Del Mar (Saturday-8/13/22) By Dean Keppler

Analysis & Selections By: Dean Keppler @Keppskorner

BEST BET: 10-Fun Money (Race #2)

Race #1: 4-Conundrum is the only gelding in this field with a win at 7 furlongs and was an ok 3rd in first start over the track July 22. The 4-year-old earned a field’s best last out (84) Beyer with that effort and he’s improved with each subsequent start since April.  2-Multi Platinum was claimed off Maiden victory in most recent effort by trainer Steve Miyadi. This barn is 0 for 11 at Del Mar with new acquisitions, but this colt improved substantially in career start number two and has since come back to fire a “best of 45” 5-furlong gate drill in :59 flat. 7-Baladi goes turf to dirt and has been freshened for Hernandez and McCarthy.

Selections: 4-2-7

Race #2: 10-Fun Money was rank and wide and finished a good runner-up to next-out repeat winner Chismosa. The filly adds blinkers today and looms a big threat making her 2nd start over this oval. 1-Big Hopes is by Mr. Big who gets 15% with his 2-year-old prodigy and this filly has worked well for her unveiling for trainer John Sadler. This barn is 4 for 16 (25%) the past 3 years at Del Mar with dirt sprint debut runners. Hernandez abandons our top choice and lands here. Beaten favorite 2-Just a Little Luck showed good early zip and tired in Pleasanton debut July 10 and earned Beyer par for this class level in defeat. The barn reaches out to go-to pilot for second start.

Selections: 10-1-2

Race #3: 5-Rhetoric was very impressive off the extended layoff for trainer Bob Baffert skipping away to a six-length romp with the addition of Lasix. The $600K Keeneland purchase by multiple Grade 1 winner Quality Road takes the next logical step up the class ladder to face winners and looms a likely repeater. 1-Crash Corrigan earned a career best (92) Beyer when moved back to the main track at Los Al July 8 against similar and is dangerous if able to repeat that type of stalking effort. 3-Good Vibes Only is on the improve for Sadler and should be forwardly placed. The cut back should help his chances.

Selections: 5-1-3

Race #4: If a swift pace materializes as projected by TimeformUS things should set up nicely for 1-Count of Amazonia (Ire) who goes first off the claim for trainer Mark Glatt. This 5-year-old gelding moves all the way inside today; should be able to save a ton of ground and owns the field’s best late pace figure. In addition, this barn has done well at Del Mar with new acquisitions going 10 for 30 (33%) with a positive ROI. 7-Shadow Sphinx is 11 for 27 lifetime for trainer Kristen Mulhall and a multiple winner at this track and distance. Like the top choice, this gelding is another who would be the beneficiary of some heated early fractions enabling him to come with his usual big late run. He cuts back to his preferred mile trip this afternoon. 9-Neptune’s Storm drops in class and makes his 2nd start off the layoff for trainer Peter Miller. This gelding is 6 for 12 going a mile; is likely to move forward today; and picks up hot rider Hector Berrios who is clicking close to 30%.

Selections: 1-7-9

Race #5: Several of these geldings exit the same June 23 sprint. 10-Sonic Brees finished best of the group with a sharp runner-up effort after making an eye-catching move into contention and battling on gamely for the place spot. The 4-year-old makes his 3rd start off the layoff today and second start at this reduced claiming level for Team O’Neill. He earned a field’s best last out (73) Beyer for that effort and should be primed today for another winning effort. 7-Superman Shaq showed a nice turn of foot up the rail before flatting out late and now makes his first start for claiming specialist Jonathan Wong. This barn has back-to-back wins with recent purchases over this oval and this gelding has some decent back class. 1-Tom Bombadil finished an ok 4th after being jammed up amongst horses early on before shaking free and finishing up decently in the lane. He goes first off the claim today for trainer Michael Maker who as of this writing was still looking for first win of the 2022 Del Mar meet.

