Thursday, July 17, 2014

Del Mar Opening Day Plays

No Down to the Wire this week while I'm recovering from being a bit under the weather, but a lingering hoarse voice won't stop me from enjoying one of the better racing weekends of the year. Without further ado, here are my plays for opening day (7/17) at Del Mar. Best of luck if you're playing!

Race 5: $62,500 Allowance Optional Claiming (8.5f, turf): #3 Fast Track (M/L 15/1)
Won three straight allowance races over a mile at Turfway Park before struggling in a G3 over yielding ground at Golden Gate. He returned nearly two months later over a mile at Santa Anita where he finished fifth (two and 3/4 lengths back) after finding himself in close quarters late. Speed figures suggests he fits in this spot, a likely quick early pace should suit, and Pereira retains the mount for Pearson for what should be an improved effort second time off a short break. 
Others to Consider: #9 Full Dancer (M/L 12/1)

Race 6: Maiden Special Weight (5f, AW): #10 Noble Hawk (M/L 12/1)
Lost all chance in his debut after being bumped and steadied at the start, but didn't lose any further ground in what effectively became a schooling run after that. He's bred to relish the synthetic and getting hot jockey Drayden Van Dyke aboard definitely doesn't hurt in what appears on paper to be a pretty wide open race. 
Others to Consider: #7 Pulmarack (M/L 9/2), #6 Zinvor (M/L 6/1)

Race 7: $40,000 Starter Allowance (8f, AW): #5 Sir Macho (M/L 7/2)
If by this point you're like me and looking for a single, I think this guy is your best bet. He ran a nice second over this distance in a $40,000 claimer at Santa Anita last out before being claimed. Mike Smith hops aboard here for William Sprawr, who is good first off the claim.

Race 8: Oceanside Stakes (8f, turf): #3 Home School (M/L 15/1)
He's not the easiest to win with, but Home School has been consistent this year having finished second and twice third in three starts. This class and distance seems to be right up his alley and after being on the front end of moderate-fast paces in his last two starts, he should enjoy what could very well be one of the softer leads he's had in a while. With Home Run Kitten in such fine form this year, there's no shame in having finished a close second and (relatively) close third behind him, especially over this distance. 
Others to Consider: #9 Enterprising (M/L 7/2), #12 Forever Juanito (M/L 20/1), #1 Argyle Cut (M/L 9/2)

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