Del Mar (Monday-9/4/23) By Dean Keppler


Analysis & Selections By: Dean Keppler @Keppskorner

BEST BET: 1-De Joria (Race 7)

Race #1: 7-Right in Front is by Coal Front who is an impressive 5 for 16 (31%) with his debuting prodigy. This barn has a win and a second-place finish with first-time starters this meet. Upset chance at first asking.  3-Always on Cay makes the all-important 3rd career start for Hess and Desormeaux after flashing good speed and tiring to third in his first start over the track. 8-Tapalo (By Tapiture) has trained well for today’s unveiling for Sadler and is nicely drawn outside. This jockey/trainer combo teamed up to win with firster Satellite Heart 8/25.

Selections: 7-3-8

Race #2: 12-Bendettijoe was trounced and overmatched in the most recent start but drops today from $50k to $20,000 Maiden claimers this afternoon, the level where he finished a sharp second two-back with a (70) Beyer. 10-Chippewa Bud shortens up and drops in for a first-time tag. The 5-year-old Maiden gelding 5-Chaos Reigns is another taking a substantial class plunge and making a second start off the extended layoff.

Selections: 12-10-5

Race #3: Class-dropping 8-Stotland removes the blinkers today for trainer Rob Hess and makes the second start off the bench after running a respectable 4th against much better. 6-Warrens Candy Man loses Maldonado to top pick but drops to a career-low claiming tag after failing to hit the board in six consecutive races. The 5-year-old gelding gets in light and figures to be forwardly placed. 3-Divine Feminine was a sharp winner two-back at Los Al against slightly better claimers and makes the third start of the form cycle this afternoon.

Selections: 8-6-3

Race #4: The beaten favorite 12-Austonian flashed good speed and tired against $50k Maiden claimers and now drops to $20k making the second start off the layoff. A “best of 187”4-furlong bullet drill Aug. 19 catches the eye. 11-South Coast Route was a good second when dropped to this level off the extended layoff and is wheeled back on 8 days’ rest. A repeat of that (68) Beyer would be good enough to handle this suspect group. 1-My Brother Mike is 1 for 15 but has speed, the rail, and makes 3rd start off the bench this afternoon. The 4-year-old gelding could potentially hold on for a share of this.

Selections: 12-11-1

Race #5: The likely short-priced odds-on chalk 5-Fun to Dream drops out of a pair of grade 1s in the last two starts for Baffert and makes her second start off the bench this afternoon. The grade 1 La Brea and grade 2 Santa Monica winner should be extremely tough to beat in this softer spot. The Chilean-bred 4-Yuki steps up off 29-1 upset in last and projects to be on or close to the lead once again this afternoon for trainer Amador Sanchez. Turf to dirt 2-Una Chiquitita (Chi) is eligible to improve returning to the main track. The filly was a multiple-graded stakes winner in Chile.

Selections: 5-4-2

Race #6: The hard-trying 7-Palagio has been knocking on the door at this MDSW level for some time now and adds blinkers this afternoon for trainer John Sheriffs. His (84) Byer earned two-back matches up well here. 2-Dazzlemesilver stretches back out to his preferred two-turn trip for the Desormeaux brothers. The 0 for 11 1-Mucino comes off a career-best main track Beyer (87) for Team O’Neill.

Selections: 7-2-1

Race #7: 1-De Joria takes a sizable class plunge for winning connections after earning Beyer par for this class level in her most recent effort Aug. 5. This 4-year-old filly by California Chrome moves inside and projects to work out a favorable ground-saving journey, making second start over the Del Mar grass course. The Day’s Best Bet. 2-Katerini is a logical fit stretching back out after consistently earning turf Beyers that are above par for this level. Hernandez hopping on adds to the appeal. 5-Violet Storm has been freshened off the Mullins claim returning for a tag that’s 7k less than she was acquired for back in February. Her numbers match up well, nonetheless.

Selections: 1-2-5

Race #8: 2-Helen’s Son (by multiple grade 1 winner Goldencents) was a troubled trip seventh in a well-backed debut for McCarthy. This jockey/trainer combo scored with recent second-time starter Misty Muppet 8/17. 3-Special Club closed well after a slow start on Aug. 10 unveiling and now moves to the main track for conditioner Craig Lewis. This colt’s sire Clubhouse Ride gets a respectable 18% with his dirt sprint prodigy. Improvement likely.  Turf to dirt 9-Mr Chivas returns to his desired footing for trainer Steve Knapp exiting the same race as the second choice.

Selections: 2-3-9

Race #9: 3-X J Rascal (Ire) makes the third start of the form cycle for trainer Kristen Mulhall, coming off back-to-back (81) turf Beyers. The 3-year-old gelding projects to be on or close to the lead this afternoon and can shake loose late. 8-Legislator finished first under the wire at 10-1 but was Dq’d to sixth for interference when shifting out and bumping the top choice Aug. 13. The Woodbine shipper is an obvious threat again for trainer Peter Miller after earning a field’s best (89) turf Beyer. 7-Act Three is improving with each subsequent start for trainer David Hofmans and fits snuggly with these with another forward move.

Selections: 3-8-7

Race #10: 6-Prancingthruparis flashed good speed in turf sprint debut score for a barn that’s been red-hot the last couple weeks of this summer seaside meet. This filly should be able to handle the main track fine. A runaway Maiden winner back on May 20 1-Crazy Hot has registered back-to-back third place finishes in small stakes earning figures that match up well in this spot. Hall of Fame rider Mike Smith takes over this afternoon for conditioner Jeff Bonde. Her stablemate 7-Fly a Fantasy moves outside off subpar effort in the California Thoroughbred Breeders Stake but can bounce back here if able to revert to her maiden-winning debut score April 29.

Selections: 6-1-7

Race #11: 6-Give Me the Lute has good speed, makes the second start off claim and off the bench for conditioner Andy Mathis. 5-Tiz Plus is 0 for 3 over this turf course but adds blinkers today making his third start of the form cycle and drops in for a career-low claiming tag. The George Papaprodromou barn sends out both class dropping geldings 2-Taishan and 4-Hurricane Cloud (GB). Either gelding is worth consideration in the Labor Day nightcap that wraps up a 5-day week.

Selections: 6-5-2

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