07/24/2013 3:15PM

Del Mar: Brad Free's Analysis July 26, 2013

Email

DRF Plus Preview

#

Brad Free's Analysis [BEST BET: Distinctiv Passion, 2nd Race)]

Links

1 Friday first post 4 p.m. A speed bias was in play opening week, and if the racing surface plays the same this week COCO DE CARCHY might be a slam dunk. Fast front-running maiden winner last out, she enters this restricted (N2L) $25k claiming sprint as lone speed. Color her gone. WITH A MIRACLE and FLASHY DAME both drop for the first time into a claimer. 'MIRACLE broke slow in her comeback early this month, finishing fifth in a N1X. Second start back, she once had some speed and can improve against this softer group. FLASHY DAME is reunited with leading rider Rafael Bejarano. The filly produced most of her top efforts with this jockey. First time in for a tag, she should move forward. Closer Looks >>
DRF Picks >>
2 The turf rails move from zero setting to a 7-foot setting for this card. DISTINCTIV PASSION set a fast pace and tired to third in his recent comeback. Second start back, shortening to five furlongs, inside draw, he figures to clear the field and race gate to wire as simply the fastest in the field. He is a full brother to Italo, maiden winner on grass at Longchamp and a stakes winner on grass at Calder in fall 2011. CIRCA'SGOLDENGEAR has not started since February, but he runs well fresh, is 1-for-1 on DMR turf, and should get a good trip positioned second behind the speed. If the front-runner fades, 'GOLDENGEAR would be one of the first to attack. KOAST returns from a three-month break. He will roll late. SIROCCO STRIKE defeated a sharp claiming horse last out. Et Tu Walker had won three in a row before being downed by 'STRIKE. Closer Looks >>
DRF Picks >>
3 SALT POWER showed run both starts this spring at BHP, splitting the field twice against California-bred special-weights. The 2-year-old drops into a maiden-30, and is quick enough to be positioned on or near the lead. This race should be his best. SHORT SWORD is a homebred gelding making his career debut for all-time leading DMR trainer Mike Mitchell. A gelding sired by Southern Image, he is the first foal to race out of a good claiming-caliber mare. PUNXSUTAWNEY PHIL pressed the pace and faded in his debut against tougher. The winner of that state-bred special was Alpine Luck, who returned to win the G3 Hollywood Juvenile; third place Celtic Moon returned with a sharp special-weight win. 'PHIL has been gelded since his debut, and should improve. The explanation for his name is simple. He was foaled Feb. 2, 2011. That happens to be Groundhog Day. Closer Looks >>
DRF Picks >>
4 BRANDING might have won her last start, but instead finished fourth after she was eliminated in deep stretch when a rider-less horse cross in front and forced jockey Gary Stevens to steady. The filly appeared to be moving as well as the winner, and deserves another chance in this N1X filly-mare route. Her rival is the filly that beat her last time. That is MISS RADIANCE, who has won this condition twice already and is eligible because she runs for the $40k claim tag. She carries seven pounds more than the top choice. Lightly raced LADY ASANO has not raced since encountering trouble in the G1 Las Virgenes in March. Her maiden win two starts back puts her in the hunt. BLACK WITCH could be the speed of the field. This main-track route came up short on pace. 'WITCH could be loose. Closer Looks >>
DRF Picks >>
5 Peter Miller trains 2-year-old first-time starter NIKKI ALLYN, who can win this $50k maiden-claimer if she follows the pattern of many other DMR maidens from this outfit. The past four years, Miller is 8-for-17 with DMR debut maiden-claiming juveniles. CHARISSA has something the top choice lacks, which is racing experience. The fifth-place debut by CHARISSA was good. She broke well, but produced no speed. She uncorked a middle move into and through the turn, and then finished evenly. A drop from special-weight to maiden-50 makes her a logical contender. SWEET MILLICENT has a solid workout pattern. Not sure if she has any speed, but her works suggest she will finish. MIA'S STORM posted a bullet workout July 15 at BHP and could come out firing. Closer Looks >>
DRF Picks >>
6 Third last out in a similar N1X turf sprint, DARLING DODIE shortens from six furlongs to five and should get a lively pace to run at. She was on the lead last time, but won twice previously rallying from behind. SWEET ASSAY looks like the speed of the field. Unable to stay two turns last time, she trained fast since, cuts back to a sprint, and from the inside draw is likely to attempt a theft. That is how she won her debut three starts back in stylish manner. MADRE LUNA and LEMON HERO are similar in ability, with similar running styles. Neither is fast, both will finish. They met twice recently, each finishing in front of the other. Closer Looks >>
DRF Picks >>
7 This G3 main-track marathon may boil down to three droppers from the G1 Hollywood Gold Cup led by KETTLE CORN. He added blinkers last time, caught an 11-pound break from Game on Dude, and missed by only a length while more than six clear of third. 'CORN ran well on this racetrack each of the last two summers, and enters as the logical choice. SKY KINGDOM finished a long way behind the top choice in the Gold Cup, but that was the first start since April for 'KINGDOM, a proven stayer whose career-best performance was in a similar main-track G3 marathon at this mile and one-half distance. OILISBLACKGOLD misfired in the Gold Cup, but has run races that put him in the hunt. GRANDSTAND looms the upsetter. Trainer Cody Autrey shipped him to California with this race as an objective. Now that his prep race is out of the way, he can only improve. At a price. Bombs away. Closer Looks >>
DRF Picks >>
8 The fifth-place debut by MY BEST TEN was better than it looks. She broke slowly, raced evenly, and finished on her own. She was a subsequent vet scratch July 12, but worked a sharp half-mile four days later and gets a confident class hike second time out. MOONLIGHT SPLITTER showed speed and cracked in her special-weight debut. She drops to maiden-40 second time out and is sure to be forwardly placed. HOLIDAY N NEWPORT ran well twice at BHP. She goes first off the claim for Mike Pender. HERE'S TO ROSE is back with maiden-claimers, second off the claim by John Sadler. Closer Looks >>
DRF Picks >>