Del Mar (Thursday-8/31/23) By Dean Keppler


Analysis & Selections By: Dean Keppler @Keppskorner

BEST BET: 5-Greentaze (Race 2)

Race #1: 5-Single Track Mind (Ire) removes the blinkers and stretches back out this afternoon for trainer Mark Glatt. The 3-year-old colt drops in class and is reunited with his winning rider. Recent winner 8-Post Facto moves back to turf off the Leonard Powell claim and can win right back. This gelding has been equally effective on both surfaces. 7-Upward Mobility drops off a troubled trip July 23 and can improve in this spot with Hernandez climbing back aboard. The gelding did better sprinting, however. Mixed feelings.

Selections: 5-8-7

Race #2: The lone filly in the field 5-Greentaze makes the second start off the layoff and first start for a claiming tag for the Team O’Neill barn that’s been winning races in bunches for the past week to 10 days. This conditioner is 12 for 44 (27%) the past 3 years with MDSW to Maiden Claiming dropdowns. 6-Just Step On It is by multiple grade 1 winner Accelerate and barn won with turf sprint firster Charge For Gold 8/24. The colt is nicely drawn outside off a decent work tab. 1-You’reinthearmynow doesn’t have the most exciting work tab but is by Army Mule, who gets 20% with his overall debuting prodigy, and this isn’t the most compelling group of juveniles.

Selections: 5-6-1

Race #3: Dirt to turf 9-Silver N Black was a sharp second at this level two-back going a mile for these long-time winning connections. He gets a tepid vote in a wide-open affair. 2-Luka Grazie puts the blinkers back on for Miller and Hernandez and has run some competitive turf efforts at this MDSW level from off the pace. The gelding is a logical fit again in this spot. 1-Dark Mucus is 0 for 13 but comes off a strong troubled trip second when coming up just a neck shy while earning the field’s best last-out turf Beyer. The 4-year-old gelding makes his third start off the form cycle.

Selections: 9-2-1

Race #4: The speedy 5-Liberal Lady co-tops the field’s best last-out main track Beyer and will try and bottom out this field with a gate-to-wire score. 4-Rose Dawson returns off a seven-month freshening for D’Amato off some encouraging a.m. drills and she’s proven she can fire fresh right off the bench. 8-Trouville usually settles for underneath (36-3-12-9) instead of winning– but comes off a nice runner-up finish at this level Aug. 6.

Selections: 5-4-8

Race #5: 4-Standing O has hit the board in the last five starts (which includes a pair of wins) and makes the second start off the bench today for D’Amato. 6-Unconquerable Karen (Ire) has run well in three of four stateside starts for D’Amato. The gelding’s versatile running style gives jockey Joe Bravo several tactical options depending on how the pace unfolds. 7-Zoffarelli (Ire) makes the third start off the bench this afternoon for Mullins and may have been best July 29 when stuck behind horses and shaking free too late.

Selections: 4-6-7

Race #6: 1-Conquistar has been a beaten favorite in all three career starts for Baffert while settling for runner-up bridesmaid finishes. This daughter of Quality Road stretches back out this afternoon off a four-month freshening and has worked swiftly in her a.m. drills for today’s return try. Her stablemate 3-Enclosure goes two sprints to a route and is by multiple grade 1 winner Arrogate, thus suggesting two turns is her preferred wheelhouse. This filly also shows a series of swift, well-spaced works. 6-Anacaro stretches back out while making her second start off the bench and can certainly move forward off her third place even finish Aug. 5.

Selections: 1-3-6

Race #7: The lightly raced 4-year-old filly 4-Just Nails was sharp in victory off a year layoff, defeating a bulky field that’s already produced a pair of next-out winners. This filly appears well-spotted, making her first start against winners. 1-Wet My Beak returns off a long layoff and has little grass pedigree but has trained sharply for conditioner Leonard Powell and figures to come away running from the rail. 5-Denim in Gold finished second and in front of several of these Aug. 3 when flashing good early speed before tiring late. A logical fit right back.

Selections: 4-1-5

Race #8: Class dropping 6-Billy Gallivan goes turf to dirt and may find two turns over the main track her preferred distance and footing. She’s by prolific grade 1 winning sire Violence. 10-Vulin moved to the main track in last and finished a much-improved closing second, co-topping the field’s best last-out dirt Beyer. She makes her second start off the bench at this reduced level.  5-Midnight Silence comes off three consecutive runner-up finishes at this $20k Maiden Claiming level. A logical main contender again this afternoon for trainer Paddy Gallagher. However, there’s obvious concern that she’s yet to find the winner’s circle and might just prefer finishing underneath.

Selections: 6-10-5

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