07/25/2006 11:00PM

Free's Del Mar plays for Thursday, July 27

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The challenge in finding low-odds overlays was evident Wednesday at Del Mar. Both plays started at underlay odds, and resulted in a day with no action.

In race 3, Mr. Splash was 4-1 on the morning line, and could have been backed at 5-2. However, the lone speed in the turf marathon was hammered to a starting price of 1.30-1. Mr. Splash raced gate to wire, as expected, and won by six and one-half lengths. No play.

In race 7, River Echo was 9-2, and could have been backed at 5-2. Bettors recognized the obvious on the second-start maiden however, and he was hammered to 2.10-1. River Echo ran well, failed to change leads in the lane, and finished second. No play.

After two days of no action (dark Tuesday, short prices Wednesday), at least there is price potential Thursday. If the prices are right, we'll go slightly over budget and wager $60 (three win bets at $20 a pop).

Race 3

Sunny Disposition might race gate to wire in the second-level turf allowance for fillies and mares, but the wagering value is a secondary contender. Galloping Angel, runner-up last out to a filly that later won a graded stake, returns from a layoff for trainer Matt Chew and jockey Michael Baze.

Chew and Baze teamed July 24 with comeback turf upsetter Santa Fe ($16.40), and Galloping Angel has been working like she means business first start back. She is listed at 6-1 on the line, a fair price on a good filly.

The bet: $20 win Galloping Angel (minimum odds 6-1).

Race 4

Kalady is the most likely winner after a better-than-looked debut, but firster Stormin Jo Jo has worked well enough to be live in the $50,000 maiden-claimer for 2-year-olds.

Stormin Jo Jo probably will not start at her 15-1 morning line, but she is worth a gamble at 6-1 or higher.

The bet: $20 win Stormin Jo Jo (minimum odds 6-1).

Race 7

Smokey Stover is the fastest in the race on speed figures, but The Pharaoh is not slow and his odds are a whole lot higher. Drawn outside in the N2X sprint that does not have much heat, The Pharaoh should get a pressing trip on top of slow fractions.

He can win if he is good enough. He is listed at 10-1, and worth a bet at 6-1 or higher.

The bet: $20 win The Pharaoh (minimum odds 6-1).

Unlike the Wednesday "no play" card, there will be action on Thursday. Back for more on Friday.

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

Total wagers for meet: $250.
Total return for meet: $0.
Total win/loss for meet: minus $250.