Del Mar (Thursday-8/11/22) By Dean Keppler

Analysis & Selections By: Dean Keppler @Keppskorner

BEST BET: 1-Flat Out Joy (Race #3)

Race #1: 3-Flame McGoon was no match for runaway winner Lady Maryann on June 17 but still ran exceptionally well considering it was her first start in 8 months. She showed good early zip and battled on gamely through some demanding fractions. The 3-year-old filly makes her 2nd start off the bench today; goes 2nd time Lasix and should be on or close to the lead again this afternoon. 6-Tecumseh Caroline returns off a 10-month extended layoff for trainer Phil D’Amato and it’s an encouraging sign that this filly returns protected. She goes turf to dirt; adds Lasix and blinkers and attracts the meet’s leading rider off a solid worktab. 2-Baker Kait goes turf to dirt and makes the all-important 3rd career start for Team O’Neill. This filly is on the improve.

Selections: 3-6-2

Race #2: Trainer John Sadler has two interesting juvenile colt first time starters in here. 1-Big Stick is a $225K Keeneland purchase by Munnings who gets 14% with his turf sprint first time starters. This colt also has some turf pedigree on the dam side. This lucrative barn is 6 for 29 (21%) with $3.21 ROI the past 5 years at Del Mar with grass sprint debut runners. Stick should be the better price of the pair. His other runner is 3-Storming Machine who is a $560K Ocala Breeders’ sales purchase by Grade 1 Preakness winner Cloud Computing. 4-Wound Up is by Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner Mendelssohn debuting off some snappy a.m. drills for trainer Michael McCarthy. This barn is, however, only 2 for 60 (3%) the past 5 years with turf debut runners.

Selections: 1-3-4

Race #3: 1-Flat Out Joy goes first off the claim for trainer Vladimir Cerin who is a sharp 3 for 7 (43%) with a lofty $8.51 ROI with new barn purchases at Del Mar on dirt. This 6-year-old mare has run well over this racetrack in prior starts and stretches back out to winning mile distance this afternoon. 7-Starship Defiant is today’s likely pacesetter and scored a decisive wire-to-wire win at a mile against slightly cheaper three-back earning Beyer par (69) for this class level. 5-Mercy Mercy goes turf to dirt and takes a sizable class drop today for trainer Bob Hess. When last seen running over the main track, she was a sharp winner at Santa Anita going a mile back in January.

Selections: 1-7-5

Race #4: 2-Smiling At Val hails from a barn that’s off to a quick start this meet and this gelding finished a decent 2nd when moved to the dirt July 9 at Pleasanton earning a field’s best last-out Beyer (66). Mathis is 10 for 33 (30%) the past 3 years with horses dropping from MDSW to Maiden Claimers. 9-Precedent drops below $50k claiming purchase price from two-back for trainer Jeff Mullins after disappointing non-effort June 5. This 3-year-old gelding goes turf to dirt today and appears to have more of a main track dirt pedigree. Today’s surface switch might be welcome. 1-Sippin N Kissin is 0 for 13 but drops down to career low claiming tag for Solis and this gelding’s last two 4th place finishes registered Beyer numbers that were close to par for this class level.

Selections: 2-9-1

Race #5: 5-Thunderheart has little turf pedigree but adds blinkers today and has a big burst of early speed. This gelding shows a sharp 4-furlong drill in :46 flat in preparation for this at Los Al and could potentially run these off their feet going 5 furlongs. Upset chance. Recent Maiden winner 4-Daniel’s Magic earned a (81) grass Beyer in victory and is well-spotted for his first start against winners. The 4-year-old colt has been freshened for this; has trained well since that June 4 win and retains shrewd grass pilot Umberto Rispoli. 1-Street Art failed to quicken in the stretch drive while appearing to hang a tad on his left lead but has a series of close finishes sprinting on grass and merits respect again making his second start over the track.

Selections: 5-4-1

Race #6: 1-Prayforyourcountry is by Grade 1 winner Girvin who is off to a tremendous start with his 2-year-old prodigy going an impressive 5 for 15 (33%). This colt comes in with some snappy morning drills for conditioner Luis Mendez who is 3 for 8 (38%) with a positive ROI with Maiden Claiming first time starters at Del Mar. 4-Aplombado is by multiple Grade 1 winner Gun Runner who is 16 for 76 (21%) with his juvenile offspring. This colt debuts for trainer Peter Miller and lures the meet’s leading jockey Juan Hernandez who is clicking close to 24% for the start of this meet. 7-Rescue Story has shown little in both starts but makes the all-important 3rd career start today and drops down into claimers for the first time for trainer Val Brinkerhoff. This barn is 3 for 7 (43%) with a lofty $11.51 ROI with MDSW to MDCLM class droppers at Del Mar.

Selections: 1-4-7

Race #7: The speedy 3-Uncaged Kitty has won two straight for trainer Andy Mathis and her Beyer numbers have increased with each subsequent start. The 4-year-old filly makes her 2nd start off the extended layoff today and is reunited with barn’s go-to rider Ricardo Gonzalez who is 5 for 12 (42%) with a $5.93 ROI riding for these familiar connections at Del Mar. This filly broke her Maiden over this track last summer. 6-Idiot Proof has been freshened for trainer Peter Miller and goes turf to dirt on the class drop. This filly shows two 6-furlong stamina drills in preparation for this and should come out running off the bench. 2-Vella has not run well over the turf course here but has been very sharp running on dirt in her last two starts for trainer Jonathan Wong and must be considered a strong threat to grab a part of this.

Selections: 3-6-2

Race #8: 4-Tangledupingrey holds the racing experience edge over several of these in the nightcap and goes synthetic to turf on the stretch-out this afternoon for new conditioner John Sadler. The colt is bred to handle turf and has worked sharply in the a.m. presumably with the addition of blinkers. 5-The Big Cheeseola debuts for trainer Tim Yakteen who has sent out all live runners from limited starts this meet, and this barn has had a pair of grass route first time starters win here in previous years. There’s decent turf pedigree on both sides of this gelding’s pedigree. 1-Chicknfingerfriday has little grass pedigree but attracts sharp turf rider for trainer Doug O’Neill and this colt should be able to stretch-out nicely being by multiple Grade 1 winner I’ll Have Another. The third career start is typically a lightly raced runners’ best effort.

Selections: 4-5-1

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