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Homeracing

How to bet the 2022 Wickerr Stakes

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

July 22nd, 2022

A large field of 13 will travel one mile on the Del Mar turf on Sunday in the $100,000 Wickerr S. The more accomplished horses in the field all like to be in the mix early on, which should ensure a fast and contested pace, so I am looking for the winner to come from well back early on.

#4 Gregorian Chant (6-1) has become a very good turf sprinter for Phil D’Amato while facing top competition. The six-year-old was a fine third in the Turf Sprint S. (G3) at Churchill Downs two back, and although he was unplaced in the recent Jaipur S. (G1) at Belmont last time out, it’s worth noting that the gray broke from the 13 post on that occasion against a top cast. The Grade 3 victor is a question mark at eight furlongs, but he will receive a fast pace to run at in the stretch with Umberto Rispoli in the silks.

Grade 1 star #12 Smooth Like Strait (6-5) is the clear class of the field and will be difficult to knock off for Mike McCarthy. The fleet five-year-old might be the leading miler on the West Coast, and he runs well at Del Mar, evidenced by his runner-up performance in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) in November, as well. The son of Midnight Lute has settled for too many minor awards as of late, and he lands in a field with ample early gas, so I am not sure if he’s the best option at a short price. Juan Hernandez picks up the ride.

Lightly raced Group 1 hero #1 Irideo (15-1) is a stab, but he showed marked improvement in his third try on U. S. ground last time out. At an expected massive price, the son of Easing Along would contend for a top-three placing with a repeat of his most recent endeavor. The bay will save ground throughout from the rail beneath Hector Berrios.

French import #7 Bran (5-1) has excellent current form and looms large if he can negotiate the distance while facing early pressure. The John Sadler trainee comes off a fine victory in the Daytona S. (G3) at Santa Anita, making it four straight results that came in the top two. The Muhaarar gelding will benefit from the presence of top pilot Florent Geroux, as well.

Wickerr Wagers

  • $20 win and place: #4 Gregorian Chant ($40)
  • $.50-cent superfecta: 4,12 with 1,4,12 with 1,4,7,12 with all ($40)

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