Friday's Del Mar card has J.N Campbell zeroed in on a mix of sure bets and value plays. He has you covered with selections for all 8 races. Another week of beautiful weather from Southern California ... the surf and the turf are rolling your way!
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Most Likely Winner: (Race 8: Summer Rose #6, 5/1):
Right now, sons and daughters of Jimmy Creed are hot commodities on the Thoroughbred market. They are affordable, and they have scored some major victories. Here is a Phil D’Amato-trainee that is moving up in class from the MC level into this spot. I realize that is not an easy pivot, but this conditioner knows what he is doing. The Wallers have a nice one in the seasoned mare, and she still has gas left in the tank. It is also pleasing to see Ricardo Gonzalez try to guide this one home. He is a jockey with solid ability. Look for him to get this one out early … that is what he did last time, winning by a nose. A quick survey of her workouts since that last contest offers some stiff figs. Look out for this one at a fairly decent price.
Wagering Recommendation: $100 Win, #6
Off-the-Pace Play of the Day: (Race 4: Perfect Ice Storm #7, 12/1):
Taking on the favorite in this Clm25k event will not be easy. The Desormeaux clan is going to try and make it 3/3 for Zabava #1. She is a solid mare out of Skipshot, but she has never been to Del Mar. Maybe she will not take to the track, and at 5/2 or lower, that is way too short on the tote. Instead, I want to back a price like John Sadler’s 5-yr-old who is out of He Be Fire N Ice. That turf pedigree is not fabulous, but homebreds are homebreds, so I am willing to make an exception. What I particularly like about this one is her conditioner is sending her to Del Mar after she ran back in the spring at Oaklawn. Basic ALLW Co. races are extremely tough there, and even though they do not have a turf course, it still can make a runner battle tested. The best news is the addition of jockey Juan Hernandez. His ability on the grass is without question. This one is a solid play in my estimation.
Spotlight Race of the Day: (Race 7: Dirt, 6F, Sorrento S. (G2), 2F):
The “Feature” on this Friday at Del Mar is this tough betting race—the Grade II Sorrento S. Some young fillies, 11 at this point, are going to be breaking hard and fast in this sprint on the dirt. Those that make the lead will try to hold it, but we will have to see if that holds. During the previous weeks, speed was mainly unleashed from behind, as late-comers rolled it to victory.
Near the top of the tote will most assuredly be Todd Fincher’s Smash Ticket #2, who is a nice filly out of Midnight Lute. She was impressive on the MT back at the beginning of the Meet in a MSW70k race. Using her is logical, especially considering Fincher’s penchant for training those to break quickly. His runners are extremely well-conditioned, and this one is no exception. She has to prove it though because this is a class jump. I am not saying that 9/5 is not “deserved,” but at such short a price, that does not remotely qualify for value.
Of course, when it comes to those that will take money, one has to think that Bob Baffert’s entry will be pretty enticing. Eda #3 is a 2-yr-old out of Munnings with much promise after she just missed breaking her maiden on debut. Her tracking ability in that MSW61k race at Santa Anita was impressive, and she just missed by a hair in the end. Now, Baffert and Abel Cedillo are looking to get the job done in a tougher spot. If they can, it will be an earned victory for sure. Baffert gets bet down … especially, in his backyard. So, do not expect this one to hover around 4/1. I will wager that she ends up more like 9/5 … a co-favorite with Fincher’s filly.
As for a longer shot, why not take a chance with trainer Molly Pearson’s First Promise #8? Here is a runner who improved from her debut to her 2nd outing. She won nicely in an MC50k at Los Al. Most will write her off because she doesn’t come from a large outfit. This one is out of First Samurai though, and I like the choice of Jessica Pyfer. She gets better and better every day. Early speed here is a valuable weapon, especially if other frontrunners do not make the lead. The price is going to be right when it comes to wagering angles too.