Del Mar (Friday-8/12/22) By Dean Keppler

Analysis & Selections By: Dean Keppler @Keppskorner

BEST BET: 6-Perfect Cut (Race #2)

Race #1: 3-Court Snort has two ok turf sprint tries over at Santa Anita while showing improvement on the Beyer scale in most recent start June 10 when finishing 4th. She stretches out today; switches to hot rider Hector Berrios and meets a week MDSW field in Friday’s opener. 6-Warren’s Paradice has little turf pedigree but should appreciate getting off the rail after dropping way back to last shortly after the break in July 23 debut try. The filly made a big wide sweeping move on the turn to get up for 4th and figures a threat today with an alert break. 5-Forest Acclamation had an eventful debut try. The juvenile filly steadied abruptly not too far after the start before the quarter mile pole; ranged up into contention on the outside on the turn and then blew all chance in the stretch drive when drifting out. She adds blinkers today and moves up in class for trainer Doug O’Neill.

Selections: 3-6-5

Race #2: 6-Perfect Cut ships west for trainer Robertino Diodoro after facing much classier foes at Churchill, Fairgrounds and Keeneland. The gelding was 4th in his most recent start to repeat winner Mr Sippi who Beyered a 91 and 92 for each win. Hernandez lands here. 4-Big Flame just missed by a neck when dropped to this level in last. The gelding stretches out today and gets in light again with 7lb apprentice. 2-Stone’s River goes turf to dirt and was a wire-to-wire Maiden winner over the main track last June. The 4-year-old gelding has been freshened for trainer Craig Lewis.

Selections: 6-4-2

Race #3: 4-Noble Hearted broke her Maiden over this grass course back in August of 2020 and drops in class this afternoon for trainer Peter Eurton off the mini-freshening. This 5-year-old mare has run par or better for this level on multiple occasions and switches to top turf pilot. 7-Anna Volante showed little in lone turf try at Fairgrounds back in February but moves back to the grass this afternoon and stretches out for McCarthy. She could find herself working out a decent trip on or close to the lead. The late closing 6-Consternation (Ire) is on the improve for trainer Paddy Gallagher after nearly two years away from the races. She makes her 3rd start off the bench today; drops another notch in class and is another filly who broke her Maiden over this turf course. She needs a swift pace to utilize her late run.

Selections: 4-7-6

Race #4: 10-Otter Pop was somewhat of a mild disappointment when failing to fire in first start over the track July 23 when making the synthetic to dirt move while shipping in from Gulfstream. The juvenile filly takes a substantial class plunge into Maiden Claimers for the first time for trainer Bob Hess and should show more life now that she’s perhaps more acclimated to her Southern California surroundings. 8-The Comrie Rule showed speed and faded in initial start July 1 at Los Al against slightly better and barn has above average numbers with their 2nd time starters. Improvement likely. 4-Drama Diva has been trounced in both career starts but barn has done well thus far this meet and trainer Luis Mendez is 5 for 12 (42%) with a $4.12 ROI with horses dropping from MDSW to Maiden Claimers at Del Mar the past 4 years. It’s a strong enough stat that could potentially allow for a complete form reversal at this reduced level. Firster 9-Baila Baila lands in a weak field for unveiling and is by Square Eddie who gets a solid 19% with his 2-year-old debut runners. Trainer David Hofmans gets about the same percentage with his overall first-time starters.

Selections: 10-8-4

Race #5: It’s not always lucrative as a player to try and read into or follow jockey mount choices but Bravo and Papaprodromou have teamed up for 5 wins at this current meet and have firster 2-Automax (Ire) who is by Caravaggio (a multiple Grade 1 winner overseas). She’s been working sharply over at San Luis Rey and we’re expecting her to come out sizzling. 1-Izzy Em ships in from Horseshoe Indianapolis off two turf sprint tries including a runner-up finish in most recent start July 11. The 3-year-old filly by Uncle Mo makes her first start for new conditioner Doug O’Neill and jockey Umberto Rispoli. This lucrative combo is 11 for 28 (39%) with a $3.79 ROI with turf sprint runners the past 3 years. 4-Briefcase Gal loses Bravo to first time starter and top choice Automax (Ire) but ran extremely well on May 6 debut earning a field’s best (72) turf Beyer.

Selections: 2-1-4

Race #6: The $125K Graduation Stakes for 2-year-old Cal-breds likely runs through either 2-The Big Wam or 9-Straighten Up. Wam is already stakes-placed and just broke his Maiden over the strip July 23. The juvenile colt by Mr. Big earned a field’s best (74) Beyer for recent Maiden score. He’s returned with a pair of sharp works since that strong try and he looks primed for the potential repeat sitting behind likely pacesetter Straighten Up. The Hollendorfer-trained juvenile was odds-on to win debut and didn’t disappoint winning in impressive wire-to-wire fashion for his Hall of fame connections. He’s since returned to drill a “best of 116” 4-furlongs in :46 flat August 6. 5-Man Oh Man finished 3rd beaten only a length in the Everett Nevin Stakes at Pleasanton finishing in front of a next-out winner. The colt has shown good positional speed in both career starts.

Selections: 2-9-5

Race #7: Golden Gate shipper 1-Ted has good speed; draws the rail and goes first off the claim for trainer Jonathan Wong who excels with new barn purchases. They’ve sent out back-to-back first off the claim local winners Alleva ($6.60 on 8/5) and Elenial ($8.40 on 7/30). There were multiple Gulfstream Park winning shippers last week which bodes well for 3-Winning Factor who arrives from South Florida and makes his 2nd start off the claim for trainer Michael Maker. This lucrative turf barn is 9 for 23 (39%) with this angle for mid-level claimers routing on grass, and this 6-year-old has worked extremely well since arriving. Hernandez gets the call. 6-Opry was a dominant 5 plus length winner against $50k level claimers at Churchill on June 2 when snatched up by trainer Robertino Diodoro. The 6-year-old gelding now heads west and shows up for half that claiming price at a distance that might be a tad short for him.

Selections: 1-3-6

Race #8: If the TimformUS pace projector indicating a fast early pace materializes in the nightcap things should set up nicely for 2-Quick Finish. The veteran 8-year-old gelding has been extremely popular at the claiming box in recent months and now makes his first start for trainer Victor Garcia. He just missed the place spot in most recent try at Los Al when making a 7-wide bid in the home stretch. He’ll need a well-timed ride from new pilot Joe Bravo who is off to a great start this meet. 6-The Little H Man owns the field’s best last-out dirt Beyer (81) with sharp win at Pleasanton July 9 and hails from the Andy Mathis barn that’s been red-hot at Del Mar clicking close to 30%. He’s another who would be the beneficiary of some sizzling early fractions. 9-Gold Rush Candy broke his Maiden over this surface last August and now has been freshened for team Baffert off an even 4th place finish. Baffert and Hernandez are 4 for 7 (57%) when teamed up with runners returning off 61-180 days’ rest.

Selections: 2-6-9

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