08/01/2013 10:57AM

Del Mar: Brad Free's Analysis August 2, 2013

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Brad Free’s Analysis [BEST BET: Omega Star (7th race)]

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1 SAILORS BROTHER should improve second out; his debut at Pleasanton was not bad. He broke slowly from the rail, raced greenly on his wrong lead, and finished well clear of third in a race won by the pacesetter. The extra half-furlong benefits. This is the first six-furlong maiden race of the season for 2-year-olds on this circuit, and when 2-year-olds "stretch out," stamina/experience becomes more important. UNUSUAL DON makes his debut for trainer Peter Miller, whose first-time starters generally are ready to roll. No knocks on the logical contender. BOSTON CHARLEY is a first-time starter by the terrific debut sire Rocky Bar. His progeny have won 23 percent first time out (14 for 61) according to Thoro-Graph. Closer Looks >>
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2 Not a big fan of CAVALLA, but she is the most likely winner of this restricted claimer. Her recent speed figures are faster than her rivals, she gets a five-pound weight break under apprentice Irving Orozco, and may benefit from the cutback to a sprint. She looks best of a bad group. BEAUTIFUL STRIKE has been freshened two months, and will get a pressing trip from the outside. She has been stuck at this N2L (non-winners two races) level since last year, but she will be forwardly placed and in position to win turning for home. HELLO STORMY won a low-rated maiden race last out; she and potential pacesetter BRANDON'S PRINCESS figure as contenders mainly because neither has lost at this level. These N2L claiming races frequently are won by steep droppers, or last-out maiden winners. Closer Looks >>
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3 TOP KNOT stretches back to two turns and drops to the maiden-20 bottom after a disappointing fourth-place comeback as the favorite in a maiden-40. Her two efforts in spring would crush this field; she should be forwardly placed in a race without a much speed. LIAR LIAR LIAR finished more than seven lengths clear of third last time vs. similar at BHP. PROUD BOK perked up in her first try over this racetrack, runner-up at 30-1. She has the highest last-start speed figure (61 Beyer) in the field. PARIS AFFAIR drops for the first time to the bottom, while TIZ A FUNTIME finished nowhere vs. special-weight maidens in her first two starts and also can improve vs. this easier company. Closer Looks >>
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4 The racing surface was biased to speed July 18 when MARY CONTRARY chased the front-running winner and finished second. But the bias was less extreme the second week of the meet. If the track plays fairly, it would benefit her pressing style. She can be positioned just off the speed, and get first run if/when the pacesetters weaken. LANIDA is a front-runner on the rail, with only one way to go. That is, straight to the front. She won at this $8k claiming level last out at BHP. Trouble is, the rival to her outside has a similar front-running style. No easy leads in this race. MAGIC MAMA drops from $20k to $8k and will roll late in a race likely to unfold at a solid pace. ROSSI RESERVE is the aforementioned pace rival for the second choice; RAISIN' CAIN and ELTONINADRESS also add speed. Closer Looks >>
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5 The racing surface was moderately speed biased July 21 when GUTSHOT STRAIGHT finished third in a $40k claimer won by the pacesetter. 'STRAIGHT drops to $25k, and racing over a surface that was more equitable to closers the second week of the meet. Easier company, consistently high figures, logical choice. LET'S GET CRACKIN has not raced in a year, but he has a solid July work pattern for his return, and is entered "not to be claimed" per CHRB rule 1634. The provision generally signals optimism by a horse's connections. In this case, trainer Bill Spawr does not want 'CRACKIN to be claimed. Year-old speed figures point to him as a logical top contender. STREET CAR is an example of rule 1634. Last time out he returned from a nine-month layoff entered not be claimed ("W" in past performances, next to claim price). STREET CAR wired that $16k claiming field in good time, and is now double-jumped in class. The front-runner might be the one to catch from the rail. Closer Looks >>
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6 Freshened two months and returning to the turf course over which she won a maiden race last summer, ZANBO is the one to beat. In the money all five turf routes, she runs well following a brief freshening, and gets leading rider Rafael Bejarano. One potential knock on the closer is that the turf rails are scheduled to move to a 14-foot setting for this card. When the turf rails move at DMR, the profile often changes. Closers won most turf routes the first two weeks, but that could change with the rails out this far.KRAZYPAPAYA finished second last out at this Calbred N1X level, while habitual slow starter MARKET QUOTE will pick them up late. TIZ A CLASSY LASS won her second start and should continue her upward pattern. If it turns out that the course does favor speed with the rail setting changed, then NOISE OF THE CROWD and ROSES FOR JONI merit consideration. Closer Looks >>
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7 California-bred stakes winner OMEGA STAR returns from a three-month layoff with a sharp work on this track for his new trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. The gelding runs well fresh, he was the top state-bred 3-year-old sprinter in spring when he won a $200k stakes, and all three one-turn races were terrific. The versatile gelding shortens from a route, and should fire first time back. However, he has yet to finish in front of TIZ A MINISTER. They met three times, 'MINISTER finished in front of his rival each time. A G3 winner, 'MINISTER is the class of the field, shortening from a runner-up finish in the G2 Swaps into a sprint for California-breds. Seven furlongs seems too short, even if he is the "best horse" in the field. U'NARACK defeated older N1X statebreds last time as he continues his improving pattern. RAISED A SECRET missed by a nose in a highly rated N1X for older. He fits here. Closer Looks >>
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8 CONCORDE WEST drops from special-weight to maiden-20 for a winning stable. Seems like a radical drop for a horse that missed by only three lengths last out vs. much better. HARD PLAY was gelded since his most recent, and also drops in class. He probably is the speed of the field. This race is only five and one-half furlongs. ARIZONA WILDCAT returns from a layoff of nearly a year. Blinkers on, he might be a better horse this time around. Closer Looks >>
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