08/20/2013 2:33PM

Del Mar: Brad Free's Analysis August 21, 2013


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AUTHOR's Analysis [BEST BET: Sweet Assay (1st race)]


1 A super runner-up finish last month by SWEET ASSAY sets her up as the most probable winner on the card. She set a fast pace, finished more than five clear of third, and posted two sharp works since. Turf sprints this summer have been dominated by speed, and if 'ASSAY runs two alike she should win. Her full sister Fine Assay is a longshot in race 7. BRILLIANT MELODY pressed a strong pace and kicked to a sharp victory over California-bred N1X foes last out. The win was validated when runner-up Atta Girl Alma returned to win a state-bred allowance one week ago. Furthermore, trainer Doug O'Neill is holding a hot hand. The past two weeks, O'Neill has won 12 races from 39 starters. He enters the week tied for second in the standings. AVAROOSKIE looms the upsetter, returning from a two-month layoff with an abbreviated workout pattern and blinkers on. Always thought this filly had more ability than shown. UPBEAT MOOD is a stakes-placed turf sprinter with sharp recent works. She may be ranked too low. Closer Looks >>
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2 NO RACHMONES returns from Chicago to a racetrack on which two starts last summer produced a win and a third. Blinkers on, trainer Peter Miller is winning races again and the gelding meets a modest bunch of restricted $25k claiming sprinters. ZIP CATshows up in a claiming race for the first time. The speedster has several sharp recent works in Northern California, his only start on synthetic was a good runner-up finish at Golden Gate Fields, and he is dangerous up front. The knock on the dropper is there are several others in this sprint race with the same up-front running style. LANGFURS LIGHTNING drops from maiden-40 starter to N2L claiming, and shortens from a route to a sprint. This would be a good spot for a route-to-sprint winner considering how much speed is signed on. Closer Looks >>
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3 The $8k claiming mare FREQUENT FAME cuts back to a sprint after losing her punch as the favorite going two turns. A 9-for-41 veteran, she has always been more effective running short. Apprentice rider Gonzalo Nicolas (2-for-17) gets the call. THREE CUTIESis a nibbling type at every track except this one. A horse-for-course at Del Mar where she has won 2 of 3, she returns from a five-month layoff with a good pattern of recent workouts. RAISIN' CAIN earned a career-best figure (67 Beyer) last out finishing second. If she runs two alike, she obviously fits. LIA JULIANA drops to the bottom for the first time and will be rolling late; a similar comment applies to UNKEPT RENDEZ VOUS. This is kind of a wide-open race, at least on paper. Closer Looks >>
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4 MIDNIGHT CROONER lost twice as the favorite during the BHP meet, but those in-the-money finishes were good efforts that earned respectable figures. 'CROONER has been freshened two months, he won the Oceanside Stakes on this course last summer, and should run his best race first start back from the short layoff. He is a pro; 5-for-13. OAK KYE WHY is also a five-time winner including back-to-back front-running wins at BHP his last two starts. He won on the DMR turf three summers ago. The knock on 'OKW' is there are several others with a similar front-running style, and this turf course has not been kind to speed. There have been 23 turf races at one mile, only two were won by the pacesetter. SURREY STAR finished in front of the top choice two starts back. MR. BOSSY PANTS is an honest pro with 10 wins, all sprints. He will try to stretch to a mile. His two previous routes were a second- and third-place finish. FALCOTOSO finished in front of the top choice two back, and adds more speed. Closer Looks >>
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5 SIR BARCLAY was compromised by a pace duel in his debut, facing a stronger bunch of 2-year-olds than these. He drops from state-bred special-weight to state-bred maiden-50, and with a race under his belt should move forward in a big way. COMPULSIVEconceivably could go favored based on his creditable debut vs. open maiden-30s. He set the pace, fought back in the lane, and finished second. These state-breds might not be a whole lot tougher than the open company he met first out. The knock on his race is that he set inordinately slow fractions and still got collared. SONG OF THE TIMES makes his debut with a series of fast works for Ed Moger; SOOO MAJOR might be better than his slow works indicate. His dam Super Flo produced Topper's Ghost, a debut winner here last week. Closer Looks >>
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6 The fourth-place finish last out by FLOATING FEATHER was a good effort. The final time was fast (1:09.04), the open competition was strong, and he missed by only slightly more than five lengths. That was his first start since being claimed for $25k by Jeff Mullins. He drops into a California-bred N1X/optional $25k claimer, worked well since raced, and can win if he merely reproduces his last start. MASTER CHEF also takes a major drop from N2X. Entered for a $25k tag, 'CHEF is already a multiple winner at this level.KORBAN exits the same race as the top choice. He chased the pace and retreated to last, but it was his first start since last summer and now he drops for his second start back. ZUBOFF, DOOR'S OPEN and RAISED A SECRET have all run races that would put them in the photo. Closer Looks >>
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7 Lightly raced BURNS TURNS was not disgraced her first try running a route. She showed some late run to finish second. Although her pedigree suggests two turns could be a stretch (Henny Hughes - Ogygian), her connections win races and she is lightly raced and gradually improving. QIAONA, a stakes winner that has earned more than $319k, is the class of the field. She has been battling good California-bred 3-year-old stakes company and holding her own. She will roll from the back. Lightly raced BROKEN SWORDadds blinkers for her first start in two months. Her initial route was a respectable runner-up finish. FINE ASSAY is the younger full sister to race-1 favorite Sweet Assay. FINE ASSAY also is on an upward pattern. Closer Looks >>
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8 KATEY PIE broke from the rail and finished a creditable fifth in her comeback. It was just the second start of her career, now she faces another modest field of maiden-20 fillies and mares. She could start at a hint of a price, perhaps in the odds range of 5-1 or thereabouts. FLOATTHRUTHEAIR and GLAD'S GALS are likely to vie for favoritism. 'AIR has not raced since April, but she makes her comeback for Peter Miller and appears "live" first start back GLAD'S GALS broke slow in her comeback and finished an okay third. She won't be a maiden for long. MOONLIGHT SPLITTER drops from maiden-40 and adds blinkers. Closer Looks >>
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