Saturday Play of the Day


You never want to see a Grade 1 with a purse of $300k draw a field of only six, regardless of the overall talent in the field.  But that’s what we’ve got at Santa Anita on Saturday in the Grade 1 Chandelier at 1 1/16miles for 2yo fillies.  Your expected favorite is Bellafina for Simon Callaghan and Kaleem Shaw off her back-to-back wins in graded stakes at Del Mar.  But speaking of Del Mar, the filly in here who might appreciate the stretch out to two turns off consecutive runner-up efforts sprinting is none other than 2-Del Mar May.

I’m a firm believer in the benefit of watching replays.  The entire point of looking at past performances like the one shown above is to give you a visual image of how a horse ran in a given race.  So if that’s the goal, why not watch the actual race whenever possible.  So that’s what I did here.  I watched both of Del Mar May’s two lifetime starts, and both times I came away with the impression that she not only ran really well while sprinting both times, but that she was going to run even better when the distances got longer.  I just don’t think she runs like a sprinter.  So, if she can put up two Beyer Speed Figures in the mid 80s while going shorter than she wants to go, what might we see if I’m right and she runs even better with the added distance?

In her debut loss to Brill, she was definitely second best.  There is no doubt about that.  But she was second best by a wide margin behind her too.  She absolutely demolished every filly in that field not named Brill.  And then in the Sorrento, Bellafina kinda kicked clear and had it all her own way while Del Mar May was trying to close and could manage only 2nd.  But it was another strong effort for the maiden Del Mar May.  And she remains a maiden to this day as you can see, but Richard Baltas will keep going after that graded win with this daughter of Jimmy Creed.  And in watching her replays, it’s tough to argue with that decision.

There is some depth to this field in spite of the small size.  After Bellafina, you can easily see any one of four others being second choice.  And it won’t surprise me if that ends up being Del Mar May.  But Bob Baffert has two in here, and you know both will get support.  It’s a very evenly-matched bunch.  But all we can do is trust the morning line, so at 5-1, Del Mar May is the play for me.




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