The biggest day of racing at our blessed heaven on earth couldn’t be more exciting with a Pick-6 carryover of $570,012 leading to a pool in the neighborhood of $3 million and some of the best horses in the world competing in the $1 million Pacific Classic (Grade I) over 1 1/-4 miles on the main track.
(Hang out with Game On Dude and watch my interview with Bob Baffert by clicking here)
The runner-up in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic, Game On Dude looks to solidify his spot atop the America’s Best Racing thoroughbred media poll by notching his fourth graded stakes win of the year in front-running fashion as the 5-to-2 morning line favorite. A week of drama off the track will be settled on it, with the most likely result being a fourth career Grade I win for the 5-year-old gelded son of Awesome Again.
The 7-to-2 second choice was stable mates in Bob Baffert’s barn with the favorite until a week ago, but after a sale that ruffled some feathers, Richard’s Kid makes his first start for Team Doug O’Neill in search of his third Pacific Classic triumph. The 7-year-old son of Lemon Drop Kid also gets a new pilot today, with Victor Espinoza replacing Rafael Bejarano in a questionable move.
(For my complete Pacific Classic preview click here)
Older males comprise a pair of Grade II events with six-horse fields on the under card by sprinting seven furlongs on the main track in the $250,000 Pat O’Brien and going a mile on the turf in the $200,000 Del Mar Mile.
A big day for Baffert can begin in the Pat O’Brien, where he sends both 8-to-5 favorite Coil and 5-to-2 second choice Capital Account.
That pair has the recency edge on this strip over 9-to-5 second choice Camp Victory, who finally broke through in graded stakes action for Mike Mitchell with a romping 3 ¼-length score in the Triple Bend (Grade I) at Hollywood Park on June 30.
Off a rousing five-length win of his own trying two turns for the first time, Obviously is the 2-to-1 favorite for Mitchell making his stakes debut in the Del Mar Mile. The 4-year-old Irish-bred son of Choisir cut out quick fractions in his allowance win on August 2 before drawing off late to stop the clock just a tick shy of the track record.
Jeranimo makes his 13th consecutive appearance in a graded stakes as the 5-to-2 second choice after a sparkling 1 ¼-length win in the Shoemaker Mile (Grade I) when dismissed at 8-to-1. In his only try over this turf course, the 6-year-old son of Congaree ran second behind Acclamation in last year’s Eddie Read (Grade I).
After both finishing within half a length of the winner in last year’s Del Mar Mile, Mr. Commons and Calimonco are back hoping for the speed to come back to them.
We’re off to the races!
Pick 4 -
Leg 1 – Race 8 (2,3,4,5,6,7,8,10) – No. 10 Caminetto broke slow from the rail in his last, but was still able to get to a clear lead and looked long gone before tiring to be well-beaten in third as the odds-on favorite.
Let’s try to beat him again today using a massive spread with No. 2 Seven Bridges, No. 3 Mambo Man, No. 4 Vodkatariat, No. 5 Confederate Cat, No. 6 King Maya, No. 7 Congregationalist and No. 8 Goyathla.
Leg 2 – Race 9 (9) – Bottom line No. 9 Game On Dude is the best horse in the group and if we can get anywhere near his morning line price we’ll consider it a gift. As long as he can break cleanly and be positioned near the front where he likes to be, even with Riveting Reason on his flank, he should draw away down the back side, open up turning for home and be long gone.
Leg 3 – Race 10 (2,5,6,9,10) – Tab No. 9 Night Wind for a mild surprise with a race under his belt and spread with No. 2 Adriatic Moon, No. 5 Warren’s Knockout, No. 6 Memphis and No. 10 Classic Bobby.
Leg 4 – Race 11 (3,4,5,10) – No. 10 Miss Communication has burned a lot of money through six starts and we’ll likely be favored again. She adds blinkers and move from Talamo to Gomez, but could lose ground breaking from the outside.
It’s a rather weak bunch, but we’ll try a trio of runners drawn better with No. 3 Splendiferous Moon, No. 4 Level Headed and No. 5 Remarkable Moon.
Recap – (2,3,4,5,6,7,8,10) w (9) w (2,5,6,9,10) w (3,4,5,10) – Total cost of ticket = $80
Yesterday’s Result – (-$160)
Total for current Del Mar meet – (-$435.70)
Total from 12/26/10 – 7/15/12 – (-$1,571.15)
Pick 5 –
Leg 1 – Race 1 (1,4,6,8) – A pair of front-runners with the comebacking No. 1 Derrick Do and Joel Rosario making his return aboard No. 6 Max Cooper, along with closers No. 4 Evening Island and No. 8 Star Nicholas.
Leg 2 – Race 2 (1,5,6,8) – No. 8 Roar Baby Roar draws outside a bunch of speed and can win right back in similar fashion as she did three weeks ago.
Bejarano sticks with No. 6 Love My Way, so we’ll use her along with No. 1 Magic School and No. 5 Deity.
Leg 3 – Race 3 (3) – Baffert looks tough again here with No. 3 Den’s Legacy off missing by just a nose on July 21. A quartet of works since make him strictly the one to beat against experienced runners that have run nowhere near his two efforts and uninspiring debuters.
Leg 4 – Race 4 (2,3,5,9) – A wide-open $20,000 claimer going a mile on the main track and we’ll hope to get by with No. 2 Achak, No. 3 Back At You, No. 5 Tiz Liberty and No. 9 Hasty Trend.
Leg 5 – Race 5 (3,5,6) – The logical trio in the Pat O’Brien with No. 3 Capital Account, No. 5 Camp Victory and No. 6 Coil.
Recap – (1,4,6,8) w (1,5,6,8) w (3) w (2,3,5,9) w (3,5,6) – Total cost of ticket = $96
Yesterday’s Result – (+$68.30)
Total for currentDelMar meet – (+$16,663.60)
Total from 7/20/11 – 7/15/12 – (+$1,874.55)
Best Bet of the Day – Can now be found in the free analysis section at www.theracingedition.com along with an early Pick-4 ticket and a consensus box for the entire card.
Make sure to follow me on Twitter @mdoche for last minute changes caused by scratches and much more!
Check out my blogs for America’s Best Racing on www.followhorseracing.com!
Listen to my weekly HD Los Angeles sports podcast!
To view my horse racing channel on YouTube click here!
For more Del Mar action check out Jarrod Horak’s Pick 6 Blog.