07/27/2013 12:52AM

Del Mar: Brad Free's Analysis July 28, 2013

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Brad Free’s Analysis [BEST BET: Comma to the Top, 8th Race)]

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1 The fourth-place debut by SECRET COMPASS was solid, even though she lost as the favorite. The 2-year-old filly broke well, dropped surprisingly far off the pace, then finished well and galloped out strongly past the wire. Blinkers are on for her second start. She should produce more speed. She is trained by Bob Baffert, who also entered first-time starter BE PROUD. The latter is bred to run farther than six furlongs (Proud Citizen-Wild Again), but her works look good and Baffert first-time starters usually are ready to roll. ABIDE IN ME finished second in her debut, the same race the top choice exits. SPY GIRL flashed speed and faded first out. With a race under her belt, she can improve. Closer Looks >>
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2 Inside speed have dominated Polytrack sprints. If the bias continues, it benefits TOO FAST TO PASS. He dueled on a strong pace last time and held third. That was a turf sprint, this will be his first try on synthetic. This summer, Polytrack plays like dirt: 19 of the 30 sprints (through Thursday) were won by the pacesetter, and 10 were won from the rail. LAUGH AT LIFE has enough gas to keep the top choice honest. In fact, the top pair dueled last out and 'LIFE finished in front of his rival. Claimed for $40k by trainer Doug O'Neill, 'LIFE drops to $32k first off the claim as O'Neill tries to jump-start the stable. So far, it has been a slow summer; 1 for 26 through Thursday. TIZAPLAYER was in tough in a highly rated N1X won by the fast Freakin Rocket. 'PLAYER returns to the claiming ranks and adds speed to the field. Closer Looks >>
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3 COCONUT CREAM PIE is no great shakes. Runner-up 3 of 5 including two losses while favored, she nonetheless is the choice in this turf route for state-bred maiden fillies and mares. She finished second in two recent races at BHP. She is the logical choice, though hardly infallible. KELDY stretches out to two turns following a midpack sprint finish. Her even-paced style suggests two turns will be fine. The race she exits turned out to be "live." The one-two finishers (Glorious Luck, Cotton's Point) both returned to win. CHUMASH broke slowly from the rail and finished second in an okay debut. No reason why she won't stay a mile, or run on turf. TIZ ZOE CEE broke slowly and trailed in her debut. She looms the upsetter, second time out for a winning stable. Closer Looks >>
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4 DERRINGER drops from N1X to $50k claiming. The outside post does him no favors if the inside-speed bias persists, but he might be quick enough to drop over without being wide. His highly rated starter allowance win two back (89 Beyer) would make him tough to beat. HE'S NOT TOO SHABY is better than his last out suggests. He lost ground, never looked comfortable, and split the field vs. Calbred N1X foes. But he worked sharply since, and obviously likes this track. He has a recent bullet work, and finished second on this track last summer. He should be forwardly placed under apprentice Irving Orozco. SCHERER MAGIC, stablemate of the top choice, will roll late while dropping in class and shortening to a sprint. Closer Looks >>
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5 Despite a sketchy pattern, ARRAIGNMENT is the one to beat. He was claimed for $25k two starts back, finished nowhere first off the claim. That was his most recent start in late May. He was a subsequent vet scratch from a $16k claiming race June 27, and now shows up in a $10k claimer. Not a good pattern. However, he wins races (four), has been competitive vs. better, and top trainer John Sadler names top rider Rafael Bejarano. Have to believe the gelding's condition is good enough to win this. PERFECT VERVE arrives from Northern California in sharp form. He won a restricted $8k claimer last out over a horse that won a $4k starter next out. The closing style of 'VERVE was ineffective in main-track routes early in the meet, but he is in top form and shippers this meet have been delivering. SCOFIELD BARRACKS will rally late, while WHIPSTOCK goes sprint to route and looks like the one to catch. He has a shot to steal it. Closer Looks >>
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6 RANULF defeated only three rivals last out in a special-weight maiden race, but he ran fast (97 Beyer) and has room to improve in his third career start. HEIR OF STORM showed promise as a 2-year-old here last summer. He won his debut despite trouble, finished a better-than-looked fourth with trouble in the G2 Best Pal, then misfired in the G1 Del Mar Futurity. That was his last start. Off since then, he returns with sharp works and proven ability to fire fresh. GONNA FLY NOW hit the board in three N1X allowance sprints at BHP; GNARLY DUDE was claimed for $32k lat time while winning for the third time in his last four starts. Closer Looks >>
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7 Lightly raced BLINGISMYTHING won her debut in stylish fashion and then finished a creditable third against older N1X foes in a productive race from which winner Miss Ellany and seventh-place finisher Meltarib returned to win. 'BLING drops into a N1X restricted to 3-year-olds with a closing style that has been successful this course. SMOOTH TALKER got loose and wired the field at BHP. She showed in two previous route races that she also can run well by rallying from off the pace. The filly she beat last time (Winning Rhythm) was scheduled to start favored Saturday in race 10. Northern California-based HARLAN'S SWEETIE will roll late, at a price. PONTCHATRAIN stretches out for the first time. She is quick enough to make the lead if her rider so chooses. Also-eligible ROYAL EMPRESS, an import from Ireland, has decent overseas form that makes her a contender at this level.1-1. Closer Looks >>
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8 The honest sprinter COMMA TO THE TOP shortens to his preferred six-furlong trip with sufficient gas to be forwardly placed on a Polytrack surface that favored speed the first seven days of racing (through July 25). 'COMMA found seven furlongs slightly out of reach last out, finishing second in a G1. The 14-for-32 gelding won a maiden race on this track in 2010, and a stakes here in 2012. JIMMY CREED lost a shoe and finished eighth as the favorite in the same race as the top choice. But he trained well since, ran well on this track last summer, and will be finishing. If the bias continues however, he will be compromised. GOLDENCENTS shortens to a sprint and adds blinkers for his comeback. A series of bullet works shows he still has speed; 3-year-olds have had success in this sprint for older (recent 3yo winners Smiling Tiger, Zensational). POINTS OFFTHEBENCH has won 4 of 6 and might be this good; MAJESTIC CITY makes his third start back, a winning angle from trainer Ron Ellis. 'CITY finished second behind San Diego favorite Paynter last time out. COACH BOB seems outclassed, but does have speed and the rail. Closer Looks >>
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9 One final drop might do the trick for ONE MAGICAL GIRL, third last out for $16k. She has speed and probably is fast enough to make it to the rail from post 4. Early in the meet, inside speed was powerful. FULL'S FIGUREHEAD was claimed from a N2L $16k claimer. Her final figure was soft (55), but she set a fast early pace before coasting home. She may be better than her number indicates. TIZ THE ROUTE was a vet scratch July 14 from a $16k claimer at BHP. This will be her first start since February; she runs well fresh. UNKEPT RENDEZ VOUS will pick them up late. Closer Looks >>
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10 HORIZONTALYSPEAKIN can win this special-weight turf route if able to ration his speed. He set fast fractions and tired both routes at BHP, and now faces a course profile that does not flatter his running style. But the blinkers are off, and this race came up somewhat soft. He was a vet scratch from a maiden-50 on July 12, but worked a sharp five furlongs two days later. LAYTON REGISTER is a deep closer from Kentucky with the right running style for this course. Furthermore, shippers have been running well. The knock on the seven-start maiden is his recent rivals at Churchill Downs have been weak. KIN is a trouble-prone colt switching iders. Victor Espinoza and Carla Gaines are a productive jockey-trainer combo. Closer Looks >>
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