Drysdale duo live on Opening Day at Del Mar

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

July 14th, 2016

Friday marks the first day of the summer meeting of Del Mar, with a solid 10-race card for the opener. Trainer Neil Drysdale has a pair of runners that look good to me on Friday and I will back both in hopes of kicking off the meeting in good fashion.

In Race 5, GRANDMA’S HANDS (#11) is stuck with a wide post but the chestnut mare is improving and looks as good as any in a winnable spot at the first-level allowance condition.

The Team Valor colorbearer was a nose runner-up two back and a fast-closing second last time, leading up to a bigger performance in the third start off the shelf. The five-year-old daughter of Teofilo trailed to the top of the lane last time before offering her best stride in the stretch, finishing clear of third as she finished full of run under the wire, and she figures to appreciate a bit more ground today. I expect her to move forward and have less to do in the latter stages beneath Tyler Baze with a soft early pace expected.

EBADAN (#7) intrigues me the most of the Drysdale pair and figures to be a solid price in the Oceanside S., which is carded as Race 8.

The gelded son of Holy Roman Emperor has run twice since coming to the U.S., impressing in both starts. With further improvement likely in the third outing for the Hall of Fame barn, the Irish-bred bay looks ready to prosper in this spot.

Ebadan left himself plenty to do before rallying dramatically to win a downhill dash in his stateside debut two back and finished a respectable third most recently versus elders. In the latter, he offered another commendable late turn of foot behind a horse who has made a fine impression since coming to the states, Paulo Lobo’s stakes-quality Ohio, and Ebadan has bounced out of the race with a trio of solid morning drills in the interim. With a healthy pace probable today, he appears capable of making a significant impact with Santiago Gonzalez. I will use the gelding in all rungs of the exotics as the value in a tough field.

Photo courtesy of Cecilia Gustavsson/