07/18/2014 10:26AM

King: How I'd play Del Mar on Friday, July 18


It’s on to day two of the summer meet at Del Mar following an exciting opening day. Here is a trio of value plays I plan to support on the card, provided the odds remain attractive.

Race 3

After a pair of maiden-claiming races that fail to inspire, the third race intrigues, specifically FRENSHAM (#2), a 15-1 shot on the morning line who dropped from open stakes company into a California-bred allowance. Although winless in three starts on turf, it is important to realize he did run a fine second on grass early in his career – his two other defeats on the grass came against much classier.

Working to his advantage is the fact this race is loaded with horses that raced down the hill at Santa Anita – horses now trying to go a route. Regression from those runners seems possible.

Doubt Frensham will stick to his 15-1 morning line, but even at 10-1, he warrants playing, and he is a horse to use in exactas with the favorites.

Race 4

This horseplayer has always liked the angle of supporting a horse when a sharp trainer shows confidence in a horse despite what the past performances suggest at a quick glance.

That angle is evident in the fourth race as it applies to PIONEER CHARLIE (#8), who is untested on Polytrack and unraced since December at Fair Grounds, where he was last, beaten more than 38 lengths. In light of that scenario, the conservative option for his trainer, Mike Stidham, would have been to run the horse back in an easier spot at his summer base at Arlington Park.

Instead, he brings a fresh and presumably fit horse into Del Mar – going after the purse incentive for out-of-state invaders. Reading between the lines, the suspicion is the horse must have pleased him with his works over the Polytrack at Arlington in recent weeks to go for the bolder approach.

Throw in a promising debut in which he was fourth to eventual stakes winner Albano in his only other race over the winter at Fair Grounds, and this horse is the choice and quite playable in the win pool at his 4-1 odds. Key him in the gimmicks.

Race 6

ROSENGOLD (#8) ends my trio of value plays on the Friday card at Del Mar, offering an attractive price at 5-1 on the morning line.

Although edged by PURE TACTICS last out in the Siren Lure Stakes at Santa Anita, that race was going down the hill at 6 1/2 furlongs, and Pure Tactics needed ever yard of the race to catch front-running Rosengold by a nose.

With the sixth race at five furlongs on turf and not being as speed-laden as a typical race at this distance, conditions are much more favorable for Rosengold to last on the lead this time.  And his odds should be square with Pure Tactics taking support, as well as the often-sidelined but classy CARACORTADO.