Del Mar: Stakes Plays for Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

November 17th, 2022

A pair of stakes tilts on the main surface will take center stage at Del Mar on Saturday.

Race 6: Desi Arnaz S.

The seven-furlong affair for juvenile fillies attracted a field of seven with the pair of contenders drawn on the inside as the ones to beat in the heat. I came away impressed with the debut victory posted by #2 Parody, who has since been transferred to the barn of Bob Baffert for her second lifetime try.

In her October 30 unveiling beneath the Twin Spires, Parody tracked the early pace prior to securing a tally over a sloppy, sealed surface while registering a strong 95 Brisnet Speed number in the process. The February foal posted a sharp three-furlong drill in the interim, and I expect her to flash speed from the opening bell under Juan Hernandez.

John Shirreffs’ #1 Justique, a $725,000 yearling purchase, went last-to-first on debut on the oval prior to recording a late-running third in the Chandelier S. (G2) at Santa Anita last time out. The dark bay cuts back in distance and comes in with a bullet five-furlong move in anticipation of her second stakes attempt. She will save ground early before putting in her best run late beneath Victor Espinoza.


Race 8: Cary Grant S.

A total of six California-breds will travel seven-eighths on the main oval. #4 Big City Lights suffered his first setback when running one-mile at Los Alamitos most recently and cuts back in trip on Saturday as the one to catch as the controlling speed in the field.

Trained by Richard Mandella, the son of Mr. Big led throughout when bagging the Real Good Deal S. on this dirt two back, and the colt was last seen sizzling a half-mile bullet morning drill at Santa Anita. The dark bay colt will be tough to catch with his top performance under Hernandez.

In my search for value, I will dabble with #1 Finneus as a late-running contender at a nice price. The sophomore has not been in great form in his last pair of assignments, but he puts the blinkers back on and moves back to the dirt following a failed try on the green most recently.

The Stay Thirsty colt has won or placed in four of his five local tries and will take a huge step forward in his second since coming to conditioner Peter Miller. Ramon Vazquez will be in the silks.

Multiple Grade 3 winner #5 The Chosen Vron is the one to beat and he will be included in the exotics for sure. The genuine Vronsky gelding possesses a lot of class, and the four-year-old proved his versatility with a stakes triumph on the grass last time out. Regular pilot Hector Berrios will be up.


  • $20 win: #4 Big City Lights ($20)
  • $10 trifecta: key 4 with 1,5 ($20)