What a great first day of racing at Del Mar and just like last year the price horses are romping home to victory. For 50c yesterday the Pick 5 paid $14k! The Pick 4 was a nice $720. We whiffed on the Pick 4 but at Del Mar the prices mean you only have to hit a couple to make the season very profitable. Yesterday I took a stand against a horse I had bet many times previously in the first leg, Gangman Guy so he of course won. I must listen to my own advice – every horse has a chance at Del Mar, especially in the first two weeks! Racing begins later today with first post at 4pm.
The Pick 4 begins in race #5 today with a 5 furlong race on turf, pretty rare at Del Mar. #4 Hooligan with Desormeaux riding likes the short turf races. Dropping today after disappointing last out at 6 1/2 furlongs this horse does own a win at 5 furlongs from May off an eleven month layoff so that race in June may have been a bounce. Trainer Wesley is 28% beaten favorite. I usually don’t like to use non-California runners but early in the Del Mar meet anything can happen. Bejarano lands on #10 Pica and he had choices in this race. A win last out now shortening up could be a gate to wire attempt. #8 Doodetta is another fast that won impressively last out running at the speed and there will be speed here today. The question is if the distance is too short.
In the 6th race Garcia may try for the double with #3 Wasted At Midnight who is always in the mix. Mandella wins 34% 3rd off the layoff too. #5 Uzziel from the Desormeaux brothers who got the last win of the Los Al meet drops in class today and also has a fast workout last week. The short distance and the drop may be all this horse needs for the win. A possible single if looking for on in the sequence. This race has been run 10 times and the favorite has not won it yet! In fact the average payoff is 8-1! For a price the horse that jumped out at me was #4 Big Break At 12-1 morning line. A hot jockey in the last 2 weeks in Valdez and a sharp workout last week. I’m hoping the last race was a bounce after the surprise win in May. If you have coin to spend too #6 Baruta is not one to dismiss easily.
In the 7th race the betting will likely say it is #7 Zipessa’s race to lose. Bejarano rides for a horse making its second start, first on turf at routing. The connections appear to be eying this race since then. I debated using #8 Housemaker here off the last win but Bejarano defects and the jump in class make it tough. However we get a great price and others I am looking at also are jumping in class. Jockey James Graham from Ireland rides and Mike Smith had some very good words about him last week. I will also use #10 Causeway Carolyn. A win last out for a trainer winning 26% winning last out.
In the last leg #2 Urloveneverfails was well bet first out in June for the Dorf, running second. From a 13 race sample the fav wins 54% of the time. #1 Olympic lady has not raced since April, the first start since last July in Del Mar when second. The trainer is 37% when beaten as a favorite last out and regular works since the April race may mean they were eying Del Mar. #6 Jean Edward has a case of seconitis running second 3 in a row before bobbling badly last out and finishing badly.
Today’s Late Pick 4 will cost $40.50 with horses listed in preference
The Best bet today is #2 No Contingency in race #2. Bonde is 50% (4 of 8) dropping off a win and he and Maldonado are 2 for 2 recently. $8k claiming races can be a coin toss but its nice to get your picture taken at Del Mar.
When I have three horses selected in a Pick 4 or Pick 5 consider them for Trifecta boxes and for superfecta boxes use the 3 selections with the highest priced horse with good form or top tier jockeys riding, especially if they give a price.