How to bet the Native Diver Stakes
A compact field of five will travel 1 1/8-miles on the Del Mar dirt in Saturday’s $100,000 Native Diver (G3).
Native Diver Analysis
The speed will come from #2 Stellar Sound and #4 Midcourt, with #5 Extra Hope tracking from third. I expect an average early tempo in the Native Diver.
Native Diver Contenders
#1 COMBATANT -- Santa Anita H. (G1) star had gone unplaced in three straight prior to checking in third in the recent Tokyo City (G3) for Sadler. Scat Daddy 5-year-old is well drawn inside and will not endure traffic when he makes his stretch run, though he needs a big form reversal to challenge for the win on Saturday.
#2 STELLAR SOUND -- Lightly-raced gray aired in a local allowance test off the shelf and warrants some respect for McCarthy. Well-bred daughter of Tapit was a debut winner on the course last season, and the sophomore could grab a share with another move forward while facing the boys beneath Tyler Baze.
#3 ROYAL SHIP -- Group 1-winning son of Midshipman has yet to factor from two starts on the green in the U.S. and moves to the dirt for Mandella. Colt has trained well in preparation of his first dirt try in the States, and his back class makes him a top-three candidate with Mike Smith taking the reins.
#4 MIDCOURT -- Horse to beat has been consistent while facing some of the top horses in the Golden State in 2020, and the Midnight Lute gelding will appreciate the class relief in the Native Diver. Dark bay 5-year-old sports a 4-2-1-1 local mark and has the running style to be forwardly placed and in the mix from the break. Regular rider Victor Espinoza has the assignment atop the defending champ.
#5 EXTRA HOPE -- Shanghai Bobby colt was runner-up in this test last campaign and could peak in his third try of 2020. The second from the Mandella shedrow has never won at Del Mar, but he does own a trio of placings locally and he exits a big allowance tally when registering a career-best Brisnet Speed figure. Kentucky-bred retains the services of Juan Hernandez.
Native Diver Wagers
- $30 Exacta: 4 with 3 ($30)
- $10 Exacta: 4 with 5 ($10)
- $5 Trifecta Key: 4 with 3,5 ($10)