Del Mar (Friday-8/18/23) By Dean Keppler

Analysis & Selections By: Dean Keppler @Keppskorner

BEST BET: 2-Hudson Ridge (Race 1)

Race #1: 2-Hudson Ridge co-tops the field’s best last-out turf Beyer with Lottery Pick coming off a game second June 10 for Baffert. That race has produced a pair of next-out winners, and the 5-year-old gelding has had plenty of time to recover from that effort. He shows six a.m. drills since that sharp try and could find himself loose on the lead. 3-Birth of Cool comes in with an improving Beyer pattern and drops out of the grade 3 San Juan Capistrano. 4-Lottery Pick was a fast-closing troubled trip second July 22 and now makes second start off the bench.

Selections: 2-3-4

Race #2: 9-Tiff With Jimmy showed improved speed with the move to the main track July 1 when settling for second and now adds blinkers today on the class drop for trainer Mark Glatt and Juan Hernandez. The filly has worked well and projects to trip out nicely with the outside draw. 4-Paid in Gold finished a game second at this same level at Santa Anita back on July 4, earning the field’s best last-out main track Beyer (71). This 3-year-old filly now goes first off the claim for trainer Sergio Morfin who has had a fantastic summer meet thus far (9-3-3-1). 2-Allocate has not been seen since April 2022 $50k claim by D’Amato but returns protected today and has trained well for the initial try off the extended layoff.

Selections: 9-4-2

Race #3: The 0 for 15 Maiden 5-Candy On Top is hard to get excited about as a potential win candidate but has run some of the better turf races in this field and comes off a decent second at this level over this course July 27. Tepid vote. 2-Idessia is a habitual slow starter out of the gate for D’Amato but has managed to hit the board in the last three efforts closing from far back. 4-Jersey Sunset has surrendered the lead in most of her eight career starts but adds Lasix this afternoon which could help her carry her speed further.

Selections: 5-2-4

Race #4: 3-Economical moves up off sharp win July 22 and may be able to string together back-to-back wins for the first time in her career over an oval he likes. 8-Touchdown Brown cuts his claiming tag in half while making his second start off the layoff for trainer Brian Koriner. This jockey-trainer combo scored with Dr. No No last Sunday. 5-Stormy Samurai has speed, gets in light, and this barn has successfully shipped in with live runners from their Los Al base.

Selections: 3-8-5

Race #5: 6-Unfaithful Ways cuts back to her preferred mile trip where she’s never been off the board in six tries (6-3-1-2), and she should get a live race flow to close into. 9-Shared Future has run well each time she’s faced this softer level finishing behind top-choice two-back. A logical threat again dropped in for a $40 tag despite outside draw. 2-Harper’s Gallop defeated a similar group back on June 16 and has worked steadily since that winning effort. This 7-year-old mare has run well over this turf course.

Selections: 6-9-2

Race #6: Florida invader 4-Doo Wop Don steps up off June 3 claim for conditioner Rohan Crichton who clicks close to 30% with new barn acquisitions. These connections won with 6-1 first-off-the-claim Cruzin Man Aug. 10. The 5-year-old gelding has run equally well over the main track. 6-Rookie Mistake has lost sixteen straight races dating back to Sept. 2020 but slices his claiming tag in half and has run par or better for this class level in the last three of four races. Gulfstream shipper 9-Boldness looks well-spotted for first Southern California try his two local works over the track were encouraging.

Selections: 4-6-9

Race #7: 6-Neige Blanche (Fr) returned off an eight-month layoff to take the Possibly Perfect Stakes June 18, and this 6-year-old mare is a multiple winner over the track and distance. A move forward in the second start off the bench makes her the one to beat in this competitive spot. 7-Eylara (Ire) kicked clear against cheaper July 27 when making her first start in 10 months for D’Amato beating two of the same fillies that show up here this afternoon. Rispoli sticks here after guiding Oakhurst to victory on July 23 as well.3Oakhurst steps up after getting up narrowly July 23 while making the first start over the DMR turf course. The 4-year-old filly has shown two sharp drills since that winning effort.

Selections: 6-7-3

Race #8: Turf to dirt 6-Midnight Fury drops back down in for a tag off subpar grass try against better July 28 and figures to be tough to beat if she can replicate that (79) Beyer earned two-back June 18 over the main track. He makes the all-important third start off the layoff today for Team O’Neill. The negative is, however, the price is likely to be short. 4-Brazen Bull makes first start in the new barn after flashing early speed in all three career starts. The gelding drops from $50k to a $20,000 Maiden claiming tag today and could get brave on the lead, shortening up to five-and-a-half furlongs. 5-UR Pressed came up only three-quarters of a length short as the beaten favorite July 27 and adds blinkers today for the second start off the seven-month layoff. The gelding posted the best last-out main track Beyer (68) in this field –which is above par for this class level.

Selections: 6-4-5

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