Mucciolo’s Opening Day Plays at Del Mar

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

July 17th, 2018

The always exciting Del Mar summer season will kick-off Wednesday with a 10-race card. The $100,000 Oceanside serves as the feature, with an overflow field of 16 competitive sophomores entered for the one-mile turf affair.

I have tabbed a handful of runners who could be of excellent value to start the meeting in a positive way.

Race 3

#8 BURN ME TWICE (10-1) romped in two straight claiming races on this course last summer for trainer Bill Spawr. Gelded son of Wilburn does not enter in great form but loves the oval and will bring plenty of pace to the race as well. Contender comes in fresh for a strong layoff conditioner with three good morning drills in tow. The price is right with Agapito Delgadillo in the controls. Bay is a horse-for-the-course play.

Race 4

#3 SQUARE PEGGY (4-1) brought $160,000 at Barretts in the spring and has not missed a beat in preparing for today. Brian Koriner pupil boasts a fine win-early pedigree and her :47 4/5 gate drill two prior catches my eye. Square Eddie filly could drift up in price, too, in what appears to be a very solid field of juveniles.

Race 7

#9 BIZWHACKS (4-1) ran a winning race in defeat at first asking when runner-up at Santa Anita. Doug O’Neill charge never got a breather in her debut when inside and gets a fine post draw in this slot second time out. $200,000 juvenile purchase posted a pair of strong half-mile works since and retains the services of Mario Gutierrez.

Race 8

#11 HEARTFULLOFSTARS (12-1) was closing with very good energy in a turf dash down the hill last time when a clear third. Astrology gelding could thrive stretching out today if his last was any indication. Phil D’Amato charge will need improvement but has great value for a conditioner who is always live at this meeting, especially early on. Dark bay might have finally found his niche as a turf performer.

Race 10

#5 HENRY COUNTY (5-1) makes his turf debut and second lifetime outing and I like him a lot in the finale. Richard Mandella trainee was alert early in a dirt dash in May when fourth in a fine field, with the runner-up coming right back to win, and chestnut gelding is out of a Grade 1-winning dam and hails from a precocious family. And sophomore also has two turf-winning siblings. Flavien Prat riding seals the deal for me.

Good Luck! has the handicapping reports for opening-day and the entire Del Mar meet!