08/31/2013 1:20PM

Del Mar: Michael Hammersly's Analysis, September 1, 2013

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Michael Hammersly's Analysis [BEST BET: Tiz the Key (7th race)]

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1 HUNTSVILLE comes off a superb stakes try (3rd in G2 Del Mar Handicap) to show he's really come into his own. Sure, that was turf and much longer, but he handles this footing and distance and should get a nice trip chasing a brisk, contested pace. Abrams has had much success over the years coming this quickly (8 days). SOI PHET has turned into a tiger of late and will reportedly scratch out of Saturday's Harry. F. Brubaker to go here instead. This is surely an easier spot but he does face ample other speed. ADMISSION hasn't been seen in over 14 months but Puype is strong off the bench, this guy flashed big ability at times and it's nice to see he does not return with a tag attached. Closer Looks >>
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2 MOONLIT METEOR hasn't run since blowing the start in his debut at BHP last Nov. 18 before running on smartly in the lane. The good news, though, is he's not facing much, has worked steadily and Aguirre has superb numbers off a long layoff like this (4 for last 7, 57%). There isn't much speed signed up here so firster PERFECT MAGIC MAN deserves a look as he's hinted at ample speed in his morning works for Glatt. ICE CREAM TRUCK had a troubled trip here Aug. 11, his first start in 5 months, but to his credit kept to his task well to finish 4th. He can move forward off that run and there's a work since. Closer Looks >>
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3 BEHOLDER towers over these and likely doesn't even need to be fully cranked to win. Her G1 Ky. Oaks 2nd looks all the better as the gal who beat her (Princess of Sylmar) has come back to completely dominate the 3yo filly ranks back east - and this gal nearly beat her. BECKY LOU has shown talent on turf and you've seen many a horse like that move to this synthetic track and do well. She has a bit of tactical speed so she can keep the top pick in her sights - though whether she can do anything about it is another matter. MISS EMPIRE ran on smartly in the Sandy Blue, a sign she's headed the right way. Remember, she was G1 SP last year so she has a touch of class. Closer Looks >>
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4 LUMBERYARD JACK dropped a bit here July 25 and ran splendidly to be a sharp 2nd (beaten only a neck. That was a very strong heat (produced 3 next-out winners, though Vibrato Jass got DQ'd) and this further drop may be just what the Dr. ordered. He obviously likes it here and after a slow start trainer O'Neill has been on quite a roll that past few weeks. LIL BIT O'FUN, an AE, ran on smartly to be 2nd July 25 at this level and was claimed. New trainer Baltas then tried tougher Aug. 17 and while this guy didn't run badly (6th, beaten 3 1/2 lengths) those waters were still too deep. The move back to this level may be key. MAMBO MAN comes off a solid 4th vs. a tough bunch and Talamo stays put. SHADOW RUNNER makes his first start off the claim for Carava off a strong rallying 3rd, ending up just behind today's foes STONEY FLEECE and LIL BIT O'FUN. Closer Looks >>
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5 DANCINGTOTHESTARS looked super winning a strong turf mile here Aug. 8. That shows she's on top of her game and today's surface swtich may actually be a boon as 3 of her 5 wins have come on synthetic. CHARM THE MAKER finished full of run in a sprint here Aug. 7 to finish 5th, beaten less than a length. That was her first start in almost 6 months so she can benefit from that outing and surely this longer trip helps. MAKER OR BREAKER fizzled when trying turf for the first time in a stakes here July 20. She's back to a synthetic track she likes, gets blinkers on and may be the controlling speed. LADY ASPEN comes here seemingly on the upswing for Hollendorfer, who's had a strong meet. Closer Looks >>
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6 A brutally tough 1st division of the Derby. GERVINHO finsihed strongly to win a division of the Oceanside here July 17. Bejarano stays put and this colt seems to have a bit more tactical speed than some of his main rivals, which may earn him first run and keep him out of trouble in this bulky field. GABRIEL CHARLES powered home to just miss when 2nd to today's foe RISING LEGEND (beaten a head) in the other division of the Oceanside July17. That was his first start of the year so he can surely improve. He's shown enough speed at times so that he doesn't have to come from miles out of it. RISING LEGEND has looked good in 2 U.S. starts and his Oceanside division win was also his first start of the year, so he can improve. CHIEF HAVOC won the G2 Swaps, to show some quality, faced top elders in the G2 San Diego and was not disgraced (ran 4th). He handled turf very nicely in England last year. Closer Looks >>
