Despite having no turf experience, Eden’s Moon is the 2-to-1 morning line favorite and 121-lb. high weight in today’s featured $150,000 San Clemente Handicap (Grade II) for 3-year-old fillies over a mile on the lawn. Adding to the interest on the last day of opening week, a $133,556 carryover is likely to produce a Pick-6 pool of over $1 million.
The daughter of Malibu Moon trained by Bob Baffert, who sends short-priced runners in the last five legs of the Pick-6, exits a tooth and nail battle in the Hollywood Oaks (Grade II) a month ago where she was nosed out by Potesta after the lead exchanged hands multiple times through the stretch. It was a solid bounce back effort for the Grade 1 winner on dirt after finishing last in the Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) in May.
Finishing in the money in all eight career starts coming on turf, Byrama is the 5-to-2 second choice stretching back out after rallying late to win the Manhattan Beach at six furlongs over Hollywood Park’s turf course. The British-bred daughter of Byron is winless in three starts at the distance and reunites with Garrett Gomez, who was aboard in her runner-up effort over 1 1/8-miles in the Providencia three starts back at Santa Anita.
Indigo River has also made all her starts on the green stuff, winning half of those six efforts including the Sweet Life coming down the hill at Santa Anita in February. In her only two-turn try, the Irish-bred daughter of Kodiac faded to third after setting the early pace in the China Doll in March and is the co-third choice at 4-to-1 making her first start in over five months.
Also at 4-to-1 is Killer Graces, the clear leader in earnings with $441,830 through a field high 12 starts. The daughter of Congaree is winless in four starts this year since closing 2011 by capturing the Hollywood Starlet (Grade I) and ran third in the Providencia in her only turf try.
Alive with a long shot look at 12-to-1 is Open Water, who makes her third start since moving to the barn of Eric Guillot. In her first taste of the turf, the daughter of Include blitzed a five-furlong local bullet six days ago and will try to turn the table after being beaten over 12 lengths in the Hollywood Oaks.
We’re off to the races!
Pick 4 -
Leg 1 – Race 6 (1,2,3,8,9,10) – The Del Mar special big-time maiden allowance for 2-year-old fillies and we’ll spread with six using No. 1 Fanticola, No. 2 Wild One, No. 3 Kinz Funky Money, No. 8 Suncadia, No. 9 Beholder and No. 10 How Lovely.
Leg 2 – Race 7 (1,2,8,9) – Baffert is double tough here, starting with No. 2 Brigand shipping back from New York and likely to be clearing speed in his first start against older horses, or No. 8 Jaycito, a chronic under-performer dipping back out of stakes company.
No. 9 Shaun Washington exits a monster effort in his first main track try and must be used, and we’ll give No. 1 Death Star a shot in his second off the layoff with the potential to get a ground saving trip.
Leg 3 – Race 8 (1,4,5,8) – Use the four preferred above with No. 1 Open Water, No. 4 Eden’s Moon, No. 5 Byrama and No. 8 Indigo River.
Leg 4 – Race 9 (7,8,9) – A couple of key scratches leaves No. 9 The Brain a likely odds-on winner for Baffert, but we’ll try to beat him with No. 7 Castletown and No. 8 Tiznow Or Then.
Recap – (1,2,3,8,9,10) w (1,2,8,9) w (1,4,5,8) w (7,8,9) – Total cost of ticket = $144
Yesterday’s Result – (-$112.50)
Total for currentDelMar meet – (+$109.20)
Total from 12/26/10 – 7/15/12 – (-$1,571.15)
Pick 5 –
Leg 1 – Race 1 (3,7) – We’ll use a pair of comebackers making their first start of 2012 with No. 3 Valen, who gets a major barn upgrade and ran well against tougher in his only start over this main track, and No. 7 Idontrollonshabbos, who was last seen missing by a head in December and has been training great for his return.
Leg 2 – Race 2 (1,3,5,6,7) – We’re partial to No. 6 Granny Calling and she does a four-length maiden breaking win over Keeneland’s Polytrack, but we’ll spread with No. 1 Always a Chance, No. 3 Quick Wampum, No. 5 Brilliant Melody and No. 7 Queen Mercury.
Leg 3 – Race 3 (2,3,4) – No. 4 Liberian Freighter has been one of our favorites, but will be nowhere near the value we’ve been getting with him on the drop out of graded stakes. He’ll be forwardly placed early, but No. 5 Leaving New York is likely to keep him company, opening the door forNo. 2 Holladay Road or No. 3 Norvsky to mow them down.
Leg 4 – Race 4 (2,3,4,5,8,10) – Spread six deep in this $40,000 claiming sprint filled with hard-knockers using No. 2 Korban, No. 3 Shediak, No. 4 Gnarly Dude, No. 5 Stacy’s Hope, No. 8 Drift King and No. 10 Luckarack.
Leg 5 – Race 5 (4,8) – No. 4 Smokey Lonesome drops in class to face quite a few moving up and catches a favorable race shape with lots of early speed to set him up from off the pace. First or second in half of his 16 starts, he’s not being given away so no need to be alarmed about the drop, and he’s been tearing up the track in the a.m.
No. 8 Huntingman moves back to his preferred two-turn game and the lawn off the claim by John Sadler, who knows how to win races around here much better than the previous connections.
Recap – (3,7) w (1,3,5,6,7) w (2,3,4) w (2,3,4,5,8,10) w (4,8) – Total cost of ticket = $180
Yesterday’s Result – (-$96)
Total for current Del Mar meet – (-$484)
Total from 7/20/11 – 7/15/12 – (+$1,874.55)
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