Installed as the 8-to-5 favorite on the morning line, Lady of Shamrock can launch herself into super stardom if she can win consecutive Grade I races by defeating a solid group of 3-year-old fillies in today’s $300,000 Del Mar Oaks (Grade I) over 1 1/8-miles on turf.
(Click here to watch my interview with Eric Guillot)
“They say she’s a beast, but I think there’s a half dozen horses that can win the race,” said trainer Eric Guillot, who sends 8-to-1 shot Open Water off a runner-up effort in the San Clemente (Grade II) on July 22.
Open Water seemed over-matched in graded stakes company on the main track in her first two starts for Guillot, but she’s found a home on the lawn since, accentuated by a bullet five-furlong work six days ago.
“She ran huge last race. Was closing, got in trouble at the quarter pole, steadied a little bit and come flying late,” said Guillot. “I gave her that first race back (in the Hollywood Oaks), that was pretty obvious.”
In her third start off the layoff, Open Water moves to Agapito Delgadillo for the first time after Victor Espinoza had been aboard for her last three.
“Victor chose the other horse (20-to-1 long shot Long Face), an other than horse over a multiple graded stakes horse,” said Guillot. “I guess he doesn’t want to get up in the morning and work horses. That was the deal.”
In the San Clemente, Open Water was chasing today’s 5-to-2 second choice Eden’s Moon, who made every pole a winning one over the mile distance in her turf debut for Bob Baffert. Another race that shapes up with an apparent lack of early speed means a repeat may be in the cards for the daughter of Malibu Moon.
“I’m not sure Eden’s Moon wants a mile and an eighth,” said Guillot. “We’ll find out today, but she’s probably going to get everything her way again except it’s going to be a cavalry charge the last eighth of a mile.”
Before being purchased privately by Southern Equine Stable, Open Water won a pair of races by a combined 15 ½-lengths over the Polytrack at Turfway Park in Kentucky.
Guillot and Southern Equine are no strangers to graded stakes success with female runners, having campaigned Champagne d’Oro and Mi Sueno in recent years, along with Show Me the Stage over a decade ago.
“She’s doing great,” said Guillot of his Include filly. “This kind of race is won by trips, jockeys moving too early or too late. If the racing gods are shining upon Agapito and Guillot then she’s going to be right there.”
We’re off to the races!
Pick 4 -
Leg 1 – Race 7 (4,6,7) – Lots of early speed can set things up for No. 4 Nextdoorneighbor to mow them down late in his second start for Baffert.
No. 7 Chapman’s Peak has shown the ability to sit just off the pace and he chased a promising runner last time, while No. 6 Royal Meridian gets a confident class hike off an impressive score over this track.
Leg 2 – Race 8 (2,6,7,8) – Along with the trio discussed above of No. 2 Lady of Shamrock, No. 7 Open Water and No. 8 Eden’s Moon, use No. 6 My Gi Gi, who got her nose down in front of Lady of Shamrock two starts back in the Honeymoon Handicap (Grade II) at Hollywood Park.
Leg 3 – Race 9 (1,3,12) – No. 12 Dynamic Diva appears to tower of this bunch off a runner-up effort last time in her first at this non-winners of two lifetime level, but could be vulnerable if the outside post leads to a wide trip.
Add No. 1 Sheskey and No. 3 MissCalifornia, who have both had success over this track and could be dangerous on the front end after cutting the corner into the clubhouse turn.
Leg 4 – Race 10 (4,5,6) – A difficult day of handicapping concludes with a wide-open route for $10,000 claimers, which is the lowest No. 6 Temerity has run for and does so in the first off the claim as the last runner for Doug O’Neill before his suspension begins tomorrow. He’s been consistent on synthetic and was beaten just a length and half when in for double this tag in his last and can sit the perfect trip off front-running Coluda, who is due for a regression after a big effort last time.
Both No. 4 Deputiformer, who was claimed back by Dallas Keen earlier in the meet and flashed a solid work four days ago, and No. 5 Falcon Rock, who plummets to the bottom, are worth inclusion with top pilots aboard.
Recap – (4,6,7) w (2,6,7,8) w (1,3,12) w (4,5,6) – Total cost of ticket = $54
Yesterday’s Result – (-$144)
Total for current Del Mar meet – (+$105.95)
Total from 12/26/10 – 7/15/12 – (-$1,571.15)
Pick 5 –
Leg 1 – Race 1 (2,3,5) – Maybe the most challenging sequence of the meet begins with a bottom-level maiden claimer where it’s hard to make a case for any of the seven runners so we’ll settle with No. 2 Tarheel Babe, No. 3 Mile High Bunk and No. 5 Paris Grapes.
Leg 2 – Race 2 (4,5,7) – No. 7 Cat On Base has blazing early speed and will try to lead all the way, but he catches a salty $25,000 group so we’ll use a pair that have run well over this strip with No. 4 Magic Beam and No. 5 Warren’s Knockout.
Leg 3 – Race 3 (1,6,7,9) – No. 1 Affretando and No. 9 Jolly Joseph were both beaten a half length and a head respectively in their last and are logical at short prices, but we’ll search for value by adding No. 6 Toomanylucky’s and No. 7 Unusual Beam.
Leg 4 – Race 4 (1,2,3,5) – Maybe the most difficult race on the card where a case can be made for all but on of these starter allowance fillies, but we settle on No. 1 Miss Lady Ellen, No. 2 Zoe B, No. 3 Granny Calling and No. 5 Conkate.
Leg 5 – Race 5 (4,7,8) – No. 4 Until You has perked up in the morning after tiring in his last and gets another chance at a wire job, while No. 8 Unex Dali can be in perfect striking range sitting off his flank with a better ride today than he received last time.
No. 7 Mr. Make Believe has been a big disappointment this year, but could wake up going as a first-time gelding.
Recap – (2,3,5) w (4,5,7) w (1,6,7,9) w (1,2,3,5) w (4,7,8) – Total cost of ticket = $216
Yesterday’s Result – (+$1,121.85)
Total for current Del Mar meet – (+$17,498.30)
Total from 7/20/11 – 7/15/12 – (+$1,874.55)
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