Del Mar (Sunday-7/30/23) By Dean Keppler

Analysis & Selections By: Dean Keppler @Keppskorner

BEST BET: 5-Fast Chad (Race 11)

Race #1: A pair of difficult maiden events start off the Sunday card with several directions a handicapper could go. 7-Burton Way returned off an extended layoff to run a game second when dropped in for a tag on June 23 at Los Al and deserves another chance running at today’s $40k level. 4-Upright goes turf to dirt on the class drop and is bred to handle the main track for Puype and Hernandez. Turf to dirt 6-Foreign Influence adds blinkers and drops back in for a tag. The gelding’s first two dirt tries at Turf Paradise were decent. 5-Conquering Queen hasn’t shown much in three career starts but drops in class and stretches out for Koriner.

Selections: 7-4-6

Race #2: 5-Tribal is by Kingman (GB), a multiple grade 1 winner overseas, and has trained swiftly for Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella. This top sire is 15 for 54 (27%) with his debut runners. First-time gelding 2-Tees Touch (GB) makes the first stateside start for D’Amato off a second-place finish at Doncaster. It’s no secret that this barn excels with these imports. 8-Endlessly is by multiple grade 1 winner Oscar Performance and lures Hernandez for today’s unveiling.

Selections: 5-2-8

Race #3: 3-Cyberviking finished a well-beaten 4th in last but drops in class this afternoon and was a strong second two-back when coming up a nose short with a (90) Beyer. A repeat of that performance would make this gelding tough in this spot. 6-Colt Fiction is a multiple winner over the track and distance and sports the field’s best last-out main track Beyer (87). 2-Mister Bold was a neck winner at Los Al in the last start on July 4 and now makes 3rd start off the bench for trainer Jeff Bonde. This gelding started his career 2-for-2 over this course. 4-Rookie Mistake returns to DMR where he’s had decent success, and switches to Hernandez.

Selections: 3-6-2

Race #4: Recent purchase 6-Slam Diego goes turf to dirt for trainer Peter Miller who is 11 for 31 (35%) with newly acquired purchases running on dirt over this racetrack. 2-Tenacious Lady goes first off the claim for D’Amato, who clicks close to 30% with new acquisitions starting at DMR. Florida invader 4-Major Pryce rallied for second against cheaper at Gulfstream but earned a respectable (66) Beyer that matches up well with this field. 5-Love Our Family steps up off solid gate-to-wire Maiden win.

Selections: 6-2-4

Race #5: 1-Crimson Rose has good positional speed, moves inside, and drops his claiming tag in half for conditioner Steve Knapp. This filly’s versatile running style should allow her to work out a favorable journey from the inside. 11-Jibber Jabber is drawn outside but has a strong late closing kick that’s very effective when timed right, and this 5-year-old mare goes out for new connections today that have had decent success with recent claims. 8-Song of Fire was a 13/1 upset winner from off the pace in the most recent start on June 10 and may find a similar favorable pace scenario again this afternoon.

Selections: 1-11-8

Race #6: 3-Cowboys Daughter was last seen winning two straight back in the winter at Golden Gate but has been absent since being claimed for $10k on Jan. 21. Trainer Librado Barocio is a strong 6 for 19 (32%) with a $4.53 ROI with first off the claim runners the past four years and this gelding has run decently over this racetrack in the past. Class dropping 8-Why Behave makes the second start off the claim for trainer Bob Hess who is off to a fast start this meet. 9-Tropicana Girl has run back-to-back 2nd place finishes over the main track with speed figures that are tops in this field.

Selections: 3-8-9

Race #7: The lightly raced 5-California Bay looked especially sharp when kicking clear for his maiden victory in his last start and is eligible to continue moving forward for trainer Jeff Mullins. He’s worked extremely well since that winning effort. 3-Talklessworkmore has good early zip and just came up a head short when attempting to wire the field on June 17. The 5-year-old gelding earned a career and field’s last-out-best Beyer (81) for that top try. 1-Oubabe is as consistent as they come for Sadler, but as his overall record indicates (14-1-7-4), he prefers to finish underneath. The colt’s last and only victory was a Maiden win at Del Mar in August of last year.

Selections: 5-3-1

Race #8: 9-Chatalas is by Gun Runner who gets a solid 18% with his 2-year-old first-time starters and this Mark Glatt-trained filly is nicely drawn to the outside off encouraging a.m. drills. 1-Barbara T is by Army Mule who is 18 for 84 (21%) with his debuting prodigy. This filly must negotiate the rail draw but has trained well for McCarthy. 3-Gate to Paradise is a $950K OBS March purchase by multiple grade 1 winner Arrogate. The expectations are high for this costly John Sheriff’s filly who lures Smith for today’s initial start off modest work tab. 11- Nothing Like You is stuck on the AEs for Baffert and Hernandez and is an obvious threat if she draws in. This daughter of Malibu Moon has been training sharply for her unveiling.

Selections: 9-1-3

Race #9: Trainer Phil D’Amato has four entries in this year’s edition of the grade 2 Eddie Read Stakes, and the conditioner has won this race three times. Grade 1 winner 9-Count Again comes in here off three consecutive triple-digit Beyers and a decisive win in the grade 1 Shoemaker Mile in May 0f 2022. The caveat is he hasn’t been out in 14 months. The selection nonetheless based on his class and ability to fire fresh. 4-Masteroffoxhounds removes the blinkers today but has enough tactical speed to work out a decent trip in here. Multiple graded stakes winner 2-Gold Phoenix (Ire) will need some pace to close into but has been freshened for D’Amato and is dangerous if able to work out any kind of trip.

Selections: 9-4-2

Race #10: Chile invader 8-Mbagnick (Chi) is an exciting newcomer for conditioner Merei Amador Sanchez who was 4 for 10 at this meet in 2022 and 4 for 7 (57%) with Berrios aboard. He is a grade 1 winner in his home country, and he’s worked well over the track—upset chance. 1-Piroli drops into this softer spot off a good second in the grade 1 Gold Cup on May 29. The 4-year-old gelding moves inside, cuts back to his preferred mile trip and has had plenty of time to recover off a career-best Beyer (98). 6-Divine Armor arrives at the seaside shore meet in career-best form for the Papaprodromou barn and projects to get another live race flow to close into.

Selections: 8-1-6

Race #11: 5-Fast Chad has been freshened for good layoff barn, and trainer Michael McCarthy and jockey Juan Hernandez are 5 for 7 (71%) when teamed up with MDSW to Maiden claiming dropdowns. 4-Mega Moon removes the blinkers today and drops back in for a tag for trainer Peter Miller. 2-Russells Hustle is 0 for 11 but comes off a career-best Beyer and troubled trip 4th place finish.

Selections: 5-4-2

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