The Player’s Edge – July 19th: Del Mar, Arlington Park, Delaware Park & Woodbine

Matt Carter

July 19th, 2013


photo: Matt Carter

Del Mar – Eddie Read Stakes



Arlington Park – Arlington Oaks



Delaware Park – Delaware Handicap



Woodbine – Ontario Matron


Del Mar – Eddie Read Stakes Grade 1 Turf Runners

The feature race this Saturday at Del Mar is the Grade 1 Eddie Read for three-year-olds and upward going nine furlongs on the turf. The $300,000 race drew a field of ten with seven runners between 7-2 and 8-1 on the morning line.

The favorite is Jeranimo, winner of the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile in June 2012. The seven-year-old horse is coming off a fourth place finish to Obviously in this year’s Shoemaker Mile and the stretch out to nine panels sets up better for his late run. Once again jockey Rafael Bejarano has the mount.

After that there is a log jam of runners between 9-2 and 6-1 with Barocci, Sofast, Fed Biz, Slim Shadey and Lucayan.

The Japanese-bred Barocci is exiting a win at Hollywood Park in early July and is making this third start in a graded stake race in the U.S. In his prior to attempts he was third in the Grade 2 American and seventh in the Grade 3 Knickerbocker. He should be just off the speed of Fed Biz, who is making his first start since running in the Met Mile in May at Belmont Park.

Fed Biz has run twice on the turf with a second and third place finish and, on paper, is the speed of the speed, even with Slim Shadey in the field.

Slim Shadey has run three straight poor races and needs to find the form that saw him win the Grade 2 San Marcos in February and Grade 2 John Henry last September at Santa Anita. The five-year-old gelding finished fifth in the Eddie Read last year, six and one-quarter lengths behind Acclamation. Slim Shadey began his career in Europe as did Sofast, who is making his U.S. debut on Saturday.

Sofast has run in nothing but group stake races since August 2011, but only has one win to show for it. The four-year-old colt won the Group 3 Prix La Rochette and has a couple of other Group placings on his resume including a second in a Group 1 at Longchamp. That second came in October 2011 and since this his worst races were against Group 1 company.

Lucayan is another French-bred; however, he has experience in the U.S. having already run twice. By the Irish sire Turtle Bowl, Lucayan was second in the Grade 2 American to Obviously then was fifth in the Shoemaker last month. Perhaps the Shoemaker was the “Euro bounce” so improvement should be expected.

Middie is at 8-1 on the morning line and makes his California debut for trainer Philip Oliver. Middie is a Grade 3 winner on synthetics, but only has two wins in 15 starts on the turf.

If Jeranimo is on his game then the battle will be for second, but that is a big “if.” Rounding out the field are long shots Cogito, Fly Lexis Fly and Vagabond Shoes.

Carded as race eight on the 10-race card, post time for the Eddie Read on Saturday is 8:40 pm ET.


Arlington Park – Arlington Oaks Three-Year-Old Fillies on the Poly

A field of seven will line up for the nine furlong Arlington Oaks on Saturday, but contention runs deep. Six of the seven runners look like they have claims on the top spot. We start with the morning line favorite, Seaneen Girl.

Seaneen Girl is making her first start over a synthetic surface since running at Woodbine to begin her career in late 2012. Since then she has won once in six starts, mainly on the dirt. Perhaps she is the favorite because she just finished second to Fiftyshadesofhay in the Grade 3 Iowa Oaks.

Second choice on the line is Bold Kitten, winner of the Illinois-bred Purple Violet in her last start, which came at Arlington Park. While that race was run at one-mile, it was only around one turn so the daughter of Kitten’s Joy will need to win around two-turns for the first time in her career.

Moving right along, My Option is next and she too exits the Purple Violet. Sent off as the 3-5 favorite, the daughter of Belong to Me was out finished by Bold Kitten and came in second, a half-length off the winner. My Option had two wins around two turns and may find the stretch out to her liking. She should be sitting a good trip on or near the lead.

That brings up a good question, who is going to be the front runner? Not one filly in the race is a need-the-lead type, but several have shown some speed in their running lines.

