Del Mar Thursday Picks & Analysis for August 12

Another week at beautiful Del Mar is here! J.N. Campbell has you covered with a Doug O'Neill runner that is worth a wager ... Take a look below ...
Another week at beautiful Del Mar is here! J.N. Campbell has you covered with a Doug O'Neill runner that is worth a wager ... Take a look below ...

The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club is ready for another week by the surf … and we know precisely what to expect on the nearby turf.

Based near La Jolla, California, the Del Mar Meet brings together the very best of SoCal racing, as they prepare to host the November Breeders’ Cup.

We at HorseRacing.net/us have you covered for all of it, as we bring you picks and analysis through Labor Day. It should be a rousing good time ... Some of the highlights include the the forthcoming TVG Pacific Classic. Our turf-man continues to be red hot during the Meet, recording 5 winners last Saturday. See what he has in-store this week! It is going to be another fabulous time at Del Mar!

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

Horse Racing Picks
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Most Likely Winner: (Race 5: Invictatatus #7, 5/2):

The Marquez Barn has this 5-yr-old by Strong Mandate headed back to the MT … and that is a good thing. After a couple of tries on the grass at Santa Anita that did not pan out, he is getting back to what he was meant to do. This one has frontend speed, which is a gift, and that can go a long way to helping his connections return to some winning ways. Abel Cedillo will be aboard, and he is riding moderately well at the Meet. If he can get a speed fig like he did last time on this surface, then nobody is going to be able to catch him.

Wagering Recommendation: $100 Win, #7

 

Off-the-Pace Play of the Day: (Race 7: Hot Pastrami #4, 8/1):

In a race like this one, where there are a number of entries who are brand new to their barns, it will make it difficult to discern readiness. I want to try and get a win from a runner who came from a fine establishment, and now is in another. This colt out of Dominus ran pretty well for Mike McCarthy before coming to Doug O’Neill’s outfit. Winning last out in that MC20k was promising, but he is certainly going to have to find more. I am hoping his odds will cruise towards the double digits … maybe the addition of T-Mac, Trevor McCarthy, will assist as well.

Wagering Recommendation: $100 Bankroll, Graduated Wager WPS #4 ($10-W, $15-P, $75-S)

 

Spotlight Race of the Day: (Race 8: Turf, 1 Mile, AOC80k, 3):

We find ourselves in the midst of a fine-looking high level turf contest. Price plays are available in a spot like this one, so taking deserving favorites might not make much sense. I would back Doug O’Neill’s Hockey Dad #1 because I like Nyquist’s offspring on the grass. But at 7/2 with Mario Gutierrez … hmm … even with the class drop, that doesn’t compute. This is a jockey who makes such poor decisions in traffic. Conversely, when it comes to turf riding, no one is hotter on the Coast than Flavien Prat. Trainer John Sadler is shipping in a new recruit from France, who will be making his U.S. debut for Rockingham Ranch. Numero Dix #3 is a Euro with form that looks suspect to me, and even though this is Prat, I am against taking a price like 3/1. Probs will be lower … Very hard to interpret if well-bred entry is ready …

I would say Sadler does have a good one in Crew Dragon #2 (probably the “deserving” favorite) with Umberto Rispoli up. Getting 1st time “blinkers” is an angle many like to play, but I sometimes interpret it as a trainer fumbling for a solution to a problem. Like O’Neill’s turfer, this one is dropping out of the Oceanside100k, in which the colt only lost by a head to Flashiest. Hronis Racing has invested in some nice grass runners over the years, and this one has ability. But I am not sure why he is here? Does Sadler think that he isn’t ready for the next stage? Or does the schedule dictate such a move? Whatever the case, I am against him. I have seen many try to attempt to ratchet down, looking for an easy win, and it is anything but the sort.

As for a top pick, I like The Hulk #9 (not The Avenger … the horse) because even though I basted Sadler’s Euro entry, this one at least has a race under him. That did not go well last time when the Del Mar Meet opened, but I suspect that might be different this time around. The price will be right for sure. Right now, jockey Kyle Frey is quietly building up a set of quality rides. He is doing what Juan Hernandez and Ricardo Gonzalez did back at Santa Anita … workmanlike approach. Prat, Rispoli, etc … they get the press, but Frey is accomplished. Plus, I like the conditioning ability of Simon Callaghan. He can get them ready, and recalibrate after a loss. With some War Front bloodlines in the background, I would not write this one off, as he could run a monster race.  

Wagering Recommendation: $2 Trifecta Box, 1/2/3/9

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

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