HUMOR ME with a chance. She showed ability in winter at Santa Anita, runner-up in a good race. But her recent comeback was a disappointment. She goes long and turf for Bob Baffert and Rafael Bejarano, and is a new face in a weak race.INTOXICATING MOVE also fits the "new shooter" category. Off two months, she has closing ability on a turf course that has been kind to late-runners. ICONIC SPIRIT was okay in spring, but her comeback was poor. Maybe she needed it, but she sure did give much late. This is her second start back, she should improve. Closer Looks >>
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5 A lot of speed in this Calbred N1X route sets it up for stretch-runner gelding SIZZLIN' JOE. A switch to Garrett Gomez, and with two good comeback races in him, the closing gelding can pop from the back of the pack at a minor price (5-1 or higher?). CHINA PRINCE returns from a five and one-half month layoff. He proved himself at this level in March, runner-up behind the good Surfcup.BROWN BOSS finished in front of the top choice last time, but this race has a lot more speed than him. The pace scenario works against. The horse that beat him last time (Soi Phet), returned to win an open N1X. CHICSDIGTHESHARK is a win type (4-for-11) with one style of running. That is, straight to the front. Come catch him, he'll be going fast out front. Closer Looks >>
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6 IGHRAA is a top European import, expected to run Saturday in the G1 Del Mar Oaks. This race is a back-up if she does not draw into the Oaks. Respectably close finishes in Group races overseas would make her the class of this $90k turf stakes for 3yo fillies.OSCAR PARTY ran well last out in the G3 Regret at Churchill Downs. She was in traffic much of the way, ultimately finishing third behind a good filly (Kitten's Dumplings) that returned to win a Grade 2 at Saratoga. PONTCHATRAIN is moving up rapidly in class. She crushed N1X turf fillies last out first-time long, and sure is good now. She'll have to try to wire the field, from the outside post she must go. And we'll find out how far she stays. All the way, maybe. Closer Looks >>
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7 First time in a maiden-claiming race, HAIR ON FIRE figures well-meant first start in three months for a trainer (Vladimir Cerin) that is overdue. 'FIRE hit the board 4 of 6 vs. better and is the fastest horse in this maiden-20 filly-mare route. I'M NO PATSY also drops for the first into a maiden-claiming race. She has never finished close to the winner in three starts, but has ability and is first-time-cheap. LITTLE BIT CACTUS, in the money six of 9, goes long off an okay midpack sprint comeback. These connections win races (Jeff Mullins-Rafael Bejarano). Closer Looks >>
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