July 19, 2014: Saratoga & Del Mar


Race 1: Maiden Special Weight (8.5f, turf): #6 Luck of the Kitten (M/L 5/2)
In what appears to be a nice two-year-old maiden race routing on the turf, I've opted to side with Luck of the Kitten, who is of course by strong turf sire Kitten's Joy. Wesley Ward is one of the best in America with firsters and Frankie Dettori made his presence known in a big way on opening day. 

Race 7: G3 Sanford S. (6f): #5 Mr. Z (M/L 15/1)
Repole homebred Nonna's Boy was impressive on debut, but that was over a muddy track on which he was bred to do well over, but I question whether he'll be able to run back to that effort over a dry track. Mr Z., a son of Malibu Moon and a Storm Cat mare, enters here off a solid debut victory and is eligible to improve in what will be his second start. Lanerie retains the mount. 
Others to consider: #7 Bessie's Boy (M/L 5/1)

Race 10: G1 Diana (9f, turf): #8 Alterite (M/L 3/1)
Normally a long layoff is a slight concern, but since coming to the US last year, Alterite has finished 1-2-3 in three runs, all of which were in G1s and she typically runs best fresh. Chad Brown's barn is in flying form and Castellano, who rode her while finishing third in the BC Filly and Mare Turf, retains the mount. 
Others to consider: #10 Tannery (M/L 6/1)

Del Mar

Race 1: Maiden Special Weight (5f, AW): #11 Big Changes (AE) (M/L 6/1)
He's an also eligible, but let's hope he gets into the field. A son of Midshipman out of a Giant's Causeway mare, Big Changes is bred to win early and relish the synthetic. Autrey does well with first time starters and Joe Talamo gets the mount. Also of interest will be a $1.6 million Tapit named Iron Fist, trained by Hollendorfer, who is also fantastic with first time starters, and ridden by Mike Smith.
Others to consider: #2 Iron Fist (M/L 5/2)

Race 5: Maiden Special Weight (5f, AW): #10 American Sailor (M/L 9/2)
We're going to try to make it an Autrey double in the baby MSW's with American Sailor, a son of City Zip out of a Yes It's True mare who won in a big way in her second start. As noted in our piece for Danonymous Racing, progeny of City Zip did well in sprints over the Del Mar Polytrack last meet. 

Race 9: G2 San Clemente (8f, turf): #7 Sandiva (M/L 5/1)
On class and form, this should be Sandiva's race to lose. A G3 winner earlier this year over seven furlongs at Newmarket, she was an impressive juvenile who appeared to have lost her way in her last two starts, albeit against top company. Progeny of Footstepsinthesand tend to take to the firm turf of Southern California, so I'm not concerned about the ground for her. The only scenario where I can really see her being beaten is if Istanford, who beat the boys two-back, gets an easy lead, which is a distinct possibility. 
Others to consider: #8 Istanford (M/L 8/1)

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