08/22/2013 12:45PM

Del Mar: Brad Free's Analysis August 23, 2013

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Brad Free's Analysis [BEST BET: Midnight Music (6th race)]

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1 After misfiring twice vs. better, ONE FIRM CAT drops to $25k claiming and returns to the short game. His best races have been around one turn; the closing sprinter can sit back and tag them late as his claim price is cut in half. He must catch SPACE RUNNER, the speed of the field and "most honest" in the race. Five starts produced three wins and two seconds; his front-running win last out in a $16k claimer at six furlongs stamps him as the one to catch moving up in class and stretching to seven furlongs first off the claim by Dallas Keen. HUMOROUS finished a creditable third in his first start over the track, while CHANGE OF PLAN changes distances. He goes route to sprint first off the claim. Closer Looks >>
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2 The pick six starts with a competitive maiden-30 for juveniles. First-time starter MR. OBESO has apparently decent works for trainer Cody Autrey, who is 5-for-9 this year with first-time starters and 11-for-37 the past five years. Bred for speed (by first-crop sire Benny the Bull), the gray appears well-meant. He is the first call of jockey Joe Talamo, whose second call is also-eligibleHEYYOUCAN. The latter set a strong pace last time and finished second. He shortens from six furlongs to five and one-half and would be among the leaders if he draws in. HE'S A WIZARD has been gelded since his last-place debut. He drops from California-bred special-weight to maiden-30 and adds blinkers. PUNXSUTAWNEY PHIL had troubled both starts; SALT POWER finished third last out in a slowly run race. Closer Looks >>
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3 Only seven fillies and mares entered this mile turf race; all seven $50k claimers have a shot. Both recent starts by MELTARIB in claiming races were solid; her win two starts back might be good enough. She was not disgraced finishing a close fourth vs. allowance foes last out. RUBY PUMPS ships from Golden Gate with an outstanding resume. One-two in 10 of 11 starts, she is 4-for-5 on turf. She met better last out in a main-track stakes at Sacramento, and finished a close third. She drops in class and is a perfect fit based on her Northern California form. THE ONLY KEY finished a dull sixth last out, but it was her first start in two months. She should improve second start back. RICSPRETENTIOUSGAL looks like the speed; PRETTYPRICEYGIRL drops in class; MISS WELL MOLDED will rally late; GITTEL has a history of outrunning her odds. Closer Looks >>
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4 It is true that SUGAR SPICE benefitted from a pronounced inside-speed bias when she crushed restricted claimers last out. But since then, she has trained well, looks like the speed of the speed and is the one to catch moving up to face open company in this $16k claiming sprint. Her challenge is putting away her pace rivals, then holding off the late rally of QUINNETTE. The latter is a 6-for-19 veteran with a closing style that suits the pace scenario. She drops from a race that already produced two next-out winners.INNER GROOVE goers route to sprint and also has a closing style that suits the pace scenario. Front-runners SUANCES FLOWER and RALPHY GIRL will keep the pace honest up front. Closer Looks >>
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5 The good third-place finish two months ago by BROKER BRETT was flattered when the first-, second- and fourth-place finishers returned to win. 'BRETT drops a notch to maiden-50 and can win if he reproduces his BHP form at DMR. However, it is tough to trust a seven-start maiden. SOUTHERN SUNRISE is the speed of the field, shortening to five and one-half furlongs and racing for the first time in a maiden-claimer after four in-the-money finishes vs. special-weight maidens. This is his first try on synthetic; he could be gone. First-time starter EXPO AND FIG looms the upsetter. Good works, good trainer. The Florida-bred was produced by a mare whose four winning foals include three multiple winners. MI JIHO drops from special-weight and goes route to sprint. Look for him late. Closer Looks >>
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6 MIDNIGHT MUSIC should start as the deserving favorite in this 11-furlong turf stakes for fillies and mares. Runner-up last out in a similar stakes won by stablemate Customer Base, 'MUSIC is proven at this marathon distance and is the "fastest" in the field. After the top choice, it is a scramble. GOOD KARMA scored a front-running upset last out over a good field at Santa Rosa including third-place finisher Halo Dolly who returned to win a stakes last weekend. The fifth-place finisher from that SR stakes also returned to win. 'KARMA has a shot up front, but the presence of the front-runner on the rail could mess up the pace scenario. The improving 3-year-old filly TOPIC closed into a slow-fast race shape to finish third in the G1 American Oaks last time out. The longer distance benefits the only 3yo in this field. LITTLE EMILY is the aforementioned pace rivals for 'KARMA. SILVER HUSTLER and I DAZZLE will pick them up late. Closer Looks >>
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7 Runner-up by a head last out in his first start this maiden-20 level, CHOCOLATIER is the right favorite to win from off the pace.PUBLIC DEFENDER finished in the money all three start around two turns. He should find a field he can beat sooner or later. WILL HE AMAZE is rounding into form, third start back. Closer Looks >>
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