Frivolous sits in post two and her two best races were within a length of the lead. In her only bad start, the comment lines read “fought restraint early.” Hopefully jockey Cisco Torres lets her roll from the gate and can slow them down early.

Sky Girl is the actual fourth betting choice, one tick lower than Frivolous, making her first start off a month and one-half layoff. By Sky Mesa, Sky Girl has won her last two races in style by a combined six and one-half lengths. This is her first start around two turns, but looks like a filly that can handle any added distance.

Gold Edge is the horse-for-course with two wins in three starts at Arlington. Those wins; however, came in 2012 in the barn of Lon Wiggins and she is winless in three starts since.

Rounding out the field is the Tevis McCauley-trained Mary Bernice, winner of a maiden special weight race in her last start, the tenth start of her career.

Post time for the Arlington Park Oaks Is 4:53 pm ET and is starts the 50-cent pick-5.


Delaware Park – Delaware Handicap Royal Delta Looks to Rebound

Saturday’s feature at Delaware Park is the Grade 1 Delaware Handicap for fillies and mares and it features the reigning Older Female Eclipse Award winner Royal Delta, who is looking to win this race in back-to-back years.

Royal Delta, pictured winning the 2012 Delaware Handicap, is making her second start off a two and one-half month layoff, a similar move to the race last year. Unfortunately for her connections, this year did not emulate last year in that Royal Delta got beat in her prep race, the Fleur De Lis Handicap at Churchill Downs.

In the Fleur De Lis, Funny Proposition absolutely took it to the field early and won going away. Royal Delta made a move, but then flattened out and almost got beat for second. The five-year-old mare moved like she needed a start and she has been working well in the mornings.

Of course, Royal Delta may have lost a step now after the trip to Meydan in March and is ripe for the upset on Saturday. The filly that finished second to Royal Delta in the Fleur De Lis was She’s All In, who is also entered in the Delaware Handicap.

She’s All In has won 14 of her 34 career starts, but is winless in her last five, including three straight graded stake races. The ten-furlong distance helps her late kick and if there is a speed duel, She’s All In will be the beneficiary.

The pace scenario; however, is a little muddled. Royal Delta is likely to be on the lead with Summer Applause and Authenticity up close as well. Fortunately for Royal Delta and unfortunately for She’s All In, both Summer Applause and Authenticity are entered for a race on Saturday at Saratoga. Authenticity is the biggest danger to Royal Delta off of her second in the Grade 1 Odgen Phipps and win in the Grade 2 La Troienne.

Summer Applause is making her first start since winning the Grade 3 DuPont Distaff on Preakness day in May and trainer Chad Brown excels with layoff runners. He currently is sporting a 29% win rate with horses coming in of layoffs between 61 and 180 days. Summer Applause has won five career races at four different tracks.

And Why Not looks to bet the longest shot on the board, even though she just finished second in a Grade 3 over the track, but Centring looks like a price play if all of the fillies run here. Centring likes to finish second and third, five times in her ten career starts, so perhaps she is best used underneath.

It may be a long way back if Royal Delta is ready to roll.

Post time for the Delaware Handicap is 5:20 pm ET and it’s expected to be a hot one in the first state with temperatures expected in the 90’s all day long.


Woodbine – Ontario Matron Sisterly Love the One to Beat

The remaining graded stakes race on Saturday in North America to be analyzed takes place north of the border at Woodbine and it features a five-year-old mare that has only started seven times in her career, but has won four of them.

Sisterly Love obviously has had her issues since she was bred by Kinsman Farm in 2008 with only ten starts on her resume and her career debut not taking place until late in her four-year-old season. The daughter of Bellamy Road quickly made up for lost time winning her first three races by a combined 15 and one-quarter lengths at Calder. After those three victories, Sisterly Love was bought by Gary Barber and transferred to trainer Mark Casse, and the results were not the same.

In her first three starts for Casse, two in graded stakes and another that could have been graded, Sisterly Love finished third, fifth and eighth. She was the favorite in the Grade 3 Whimsical at Woodbine in April, but did not do any running late and only beat one home. Apparently the mare needed the start as she ran away and hid from her rivals in the Trillium last month. It remains to be seen how she will come out of that effort, but is the one to beat.

