07/19/2013 11:25PM

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

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Brad Free's Analysis [BEST BET: Summer Hit, 5th Race)]

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1 JOINT ATTEMPT won her second start "ridden out" at Calder, and makes her California debut realistically spotted in a $40k claimer. While the quality of the field she beat in Florida is suspect, the improving filly may have more to give. IRISH PRESENCE drops from three successive minor stakes, while stretching to a turf route. Distance and surface challenges aside, this class level may be where she belongs. JOEANDBETTY'SBABY drops another notch looking for her level. She finished second with trouble last out in a $62.5k claimer, and drops again to $40k as the slide continues. Closer Looks >>
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2 Bob Baffert-trained first-timer starter SOCIALBUG has been lighting SA and BHP, posting five consecutive bullet workouts. The 3-year-old Curlin filly took a long time getting to the races; her workouts say she will fire first out despite the rail. A likely underlay, she must be considered the one to beat. HUMOR ME is the "other" Baffert. Runner-up in her only start, she returns with sharp works and an experience edge. FANTICOLA showed run in her only start one year ago. That was an "off-slowly" runner-up finish in a productive race won by subsequent champion filly Beholder. A steady workout pattern suggests FANTICOLA is "live" for Del Mar all-time leading trainer Mike Mitchell. THE MAGIC STONE debuts for a strong trainer-jockey combo, while INSIDE SCOOP might be better than her modest works indicate. Closer Looks >>
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3 CURLY TOP has two comeback races under his belt, including a good runner-up finish last out. The improving 3-year-old makes his third start off the bench, with a two-turn advantage over his stablemate. That is Baffert-trained EVERTON, a sprinter (so far) with back-to-back big figs (100 and 95 Beyer). EVERTON is quick enough to clear the field, while his stablemate will roll late. GOD OF WAR is a pro that likes it here. He romped in a maiden claimer one year ago on this track. HOLY CANDY has not raced since an injury as the even-money favorite one year ago in the opening-day Oceanside. He was a promising young horse a year ago. Now age 4, seems likely he could need a prep race. Closer Looks >>
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4 Also-eligible GO FIRST bombed without a visible alibi in the G3 Hollywood Juvenile, but his runner-up debut two starts back was terrific. He has three good works since the stakes, drops back into a maiden race, and can win if he reproduces his debut. Not sure how quick he is, however. That could be a problem if the speed-friendly profile persists. The first two days of the meet, front-runners and pace-pressers dominated main-track sprints. First-time starter JOHNS JOURNEY scratched from a $50k maiden-claimer Thursday and runs instead in this Calbred special-weight. His sharp works for trainer Mike Machowsky includes a bullet gate work Monday; he is a half-brother to Luz Atticus, a debut winner for Machowsky here last Aug. 30. TAMARANDO showed no speed from the rail, and finished evenly in what looked like a practice run. He gets off the rail, and should show more speed second time out. SMOGCUTTER is a Baffert first-timer by first-crop stallion Papa Clem. Closer Looks >>
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5 Recent G3 winner SUMMER HIT is the class of the field in this California-bred turf stakes, even if the front-runner faces a potentially compromising course profile. The first two days of the meet, late speed held the advantage on turf. 'HIT has been freshened two months, figures to clear the field, and should be gone. LUCKY PRIMO also has speed, though he has shown he can be effective from off the pace. His recent comeback was a good third-place finish in a G2 that was his first start of the year. He drops in class and should get a good trip positioned second behind the top choice. If that one fades, then 'PRIMO would get first run. HOLLADAY ROAD will rally from the back. He missed by only a length in this race one year ago. COMPARI finished second last out to Barocci, a contender Saturday in the G1 Eddie Read. Closer Looks >>
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6 A sibling to 2012 Kentucky Derby/Preakness pacesetter/runner-up Bodemeister, the 2-year-old filly FASCINATING makes her career debut for trainer Bob Baffert. Bodemeister finished second in his debut, the dam Untouched Talent won first out. Modest-looking works (on paper) for FASCINATING, a $1.3 million Smart Strike filly. Baffert also entered first-time starter SPRING MOON, by first-crop stallion Zensational. 'MOON worked one-fifth slower than her stablemate on July 15, but certainly is bred to be quick. TACIT APPROVAL is a $320k Tapit filly making her debut for trainer Craig Dollase. Over the past year, Dollase is 7-for-13 with first-time starters including a pair of 2-year-old special-weight wins last summer at DMR for West Point Thoroughbreds (Pure Indy, Tree of Life). SOUTHERN SUNSHINE has a bunch of fast works for red-hot trainer Peter Miller, while MY LADY'S HOLIDAY figures to improve with a good third-place debut under her belt. Closer Looks >>
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7 FLOATING FEATHER won twice at DMR last summer, and figures to improve first off the claim by Jeff Mullins. The 8-for-31 veteran runs best on synthetic, and though the hike from $25k to $40k is ambitious, it signals optimism. He is a better horse than his recent form indicates. Tab for an upset. CHAPMAN'S PEAK finished second all three starts on this track. Runner-up here in his debut as a 2-year-old in 2010, he placed twice in N1X sprints last summer, and now goes first off the claim by Ron Ellis. 'PEAK set a strong pace last out at this level, fought back late, and missed by a only a neck. Third-place finisher Luckarack returned to win for $40k. It was a fast, live race. KORBAN is the knockout. First start since last summer for trainer Marty Jones, the gelding has won at this level. He should start at a price. GUTSHOT STRAIGHT might be ranked too low. He is another than likes this track, and he outfinished CHAPMAN'S PEAK last out. WIREDFORTWOTWENTY is quick. While he might prefer conventional dirt, his style is appropriate. Speed dominated sprints the first two days of the meet. Closer Looks >>
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8 WISHING GATE probably is better than her modest recent speed figures suggest. If so, she can upset this turf stakes for 3-year-old fillies. 'GATE won a maiden race on turf here last summer at 2, and improved each start of her current campaign. Her most recent at AP was her best yet. Positioned seven lengths behind a slow pace, she inched closer into the far turn and then ran away late. It was a better-than-looked allowance win by a late-runner that should get legitimate fractions to run at. Off the pace and into the winner's circle, possibly at a price. IOTAPA, runner-up in the G1 Santa Anita Oaks and G2 Hollywood Oaks, switches to turf. Her closing style suggests the surface is fine. Her sire Afleet Alex gets 9 percent turf winners according to Daily Racing Form. UNUSUAL WAY has been running well in minor stakes including a $100k stakes win last out at GG that was her first on turf. She will be forwardly placed and saving ground under Russell Baze. FOXY BOSS finished well clear of third last time in a "live" N1X vs. older. The winner returned to win a N2X. Closer Looks >>
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9 A handful of last-out maiden-claiming winners race for a $16k tag in this non-winners of two (N2L) sprint. HUSTLIN NU won his comeback one month ago with a good number (72 Beyer), worked fast since, and should get a pressing trip outside his main rivals. COSMIC HEAT wheels back only 15 days after a blowout. He had been off nearly six months before that. WARREN'S PAROLEE scored a solid comeback victory in May. That race produced at least two next-out winners. Pleasanton maiden-claiming winner FIGHTING ON will be among the pacesetters, while dropper VERY UNUSUAL will pick up the pieces. Closer Looks >>
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