Selections: 10-7-1

Race #6: Grade 1 winner 2-Going Global is 8 for 14 lifetime and the obvious class of this field. She has trained brilliantly for return effort off the mini freshening for D’Amato and is expected to run huge today. She simply may be too good for these. 1-Avenue de France (Fr) rocketed to the win in arguably his career best effort to date July 23 earning a lifetime top (92) Beyer. The 5-year-old mare has not been previously as effective against graded stake types, but she enters in top form today and draws a nice rail post. The well-traveled 7-Flippant makes her 11th career start this afternoon at her 9th different racetrack venue. She makes her 3rd start off the bench today for trainer Vickie Oliver and comes in off a dead heat stake win at Horseshoe Indianapolis.

Selections: 2-1-7

Race #7: 6-Abeliefinthislivin owns the experience edge over several of these and comes in with back-to-back 2nd place finishes for trainer Peter Miller. He finished 2nd behind another Baffert wire-to-wire winner Jackstown in most recent start over this track July 31. 7-Ultimate Gamble is a $1.75 million dollar Ocala Breeder’s sales purchase by Medaglia d’Oro who debuts with obvious high expectations off a solid worktab for trainer Mark Glatt and jockey Mike Smith. Baffert brings another loaded juvenile to this MDSW sprint. 2-Cave Rock is a $550K Keeneland purchase by multiple Grade 1 winner Arrogate. This juvenile colt comes in with 5 consecutive swift bullet drills. However, it’s interesting to note that his well-accomplished sire is only 2 for 38 (5%) with his 2-year-old first time starter prodigy.

Selections: 6-7-2

Race #8: At first glance trainer Peter Miller looks to hold the cards for this optional $80k claiming 1x turf route. Our selection, however, is 8-Dandy Warhol who had an eventful U.S. unveiling for trainer Mark Glatt. The gelding broke slowly spotting the field a couple lengths; checked hard midway through the mile Oceanside Stakes and then finished up halfway decently along the rail in the stretch run. He adds Lasix today.  4-Anmer Hall comes in off a good runner-up finish at 29/1 in the Oceanside and makes the all-important 3rd start off the layoff this afternoon for trainer Peter Miller. The 3-year-old gelding removes the blinkers today and owns the field’s best last-out turf Beyer (86). The other Miller runner is beaten favorite 9-Handy Dandy who also removes the shades today; makes 2nd start off the layoff and rarely runs a poor race. He’s a multiple winner at this mile trip. 3-Optimising (Ire) was last seen racing here 9 months ago when finishing 5th in the Grade 3 Cecil B. Demille Stakes. He returns with Lasix for trainer Michael McCarthy but might need one.

Selections: 8-4-9

Race #9: 1-Procrastination didn’t disappoint on July 4 unveiling when she produced a powerful odds-on Maiden runaway win for trainer Michael McCarthy. The filly has trained well since then and has potent speed from the rail. Come and catch her. 6-Absolutely Zero seeks third straight win for Reddam Racing and trainer Doug O’Neill and this Nyquist filly should have little trouble negotiating an additional furlong. The other O’Neill filly 5-Satin Doll was ignored at the betting windows when rallying strongly for her Maiden win at 31/1 July 23. She defeated a well-meant Baffert firster that afternoon and is a threat at a price in here with further improvement.

Selections: 1-6-5

Race #10: Beaten favorite 11-Devil Moon moves back to grass on the stretch-out and has good positional speed to perhaps work out a trip from his outside post. 5-Pray for Me Ray has talent but has been hampered by poor starts in all 3 career tries. He rallied from far back to grab the place spot in most recent effort on the stretch-out and could potentially trounce these with an alert break. 1-New York Dreams (GB) was 0 for 7 over in Ireland but makes U.S. unveiling with Lasix for trainer Steve Knapp and shows two nice main track drills in preparation for this.  He’s bred to handle a distance of ground.

Selections: 11-5-1

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