Free Picks For Del Mar -8/31/20
Race 1 - Maiden Special Weight (Purse -$55,000)
Seven 3-year-old male runners, five of which have a race in hand, will go six furlongs on the dirt. #6 Little Richards Bello has run well in his two career events this year and is returning to the dirt after making a late bid to finish fifth in a five-furlong race on the grass following a slow start on July 12. The 3-year gelding, who finished third in his debut at Santa Anita in six furlongs, has shown the ability to close so I expect him to work off the pace in this one as well. He also has had three very strong recent workouts for trainer Peter Eurton, who has a 14% strike rate and a 52% WPS percentage this year. #1 Zero Down is arguably the fastest pony in the field and definitely the most experienced of the runners although this is his first meet at the current distance. The 3-year-old California gelding is also back at Del Mar for the first time since last November, following a second-best effort in a five and one-half furlong race at Los Alamitos (July 3) and has a 3-0-1-0 record on the dirt. This will also be Zero Down’s first race on the rail. #3 Crooked Finger Ray is very quick and showed improvement in his second career race (Aug. 8), finishing third in a five-furlong meet after stalking the pace from the No.10 post position. This is the son of Verrazano’s first outing on the dirt. I also like #5 Tough To Break, who lost by a neck in his debut in a five and one-half furlong $50,000 claiming race at Los Alamitos on June 26.
Picks: I like a winning bet on the #6. I also like a show bet on the #1, #3, and a value bet on the #5. In addition, I like a #6, #3, #1 exacta box.
Race 2- Maiden Special Weight (Purse - $55,000)
12 3-and-4-year-old fillies, along with two also eligibles, are slated to go five furlongs on the turf. Three of the runners are first-time races while seven of them have never raced on the turf and only one horse has previously gone this distance. Saying all that this is a very tough race to handicap. #2 All-Star Heat is making her first start on the turf after running an even third in a six-furlong race on the dirt in her debut on July 31. All-Star Heat has a good pedigree with parents Heatseeker and Christiana’s Heat, who was very good on the grass. Trainer Ronald Ellis has a 14% strike rate and a 42% WPS percentage on the turf for his career.#4 Elfranco has been pretty consistent throughout her career thus far, reaching the podium in five of her eight career starts. El Franco set the pace in her last outing before fading to behind Althea Gibson and All-Star Heat, both of whom are entered into this event, on the main track. She has a 3-0-2-0 record on the turf. I also like #5 Althea Gibson, #11 Bella Chica, and #9 Scream and Shout as well as #1 Starship Leia, who is extremely fast. In addition, I think all three first-timers -- Lava Lane, Back to the River, and Pomergranite -- have some ability.
Picks: I like a win bet on the #2. I also like a show bet on the #4.
Race 4 - Maiden Special Weight (Purse -$55,000)
13 2-year-old fillies, including seven first-timers, will go five furlongs on the turf. This another tough race to handicap. #10 Luxury Liner is making her second successive start on the grass. Luxury Liner had a nice effort going, as she was second the majority of the time, before flattening down the stretch and ending up fifth. Trainer Steven Miyadi’s 2-year-old fillies have an 11% strike rate and 33% WPS percentage of her career.#6 After Midnight has been training very well and she has a good lineage, being the daughter of multiple stakes winner Gervinho. Plus, trainer Carla Gaines -- whose horses have a 25% strike rate at this distance -- and jockey Juan Hernandez --who has a career 22% strike rate and a 49% WPS percentage for his career with 2-year-old fillies on the grass -- are teaming up. After Midnight has been training very well and she has a good lineage, being the daughter of multiple stakes winner Gervinho. Plus, trainer Carla Gaines -- whose horses have a 25% strike rate at this distance -- and jockey Juan Hernandez --who has a career 21% strike rate and a 50% WPS percentage for his career with 2-year-old fillies -- are teaming up. #1 Teddy’s Barino has put up two extremely strong workouts over the last two months, which includes posting a 47.20 second, four-furlong workout on Sept. 17. Grazen, who is the sire of Teddy’s Barino, foals have a combined winning percentage of 17%. #12 Dylan’s Wildcat moves over to the grass and is working off of extremely short rest. Dylan’s Wildcat is primed for a better effort after finishing fourth in a five and one-half furlong event on dirt on Aug. 21.
Picks: I like a winning bet on the #10. I also like a #10, #6, #1 exacta box. Additionally, I like show bets on #1, #6.
Race 8- Allowance Optional Claiming $80,000 (Purse -$57,000)
10 3-year-old male runners will go one and one-sixteenth miles on the turf. This should be a fantastic race with just three runners having previously gone this distance. #2 Scarto has won 50% of his starts, which includes one of two on the grass, and is coming off his best performance of his career while winning one mile $50,000 starter allowance turf race by over three lengths on Aug. 7. The son of Paynter will have jockey Umberto Rispoli, who has won 25% of his races this year on the turf and has finished in the top 3 in 53% of those starts. #1 Ekklesia has put up consistent ESpeed numbers the last three outings and is coming off a strong outing where he finished third in a one-mile turf race at this level. This will be Ekklesia’s third race following a layoff and he is coming off an excellent 47 second four-furlong workout, which was the best time of 52 horses that were training last Monday.#3 Tripoli followed up an 11th place performance in his first foray in the allowance division on July 24 with a much better effort on Aug. 9, edging Ekklesia for second place in a one-mile affair at this level. The son of Kitten Joy also had a nice recent workout. #5 Bronn is out of Bob Baffert’s barn and is coming off a 48.8-second four-furlong turf training session recently. This will be Bronn’s first foray on the grass and just his second race of 2020.
Picks: I like a win bet on the #2. I also like a #2, #1, #3 exacta box. I may through in the #5 in an exotic bet as well.