Analysis & Selections By: Dean Keppler @Keppskorner
BEST BET: 9-Warrens Candy Girl (Race #8)
Race #1: Class dropping 1-Youteyourhonor draws the rail; has good tactical early zip and lands in a pace-less field in Sunday’s opener. The 3-year-old filly is reunited with winning rider and cuts back to her preferred distance. 4-Sweet Talked adds blinkers and takes a sizable class drop off the mini-freshening for trainer Peter Miller. She’s likely to be more forwardly placed today with new equipment in place and was a sharp Maiden winner two-back at Golden Gate. 3-Virulente just missed in most recent start against slightly better for D’Amato and now stretches back out to her winning mile distance from three-back. The French import owns the field’s best last out Turf Beyer (76), but she may not get a solid pace to flatter her closing kick.
Race #2: 6-Snip is a $260K Keenland purchase by Ghostzapper who broke in a tangle in her July 22 debut. The 3-year-old filly rushed up sharply to engage the leading pack and then finished with a very wide run late while never a serious threat to the top finishers. She returned to work well off that debut try and should improve immensely in start number two. Trainer John Shirreffs is 4 for 11 (36%) with a $3.18 ROI with 2nd time starters at Del Mar the past 3 years. 1-La Macarena is by multiple Grade 1 winner Bayern who gets a solid 21% with his 3-year-old and up debut prodigy. This filly debuts with Lasix off some snappy a.m. drills for Miller and Hernandez. Likely favorite 5-Keychain Girl was a strong second off a 9-month layoff earning a career best (78) Beyer speed figure. She returned to drill 4 furlongs in :46.4 August 6 and a repeat of that last effort for trainer Mark Glatt would make her very tough in this spot.
Race #3: 7-Turnsandconditions heads west and shows up for a $25k claiming tag which is half of what this 3-year-old was taken for May 29 at Churchill. This lucrative jockey/trainer combo have above average numbers when teamed up with new barn purchases and this roan should get a favorable pace flow. 10-Prayer of Jabez was out-finished up in Pleasanton but now takes a sizable class plunge for trainer Jonathan Wong and makes the all-important 3rd start off the layoff. This jockey/trainer team are 5 for 12 (42%) with a positive ROI with 50% class droppers the past 5 years. 6-Moose Mitchell gets some class relief and must be respected off his most recent (82) Beyer number at Los Al. However, there’s some skepticism as to whether he’ll be able to reproduce that figure right back.
Race #4: 1-Ellie Arroway has speed; the rail and cuts back to a sprint for trainer Doug O’Neill on the class drop. This 6-year-old mare has run some of the highest turf sprint figures in this field and despite slumping jock Diego Herrera (1 for 40) aboard looks best of this group. 5-Respect My Candor adds blinkers; drops in class and returns to her preferred surface this afternoon for trainer Peter Miller. A much-improved performance is likely forthcoming. 4-Stormin Lady put it all together for the sharp win from off the pace when last seen June 11 at Santa Anita earning a strong (82) Beyer at this 5-furlong trip over next-out winner Miss Carousel. She shows up for a tag today but merits respect for a potential repeat.
Race #5: Beaten favorite 6-Halosheaven ran a bang-up 2nd in her July 23 debut try when run down late by 31/1 longshot Satin Doll. She removes the blinkers today; has a good turn of early speed and should be a handful with any normal second-out improvement for Baffert. This lucrative barn is 9 for 21 (43%) with 2nd time starters making this equipment change. 2-And Tell Me Nolies comes out of the same race as top choice where she encountered a tough trip to finish a game fourth. The daughter of Arrogate adds blinkers today for trainer Peter Miller and should appreciate the stretch out to 6 ½ furlongs. 5-Infinite Diamond was a good second in debut and exits a potential key race at Gulfstream that’s produced a pair of next-out winners. The 2-year-old filly has trained sharply for local bow.
Race #6: This 1x $20,000 optional claimer at 5 furlongs on the grass is a bit of a puzzle. 5-Lovesick Blues has shown the ability to handle multiple surfaces effectively and goes dirt to turf this afternoon for trainer Steve Miyadi. The 4-year-old gelding gets a key rider change this afternoon to Hernandez and has run two strong races since returning off a 6-month freshening. This barn does its best running over the dirt, but 1-Pyeong Chang goes first off the claim for trainer Peter Miller and draws the rail with good tactical early zip. His first two career starts over the grass were nothing special, but the gelding has since improved off those 2021 subpar performances. 6-Evenereevenworse ships into Del Mar having won 5 of his last 6 starts on three different racing surfaces. Trainer Bill McLean is 0 for 10 thus far over the local setting, but there’s no denying the geldings current solid form and consistency.
Race #7: 9-Giver Not a Taker has trained well for today’s unveiling for Peter Miller and is by Danzig Candy who gets a strong 20% with his 2-year-old first time starters. 4-Mystic Flyer is another Danzig Candy firster and barn scored with debut runner Wound Up this past Thursday afternoon. 6-Goldensunrise is by multiple Grade 1 winner Goldencents and debuts for trainer Andy Mathis who is an impressive 6 for 20 (30%) at the current meet.
Race #8: 5-Warrens Candy Girl ran extremely well off the 8-month layoff from her outside post when closing amongst traffic to get 4th July 23. The 4-year-old filly is a multiple winner over the Del Mar turf course and can improve making her 2nd start off the bench for trainer Craig Lewis. The projected quick early pace should bode well for her chances. 6-Capstone Girl ships in from Gulfstream off a winning synthetic effort and has run equally well over the turf. This 4-year-old filly shows three strong works over both the main track and grass here and looks well-spotted for her Southern California unveiling. 8-Dramatizer is another who would benefit from some solid early fractions and cuts back to her winning distance today for trainer Steve Knapp.
Race #9: 10-Havnameltdown was well-backed and produced as advertised for team Baffert with an impressive wire-to-wire July 24 Maiden win over next-out winner Mister Iceman. The colt earned a strong (80) Beyer for that victory and has trained well since then. 2-Arman was also impressive in his June 23 Churchill unveiling running to his $600K price tag when making a strong professional looking sweeping move to the lead and drawing off nicely for trainer Simon Callaghan. The 2-year-old colt by multiple Grade 1 winner Bolt d’Oro has three works over the local footing. 5-Agency broke slowly in June 12 debut; settled off the front runners and then made an eye-catching 5-wide sweep to the front with a big burst of speed to draw off for the easy debut win. His Beyer didn’t come back all that inspiring but it was visually impressive, nonetheless.
Race #10: 6-Flint Stroll has won 2 of his last 3 for D’Amato and enters Sunday’s nightcap a fresh horse. The gelding’s versatile running style should serve him well in this spot. 12-Uncle Jeff has not been out since last year, but barn is 3 for 13 (23%) with a $2.95 ROI with horses returning off >180 days at Del Mar. The 5-year-old gelding by Uncle Mo has enough tactical speed to get some early position from tough outside post. 3-Caisson goes first off the claim and gets the complete makeover (1st time gelding/Lasix; blinkers off) for his new connections today looking for a form reversal. The 4-year-old looks to regain his 2020 form when he was runner-up in the Grade 3 Cecil B. Demille.