Del Mar (Friday-9/8/23) By Dean Keppler


Analysis & Selections By: Dean Keppler @Keppskorner

BEST BET: 7-Gantry (Race 3)

Race #1: 1-Doo Wop Don makes a second start off the claim and drops from $16k to $9,000 purchase tag this afternoon off a wide trip Aug. 18. Trainer Rohan Crichton is 13 for 33 (39%) with a $2.41 ROI with second off the claim runners sprinting on dirt. 2-Economical lost all chance in the last start when breaking slowly and spotting the field a few lengths and now takes a sizable class plunge for Team O’Neil. East Coast invader 4-Top Gun Tommy makes his first start for the Mullins barn, has good gate speed, and shortens up in distance for the initial Southern California outing.

Selections: 1-2-4

Race #2: 1- Feisty Mitole adds blinkers and switches to the turf in career start number three after showing some ability in the first two outings. This filly is by multiple grade 1 winner Mitole who is 3 for 11 (25%) with his turf sprint runners. Her stablemate 9-Avoir merits a strong chance off sharp second in turf debut Aug. 2 when earning a field’s best (70) grass Beyer. Hernandez takes over for the Miller barn and this More Than Ready filly figures to be a handful with any normal second-out improvement. 3-Chi Chi broke a step slow on Aug. 4 debut and showed some interest late. The filly has worked well since that initial effort.

Selections: 1-9-3

Race #3: 7-Gantry showed good speed in sprint turf debut Aug. 10 before tiring to finish sixth and now drops in for a tag with the move to the main track for career start number two. This gelding is bred to handle the dirt and has worked well over the main track surface in a.m. drills. He should be tough to reel in against this softer level. 4-Havoc blinkers off today and was much-improved with a drop to this level in last when flashing speed and tiring to finish third. The gelding now goes out for a new barn off the claim. 2-Mischievous Dylan (By Curlin to Mischief) debuts off some inspiring drills over at San Luis Rey for trainer Ruben Alvarado who is 4 for 16 (25%) with a $2.51 ROI the past 3 years with his debut runners.

Selections: 7-4-2

Race #4: The lightly raced 6-Stamp My Passport finished second at this same level Aug. 13 when finishing in front of a pair of the same runners he faces today when switched back to dirt. The gelding won back-to-back turf tries prior to that last effort. Recent Maiden winner 8-Don’t Fight the Fed has an improving Beyer pattern with each subsequent start and returns protected off a quick turnaround. 3-Fly the Sky has run in 13 straight turf races but has shown he can handle the main track based on the few chances he’s had over dirt and takes a sizable class drop today after a series of flat performances.

Selections: 6-8-3

Race #5: We’re going to give 0 for 16 4-Candy On Top one last chance this afternoon turning back to a mile for conditioner Carla Gaines. The 4-year-old filly adds blinkers this afternoon after running several decent races at this level routing on grass. Perhaps the equipment change can get her into the winner’s circle facing this suspect MDSW group. 5-Bajan Bashert stretches out making her second start off the bench today for trainer Mark Glatt while coming off an Ok third-place effort Aug. 6. 8-Jessebear was very wide and flat when returning off the year layoff but can improve today. Her late closing second-place finish last August would match up well in this spot if she could somehow run back to that encouraging try.

Selections: 4-5-8

Race #6: 2-Lord Prancealot looks to remain a perfect 3 for 3 after another successful gate-to-wire score in the Graduation Stakes Aug. 11. The improving juvenile colt appears to be the speed of the speed again this afternoon for trainer Jeff Bonde. 5-Last Call London was runner-up to the top pick in last coming off a career-best main track Beyer (71). 7-Dr. No No was a runaway Maiden winner Aug. 13 and has trained well since that sharp score.

Selections: 2-5-7

Race #7: The Irish import 2-Zona Verde (Ire) makes her first U.S start for the D’Amato barn after showing some signs of ability overseas with a pair of ITM finishes. She draws a cozy inside post for today’s stateside unveiling and gets top turf pilot. 5Pink Whitney comes off a much better-than-looks-on-paper fourth-place finish when switched to turf July 29 and can be a big factor in here with clear sailing and clean trip. 4-Roscoe Village exits the same race as Pink Whitney finishing ahead of that runner when making her initial try around two-turns. Now that the Florida invader has a race over this grass course, she can improve for Proctor.

Selections: 2-5-4

Race #8: 6-Diamonds Danzing was a recent Maiden winner on grass Aug. 6, but her main track effort two-back at Santa Anita– when earning a strong (80) Beyer– is well above par for this class level. The 3-year-old filly is super sharp right now and could easily string together wins for her low-profile connections. 7-Danzing Cat came up just a neck short Aug. 10, a race that’s since produced a pair of next-out winners. This filly from the Peter Miller barn has now run two sharp tries over the DMR main track. Turf to dirt 9-Lady Maryann shortens back up to a sprint this afternoon and figures to get a live race flow to close into. She gets a rider upgrade to Hall of Famer Mike Smith.

Selections: 6-7-9

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