08/06/2015 4:59PM

Hogan: How I'd play Del Mar for Friday, Aug. 7


The Friday evening card at Del Mar features the $80,000 Daisycutter turf sprint as race 7 of an eight-race program, along with a few other interesting races with big fields. Here’s how I’ll look to play the card.

Race 4:

A maiden special weight for statebreds at 6 1/2 furlongs on dirt, the fourth race features a couple short-priced horses with question marks, assuming the morning line holds. #1 SADIE CLARE is the 5-2  favorite and makes her second career start for Phil D’Amato, but I wonder if dirt is her best surface. Her dam earned more than $200K going long on turf, and the two winning siblings of this filly (including full brother Grazen’s Hope) are better on synthetic surfaces. #7 SOUL FLYER is the first foal from multiple stakes winner and graded stakes-placed sprinter  Free Flying Soul, who earned more than  $420K in her 16-race career. Soul Flyer took money and hit the board in both of her career starts, but those races both happened more than a year ago, and trainer Julio Canani doesn’t usually have them fully cranked in the first start off a long layoff. He’s 30-4-4-0 with a $0.89 return on investment over the past five years with all runners following a layoff of 180 days or more (10-0-2-0 in the past two years) and 9-1-1-0, $0.48 ROI off a layoff of one year or more in the past five years.

Instead, I’ll focus on two horses: # 6 URLOVENEVERFAILS and #9 EDWINA E. Urloveneverfails gets blinkers for Jerry Hollendorfer after failing as the 6-5 favorite in her second career start. With a clean break, she could be long gone. Edwina E faced much better last out and may have been compromised by starting a step slow from the rail. That was her debut, and trainer Ben Cecil has not had a debut winner in the past five years (now 22-0-3-3). She should improve in her second career start, and she should find this field of statebred maidens more to her liking. Depending up odds, a win bet may be likely on either, and I’ll key these two on top of the exotics.

Race 5:

A 12-horse turf route like this with a 9-2 morning-line favorite is the kind of races I love—any horse you like is bound to be a square price. That 9-2 favorite (#2 HUNTSVILLE) is a 6-year-old gelding who is 3 for 44 lifetime and currently on a 26-race losing streak, having last won in September  2012. We’ll try to beat him, as well as a few others that seem likely to take money, and we’ll start a pick three leaning mostly on #8 HOBBITS HERO (6-1 ML) and 20-1 bomb #1 BLACKFORD. Hobbits Hero has a lot going for him that can’t be said about most of the field he’s facing: He has multiple turf wins and you don’t need a snorkel to find his last win. Any of his turf races last year are good enough to win this one, including his fourth-place finish at Del Mar when he went wide on both turns and still ran on. That effort took its toll, as he was away for 10 months, and now he stretches back out to a flat mile in his second start as a 4-year-old. Blackford  was claimed last start by sneaky-good trainer Hector Palma, who has won 30 percent in the first start following a claim over the past five years (14 for 47, $2.60 ROI) and is even better in turf races first off the claim (8 for 18, $3.69 ROI). Palma immediately gelded the 4-year-old by top Cal turf sire Unusual Heat, and he seems to have responded with a series of quick works that could imply better focus. A repeat of his game fourth-place effort on Valentine’s Day this year might be good enough here, and he could work out a great trip on or near the lead while breaking from the rail.

We’ll use those two as A’s and start a pick three, where we also use the other claim-then-geld horse--#4 SINFULLY--and #12 BENBA as B’s.. In race 6, a 6 1/2-furlong starter allowance on dirt, we’ll lean most heavily on the only filly to win her maiden in a maiden special weight on dirt (#3 TIZ SWEET BLISS), use #4 ALEXITA as a B, and a couple of the other logical contenders as C’s.

In race 7, the Daisycutter, #9 HOME JOURNEY is very logical, but looms a short price. We’ll use her as an A, along with #7 AMARANTH, who tries turf for the first time, but may be fast enough to clear and then hold on late.

The pick three  play ($40 play):

Race 5: A: 1,8 B: 4,12

Race 6: A: 3 B: 4 C: 6,8

Race 7: A: 7,9 B: 1,6 C: 2,5

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