Mucciolo focusing upon Race 5 at Del Mar Friday

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

July 28th, 2016

Friday’s eight-race card at Del Mar features the $100,000 California Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association S. for juvenile fillies but my focus will be on Race 5, an $8,000 claiming event with a full field of 10.

While I generally stray away from races of this nature as the form of them is often lacking, I think I have a handle on this one and will make a play with confidence.

#2 JONNY’S CHOICE looks like a standout with good form, a class drop, a fine post, the right early running style, a hot trainer, a top jockey and superior BRIS numbers. While the son of Unusual Heat has never run on this surface, the recent :48 3/5 half-mile move locally gives us confidence that the seven-year-old will handle it. Flavien Prat should have the California-bred in the first or second flight early and only a troubled trip could stand in his way from a first or second-place finish. The win mutuel will not be great, but the gimmicks could be.

I am keying #4 THE GOLD MONKEY underneath at an expected healthy price for trainer Bruce Headley. Listed at 8-1 on the morning line, the five-year-old son of Surf Cat is a stone closer on an oval that has been best to early types to this point, but I see him clunking up late for some minor awards after saving ground throughout. The Cal-bred gelding can turn in his best effort the third time off the layoff and he lit up the tote board at 44-1 odds last year going last-to-first at Del Mar. A trio of runners are drawn wide who like to be involved in the early stages and when they tire, it will set up for a closer to hit the board. The Gold Monkey will be moving best of the rest inside the final furlong.


I will play $1 superfecta and $1 trifecta part-wheels, but the minimum is 10-cents and 50-cents, respectively.

$1 Superfecta: 2 with 4 with all with all ($56)

$1 Superfecta: 2 with all with 4 with all ($56)

$1 Trifecta: all with 2 with 4 ($8)