08/24/2013 1:32PM

Del Mar: Brad Free's Analysis August 25, 2013

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Brad Free's Analysis [BEST BET: Goldencents (7th race)]

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1 Pacific Classic day, first post 1 p.m. Turf sprints this summer have been dominated by speed, a profile that favors FOLLINI. He is 2-for-2 running short on grass, quick enough to make the lead from the rail, and the one to catch. It will not be easy however, because there are front-runners to his outside. D' OBSESSION returns from a four-month break with a history of firing fresh He raced twice at this N1X level during winter at Santa Anita, runner-up both times. Obvious contender first start back. SACRED OVATION is fast, and likely to apply pressure to the top choice. MY SLEW upset state-bred company here opening week, and fits while moving up to face open company. Closer Looks >>
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2 Ship-and-win runners have had a big summer at Del Mar; the Churchill Downs shipper MAGIC UNION can add to it first start since a private sale. Now trained by John Sadler, she had an improving pattern in early summer and her California works suggest she can continue moving forward facing a modest field of N2X locals long on Polytrack. Sadler also starts LADY ASANO, who won last time by more than five lengths over a soft bunch of N1X foes. Can't knock a filly that won by a blowout margin, but she did not have much behind her. ISMENE got messed up at the break in her comeback early this month. She finished with run in a better-than-looked eighth-place effort. This is her first route; she might be the one to catch. She will have to take pressure from the filly to her outside, CAMRYN KATE. Closer Looks >>
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3 JUST IRISH finished second last time at this level (N2L, $16k claiming) and was claimed by Kristin Mulhall. Obvious choice if he runs two alike. KNUCKLEBUSTER misfired in his only start at this level in July. Freshened since, he should get a good trip right behind the speed. VALID BUT TRUE faces low-level winners after a facile maiden win. He will be among the pacesetters. Closer Looks >>
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4 An okay runner-up debut by BE PROUD makes the 2-year-old filly the tepid selection in this maiden sprint. She pulled hard while anchored, allowed her stablemate (eventual winner Secret Compass) to get first run, then finished willingly along the rail. Her speed figure (71 Beyer) was soft, but she has a right to improve second out. She might have more speed than shown. First-time starter ANTIQUITY makes her debut for trainer John Sadler and CRK Stable, who raced the filly's dam Stylish Wildcat. She was a stakes winner that won her career debut; her first foal won her debut in Japan. The point is, ANTIQUITY is bred to win early. She was sired by Pulpit. LADY BUGATTI is a Bernardini filly with good apparently good works. Like the top choice, she is trained by Bob Baffert. Closer Looks >>
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5 OBVIOUSLY stands out in this G2 mile turf race. His two routes this summer were front-running crushers; he enters as the "best speed" and likely one of the shortest prices on the card. SILENTIO returns from a four-month layoff with proper credentials, runner-up by a nose in a Grade 1 in March. And he runs well fresh. He won a maiden race first out, an allowance last summer first start in nearly a year, and a G2 in December first start in two and a half months. EL COMMODORE is a sharp speed horse that will keep the favorite honest. TIGAH and HE BE FIRE N ICE will roll late. Closer Looks >>
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6 This is the first leg of the pick six; fast-working 2-year-old BARDSTOWN is "live" first out. The son of Stormy Atlantic worked a bullet six furlongs from the gate nine days ago; before that he posted a bullet five-furlong work. Trainer Bob Hess Jr. can get the first-timers ready to roll. KRISTO is a well-bred colt making his debut for John Sadler with sharp works. Sired by Distorted Humor, he was produced by a stakes-winning sister of 1997 champion sprinter Smoke Glacken. PRIMAL INSTINCT has some fast works for Bob Baffert. Closer Looks >>
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7 GOLDENCENTS was best in the G1 Bing Crosby in July, but compromised by a bad trip. He was shuffled in tight quarters on the backstretch, stalled in traffic and forced to wait behind a wall of horses through the turn, finally swung outside at the top of the stretch by which time the eventual winner already had first run. GOLDENCENTS tried to finish, but fell short by a head while more than three lengths clear of third. It was a winning effort by a 3-year-old that is turning out to be a top sprinter. He gets a rider switch to Joel Rosario and looks like a pick six single. MOBILIZED ran super in his recent comeback. The pace was tepid, the track favored speed, and he closed from last to miss by less than three lengths. Since then, the 7-year-old pro has worked super. He will fly late at a price. WINE POLICE will keep the pace honest along with NO SILENT, who benefitted from track bias winning his recent allowance comeback. Closer Looks >>
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8 In an impossibly difficult race, LILBOURNE ELIZA is the tepid choice. She drops from the G2 San Clemente for 3yo fillies into a N1X for fillies and mares. Her runner-up finish two starts back makes her a win candidate. MACAABRA is a Euro import that might be good enough to knock off this group. She won 3 of 7 overseas (minor tracks), and makes her U.S. debut with a consistent work pattern. MADRE LUNA stretches to a mile and qualifies as a "new face" in a weak race. Closer Looks >>
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9 GAME ON DUDE usually is the one to beat in California handicap-division races. A six-time G1 winner, 'DUDE outclasses the Pacific Classic field even if Polytrack is not his preferred surface. But he has worked well over a track that has played surprisingly fast this summer, he won his last five, finished second in this race last year and has a versatile style that can allow him a pace-pressing trip in the clear. Joel Rosario takes over for Mike Smith, who is busy Sunday riding Royal Delta. Woodbine shipper DELEGATION is a reluctant second preference. His blowout win last out on synthetic at WO earned a sky-high 110 Beyer that is within range of the favorite. The knock is WO form is not always reliable on tougher circuits. A fit on numbers, his class remains a challenge. LIAISON raced evenly in a prep that he needed. His fifth in the San Diego was his first in nearly two months; he can improve. RICHARD'S KID is a two-time Pacific Classic winner. A Del Mar horse for course, he is 4-for-7 on Poly and entering off a win in the mile and a half Cougar II. Not sure if the 8-year-old is still good enough for this level, but also not sure he is not. Closer Looks >>
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10 SMOKIN' CAT appeared to lose his chance at the break three weeks ago when he stumbled badly and spotted his rivals five lengths. Somehow, he overcame the start and won going away. The race was validated when third-place finisher Big Wags returned to win; 'CAT was claimed from John Sadler by Robertino Diodoro and can win right back moving up one notch to $20k claiming. YOMYBATO drops from N2X into his first claiming race for a stable having a big summer. A veteran with only 10 starts, placement at this level makes sense. He will roll late. FORMAT V. was claimed four months ago by Cody Autrey, off a win at this level. A 7-for-36 veteran, he will finish. Stretch-outs DIAMOND OF BLUE and BANK THE EIGHT insure pace. Closer Looks >>
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11 Despite a disappointing third last out at this level (state-bred maidens, turf route), VOLKONSKY remains the one to beat. Perhaps he had an alibi. He was wheeling back in just 17 days and found himself setting the pace instead of chasing a target. As a result, he got swallowed in deep stretch. Now he has had nearly a month between starts, and if he can tuck into a pressing trip rather than make the lead he can win. Trust him? Not after his last start. EMPTY HEADED will roll from the back. First start in six months, his closing style has been the best style this summer in turf routes. AWESOME OKEE looms the upsetter. He did not break well and finished nowhere in his debut around one turn. But he is bred to run long, and should improve second time out. That is a wrap for this handicapper. Time for a short break; back for opening day of the 2013 Los Angeles County Fair meet at Fairplex Park on Sept. 6. Closer Looks >>
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