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7 TIZ THE KEY figures primed for a top try. She was a decent 4th in her sprint debut here July 28, chasing home the talented Baffert filly Secret Compass. She can benefit from that outing, has 3 works since and with her pedigree this longer trip should be what she wants. This daughter of HOY Tiznow cost $330K and is kin to War Academy, who looked like a potential Derby horse for Baffert earlier this year (won 2 of 4, $74K). EXOTIC BEHAVIOR looks headed the right way for Baffert and she got experience at this trip on turf Aug. 7 when 3rd to stakes-bound Euro raider Clenor. She's worked well since, too. She's kin to Bustin Stones (6 for 6, $480K, 5 SWs including the G1 Carter). SAY'S WHO appears to be getting the hang of it, running on nicely after a sluggish start in an Aug. 17 sprint here to get 3rd. Closer Looks >>
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8 HAIL MARY was a nice 3rd in the Railbird at BHP May 19, got a couple months off and came back to whip allowance foes, including elders, here July 20, earning a smart Beyer (91). She'd Beyered 92 before so that was no fluke. She has a tone of speed and 5 works since say she's doing well. HEIR KITTY faced some top peers last early and early this year and handled herself well. She's been freshened since chasing champion 2yo filly Beholder in the G1 Las Virgenes March 2, has worked well and should appreciate the drop. KINZ FUNKY MONKEY has seemed a one-dimensional speedball in her first 4 starts but a much-troubled trip in the Daisycutter (turf sprint) here Aug. 9 forced her to stalk and finish, and she darn near pulled it off. She's worked well since, too. Closer Looks >>
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9 DICE FLAVOR and DEN'S LEGACY ran 1-2 in the G2 La Jolla here Aug. 10 but there's reason to believe DEN'S LEGACY can turn the tables. He chased a brisk pace, surged to the lead into the lane but the early work took its toll and he could not fend off the hard-charging DICE FLAVOR in the final yards. Still, it was a super effort. It shows he's got tactical speed, which is key, but if they can hold him up some before hitting the gas then he can get his revenge. DICE FLAVOR finished with gusto to beat 'LEGACY in the G2 La Jolla so he's the real deal. He did take advantage of the pace situation and 'LEGACY being low on fuel late, things he might not get today. INFINITE MAGIC invades from back East where he won the G3 American Derby at AP, beating a very smart Admiral Kitten (who came back to win the G1 Secretariat). Closer Looks >>
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10 OH DADDY OH debuts with some sharp, sharp works (bullet 4fs in :46.60 here Aug. 14) to indicate he's got talent. Miller is having a fine meet and continues his strong work with firsters (23%). He and GG have been super together the past 20 months or so as well (33%). SUDDEN RUMOR, on the AE list, may be the one to beat if he foes. He was the 2-1 favorite in his Aug. 7 debut here but got knocked around at the start to get away poorly. To his credit he ran on well for 4th. He's worked smartly since and D'Amato is a strong 3 for his last 7 (43%) 2nd time out. CHARISMA CODE showed talent in his first 2 starts at BHP (2nd, 3rd) before he got eliminated on the far turn here Aug. 4 when he had to steady hard to lose his action. He's worked 3 times since and it's nice to see Talamo stays and that there's no drop. Closer Looks >>
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11 WITH A MIRACLE was gone 10 months before a so-so return vs. tougher N1X foes on the BHP sod July 7. Then-trainer Hess Jr. dropped her to this level here July 26 and she responded nicely, chasing the pace and staying on well for 2nd. Ellis saw fit to claim her and he's superb off the claim (31%). Could be he bought at the right time. JULIO'S GOLD not only beat maidens nicely here July 27 but came back with a dizzying :58.80 5f work here Aug. 25 (2nd fastest off 66 that day) to indicate he's doing great. Yes, it's first time vs. winners, but these are all maiden-winners only, so the class hike isn't as big as it might otherwise be. SMART N DREAMY was far from disgraced vs. tougher here Aug. 1. The drop may be just what the Dr. ordered and there are 2 works since. Closer Looks >>
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