Stakes pointers in weekday Del Mar turf races

Profile Picture: Kellie Reilly

July 20th, 2015

A few Del Mar turf races this week figure to yield contenders for stakes later in the meet.

Wednesday's 3RD race, a five-furlong turf scramble, is a logical prep for the August 19 Green Flash. Multiple Grade 3 winner Marchman, unraced since his 13th in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (G1), makes his belated reappearance for Keith Desormeaux. Holy Lute, runner-up in both the San Simeon (G3) and Siren Lure on the downhill at Santa Anita, looks to bounce back after a poor showing in the Triple Bend (G1) on dirt. Forest Chatter had won four straight sprinting down the hill before fading to fourth in the one-mile Crystal Water and should be much more in his element here. Also at Santa Anita, Argentine Group 1 victor Di Giorgio was a closing third in his comeback from a 14-month absence for Hall of Famer Ron McAnally and is eligible to take another step forward. Head South just wired a downhill dash in his first turf attempt. Veteran turf sprinter Boat Trip, a close fourth in the 2013 Green Flash, returns from an 11-month layoff.

Thursday's 3RD race is an entry-level allowance over the same course and five-furlong trip, so the more ambitiously inclined could theoretically consider the Green Flash off a big enough effort. The three most interesting runners are three-year-olds. Roy H, a son of More Than Ready and multiple Grade 3 winner Elusive Diva, broke his maiden on Santa Anita's downhill second time out for Peter Miller. He's obviously light on experience, but his pedigree is enticing. Not only was Elusive Diva a fine sprinter herself, but she is a half-sister to Tropics, who was just denied in Newmarket's July Cup (G1) for the second straight year. The Wesley Ward-trained filly Lamontagne exits a victory in a $40,000 claimer at Belmont but gets in with a feathery 108 pounds (thanks to seven-pound apprentice John Cruz). Finally, Bob Baffert switches Holiday Camp to turf in hopes of reviving his disappointing career. The $700,000 OBS March two-year-old has gone unplaced in four starts since his victorious debut, but as a son of Street Boss with additional turf influences on the dam's side, he could take to it.

Thursday's 7TH race may serve as a stepping stone to the August 21 CTT and TOC H., also contested at 1 3/8 miles for turf distaffers. Halljoy was most recently third in the 1 1/2-mile Possibly Perfect to South Americans Gaga A and Gas Total, a respectable piece of form. Gaga A, a Group 3 winner in France, came back to run a solid third in the Modesty (G3), while Gas Total, previously second in the Vanity (G1), just landed the off-the-turf Osunitas. Circling, a Coolmore filly bred on the potent Galileo/Danehill cross, has gotten off to a slow start in both of her U.S. outings for Hall of Famer Neil Drysdale. This trip, on the other hand, promises to suit her far better. Formerly with David Wachman in Ireland, Circling showed a decent level of ability when finishing third to the likes of Carla Bianca and Venus de Milo at home. Tangelo, whose dam Tangle was second in a Yellow Ribbon (G1), was outclassed in the Santa Barbara (G3) but has since won an entry-level Cal-bred allowance handily. Star Act (a daughter of Street Cry and Starrer) could jump up with the added ground, while Freethinker (by Empire Maker and out of an A.P. Indy mare) didn't perform up to her pedigree when only eighth in the lesser division of the Keertana. If Soresca takes more after her dam Aubonne than sire Elusive City, she could factor, but we'd prefer if she weren't in for the $40,000 tag.

Friday's 7TH race is likewise a 1 3/8-mile contest that could surface a prospect or two for the August 22 Del Mar H. (G2). Indeed, Bench Light romped in this a year ago before finishing second in the Del Mar 'Cap itself. The Mike Pender charge is back again, but off form of late and now available for the $40,000 tag. Calumet Farm's Gin Riki is an intriguing entrant for Drysdale. The May 13 foal took six starts to break his maiden, but did so with a last-to-first move at Golden Gate, and must have plenty more to offer now that he's maturing. The stretch-out should suit the son of Lemon Drop Kid too. Tiz Dynamic was fifth a few starts back in the San Francisco Mile (G3), whose winner G. G. Ryder added the All American (G3) and whose third, Are You Kidding Me, has since captured the Eclipse (G2) and Nijinsky (G2). Although he's pretty much found his level as a $40,000 claimer, the Tiznow gelding is another who could appreciate the trip.

Marchman photo courtesy of Coady Photography.