Del Mar (Thursday-8/17/23) By Dean Keppler

Analysis & Selections By: Dean Keppler @Keppskorner

BEST BET: 10-Central Dispatch (Race 8)

Race #1: A beaten favorite in the last pair 1-Kissed by Fire comes off back-to-back sharp runner-up finishes at this level and has speed from the rail. This 3-year-old filly is the logical horse to beat in the Thursday afternoon opener at a short price. 6-Make it Snow makes second start off the mini-freshening off a sharp closing third-place finish. The (74) grass Beyer earned on July 23 is close to par for this MDSW level. 2-Christina’s Candy finished an even sixth off an eight-month freshening and can improve off that effort for D’Amato.

Selections: 1-6-2

Race #2: 5-Hot Rod Momma stretches back to her preferred mile trip this afternoon off a fast-closing second July 29 at this same level. This filly’s Beyer numbers are on the improve. 7-Sweet Hello drops in for $16k after being claimed for $32K on May 26 in a well-beaten turf try. Today’s class drop and a switch to the main track may get this filly back on track for conditioner Bob Hess. 3-Magazine was overmatched in the last effort on Aug. 6 when never involved but drops into a much softer spot this afternoon and can rebound here. Her Maiden win two-back at Pleasanton was visually impressive.

Selections: 5-7-3

Race #3: 6-Primrose Ridge (GB) flashed some positional speed before fading in lone U.S. start back in March at Gulfstream when placed in a $100k stake. That was nearly five months ago, and the filly hasn’t been seen since. Nonetheless, she drops in for a$50k tag this afternoon for trainer Simon Callaghan and has worked consistently well the last several weeks since arriving in Southern California. She did show some ability overseas and appears well-spotted with a top turf plot. 3-Court Snort shortens up this afternoon for trainer Brian Koriner and has posted some of the best grass Beyers in this field. 7-Una Palabra takes a significant class plunge while attempting this 5-furlong sprint distance for the first time, coming off a series of two-turn efforts.

Selections: 6-3-7

Race #4: 4-Misty Muppet drops in for a tag in the second career start off an average-looking 5th place finish in Los Al debut July 8. This jockey/trainer combo is a sharp 5 for 8 (63%) with a $3.55 ROI with MDSW to Maiden Claiming dropdowns. 7-Miss Pixy Stix sprung to life and finished second when dropped in for a $32k tag over a handful of these same fillies and now goes second-time blinkers today for Hess. Florida invader 8-Beau Soleil was runner-up on July 21 debut flashing speed from the start and is nicely drawn outside today for her initial start in Southern California.

Selections: 4-7-8

Race #5: The speedy 1-Pega A. K. Girl set a decent clip July 29 before tiring late and now moves all the way to the rail for today’s second start over the Del Mar lawn. The 4-year-old filly should get a more pace-friendly scenario this afternoon and could potentially wire this field. The 5-year-old mare 9-Zeyaraat shortens up this afternoon for trainer Vladimir Cerin, switches back to Hernandez, and can work out a better trip. 5-Awesome Taylor moves back to turf off the Team O’Neill claim and can improve in this spot.

Selections: 1-9-5

Race #6: 2-Will Be flashed good speed from the rail on June 25 Los Al debut finishing a good second to well-meant Baffert firster Wickline. The gelding earned a solid (82) Beyer for that top effort and should be a handful with normal second-out improvement. 4-Bad Sneakers (By Gun Runner) returns off an 11-month layoff as a first-time gelding for trainer Mark Glatt and Juan Hernandez and has worked swiftly in a.m. drills for today’s return. 3-Mixto is one of three Doug O’Neill-trained colts lined up here, two owned by Calumet Farms. This son of Good Magic returns off a nine-month layoff, adds Lasix, and has trained well for today’s return try. The connections thought enough of him to try a pair of graded stakes in fall 2022.

Selections: 2-4-3

Race #7: 3-Daniel’s Magic returns off a seven-month freshening as a first-time gelding for trainer Eoin Harty and has run exceptionally well over the DMR turf course. 4Liberty Forever is eligible to improve making second start off the bench for Miller. First-time gelding 1-Cool Papa G has never tried grass but has the breeding to suggest he’ll handle it, and he’s been training swiftly in morning drills for today’s return from an extended layoff.

Selections: 3-4-1

Race #8: 10-Central Dispatch flashed good speed and tired against straight MDSW types for trainer John Sadler July 21 and now drops in for a first-time tag in career start number three. A solid gate-to-wire threat as the day’s Best Bet in the nightcap. 12-Happy Tears adds blinkers on the class drop for Hernandez and McCarthy and as noted with Misty Muppet in race four, this jockey-trainer duo has strong numbers with this class move. 5-Burton Way adds blinkers and cuts back to a sprint off the July 30 Diodoro claim. This gelding has posted back-to-back runner-up finishes and ran par for this class level in the most recent start.

Selections: 10-12-5

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