07/17/2006 11:00PM

Horse of the day for July 19


Del Mar - Race 3
5 1/2 Furlongs
Maiden Special Weight
2-year-olds. California-breds.

Mr Tex is a full brother to Excessively Nice, a juvenile debut winner at Del Mar for Bob Baffert in 2004. As a son of high-percentage debut sire In Excess, Mr. Tex is expected to be precocious, and Baffert has won with 15 of 85 juvenile debut runners at Del Mar over the last five years. His dam, House of Soviet's is a half-sister to Baffert's Indian Charlie, a son of In Excess that won first-out at two before going on to win the Santa Anita Derby the next season. Second dam Soviet Sojourn was a multiple Grade 3 winner as a juvenile filly. Mr Tex worked five furlongs in 1:00.20 on July 14 as did Baffert's three-year-old Go Quietly, a runner with a 102 Beyer Speed Figure on his record. The homebred must deal with an intimidating inside post, but he should be prominent with an alert break.

Flip the Penny showed good early speed in his previous races, but lost ground from the stretch call to the wire in all of them. He adds blinkers and is expected to be among the pacesetters once again. The beaten favorite in his last two starts, Flip the Penny needs to show more stamina.

Belknap came within two lengths of leading Southern California two-year-old E Z Warrior two starts back, then did not have a good trip in his most recent start 17 days ago at Hollywood. The homebred son of Swiss Yodeler likely will get a good pace to run at in the stretch, and should make late noise under Jon Court.

Alpine Nugget debuts for Bruce Headley after blazing five furlongs in 58.40 over the Del Mar main track five days ago. He should be given additional respect if he attracts significant early action.

1. Mr Tex
2. Flip the Penny
3. Belknap.