Drefong No Single On Shapiro's Del Mar Pick 4 Ticket

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TwinSpires Staff

July 28th, 2017


After one of the bigger upsets in Del Mar history last Saturday when Arrogate never picked up his feet at 1-to-20 in the San Diego Handicap, we return for the second weekend of racing “Where the Turf Meets the Surf.”

Unlike last weekend, this four-race slate is without a massive favorite and provides horseplayers with a challenging analytical puzzle in the first of two solid cards at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club to close July racing in San Diego County.

I will play one large ticket since I am against the likely favorite in the first leg and could not come up with a confident single in any of the other three races.

Here are my quick thoughts on Races 7 through 10 on the Saturday afternoon card and how I will attack the four-race sequence:

Race 7

The late Pick 4 gets started with a maiden special weight event over the lawn for fillies and mares. The event will be contested at one mile and offers a full field along with a few also eligibles hoping to draw in. 

#3 Scandal has done everything, but find the winners’ circle in her 11-race career for Hall of Famer Richard Mandella. The daughter of Blame has 7 runner-up finishes and even hit the wire first once before being disqualified and placed third back in May of 2015. She has had enough chances for me to exclude her in horizontal wagers with the assumption she will once again finish second or third.

My top choice is #11 Sweet Connie. I think this daughter of Giant’s Causeway is still sitting on a big effort. Last time out she was wide throughout going nine furlongs and still grinded along for fourth place. Jockey Brice Blanc will have to avoid similar ground loss on Saturday, but if he does she should be rolling late.

I also will include #4 Domestic Vintage for Neil Drysdale. This colt has yet to put it altogether, but clearly has talent and may be ready for a big one off the near 5-month freshening.  I also give chances to #5 Causeforcommotion and #6 Lady Mamba. They will also be on my ticket.

Race 8

The second leg is a very difficult open $50,000 claimer for three-year-old run at seven furlongs over the main track.

I do not have a strong opinion in this one at all.  I eventually landed on #4 Gentrified because of her affinity for the distance and the hot start for her trainer Vladimir Cerin, but I advise using several in this one. It could easily provide a double-digit winner.

Race 9

The ninth is the featured $300,000 Grade 1 Bing Crosby. The six-furlong dash is one of the more competitive main track stakes events in some time on this circuit.

The return of 2016 Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner #2 Drefong did not scare many away, as there are several coming into this one in strong form.

I wish I had a strong opinion in here, but I do not.

I loved #4 Ransom the Moon last time out in the Grade 2 San Carlos, but he could not get by eventual winner Danzing Candy. I have my concerns here that the six panels is a bit shorter than he wants, so I will leave the son of Malibu Moon off my ticket.

Both Peter Miller runners appear poised to run big ones.

#8 Roy H is the more obvious of the duo coming off an easy win in the Grade 2 True North at Belmont last month. He draws outside his main rivals and should get a dream run under Paco Lopez.

#3 St. Joe Bay is the longer of the two on Russell Hudak’s morning line, but comes in fresh, has shown an affinity for this racetrack and draws the services of hot riding Kent Desormeaux.

#5 Big Macher is also interesting. He clearly needed his last against state-bred stakes company where he did not have his best, but showed his class in grinding out a win in the Thor’s Echo. I expect him to move forward immensely for trainer Richard Baltas. 

Race 10

The sequence concludes with a $50,000 starter allowance event run at one mile over the Jimmy Durante Turf Course.

I am going to lean on two runners from the same barn to hopefully close out the card and late Pick 4.

#3 Uber Star finally got to the winners’ circle last month in his first try for trainer Bill Morey. The son of Fastnet Rock got first run on a run off long shot and finished well enough at nine furlongs to get his picture taken for the initial time. I think he has a big shot to make it two in a row.

#2 Popyhowuspecupcak makes his first start against winners and in Southern California after a last-to-first effort against $25K maiden claimers at Gulfstream Park. His soundness is a question given a vet scratch since his last start, but if he moves forward off the debut he certainly can make it a perfect 2 for 2.

Here is how I will play the late Pick 4:

Ticket 1: ($0.50 Pick 4)

Race 7: 4+5+6+11

Race 8: 1+2+3+4+10+11

Race 9: 2+3+5+8

Race 10: 2+3

Total: $96

Good luck at the windows!

California-based professional handicapper Scott Shapiro provides Daily Selections full-card analysis with best bets every day for Del Mar Thoroughbred Club and Indiana Grand. Follow him on Twitter @ScottShap34