How to bet with, and against, As Time Goes By in Clement L. Hirsch Stakes
An excellent group of seven fillies and mares will travel 1 1/16 miles on the Del Mar main oval in Sunday’s $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch S. (G1). A berth in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) is on the line in the “Win and You’re In” challenge series affair. The Bob Baffert-trained #3 As Time Goes By (8-5) has evolved into one of the better distaffers in the country in a short time, and she will be tough to defeat in this spot as she aims for her initial Grade 1 victory.
By American Pharoah, the well-bred four-year-old has won four of her last five races, three in convincing fashion, with a second in the Beholder Mile (G1) being the lone setback. The Kentucky-bred debuted at Del Mar and was a good third in a sprint in August, but she is obviously a much better racehorse at this stage of her development. Regular pilot Mike Smith will once again guide the ultra-talented filly, who I expect to go off as a slight favorite at post time.
As Time Goes By -- With
The two-time Grade 2 queen had to work hard last time out at short odds to capture the Santa Maria S. (G2) at Santa Anita, but that race showed me that the dark bay can win even when not firing her best shot. She has a versatile running style which might be better when having a target to run at, and that will be the case on Sunday with two fleet contenders to her outside.
As Time Goes By has trained in fine fashion at this locale as of late and seems poised to deliver a big performance off the layoff. She'll be seen tracking the tempo from third on the backside before putting in her best run down the lane.
- $25 exacta 3 with 7 ($25)
- $15 exacta 3 with 6 ($15)
- $5 exacta 3 with 1 ($5)
As Time Goes By -- Against
The presence of both two-time Grade 2 victress #6 Venetian Harbor (2-1) and 2020 Kentucky Oaks (G1) queen #7 Shedaresthedevil (7-5), means As Time Goes By will have to be on top of her game to win. Venetian Harbor is among the swiftest fillies in training and will gun for the lead from the break for conditioner Richard Baltas. While the daughter of Munnings is winless from her last two tries going a route of ground, it’s worth noting that she did take the 2020 Las Virgenes S. (G2) at one mile by more than nine lengths. The four-year-old will be tough if she clears early.
Shedaresthedevil is a dual Grade 1 queen who has proven to be capable of running with the best in her division this campaign as the morning-line choice. The Daredevil miss owns tallies in the La Troienne S. (G1) and Azeri S. (G2) in 2021, and she was well clear in third behind the mighty Letruska in the Ogden Phipps S. (G1) most recently. If the Brad Cox charge can avoid an early duel with the filly drawn to her inside, then she will have no excuses at the top of the stretch.
And if the race falls completely falls apart, #1 Warren’s Showtime (8-1) is an interesting option at a nice number. Proven turf performer has a fine turn of foot and ran well, albeit versus lesser foes, on the dirt here in November. Clubhouse Ride four-year-old will save ground along the rail throughout with Juan Hernandez in the stirrups.
- $1 superfecta 6,7 with 1,3,6,7 with 1,3,6,7 with all ($48)