08/03/2013 11:50AM

Del Mar: Brad Free's Analysis August 4, 2013

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Brad Free’s Analysis [BEST BET: Blues and Silvers (1st race)]

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1 Churchill Downs shipper BLUES AND SILVERS looks tough to beat in this $16k claiming starter. The 8-for-12 filly defeated $40k claimers last out; the runner-up finished six lengths clear of third. She has three good works at Del Mar for her new trainer Mike Puype, and a forwardly placed running style that could play well with the turf rails at 14 feet. Best horse, short price. SELLERIA improved last time when she returned to turf, runner-up in a restricted (N2L) $25k claimer. This field is stronger, but her current form is sharp and her stable is hot. The past three months, trainer Mark Glatt has won at a 23-percent clip (16-for-69) while producing a $2.51 ROI (return on investment per $2 win bet). LIL BARBIE DOODLE stretches back to two turns as the likely speed of the field. Come and catch her. Closer Looks >>
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2 AWESOME BABY has been firing bullets for Bob Baffert; the 2-year-old Awesome Again filly figures to fire first out. Her works include a five-furlong gate move Thursday in 59 seconds, fastest of 64 works. Likely winner, likely underlay. FASHION PLATE was purchased at a 2-year-olds-in-training sale for $340k. She was sired by first-crop stallion Old Fashioned ($8k stud fee) and bred for speed on both sides. Old Fashioned was 3-for-3 as a juvenile; the filly's dam Miss Puzzle was as an Australian sprinter that won her U.S. debut for trainer Simon Bray, jockey Julie Krone and owner Nelson Bunker Hunt on Nov. 14, 2002 at Hollywood Park. TACIT APPROVAL finished a creditable second in her debut two weeks ago, while PERCHED faces maidens after back-to-back fourth-place finishes in stakes. Closer Looks >>
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3 MIDNITE VIEW is ready to stretch out and win. His even-paced running style should play well around two turns; he exits a fast sprint won by the talented Tom's Tribute. 'VIEW has two sharp workouts over the Del Mar Poly. SMOKIN' BERNIE is the high-figure horse. He earned a 92 Beyer finishing second last out, and is likely to set the pace. Speed does hold in routes on this track. WICKED FINANCE stretched to two turns and improved a ton, missing by a length at 47-1 odds, while finishing more than three lengths clear of third. He is the deep threat. CRUCERO and CERVARO are new shooters, both trained by John Sadler. CRUCERO showed promise in two starts at Calder vs. $40k maiden-claimers; CERVARO goes long for the first time, first start since January. Closer Looks >>
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4 THE ONLY KEY is first off the claim by Jerry Hollendorfer, while returning at the same level (N1X/optional $40k claiming) from which she was claimed. She won this condition in April, and has an up-front style expected to play well with the rails up. Hollendorfer is always good first off the claim, the past three months he is 5-for-12 f.o.c. TOOMANYTOMATOES also was claimed for $40k last time out. She makes her first start for top f.o.c. trainer Mike Mitchell, and she crushed the top choice their only previous meeting (albeit on synthetic). Her owner Indizguys Stables has won 18 races and more than $1 million from 58 starts since 2005. MELTARIB traded decisions with 'TOMATOEs in recent weeks including an opening-week victory. Closer Looks >>
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5 Two fast recent gate works by PRAY HARD suggest the 2-year-old is ready to fire first out for Jerry Hollendorfer and owner-breeder Tommy Town. He worked a bullet five furlongs from the gate Monday in 59.60 seconds. All systems go. CHARISMA CODE ran well both starts. He closed for second in his debut, then showed speed and finished third next out. He chased good ones including subsequent Graduation winner California Chrome, next-out maiden winner Better Bet, and Graduation third-place finisher Gangnam Guy. AJAC looms the bomber. He broke slowly in his debut, and now adds blinkers for his second start. Trainer Marcelo Polanco once was deadly with DMR longshots. This would be a good spot for a surprise; the Benchmark colt can outrun his odds second out. WHERE'S THE HEAT debuts for trainer Peter Miller; SIR BARCLAY is a first-time starter out of a dam that produced multiple winners Pulpit's Express and Chocolate Caliente; TAKEN BY SURPISE has the blinkers-on-fast-work pattern since his debut. Closer Looks >>
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6 Romping maiden winner MIA LADY is the one to beat in this sprint for California-bred N1X fillies and mares. Each start by has been better than the previous, she is quick enough to establish position from the rail, and has two sharp works over the Del Mar Poly. J AND S EXPRESS won her second straight and was claimed for $25k by Vann Belvoir in a many-way shake. A five-time winner in peak form, she will fire again. The question is whether a career-best 82 Beyer would be good enough. ALWAYS A CHANCE runs well fresh and will be rolling late, while TRIBAL CHATTER adds speed and will keep the top choice honest up front. Closer Looks >>
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7 The turf rails were to move to a 14-foot setting Friday. It will be interesting to see if the tighter configuration influences the course profile. In past years at DMR, a change in the rail setting has produced a change in profile. If the new configuration turns out to favor speed, then BIORHYTHM might lead these on a merry chase. She wired N1X sprinters last out at BHP, is quick enough to make the lead from the outside post in this mile race, and might be long gone. MISS PIPPA finished third last out in a stakes race at a mile and one-quarter. She benefits from this shorter distance and slightly easier company. HIGH JINKS looms the upsetter. A modest G3 winner in Brazil, her U.S. debut was nondescript but she has a right to improve second time out for longshot trainer A.C. Avila. Closer Looks >>
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8 CELTIC MOON defeated a good field in his second start (on turf). If he continues his improving pattern he can upset this G2 stakes for main-track 2-year-olds. The runner-up from his last start returned to finish second; the third-place finisher returned to win. 'MOON has speed for a pressing trip from the outside. ALBERTS HOPE earned a respectable 77 Beyer winning his debut; it won't take much faster to win this. GUNS LOADED is the only starter with Polytrack form. He wired maidens on this track two weeks ago. He adds more speed. ALPINE LUCK won the slow-pace Hollywood Juvenile last out; SKYDREAMIN won twice in Northern California, both stakes. Closer Looks >>
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9 CLOUD HOPPER and ROYAL IMPORT both drop and return to a track on which they have had success. 'HOPPER finished second in special-weight maiden races here in 2011, and dives to the $8k claiming bottom for the first time. Trainer Art Sherman and jockey Alberto Delgado teamed Wednesday to win the Graduation Stakes with promising 2-year-old California Chrome. ROYAL IMPORT is racing at DMR for a fifth straight season. Along the way, the veteran's eight DMR starts produced two wins, three seconds, two thirds. The late-runner will finish. BLUEGRASS REWARD misfired as the favorite last time; his previous form makes him a threat on the front end. Closer Looks >>
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