08/28/2013 10:18AM

Del Mar: Michael Hammersly's Analysis August 29, 2013

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Michael Hammersly's Analysis [BEST BET: Journey On (5th race)]

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1 MILLE LUNA has been freshened since dueling and fizzling on the BHP sod July 4 but not only did she duel through some fast splits but she was facing tougher (straight maidens). She moves to synthetic for the first time, takes an all-important class drop and her speed may mean she can be the controlling factor. TWO BLUE HENS dropped in fo ra tag for the first time in a sprint here Aug. 15 and improved to be 2nd. Coming out of sprints she may be forwardly placed here. INTOXICATING MOVE ran her best race when at about this level at TAM last Feb. 6, albeit on turf. She didn't run badly vs. straight maidens on this main track Aug. 16 (4th) and today's drop could be key. Closer Looks >>
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2 HE'S A DANCE STAR, an AE, hasn't been seen in nearly 15 months but the gelding has run big before off the bench and trainer Gallagher has strong numbers off a long layoff like this, too. It's also noteworthy Bejarano makes this guy his 1st call (TRIBE is his 2nd call). He's been working well and the drop doesn't hurt, either. PULPIT'S EXPRESS continues his good form and his 3rd here Aug. 3 to the promising Ethnic Dance encourages. All that good work has come routing, though - we're sprinting today. FIELD REPORT has been knocking on the door (6 2nds in last 7 starts) including 2 fine 2nds in spots just like this here this meet. He certainly fits and may finally get that elusive first win over winners. TRIBE hasn't run since finishing nicely for 4th at SA April 5, but that run looks even better since the winner of that (He Be Fire N Ice) was a strong 2nd to top-class Obviously in Sunday's G2 DMR Mile. Closer Looks >>
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3 HOPE 'N PRAY blew the start vs. $50K foes here Aug. 16 but made a smart run inton the lane before flattening out. He drops further and with a better start can use his speed to get right into the race. SUPERSONIC HEAT finished with good energy to be 3rd for $40K here Aug. 15 (beating HOPE 'N PRAY, who was 5th) at 37-1. Could be after nothing but dull outings that effort hints he's getting the hang of it. It's also nice to see a big bullet 3f blowout since on Aug. 25, too (:34.60, fastest of 25 that day). WARREN'S TYLER S. kept to his task decently in a similar spot here Aug. 1. He does inside to outside and it's nice to see Bejarano sticks with him. THE GATEKEEPER was a nice 3rd in a spot similar to this here Aug. 1. He hails from the hot leading barn and a strong bullet 5f move Aug. 18 (:59, best of 71) says he's doing well. Closer Looks >>
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4 Poor starts in her 2 local sprints doomed UNKEPT RENDEZ VOUS so with a better beginning she can not leave herself with too much to do. She finished with good energy to be 2nd in a sprint here Aug. 21. Garcia not only saw fit to claim her (6 for last 9, 67%, off the claim) but he gives her more ground this time. MIZ WOUNDED KNEE has been facing more expensive so the move down in value today may help. Her last run was also her first route so she now has a feel for the trip. HAWFINCH kept to her task gamely to win a race just like this here Aug. 1. She showed versatility in her last few, too, which gives rider Couton options. Trainer Powell is quietly having a splendid meet (4 for first 9, 44%). FIESTA EXPRESS could be scary as she takes a significant drop off a couple nice outings (3rd, then 4th) vs. $16K foes. Closer Looks >>
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5 JOURNEY ON looked smashing whipping maidens here Aug. 15 in a laugher. Yes, there are huge hurdles here - first time vs. winners, first time turf, first time routing - but she obviously has loads of ability and THIS is what she's bred for as her sire was a G1 winner at this distance on turf and she's a full-sister to Bella Viagga (4 for 7, $249K, 2 for 3 on turf including a SW and SP on turf).MOTIVATED hasn't run since easily beating maidens on the TAM turf at this distance March 1. Trainer Proctor is having a terrific meet and is strong off the bench, and this gal's TAM makes her a proven commodity on turf at this trip. ROLANDA comes off a decent 3rd on the main track for $32K here Aug. 8, her first start in 2 months. Not only did Sherlock see fit to claim her but he brings her back in a spot where he can't lose her via another claim and he puts her back on turf, which she handled well at BHP this spring. A bullet :35.40 work here Aug. 22 bodes well and she also gets blinkers. Closer Looks >>
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6 ZNELLE dueled and paid the price vs. similar here Aug. 9 but you can be forgiving as not only did he get into a duel but it was his first start in almost 2 months and first try on synthetic. Sadler saw fit to claim her (25%) off a claim as he continues his strong meet. Also nice to see Bejarano takes the call. And while he showed speed in that Aug. 9 run note the ability to rally and pass horses shown in his PLN debut June 22.SAILORS BROTHER is the one to beat coming off 2 nice 2nds to start his career. He dueled and stayed on well vs. similar here Aug. 2 and has 2 nice works since. That being said, the Beyer didn't come back all that hot (32).BRIGHTON STAR ran on nicely in his first 2 outings including finishing 4th here Aug. 9, beating ZNELLE (who ran 6th) by about 3 lengths. Moger Jr. adds blinkers which may get him more prominent early. Closer Looks >>
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7 PAT'S BACK broie her maiden here smartly a year ago, and that was enough to earn a shot at the G1 DMR Debutante. Well, things haven't gone so well since and this marks her first start in almost 7 months. However, trainer Miller has shown he's strong off the bench and with big droppers such as this gal. The drop and return to this track may be just what the Dr. ordered. OUT OF THIN AIRran on smartly to be a strong 2nd (beaten only a neck) vs. N2L foes for this price here Aug. 9. That was a nice bounce-back after her turf route dud here earlier in the meet. BLUEGRASS ELLIE finished just a length behind 'AIR in that same Aug. 9 race so that certainly means she's a good fit here as well. She may be the primary speed in this race as well. Closer Looks >>
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8 STRONG WIND comes off 2 strong outings over this course including an excellent 3rd (beaten just a neck; moved up to 2nd via DQ) in the Green Flash Aug. 14. Either of the 2 who edged him that day (Distinctiv Passion, Sirocco Strike) would be favored here to be sure. He has the speed to be in the thick of it from the start but is by no means a need-the-lead type. CIRCA'SGOLDENGEAR, on the AE list, was only about a length behind th etop pick in the Green Flash and he's won over this course as well. The Green Flash was just his 2nd start after 5 months off so he's eligible to move forward. KOAST, also on the AE list, faltered a bit in his July 26 try here but that was his first go-round in 3 months. He nearly won the Green Flash here last year and with that under his belt may vault forward. It's also nice to see Bejarano takes the call. Closer Looks >>
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9 CONCORDE WEST ran 3rd behind today's foe ARIZONA WILDCAT in a race at this level Aug. 2 but that was his first start in 3 months. He can improve off that run and Bonde saw fit to claim him and adds blinkers. There are 2 big works since, too, including a bullet 5fs here Aug. 21 (:59.20, best of 37 that day). DENZEL is likely the one to beat from the hot Baffert barn as he takes the most important drop in the game (straight maiden to maiden claiming). He hasn't run since Jan. 19 but Baffert routinely has his horses ready off the bench. This guy flashed talent last fall. ARIZONA WILDCAT came back after over 11 months on the bench, with blinkers added, and finished smartly to be 2nd Aug. 2, beating today's top pick. He can certainly be dangerous again with that outing under his belt. Closer Looks >>
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