Shapiro: Thoughts on mandatory payout Pick 6 on Del Mar's closing day
by SCOTT SHAPIRO
It is Closing Day at the 2017 Bing Crosby meeting at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club and that means a mandatory payout in the Pick 6. Since there was no single ticket winner in the Jackpot portion of the pool on Saturday there will be a carryover into Sunday of $104,118.
Here are some brief thoughts on the sequence that commences with Race 4 and concludes with the final event of the meeting, Race 9.
A state-bred optional claimer at the tricky six and a half furlong distance gets things started.
#7 Haveiture Way is listed as the 5-2-morning line favorite off of a runner-up effort on Opening Day of the meet, but that came over a racetrack that was kind to speed throughout the 8-race card. She can win, but I also give a big look to #5 Pied N True who raced against the flow that day and finished third.
If you are spreading deep you may want to include veteran mare #3 Desert Madam despite the fact she has really tailed off in 2017 and #4 Briartic Gal on the barn switch to Richard Baltas who boasts a 22% win percentage with runners making their first start under his care.
The second leg of the Pick 6 also closes out the Players’ Pick 5, so it is a key race for horizontal players.
#5 Be Mine needed her comeback race after being on the sidelines over 15 months for trainer Phil D’Amato. She ran in spots against similar and finished second beaten just two lengths on November 2nd. She has every right to move forward on Sunday as Joel Rosario takes the call and is a potential single.
#9 Cash Prize could shake loose on the front end, but has yet to win on the turf or at two turns. #1 Fizzy Friday ships in from Keeneland and takes on older fillies and mares for the initial time. The race shape may not be to her liking, but she should be rolling late.
I am not a huge fan of these starter allowance events and advise spreading 4 or 5 deep if your bankroll allows it.
#4 Secret Touch is amongst several cutting back from two turns to a sprint. He has run well over this racetrack and has the tactical speed to be close enough early on.
#3 Quality Line lacks early zip and has struggled to win races, but does attract the services of Kent Desormeaux for the first time. He has a shot to get the best of this group in his second start of the form cycle if they go too fast early.
#6 Desert General ran a winning race two back over this racetrack, but was run down late. Trainer Sean McCarthy is 0 for 16 with runners going route to a sprint, but he does attract veteran rider Rafael Bejarano.
#5 Upperclassman is not a horse I am crazy about in general, but he may be able to clear early in an event that is void of any other real sprinter speed.
#9 Divisor ran a career best at Santa Anita in late September on the drop down to $40,000 maiden claimers for Phil D’Amato. If he does not regress off of that start two months back he has a shot to make it two straight.
The featured Grade 1 Matriarch offers a 12-horse field led by 3-1-morning line favorite #7 Cambodia. The Winter Quarter Farm mare has done little wrong since arriving in Southern California for trainer Tom Proctor. She won a pair of Grade 2 events during the summer and then followed that up with a third place effort in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf earlier this month. She is razor sharp, but is a mile a bit too short for her best effort?
#8 Off Limits brings a three-race win streak into the Matriarch, including a stylish last to first win two-back in the Noble Damsel Stakes at Belmont Park. I think this turf course should suit her extremely well and she has shown an affinity for eight furlongs. She may just be peaking at the right time for trainer Chad Brown.
#2 Lull was impressive in dominating a field of 13 in the Grade 3 Autumn Miss, but it remains to be seen if she is Grade 1 material. She will need another perfect trip under Flavien Prat to have any chance to hold off the late runners.
The eighth race is a maiden special weight event for two-year-old fillies run at six panels over the dirt.
#6 Alliana makes her second start for the red-hot Peter Miller barn. She stalked the early pace in her debut, took a brief lead on the turn and tired late to finish third. The two fillies that beat her on October 27 at Santa Anita came back to run 1-2 in a stakes race at Del Mar, so her effort was flattered. She does not appear to take on any world-beaters in this spot. A potential single.
If you are looking to include a few young gals that provide a chance to bust out perhaps first-time starter #8 Uno Trouble Maker or #9 Haig’s Factor are worth a look. Uno Trouble Maker is a half-sister to Ethan’s Baby who won both starts at the age of two. Haig’s Factor showed brief speed before tiring badly late in the same race Alliana exits.
I will live and die in the Grade 3 Cecil B. DeMille with favorite #2 Analyze It. The $190,000 OBS March 2017 purchase ran huge on debut for Chad Brown and appears to tower over this group of two-year-olds. He is likely to be odds-on in this field, but is going to be extremely difficult to beat.
Good luck on Closing Day. Let’s take down a share of this pool!
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