Saturday Pick 4 analysis for Del Mar
by Scott Shapiro
The Best Pal Stakes (G2) for two-year-olds headlines Saturday’s 10-race card at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. As usual, a Pick 4 is offered over the final four races on the slate.
I will play two tickets, both singled to Keith Desormeaux second-time starters that ran well in their debut and should improve immensely with racing experience under their belt.
Here are my quick thoughts on Races 7 through 10 on the Saturday afternoon card:
A maiden special weight event for two-year-old fillies run at five furlongs kicks off the Pick 4.
She’s Funny (#5) is likely to be the best in the long run in this deep field of young ladies running for a purse of $60,000, but it is very hard to trust a Richard Mandella first-time starter. The daughter of Tapit is out of Grade 1 winner Hystericalady, who won her first two starts and 11 of 23 overall. There is no doubt that this Godolphin Stable filly can run, but she will not be cranked for her debut and it is likely that five-eighths is much shorter than her ideal distance.
Steph Being Steph (#2) is my top pick. This $240,000 OBS April 2017 purchase clearly looked the part at the two-year-old in training sale and has worked extremely well for trainer Brian Koriner leading up to her first start.
I will also include Beyond Pleasure (#3) for Bob Hess Jr, Sudden Light (#1) for James Cassidy and Fantastic Girl (#8) for John Sadler.
The eighth is an extremely competitive high-level optional claimer at one mile over the Jimmy Durante Turf Course.
Caribou Club (#3) is my lukewarm top choice for the red-hot Tom Proctor. The Glen Hill Farm colt was wide through much of the Oceanside Stakes and still fought on to finish third. He should be able to save ground from the 3-hole and finish with more authority on the class drop.
I will also include Kencumin (#1). The French-bred was heavily backed in two starts over the winter in Britain and is a wild card option making his first try in the States on Saturday.
Fortune of War (#5) was wide throughout in the Oceanside and could not sustain a significant rally. With a better voyage and a hot pace he will be rolling late.
Ritzy A. P. (#6) stretches back out to two turns after a third-place effort down the hill in June. Trainer Dan Blacker takes the blinkers off. If the son of English Channel can get back to his races earlier this year he could spring the upset.
Harbour Master (#9) and Master Merion (#10) are not in my top few, but can win under the right circumstances.
The featured Best Pal will likely be a two-horse race according to the tote board between Run Away (#1) and Serengeti (#5), but I like a maiden to spring the upset.
Fleetwood (#6) got beat in his debut on July 22, but was impressive nonetheless. The son of Munnings saved ground early along the inside and finished well for a barn that rarely has their runners anywhere near their best for their first start. The move to 6 1/2 furlongs should benefit him as much as anyone. Look for a big late run from this Keith Desormeaux trainee.
The finale is a maiden special weight event for two-year-olds run at one mile over the Del Mar lawn.
I love the chances of Data Central (#2) in this spot. The Data Link colt showed some run in his first start for the aforementioned Keith Desormeaux before encountering traffic on the far turn. He lost momentum, but still ran on some late to finish fourth. Not only should he move forward off that start, but he meets a moderate group of non-winners in this one.
If you are looking to add horses that will provide greater value perhaps Landonese (#3) and Pubilius Syrus (#4) can improve on the stretch out to two turns.
Here is how I will play the late Pick 4:
Ticket 1: ($.50 Pick 4)
Race 7: 1+2+3+5+8
Race 8: 1+3+5+6+9+10
Race 9: 1+2+5+6
Race 10: 2
Ticket Cost: $60
Ticket 2: ($.50 Pick 4)
Race 7: 1+2+3+5+8
Race 8: 1+3+5+6+9+10
Race 9: 6
Race 10: 2+3+4
Ticket Cost: $45
Total Budget: $105
Good luck at the windows!