American Pharoah's Sister Headlines Three Strong Maiden Races Saturday at Del Mar

Profile Picture: Scott Shapiro

July 27th, 2018

Maiden special weight events are not for everyone, but they are some of my favorite races to handicap, especially at the boutique summer meetings in California and New York.

A trio of protected non-winner races are a part of the ten-race card on Saturday “Where the Turf Meets the Surf” and I look forward to all three.

The first of the three kicks things off in San Diego County and features the half-sister to 2015 Triple Crown winner , #7 Chasing Yesterday. The daughter of Tapit comes into her debut for Hall of Famer Bob Baffert off a strong series of works, including a four-furlong drill in 47.3 over this surface on July 23rd. The Summerwind Farms filly draws favorably to the far outside and looks tough to beat. However, the price will be hard to get excited about.

#3 could be an intriguing alternative for those looking for a filly that will provide much greater value. The $25,000 Keeneland September 2017 purchase is a half to Pride of Stride who won 2 of 4 at the age of two and hit the board in all four tries. Her trainer Jerry Hollendorfer is off to a torrid start to the summer and she could get ignored on the toteboard.

The second half of the early Daily Double is a five-furlong dash over the Jimmy Durante Turf Course for maiden fillies and mares three years old and upward. A pair of three-year old gals pique my interest.

#4 K P’s Smokin finished a well beaten second in a race over the mud last December at Sunland Park and has been moved to the Jeff Mullins barn since that debut effort. The daughter of Archarcharch is bred to be successful sprinting over the sod being a half to a pair of colts that have done their best running in these such races. Incensed has won 5 of 28 over the lawn and hit the board 14 times and Conquest Fahrenheit who won 3 of 6 and finished in the exacta in all but one try. 6-1 on odds maker Russell Hudak’s morning line seems fair.

#9 Suspicious Spouse has shown tactical speed in each of her first 3 starts over the dirt for trainer Peter Miller before tiring late, but the move to the green and the cutback to five panels should do her well. She is a half-sister to a $200K earner on the turf in Curlin’s Fox. I like her chances to put forth a career best in Saturday’s second race.

The final maiden special weight race of the day is a two-turn turf event for two-year-olds. I am excited to wager on #8 Forloveofcountry for trainer James DiVito. The Virginia bred commanded a strong $300,000 at the OBS March 2018 sale and is a half -brother to Rapid Rhythm who earned over $258K in 21 starts over the grass. His debut was in a sprint over the slop at Churchill Downs where he ran third, but that means little here since I am convinced that was a prep for a route event on the lawn. If Evin Roman can avoid significant ground loss from the outside draw he should be in good shape to get his picture taken for the initial time.

Suggested Wagers:

Race 1:

$10 Exacta 7-3

$10 Daily Double 7 with 4+9

$4 Daily Double 3 with 4+9

Race 2:

$5 Exacta Box 4+9

Race 10:

$30 Win 8