Del Mar (Friday-7/21/23) By Dean Keppler

Analysis & Selections By: Dean Keppler @Keppskorner

BEST BET: 1-Tone Feelin (Race 1)

Race #1: The long-awaited 31-day summer season Del Mar meet starts Friday with a competitive 10-race card encompassing 113 entries. Post time is 2:00 p.m. PT.

1-Tone Feelin was clearly overmatched in his first southern California start on June 18 but drops down to a winning level this afternoon for a barn that has good success with low-level claiming route runners. His Gulfstream Park races match up well here. Florida shipper 7-Universal Payday has run above par for this class level on multiple occasions and appears to fit well with this group on the class drop. A significant factor today if he takes to the new southern California surface. 8-Next Revolt is a three-time winner over this racetrack and exits a decisive win at Los Al on July 1, where he earned the field’s best last out Beyer (86). 4-Big Buzz goes turf to dirt on the class drop, making the second start off the bench for trainer Jesus Nunez. The veteran 8-year-old gelding has run well over this strip from limited chances.

Selections: 1-7-8

Race #2: 7-Dazzlemesilver is back sprinting for the Desormeaux brothers off a well-beaten 3rd place finish on May 26. This colt co-tops the field’s best main track Beyer (82) and looks primed to break through the Maiden ranks in career start number five. 1-Central Dispatch was legged-up nicely for this with a respectable 3rd place finish on June 25 at Los Al. This 3-year-old gelding by Arrogate has worked nicely since that debut try and barn has solid numbers with their second-time starters. He figures to be forwardly placed from the rail. 3-Bye Bye Ray returns sprinting for shrewd barn off the freshening and runner-up finish two-back at Oaklawn makes him a contender here. 6-Dr. Venkman (By multiple G1 winner Ghostzapper) has worked well for today’s unveiling for trainer Mark Glatt, but the barn is only 2 for 26 (8%) with debut runners sprinting on dirt at Del Mar the past 5 years.

Selections: 7-1-3

Race #3: Florida shipper 1-Oak Street Beach figures forwardly placed on the stretch-out for Proctor who has had good success (5 for 19/26%) racing over the Del Mar turf course. 5-North East Star (Ire) made up a ton of ground in first U.S. start on May 14 when breaking slowly and stretches out today for D’Amato. This filly is by multiple grade 1 winner Galileo Gold (GB); she makes her key 3rd career start today and has trained well since that last encouraging stateside effort. 2-Sakura Flavor (Ire) adds blinkers today and finished a good 2nd at 32/1 going this mile trip at Santa Anita two-back.

Selections: 1-5-2

Race #4: 2-Santos to Wilson hasn’t been out in 9 months but has performed well over this racetrack as indicated by a sharp win two-back going this 6-furlong trip with Berrios in the saddle. 7-Careless Kitten has been freshened since May 14 win at Santa Anita and cuts back to a sprint this afternoon. The gelding likes this surfside strip and figures to be finishing well late. 1-Brutto plummeted in lone start over this track but returns off the claim as a first-time gelding for Kitchingman and has speed from the rail in wide-open N3L $20k claimer.

Selections: 2-7-1

Race #5: Trainer Andy Mathis has a pair of fillies in here that hold valuable racing experience over their main rivals, and the barn is a strong 8 for 16 (50%) with a lofty $10.38 ROI with second-time starts at Del Mar. 8-Don’t Worry Boss finished a good 2nd in Golden Gate debut on June 10 and is bred to handle the main track. Her stablemate 6-Smile Baby Smile attracted decent tote support in Pleasanton debut when finishing 4th and can improve here. 4-Safa has shown some solid speed in a.m. drills for conditioner Gary Stute.

Selections: 8-6-4

Race #6: 10-King Apollo has hit the board in all six turf sprint starts in 2023 and should be rallying strongly through the lane with the cut back to 5 furlongs. 4-Liberty Forever has been freshened for good layoff barn and projects to be forwardly placed with winning rider Vasquez back aboard. 9-Chasin Munny drops in class and makes second start off the extended layoff. The 6-year-old gelding can improve today.

Selections: 10-4-9

Race #7: 7-Keen to Go goes turf to dirt and makes second start off the claim for Mullins who clicks close to 30% with this maneuver. A quick early pace projected by TimeformUS should flatter his closing style. Beaten favorite 8-Clooney owns the field’s best last-out main track Beyer (80) and is another who would benefit from a swift early pace. 5-Goldeneye goes turf to dirt and is expected to be the clear front runner in this spot. He can hang on for a share of this.

Selections: 7-8-5

Race #8: 1-Classical Cat has been freshened since Eddie Logan stake win back in the end of last year, where he earned a career-best turf Beyer. The colt can fire fresh here for D’Amato, who has three entered here in the Oceanside. 10-Escape Artist has seen his turf Beyers improve with each subsequent start in 2023 and comes off a career-best try on June 11. French invader 3-Zalamo (Fr) comes off a 10-week freshening for trainer Leonard Powell and looked good in lone turf drill over the DMR strip on July 18.

Selections: 1-10-3

Race #9: 1-Del Mar Jerry was overmatched in the Affirmed on June 4 but drops down to a more realistic level after an impressive debut score and gets Lasix back on the cut back to a sprint. 3-Hard to Figure is grade 3 placed; adds Lasix and drops in class for Baffert. The 3-year-old colt by Hard Spun shows a sharp “best of 42” 5-furlong gate drill for this on July 13. 5-Sir Atticus saw his Beyer improve 20 points in the second career start for Sadler and is dangerous with another forward move.

Selections: 1-3-5

Race #10: 1-Twist still managed to close strongly for 2nd in his first stateside start despite being rank and hard to handle for most of the trip. The gelding moves inside today; he stretches out to his preferred distance and should be tough to beat in the Friday finale with clear sailing late. 11-Yes This Time must overcome an outside draw but has run par for this class level in back-to-back efforts two and three-back at Santa Anita. 9-Flashiest comes off a mini-freshening for trainer Leonard Powell and likes this turf course.

Selections: 1-11-9

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