Debut runners prominent in Del Mar Horses to Watch list

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

August 31st, 2016

Del Mar Horses to Watch

Thursday (8/25)

BITZKA enjoyed a dream trip in her debut, sitting in third behind a dueling pair, but I still came away impressed with her closing run as the two-year-old filly won going away beneath Chantal Sutherland in the Race 4. The daughter of Tiago is not bred to be an early-developing type but certainly proved precocious with a swift move through the stretch. John Sadler appears to have made a heady claim of the filly as she figures to improve with some seasoning and more distance going forward.

In Race 7, WHISK sped to the front and had to fight off challenges at the top of the lane and in the final yards to earn a well-deserved tally in this turf dash. The four-year-old filly didn’t beat a great field in my opinion, but I loved her determination and she will now go to the barn of Mike Machowsky off the claim, an outfit that has done little wrong at this meeting with a 45% win rate (9-for-20).

Friday (8/26)

BERNIN SENSATION ran a winning race in defeat and likely will be sitting on a win in his subsequent try for conditioner Bob Baffert. The two-year-old colt forced the pace and took a lead into the lane, was passed by the eventual winner but never quit in re-rallying to miss by a nose in Race 3. The $290,000 juvenile purchase is bred to be a nice one and the son of Bernardini will go longer in my view, with the potential to develop into a nice prospect.

In Race 5, the James Cassidy-trained PERFECT PIC left little doubt as to who was best with a superb 10 ¼-length debut romp under Santiago Gonzalez. The sophomore filly took over readily at the top of the lane and poured it on late like a runner who will stretch out in the near future. And the daughter of Candy Ride did this for a trainer who rarely wins first-time out so she could be the real deal after registering a healthy 97 BRIS Speed figure.

Saturday (8/27)

I previously mentioned how I was backing LIFE’S BLESSINGS in Race 9 in her debut offering and while the 7-10 price was not much to write home about, I was glad to cash a ticket on this fine prospect. The juvenile filly broke slowly in the sprint run, but split rivals in the lane and drew off late in a convincing score under Flavien Prat. By Tapit and out of the sensational Indian Blessing, the filly earned just an 88 BRIS Speed number for her work, but I am less concerned about the number and more impressed by the way she won this race with adversity. A Grade 1 try will be on the horizon for the Baffert pupil.

Sunday (8/28)

I tabbed SHAZARA one to watch following her visually impressive maiden win and the John Shirreffs trainee put in yet another nice late charge to be a clear second against a pretty solid allowance field in Race 3. The improving four-year-old has surely found her niche in racing on the lawn and I will continue to have her on my tickets until she proves me wrong.