The filly that offers the biggest challenge is Layali Dubai for Godolphin Racing and trainer Eoin Harty. Layali Dubai made her U.S. debut a winning one and boy was it impressive. She sat chilly early, split rivals late and won going away. She has a bright future in the states and is bred to get strong as the races get longer. In Europe last year the Street Sense filly won three races all at nine and one-half furlongs or more.

What Layali Dubai needs is a fast pace and she will get one on Saturday. In addition to Sisterly Love; Logan’s Peak, Yellow Boat and Welcome Dance should all be disputing the pace early.

Logan’s Peak is the longest shot on the board making her graded stakes debut, but she likes to run up close and how often do we see jockeys let longshots get away with soft splits on the front end.

Yellow Boat makes her two-turn debut off of three seven furlong sprints this year and is likely to be forwardly placed on the stretch-out. By Lemon Drop Kid out of a Pleasant Colony mare, Yellow Boat is bred to love the distance.

Welcome Dance has done all her racing on the turf, but works on the synthetic track at Fair Hill in the mornings. She is; however, up against it class wise as her starts in graded stakes have resulted in finishes of 12th, 7th and 7th. Her presence will help the chances of Layali Dubai and Eagle Hall.

Eagle Hall has won almost $300,000 in her career, running in mainly allowance races. The six-year-old mare comes off back-to-back wins, one over the track, and has been in-the-money in 16 of her 22 career starts. Over the Woodbine main track, she has started five times with three wins and a third. Eagle Hall is a must use in any exactor or triactor play.

Pure Blue Sky is the final filly in the race, but was just beat by Sisterly Love 11 lengths in the Trillium. If any positive can be said, it’s that the pace scenario will be better for her on Saturday. Making up 11 lengths; however, is going to be tough.

Post time for the Matron Saturday is 4:28 pm ET.


Thoroughbred Racing Action

Great racing action from across the country this weekend. Watch these races all on

Saturday– July 20
  • Del Mar: Eddie Read Stakes - G1, $300,000, 3yo & up, 9f turf
  • Del Mar: Osunitas Stakes, $90,000, 3yo & up f&m, 8.5f turf
  • Delaware Park:  Delaware Handicap - G1, $750,000, 3yo & up f&m, 10f
  • Delaware Park:  Sweet and Sassy Stakes, $100,000, 3yo & up f&m, 6f
  • Arlington Park:  Arlington Oaks- G3, $150,000, 3yo f, 9f
  • Woodbine: Ontario Matron - G3, $150,000, 3yo & up f&m, 8.5f
  • Woodbine:  Colin Stakes, $125,000, 2yo, 6f
  • Calder Race Course:  Florida Stallion Dr. Fager Stakes, $75,000, 2yo, 6f
  • Calder Race Course:  Florida Stallion Desert Vixen Stakes, $75,000, 2yo f, 6f
  • Finger Lakes:  New York Derby, $150,000, 3yo, 8.5f
  • Finger Lakes:  Arctic Queen Handicap, $50,000, 3yo & up f&m, 6f
  • Monmouth Park:  Jersey Derby, $60,000, 3yo, 8.5f turf
  • Northlands Park:  Sales Stakes, $50,000, 3 & 4yo, 6.5f
  • Sacramento:  State Fair Fillies & Mares Sprint Stakes, $75,000, 3yo & up f&m, 6f
Sunday – July 21
  • Del Mar:  San Clemente Handicap - G2, $150,000, 3yo f, 8f turf
  • Del Mar:  California Dreamin Handicap, $150,000, 3yo & up f&m, 8.5f turf
  • Woodbine: Nijinsky Stakes - G2, $200,000, 3yo & up, 9f turf
  • Woodbine: Duchess Stakes, $125,000, 3yo f, 7f
  • Monmouth Park: Just Smashing Stakes, $60,000, 3yo, 6f
  • Emerald Downs: Mount Rainier Handicap, $50,000, 3yo & up, 8.5f