Despite a pair of favorites winning by a nose and a head to cost us a huge Pick-4 score yesterday, once again nobody was able to string together six winners leading to another Pick-6 carryover of $182,318 on a card where the feature is the $300,000 Del Mar Derby (Grade II) for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8-miles on the turf.
After wondering where all the 3-year-old turfers went when just four ran in the La Jolla Handicap (Grade II) on August 11, a full field of ten shows up today including East Coast shipper Howe Great, who is the tepid 7-to-2 favorite breaking from the outside post. The son of Hat Trick has four wins from six starts on turf, including three stakes highlighted by the Palm Beach (Grade III) at Gulfstream Park in March.
The puck theme continues with 9-to-2 second choice Old Time Hockey, the winner of the La Jolla after wearing down pace-setter My Best Brother to win by a nose. One of two sons of Smarty Jones in the field, he has wins in half of his six career turf starts.
My Best Brother will try to carry his speed an extra furlong at 6-to-1. The Stormy Atlantic colt saw his three-race win streak snapped in the La Jolla and will give his backers at least a brief thrill sure to be winging on the early lead.
The other Smarty Jones is Smart Ellis, also listed at 6-to-1 on the morning line looking to make it a perfect 3-for-3 over the Del Mar turf course. He’s finished off the board in his only two stakes tries, but appears to be better than ever as evidenced by his sparkling a.m. activity over the local sod.
Inexplicably, Tones continues to be disrespected by the morning-line maker, installed at 15-to-1 despite just missing to My Best Brother while finishing ahead of Old Time Hockey in the Oceanside Stakes on opening day. The Irish-bred son of Strategic Prince went off at 16-to-1 in the Oceanside and has finished in the money in 7-of-9 turf starts.
We’re off to the races!
Pick 4 -
Leg 1 – Race 8 (2,4,5,6,8,9) – A doozy of a sequence begins with an impossible maiden allowance for 2-year-old fillies in a route and we spread with No. 2 Sheaparoux, No. 4 Majestic Minister, No. 5 Bas, No. 6 Spellbound, No. 8 Catrageous and No. 9 Vixen.
Leg 2 – Race 9 (1,3,7,8,9,10) – With five wins, No. 10 Howe Great is the most accomplished, but stuck in the outside post he’ll have to try and not lose too much ground out of the chute and the clubhouse turn.
A host of other candidates have the credentials to get the job done so we’ll spread with No. 1 Tones, No. 3 Brother Francis, No. 7 Midnight Crooner, No. 8 Old Time Hockey and No. 9 Smart Ellis.
Leg 3 – Race 10 (4,8) – No. 4 Northern Iowa won nicely in his first two-turn try and could find himself on the lead today with a pair of other front-runners being scratched.
No. 8 Hyades drops out of much better races off the long layoff and has shown the ability to fire fresh.
Leg 4 – Race 11 (2,5,6) – No. 2 Three Blondes just missed in her last and good finds things to all her own on the front end today with Bejarano taking over. She’s drawn well and is strictly the one to beat for Jorge Gutierrez.
Add No. 5 Miss Well Molded, the beaten favorite in her last that ran a pair of winning races previously, and No. 6 Warren’s Today, who also goes for Gutierrez and ran well in a pair of turf routes last year.
Recap – (2,4,5,6,8,9) w (1,3,7,8,9,10) w (4,8) w (2,5,6) – Total cost of ticket = $108
Yesterday’s Result – (+$25.75)
Total for current Del Mar meet – (-$927.45)
Total from 12/26/10 – 7/15/12 – (-$1,571.15)
Pick 5 –
Leg 1 – Race 1 (1,2,4,5) – The scratch of No. 7 Hidden Passion leaves this race wide open so we’ll use No. 1 Vegas Rules, No. 2 Here Comes Bonnie, No. 4 Dynamic Diva and No. 5 Star Vesta.
Leg 2 – Race 2 (4,8,9,10,12) – Bottom-level grizzled vets go a route of ground and we spread again with No. 4 Streets of Heaven, No. 8 Nonsense, No. 9 Miles Heir, No. 10 Capture the Call and No. 12 Low Gear Power.
Leg 3 – Race 3 (1,5,6,7,8) – Five more in a competitive sprint for 3-year-old $50,000 claimers using No.1 A Toe by Three, No. 4 Valentine Boy, No. 5 Hadfunlastnight, No. 6 Norm’s Passion, No. 7 Endless Cruise and No. 8 Champions Gate.
Leg 4 – Race 4 (1,2,3,4,5) – The first of a series of difficult 2-year-old maiden races on the day and we’ll try the inside runners with No. 1 Sacred Ovation, No. 2 Quietasacat, No. 3 Avare, No. 4 Tancred and No. 5 Anytime.
Leg 5 – Race 5 (1) – No. 1 Potesta towers in class and speed over this group after winning the Hollywood Oaks (Grade II) and can use this as a confidence builder on her way to the Breeders’ Cup.
Recap – (1,2,4,5) w (4,8,9,10,12) w (1,5,6,7,8) w (1,2,3,4,5) w (1) – Total cost of ticket = $250
Yesterday’s Result – (-$150)
Total for current Del Mar meet – (+$15,900.10)
Total from 7/20/11 – 7/15/12 – (+$1,874.55)
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