Del Mar Sunday Picks & Analysis for August 22

The Pacific Classic Week is coming to an end ... sadly ... but, we still have one more card coming your way! Check out these selections!
The Pacific Classic Week is coming to an end ... sadly ... but, we still have one more card coming your way! Check out these selections!

The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club hosted a wonderful Pacific Classic Day. We are not done yet though because Sunday afternoon is yet another day of racing!

Once again, our turf-man, J.N Campbell, offers some best bets and long shots that are sure to cash. He has you covered with selections for the entire 10-race card. Another weekend of beautiful weather from Southern California is on the way ... where the surf and the turf merge!

If you're looking for picks elsewhere around the country on Sunday, be sure to check out our free Horse Racing Picks via the gold button below.

Horse Racing Picks

Most Likely Winner: (Race 9: Azul Coast #3, 5/2):

The “Great Calibrator,” trainer Bob Baffert understands how to make adjustments when they count. Take this colt out of Super Saver … The 4-yr-old was running deep distance tests last year … then after the winter break, Baffert decided that a cutback to 1 mile would be a good start. That 2021 debut in an OC62.5k at Del Mar ended in a 3rd place finish, and that was enough for a new bow. Now, he should be in a much better place … he is fitter … and with Flavien Prat, his maturity should shine through.   

Wagering Recommendation: $100 Win, #3


Off-the-Pace Play of the Day: (Race 6: Pop Pop’s Dream #7, 12/1):

The MC ranks are as difficult as they come. You want a runner who has enough experience on a racetrack, but not too much … over-raced can be a concern. I found a nice filly out of Paynter that should fit the bill. Bob Hess trains this one, and she already has her debut out of the way. That MSW70k didn’t result in a win, nor was she in-the-money; still, experience is experience. Sometimes a horse just needs to understand that running fast around an oval is the plan. Dropping down here, it will be Mike Smith’s job to take up the pilot’s seat once again. Nothing like having a HOF jockey on the mount. Smith doesn’t ride often on the turf, and that is a negative, but the price of this one is just too good to pass up. The rest of this field is not that formidable … the turf carpet has been laid.  

Wagering Recommendation: $100 Bankroll, Graduated Wager WPS #7 ($10-W, $15-P, $75-S)


Spotlight Race of the Day: (Race 8: Turf, 5F, Green Flash S. (G3) $100k, 3+):

The Grade 3 Green Flash S. is a nice postscript to what has been one heck’of a racing weekend at Del Mar. The Surf met the Turf, and we all were the better for it. Who doesn’t love a race at Del Mar? After the pageantry of Saturday, the focus now is on this nice turf spring stakes race. Out of these 8 entries, the tote topper will probably be Phil D’Amato’s Gregorian Chant #8. The gelding is coming back from contesting the Jaipur (G1) on the Belmont Stakes undercard. It is difficult to discern his level of fitness. One argument is that he is completely ready to roll, after that 2½ month rest; while the other … he needs a race, and maybe this spot (which is tough), might not be it. I am willing to pursue that latter line of thinking, plus I would like a much better price.

To that end, I believe Peter Miller’s Texas Wedge #2 is primed to get back to some winning ways. The gelding has a ton of class, and is finally going to get a setup that will suit. His last 2 races (@LS and @SA) were fraught with challenges like poor weather and a longer distance. The cutback to 5F is prime, and he has count’em … 8 … works under his belt. Miller is a master in these spots, and he has a ton of confidence in this one—so much so, that he is removing the “blinkers.” Not a bad sign at all … The last time he ran at this distance on the Jimmy D Turf Course, he missed by just a head with Flavien Prat aboard. My sense is that Umberto Rispoli, who rode him last time in a “Non-G” 75k, will make some better choices this time around. The Colonel John offspring doesn’t need the lead, rather, he has the gears to win this race late. Turf experience, a solid lawn jockey, and Miller’s training, are a recipe for success. If he is 6/1 at post time, I consider that an overlay.

Wagering Recommendation: $100 Win, #2


Enjoy where the “Surf Meets the Turf!” Best of Luck on another run at Del Mar!

Horse Racing Results