Del Mar (Friday-9/1/23) By Dean Keppler


Analysis & Selections By: Dean Keppler @Keppskorner

BEST BET: 3-Poetica (Race 6)

Race #1: The War Front filly 1-Persia hails from the barn of hall-of-fame conditioner Richard Mandella and arrives this afternoon with an encouraging work tab and excellent grass pilot. 3-Uffda is by grade 1 winner Jack Milton who gets 18% with his debuting prodigy. This juvenile filly has some encouraging a.m. drills on her work tab, but the barn is 0 for 20 with first-time starters on turf. 4-Spirit Rules (By Mor Spirit) debuts for trainer Peter Miller and jockey Juan Hernandez. This filly has trained smartly for today’s unveiling for owner Gary Barber including a recent 5-furlong bullet on Aug. 24. 8-Vibez is by grade 1 winner Collected and is nicely drawn outside for red-hot connections.

Selections: 1-3-4

Race #2: Recent Maiden winner 3-Sweet Mother Mary goes first off the claim and stretches out for trainer Doug O’Neill off a solid win Aug. 18. This lucrative jockey/trainer combo has won with the barn’s last two claims (Wishtheyallcould on 8/24 and Straighten Up 8/25). 4-Viva La Red is 1 for 15 but adds blinkers today coming off a career-best main track Beyer figure. Turf to dirt 1-Norah’s Princess hasn’t shown much lately but she might appreciate going two turns over the main track. Her sire Clubhouse Ride gets 20% with his main track route runners.

Selections: 3-4-1

Race #3: 2-Adelie (Ire) closed well to finish 3rd off a 10-month freshening in most recent start July 29 when dropped in for a first-time tag. The 4-year-old filly is eligible to move forward off that effort for D’Amato. 7-Rugelach has been a beaten favorite in the last five consecutive starts for trainer Michael McCarthy with 5 ITM finishes from six starts overall. Although she’s yet to break through the Maiden ranks, she’s earned par or better for this class level in multiple efforts. 9-Paid in Gold moves back to grass making second start off the claim for hot barn and both of her turf tries at Santa Anita were competitive for this level this past spring.

Selections: 2-7-9

Race #4: 3-Renegade Princess was runner-up against slightly better at 21-1 July 29 when facing a handful of the same runners. The speedy 5-Morning Addiction has won three straight and now makes her first start off the claim for conditioner Eddie Truman. This barn is only 1 for 27 with new acquisitions, however. 6-Never Sway goes two sprints to a route and slices her claiming tag in half. This filly will likely be a late threat.

Selections: 3-5-6

Race #5: 2-Sassy Nature flashed speed and tired to finish a respectable 4th in the Daisycutter (beaten only two lengths) July 28 and gets some class relief this afternoon for trainer Luis Mendez. This 3-year-old filly figures to have the lead when they turn for home. 3-Brandon’smylawyer has not been out since Nov. 2022 but has proven she can fire fresh for good layoff barn, and she’s worked decisively sharp in her a.m. drills. 5-Honey Pants shortens up from the latest subpar route try when having little chance with outside draw and trip in the Osunitas stakes.

Selections: 2-3-5

Race #6: 3-Poetica was a much-improved second in her 2023 comeback effort Aug. 5 improving nearly 20 Beyer points with the addition of Lasix. If this Speightstown filly can run back to that (73) figure, she’ll be tough to overhaul, making the second start off the freshening. 6-Sultry Kitten moves to the main track for start number three for trainer Phil D’Amato and has the dirt breeding to handle the surface change successfully. Her dirt drills have been solid and Hernandez takes over the riding assignment. 8-Smell the Coffee is by multiple grade 1 winner Arrogate who debuts off a solid work tab for trainer David Hoffmans. This barn is 0 for 13 with debut runners at DMR, however, so this filly may need a race or two to get her sea legs and perhaps more ground.

Selections: 3-6-8

Race #7: 1-Unwritten Code has turned into a win machine, having taken five straight for trainer Jorge Peribaan and now switches back to turf this afternoon, where she was a 5 ¼-length runaway winner three-back. Her speed from the rail makes her tough once again. 8-Paleo’s Princess has the most turf experience in this field by far and shortens back up to a sprint this afternoon where she’d done some of her best running from off the pace.  5-Cholly gets some much-needed class relief and makes her second start off the bench. Her two previous grass tries were average and not awful.

Selections: 1-8-5

Race #8: 6-Park City has shown little in two starts this year but drops in for a first-time tag today on the stretch-out and trainer Dan Blacker is 8 for 29 (28%) with a $2.58 ROI the past 5 years with MDSW to Maiden Claiming dropdowns. The 3-year-old gelding by Street Sense gets a tepid vote in a wide-open Friday finale.4-Son of Thunder makes career start number 12 this afternoon but merits a long look on the significant class plunge and move back to the main track. Turf to dirt 2Cryptoholic drops to the bottom Maiden claiming level and is eligible to improve in this softer spot for trainer jeff Mullins.

Selections: 6-4-2

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