Del Mar Thoroughbred Saturday Picks & Analysis for July 24: Surf 'n' Turf Edition

Where the Surf Meets the Turf ... Del Mar is back! J.N. Campbell has selections for this Saturday of racing!
Where the Surf Meets the Turf ... Del Mar is back! J.N. Campbell has selections for this Saturday of racing!
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The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club is ready for another summer 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 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 forthcoming TVG Pacific Classic. Stay tuned … it is going to be another fabulous time at Del Mar!

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

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Horse Racing Picks

Most Likely Winner: (Race 8: Smooth Like Strait #6, 9/5):

This year’s Eddie Read (G2) has a good group of runners drawn in, but none are as accomplished as Mike McCarthy’s 4-yr-old out of Midnight Lute. The colt is going well, and has an internal governor that is timed perfectly to be on or near the front. With Umberto Rispoli in the irons, he has the right jockey, at the right time. Last out, in the Shoemaker Mile (G1) he was magnificent against 5 others, winning by more than a length. Running back here at Del Mar should not be an issue, especially with a current record of 3/2-1-0. Once again, his conditioner is proving that he has the ability to train different sorts of horses … dirt routes … turf routes … McCarthy is impressive after paying his dues under Todd Pletcher. Good for him!

Wagering Recommendation: $100 Win, #6


Off-the-Pace Play of the Day: (Race 6: Uncle Addouma #5, 15/1):

Continuing this “Turf Edition,” I have found a real gem in this large field … a price, if there ever was one. It is a McCarthy-trainee once again … He has a long shot entered in this OC40k, but this 4-yr-old colt has some major upside. He already has competed at this level back at Santa Anita, and though he missed the board, it was not a poor try. This conditioner has already had one heck of a year, and I like the return of Jessica Pyfer to ride here. She has experience with this runner, and her patience in riding on the turf continues to improve. These Uncle Mo-types can handle the grass, and he is fit for duty. This is going to be my best value play on Saturday, and I would load up … I don’t make this statement lightly.

Wagering Recommendation: $100 Bankroll, Graduated Wager WPS #5 ($10-W, $15-P, $75-S)


Spotlight Race of the Day: (Race 10: Turf, 1 Mile, San Clemente S. (G2), $200k, 3F):

Some nice fillies have won previous editions of this race, the San Clemente, and this Grade II is once again up for grabs with a strong field of 3-yr-olds. Past winners have included War Heroine, Mucho Unusual, and last year’s victor, Laura’s Light. Two of those were trained by Peter Miller. He doesn’t have a runner entered this time around … but there are plenty of options.

You have a choice … do you look for a young untested upstart, or one that at least has some class under her? Decisions … decisions …’ What we can surmise is that Phil D’Amato will have the race time favorite in Going Global #2. This hot filly is coming in having won all of her races in the U.S.—4/4. That is impressive, and maybe she just cannot be beaten. In each of those contests there was really no one that could match her late down the lane. She overpowered Closing Remarks #12, who may be back to take her on again for trainer Carla Gaines. I say “may,” because Gaines has her double-entered in Friday’s Fleet Treat S. Still, if D’Amato has his ace cranked up, she is going to be a tough customer with Flavien Prat in the cockpit.

If there is an antidote to combating this heavy favorite, then I would back Simon Callaghan’s charge, Madone #9. She was outdone last time by Prat on Going Global #2 in the Grade III Honeymoon at Santa Anita. Now, it is time to turn the tables. If anyone can do it, then one has to think that JJ Hernandez has the skills to rise to the challenge. His mount, owned by Kaleem Shah, won the Senorita (G3) 2-back, so one would conclude that she is better suited to the turf mile distance. This is hcp-ing 101, of course, and not terribly novel. But sometimes simplest is best. Her conditioner had her in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) for a reason last November. It had something to do with her performance at a certain California racetrack … Del Mar. Last year, she was 2/2, scoring in a MSW55k and the Surfer Girl 100k. Her return this Saturday could be a homecoming celebration, indeed.

Wagering Recommendation: $2 Trifecta Box, 2/9/12


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

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