Two days. 14 races. Lots of opportunities to make money. I don’t have opinions in every race, but I do in many of them. Let’s get started.
The temptation here is to go with whichever Euro you think is best. And I won’t talk you out of that approach given how dominant shippers from across the pond have been in recent years. As we have talked about many times, mediocre Europeans frequently win our best turf races. So I surprised myself by landing on Hit the Road in the Juvenile Turf. I feel like we didn’t see many horses close on the Del Mar lawn this summer, and this guy did not only that, but then he came back and ran down the early leaders in the Zuma Beach with ease over this course and distance. I don’t love the post, but with plenty of speed drawn just inside, I think Prat will be able to save enough ground and then produce him when the time is right.
Before you call me crazy, go watch the gallop-out of the Chandelier. KP Dreamin, after stalking a very slow pace, stayed on impressively to be 3rd and then by the time they ran 1/16 mile past the wire, she was in front. She’s a grinder and she got no pace that day. On Friday, I think she’ll have a ton of pace in front of her. At 20-1, I don’t think you should ignore her. She is getting better with every start.
Look, I admit I am reaching here. But it seems like Eight Rings didn’t impress many with his last work, and Dale Romans flat out said he didn’t want the rail for Dennis’ Moment. Maxfield is now a scratch. I like Scabbard a little, but the price on him will be less than it would need to be to excite me. I’ll use Anneau d’Or, Scabbard, and Wrecking Crew in here. Yes, the win came against maidens on grass at Golden Gate. But he beat nine foes by 8 easy lengths. The breeding says dirt won’t be an issue. And to be honest I just don’t like anyone else that much.
Filly and Mare Sprint-
I’ve been going nuts all week listening to people claim Bellafina hasn’t progressed this year. Just look at her PPs and assume she doesn’t want to route and she hates leaving home, where she is 4 for 4. Also note that her fastest career race, both by Beyers and on Thorograph, was at this track at this distance. The race goes through Covfefe, obviously. But Bellafina is going to surprise people. Sprinting at Santa Anita is her thing.
We wrote about Giant Expectations in a separate article here on LoneSpeed.
Simply put, I think Firenze Fire is the best closer in the field at 6F, and I think he has the ability to be close enough early to keep the leaders within striking distance. But this race could go many different directions.
Sadler. Rosario. Tons of ability. So much to like. You need to watch the replay of the Zenyatta and take note of that absurd early move Kent made with about a half mile to go. Ollie’s Candy is going to run huge with better tactics. You can take that to the bank.
With all the attention on stablemate Anthony Van Dyck, this one figures to offer a much better price. And doesn’t this seem like a sneaky move by Aidan? Like he’s trying to bring this guy in under the radar and steal it? Note that Mount Everest just missed against Japan last year. Then he got some time off, and the win last out against lesser than he’ll face here was still a big step in the right direction. The dam was a beast at a mile. But in spite of his cold streak in North America, I trust Aidan.
I know this is supposed to be all value plays, but if he wins, isn’t 3-1 value? I understand the concern about the distance with McKinzie. But his loss in the 10f Santa Anita Handicap was just as fast as any of the others have run in here at this distance according to Thorograph. I don’t really care too much about race shape here, as long as he doesn’t get scorched early. From my standpoint, he is the fastest and the best, and I think the questions about his affinity for this distance will add to the price.