Out Cap Da Shap on Del Mar’s Opening Day

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TwinSpires Staff

July 17th, 2018


Wednesday is Opening Day at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club and that should mean a massive late Pick 4 pool where the “Turf Meets the Surf.”

Twin Spires is bringing back 2016’s favorite contest where players get a chance to “out cap” me every Wednesday of the summer in San Diego County. If you are able to do so you will get additional funds on top of the late Pick 4 payout. Just “Opt In” under the offers section on Twin Spires to be eligible.

I will play a Pick 4 ticket each week that costs no more than $100. If I hit and you hit, you will split $1,000 with every other winner. If I lose and you hit, you will split $2,000.

Here are my thoughts on Races 7 through 10 on Opening Day:

Race 7

The sequence commences with a loaded maiden special weight event for two-year-old fillies. The five-furlong dash has attracted a strong field, including highly regarded first-time starter #7 Brill. The $1 million FTK July 2017 purchase for Oxo Equine comes into her debut off a strong series of works including a five-furlong gate drill on July 7 in :58 4/5 followed by a five- furlong work on July 13 in :59 1/5. She is the clear one to beat but in this group, a likely short price is hard to be all in on.

#2 True Validity and #9 Bizwhacks ran well on debut on June 21st at Santa Anita, both earning an 85 BRIS Speed rating in the process. The move from the far outside to an inside post may present a less advantageous trip for True Validity, so I prefer Bizwhacks of those that enter Opening Day with a race “under their belt.”

#4 Vangogo and #6 Angel Alessandra both appear live at first asking and have a shot to spring the upset on debut.

Race 8

The featured $100,000 Oceanside Stakes as always drew a full field of three-year-olds for one-mile over the Jimmy Durante Turf Course.

#5 Desert Stone looks to make it three straight wins for trainer Richard Baltas after a fourth-place effort down the hill to begin his 2018 campaign. The rider upgrade to Corey Nakatani, a course that plays toward off the pace types when the temporary rails are down and a probable contentious early pace make him the likeliest winner.

#4 Artie Be Good was full of run in his first race as a three-year-old for trainer William Morey. Sure, that came after a hot early pace in a race run at one turn, but I saw enough in the lane to include him as a potential separator as he competes at a route of ground on the lawn for the initial time.

Race 9

I lack a strong opinion in this starter allowance event conducted at one mile over the main track, but the pace should be quite honest given the presence of #2 Roaring Fork, #4 Polity, #7 Hard Fought and #9 Aurora d’Oro and #10 Impression. For that reason, I will opt to mostly use runners that can relax early and take advantage of a contentious early battle.

Race 10

The finale is a special weight for three-year-olds and upward run at 1 1/16 miles over the sod.

#4 Sellwood had a brutal trip in his last race at Santa Anita but has hit the board in his other four career starts, including a runner-up effort on May 11. He should be in the mix late.

#6 Henry County stretches out to two turns and tries the grass for the initial time for Hall of Famer Richard Mandella. He should move forward significantly in career start number two.

#12 Zipman has had his chances but if jockey Rafael Bejarano can avoid significant ground loss from the outside draw, he can out finish this bunch.

#8 Data Central has disappointed in his first two starts of 2018, but I am willing to give him one more shot over a course and distance he may relish.

My pre-scratch ticket (subject to change after scratches):

Race 7:



Race 8:



Race 9:



Race 10:






Ticket Cost: $96 has the handicapping reports for opening-day and the entire Del Mar meet!