Saturday Del Mar Pick 4 Analysis

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TwinSpires Staff

August 4th, 2017

by Scott Shapiro

The third Saturday of the Del Mar summer meeting is here and two graded stakes events are featured on the 10-race card.

The Sorrento (G2) is the 6TH race, so it is not included in the Pick 4, but the Yellow Ribbon Handicap (G2) is the second of the four-race sequence and offers horseplayers a field of fillies and mares going a mile and a sixteenth over the Jimmy Durante Turf Course.

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Here are my thoughts on Races 7 through 10 and how I will attack the four-race sequence:

Race 7

A two-year-old maiden special weight at the tricky 6 1/2-furlong distance kicks off this Saturday’s Pick 4.

My top two in this race are two first-time starters.

King Cause (#2) sold for $200,000 at the OBS April 17 two-year-old in training sale and is a full to a colt that won in each of his first two starts. He has a solid series of works leading up to his debut for trainer Doug O’Neill, who is quite capable of having his juvenile runners ready to fire on first asking.

Bolt d’Oro (#4) is a colt to watch for trainer Mick Ruis. The $630,000 son of Medaglia d’Oro is a half to Sonic Mule, winner of three of six as a two-year-old, as well as third-place finishes in the Saratoga Special (G2) and Sapling Stakes. The Kentucky-bred comes in off of a serious series of works, including a bullet five-furlong drill in :59 flat on July 22. He looks like the right deal.

I also give outside chances to Flip the Coin Jan (#1), who was a solid third first out at Los Alamitos; Xten (#6), who attracts the services of Hall of Famer Mike Smith; Impeachableoffense (#8), a $160,000 Barrett’s March 2017 purchase by owner Gary S. Broad; and So Long Sailor (#9), a debut runner for Peter Miller and Rockingham Ranch.

Race 8

The second leg is the aforementioned Yellow Ribbon Handicap. The third-place finisher in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1), Avenge (#8), leads the $200,000 event.

I had a hard time getting by the two favorites in this one.

Avenge disappointed in her first start of 2017 in the Gamely (G1), where she was a poor third to Lady Eli. She should be much more fit for this spot and should get a great trip on the engine or just off the pace of Juno (#4).

If Avenge cannot get back to her 2016 form, Cambodia (#7) is the likeliest to take advantage. The Winter Quarter Farm mare has just one win in five tries this year, but it was an impressive one on Preakness Stakes Day in the Gallorette (G3). Drayden Van Dyke rides for Tom Proctor, who is off to a strong start in his return to Southern California Racing.

Hillhouse High (#5) may prefer shorter distances, but it is hard to leave Richard Baltas and Corey Nakatani off your tickets in two-turn turf events. Amboselli (#1) is probably not good enough, but at 15-1 on the line I give her an outside chance of springing the big upset.

Race 9

The ninth is a high-level allowance/optional claiming event run at one mile over the main track.

I am all in on Stormin Monarcho (#3). The 7-2 second choice on Russell Hudak’s morning line was claimed in late May by Gulliver Racing and given to trainer Peter Eurton.

The seven-year-old gelding was second to Birdstone Stakes winner Hard Study at Belmont Park when last seen. He comes into this event off of three solid works over the Del Mar main track and appears poised to notch win number 15.

Race 10

A $62.500 maiden claimer run at a mile over the sod concludes Saturday’s 10-race card.

This race is absolutely wide-open, but I have a hard time endorsing the 7-2-morning-line favorite Kinematico (#1).

This gelding had an absolutely perfect trip on the Fourth of July at Santa Anita and came up empty when the real running started. He is extremely vulnerable as are the other logicals making this a race worth spreading deep in.

Here is how I will play the late Pick 4:

Ticket 1: ($.50 Pick 4)

Race 7: 2+4
Race 8: 1+5+7+8
Race 9: 3
Race 10: ALL
Total: $48

Ticket 2: ($.50 Pick 4)

Race 7: 1+2+4+6+8+9
Race 8: 7+8
Race 9: 3
Race 10: 2+3+4+5+6+7+10+11
Total: $48

Total Budget: $96

Good luck at the windows!