Our very own social media manager, Padriac, is putting up a great Pick 5 Leverage Play for the Del Mar Handicap Card. Amazing enough, he has a single that’s not United nor Max. Can’t wait to see this $24 pick five ticket play out today. – Drew Coatney
Del Mar has put together a stellar card for their premiere day of the meet, Pacific Classic Day. The late Pick 5 will likely feature a pool north of $1 million. Most players will try to turn this into a Pick 4 by singling Maximum Security and though I respect the champ, I am singling in a different Grade 1 race. My late Pick 5 analysis is available below and as always; the economical ticket comes in at less than $25.
United (#1, 8/5) is a deserving favorite on the basis of three consecutive Grade 2 wins. He always shows up and has a versatile style to avoid being the victim of pace. He never wins by much however; so the margin for error is smaller than his assured low odds will indicate.
Originaire (#10, 5/1) is the horse to beat should United falter. He finished just a half a length behind United while getting bumped around in the stretch in the Charles Whittingham. The further the distance, the better for this improving colt, who offers strong value in this spot.
Potantico (#3, 7/2) is in the best form of his career, thrives at Del Mar, and makes a huge jockey switch to the red-hot Rispoli. He seems a bit better at one mile, but is far too sharp to ignore in this competitive race.
Kershaw (#8, 9/2) is drawn well and should be able to work out a good trip tracking Take the One O One. Potantico narrowly defeated him last time and like that runner, he thrives over the Del Mar surface. His best is good enough to win a race at this level.
El Tigre Terrible (#5, 4/1) loses Prat as he takes a huge step up in class from the Cal-bred ranks to open, older foes, but his upside is tantalizing. He has run into a few tough trips this year, but is really good when he is able to work out a trip. He is the x-factor as a new face in a race that features many foes that are familiar with each other.
Neige Blanche (#8, 5/1) was purchased privately for $380,000 specifically for this race. Both of her turf races in France have been solid and this improving filly has been the model of consistency. She has worked well since arriving in this country for Leonard Powell, who thrives with European imports. Unlike many Europeans, she appears tactical and lures the services of Flavien Prat. The Del Mar Oaks is a turf scramble where one could easily go five deep on a ticket and still lose. The best gamble is to bet on the upside of Neige Blanche and cover in other races.
Maximum Security (#5, 1/1) showed grit to get up and win the San Diego Handicap in a result that felt a bit inconclusive. On one hand the champ was able to win despite likely not being 100% cranked up. On the other hand he was all out to beat a field that he typically would he crushed. The question remains is he the same horse that exited the Jason Servis barn in the Bob Baffert barn? It is easy to give him the benefit of the doubt since he is facing the same primary threats in here as he did in the San Diego, but I will not be singling him. He is a must-use, but that huge effort off a layoff is a bit concerning.
Higher Power (#2, 3/1) would be the biggest beneficiary if Maximum Security does not bring his ‘A’ game. Maximum Security and Midcourt dusted him in the San Diego, but that was at 1 1/16 miles. While Midcourt has struggled at 1 ¼ miles, Higher Power has thrived. The defending Pacific Classic champ also ran a strong 3rd in the Breeders’ Cup and a good second to Improbable at this distance. Midcourt had his chance to beat Maximum Security last time. This is Higher Power’s best chance.
Salvator Mundi (#5, 9/2) ducked to the rail while full of run in his last start, a move that works exactly 0% of the time. He has improved dramatically this year since being gelded and is the horse to beat while returning at the same level for Phil D’Amato and Umberto Rispoli.
Southern King (#8, 8/1) looked good winning at this level two starts back when adding blinkers. They tried to stretch him out well beyond his scope last time in a race that can be thrown out. 1 1/16 miles should hit him right between the eyes. He offers strong value at 8-1.
Shadow Sphinx (#4, 7/2) is a bit inconsistent, but his best makes him scary. He has run well at Del Mar and has been at his best with Flavien Prat in the irons. He has the tactical speed to avoid trouble in a wide-open race.
Three Ay Em (#7, 8/1) is consistent and versatile on the turf. He goes from the Cal-bred to open ranks, but drops out of stakes competition. Mike Smith is not hanging around for the last race for the heck of it and this runner seems to have found a good spot.
Pick 5 Ticket: 1,10 / 3,5,8 / 8 / 2,5 / 4,5,7, 8 = $24