07/26/2006 11:00PM

Free's Del Mar plays for Friday, July 28


Two tough trips, one poor effort, and three losing tickets are the only things to show for Thursday.

Galloping Angel started at 7-1 in race 3, but was blocked at a crucial stage into the lane, lost her momentum, and finished third. She can be played back against similar, in a second-condition allowance for fillies and mares on grass.

First-time starter Stormin Jo Jo started at 12-1 in race 4. But when the gates opened she went straight in the air and was eliminated before the real running began. She showed late run even while trailing the field, and the pint-sized filly is worth chasing next time at a big number.

As for 9-1 shot The Pharaoh in race 7, he ran poorly and finished fourth with a good trip pressing the pace. He simply was not good enough.

On to the Friday card.

Race 4

Shippers from Northern California are running well this meet (Pleasanton shipper Old Man River paid $24.80 in race 7 on Thursday). They are particularly effective when the locals aren't much, such as in race 4.

Ole Cheryl returns to Southern California in acceptable form, she has the tactical speed that has been so important in two-turn dirt races, and her rivals in the $20,000 filly-mare claimer aren't much.

Ole Cheryl is 4-1 on the line, and worth playing at a point less.

The bet: $25 win Ole Cheryl (minimum odds 3-1).

Race 6

When 3-year-olds drop into the claiming ranks for the first time in midsummer, after repeatedly falling short against allowance foes, they often wake up. That might be the case with comeback dropper Archon Star.

An import from Europe, he could not get it done in three starts in winter and spring, but trainer Ben Cecil does well with comebackers, and for the first time in the U.S., Archon Star is up for sale.

Listed at a juicy 15-1 on the morning line, he is worth a bet at 9-1.

The bet: $25 win Archon Star (minimum odds 9-1).

It would be swell to cash a ticket before the weekend. Win or lose, back on Saturday.

Total wagers previous day: $60.
Total return previous day: $0.
Total win/loss previous day: minus $60.

Total wagers for meet: $310.
Total return for meet: $0.
Total win/loss for meet: minus $310.