Scully: Playing the Pick 6 mandatory payout at Del Mar on Aug. 21

Profile Picture: James Scully

August 20th, 2021

The centerpiece of the Del Mar summer meet, Saturday’s Pacific Classic Day will feature a mandatory payout of the 20-cent Pick 6. With a jackpot exceeding $1.7 million after Thursday’s program, the Pick 6 will be attractive if there are no perfect tickets on Friday evening.

Here are my thoughts on the sequence.

Race 6 – Torrey Pines (G3)

A competitive field of three-year-old fillies is set for the mile test, and I give a slight edge to #1 Lady Mystify, who should receive a ground-saving trip just off the speed before offering her best. I won’t let #7 Private Mission beat me following her sterling return effort at Santa Anita last time – she’s the likely speed of the speed in her two-turn debut – and #4 Forest Caraway, #5 Day Plan, and #6 I’m So Anna also will be included.

Race 7 – Del Mar Mile (G2)

#3 Smooth Like Strait has turned in a couple of commendable performances at 1 1/8-mile distances this year, including a runner-up effort in the July 24 Eddie Read (G2), but he’s better at a mile. The frontrunner will have to deal with speed to his inside, though, and defending champion #6 Mo Forza is eligible to make a serious impact in the stretch if ready to go after the lengthy layoff. Those are the two favorites, and #5 Count Again will be used at an expected price. Winner of the Seabiscuit (G2) at Del Mar last fall, the confirmed closer exits a sneaky third in the Eddie Read. The cutback in distance should benefit him, and Count Again is eligible to receive a more favorable trip in the short field.

Race 8 – Allowance/optional claiming

After four wasted starts in dirt routes, turf, and synthetics, #7 Positivity got back to what he does best last time when dropping into a $50,000 claimer at seven furlongs on the main track. He made short work of the overmatched foes, scoring by 5 1/2 lengths, and generated a career-best 95 Brisnet Speed rating while being claimed by new connections. Along with making a straight wager on the Doug O’Neill trainee, I will add #1 Risk and Reward to the Pick 6 ticket.

Race 9 – Del Mar Oaks (G1)

Three-time stakes winner #4 Madone absolutely loves Del Mar’s turf, improving to 3-for-3 with her victory in the July 24 San Clemente (G2), but the 1 1/8-mile distance is a concern on Saturday. I’ll use her with the other logical contenders, #3 Going Global and #7 Fluffy Socks.

Race 10 – Pacific Classic (G1)

No Grade 1 winners are entered and little appears to separate the top contenders, with six of the nine runners listed at 5-1 or less on the morning line. #1 Tripoli ran out of room when rallying to be a half-length second in the 1 1/16-mile San Diego H. (G2), and the Kitten’s Joy colt should appreciate the added ground Saturday. He’s proven much better on dirt since switching surfaces two starts back, and the four-year-old still has upside for John Sadler. Tripoli is my top pick, and I’ll use #2 Tizamagician, who should receive a favorable trip on the front end, and #4 Royal Ship, who finished a head second in the 1 1/4-mile Hollywood Gold Cup (G1) two back.

Race 11 – Del Mar H. (G2)

#8 Arklow lost all chance when clipping heels and stumbling badly approaching the final turn in the United Nations (G1) last time. The seven-year-old has proven more than capable of bouncing back from a setback, recording six wins after unplaced efforts, and he showed an affinity for Del Mar’s turf when shipping in to win the Hollywood Turf Cup (G2) in late November. Beaten only 3 3/4 lengths in the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) four starts back, Arklow looked to be at the top of his game when posting a nice comeback win in the Louisville S. (G3) in mid-May, and I will take a stand with the Brad Cox runner in the finale.

20-cent Pick 6 ticket

  • 1,4,5,6,7 with 3,5,6 with 1,7 with 3,4,7 with 1,2,4 with 8 ($54)