How to Bet the 2019 Del Mar Handicap

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TwinSpires Staff

August 15th, 2019

by J. Keeler Johnson There are several classy, accomplished horses entered in Saturday’s $250,000 Del Mar Handicap (G2) at Del Mar, all of them vying for a “Win & You’re In” berth to the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1). Some bettors will be tempted to side with the old veteran Itsinthepost (#7) (7-2), a seven-time Grade 2 victor seeking his first victory since May 2018. Others will favor Marckie’s Water (#4) (7-2), late-running winner of the Charlie Whittingham Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita Park, or perhaps United (#5) (3-1), runner-up in the Whittingham and a recent allowance winner at Del Mar. I can’t argue with anyone who wants to support these obvious contenders, but I’m going to aim for a bigger payoff and invest my money in The Great Day (#6) (5-2). A multiple Group 1 winner in his native Argentina, The Great Day has shown flashes of potential since arriving in North America. In his U.S. debut, a strong edition of the Prince George’s County Stakes at Laurel Park, he had plenty of run turning for home, but never got a clear path and had to steady repeatedly while shifting lanes and searching for room. With a clean run, he might have challenged for victory. The Great Day received a better trip in the 1 3/16-mile Arlington Handicap (G3) on July 13 and rallied from midpack to finish second behind Bandua, who gave the race a form boost by returning to finish third in the Arlington Million (G1). As the lone East Coast shipper in the Del Mar Handicap field, The Great Day might find the competition a bit easier on Saturday, since California-based grass runners tend to be a cut below the division elite. He’ll pick up the services of Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez and should get a bit of pace to run at thanks to Acclimate (#9) (12-1) and Ritzy A. P. (#2) (12-1), two speedy front runners who figure to vie for early supremacy. If The Great Day starts at a fair price (4-1 or higher in my opinion, representing a 20% chance of winning), I’d be happy to place a sizable win bet and call it a day. But if his odds dip lower (or if you want to seek a bigger payoff), you might also key him in the exacta with Marckie’s Water and United. WAGERS $10 to win on #6 The Great Day $2 exacta: 6 with 4,5 ($4) $3 exacta: 4,5 with 6 ($6) Good luck! PHOTO: Del Mar ©Benoit Photo