Another week of what promises to be great thoroughbred racing action kicks off with the featured $100,000 Graduation Stakes for California-bred two-year-old colts sprinting five and a half furlongs on the main track.
Through two weeks of racing, we’ve hit one Pick 4, and that came on the smallest ticket played ($25). Sometimes, less is more.
Queen Zenyatta arrived at the seaside oval today after shipping south from Hollywood Park. I’ll be on the back side tomorrow morning to cover her gallop on the Polytrack in preparation for her attempt to make it a perfect 18-for-18 in Saturday’s Grade 1 Clement Hirsch.
We’re off to the races!
Leg 1 – Race 5 (1,2,4,5) – Older $32K claiming fillies and mares spring six furlongs to get things going.
No. 1 Halfapondarosa returns to Pete Eurton’s barn off a pair of close second place finishes. She is fragile and should enjoy being back in the care of the trainer that knows her best.
No. 2 Cool Haleigh drops off a solid third place try on the turf at Hollywood Park, which was her first start in over a year. She’s a perfect one-for-one over Del Mar’s main track and was an extremely consistent late running sprinter for Joel Rosario in 2008 and the first half of 2009.
No. 4 Dish the Dirt gives Eurton two solid chances to win here. She will also be running late and the horse she beat in her last race came back to win here last week.
No. 5 Hard Kisses drops into a claimer for the first time and can sit just off pacesetters Irridescent Red and Queen Mariles and get first run on the closers.
Leg 2 – Race 6 (2,3,5,9,10) – An allowance race for males going a mile on the turf includes lots of horses that like to finish in the money, but aren’t so keen on winning.
No. 2 Derive has finished in the top three in all eight starts of 2010, with only a maiden victory to his credit. He missed by just a neck in his first two turn race of the year on opening day and shows solid turf form as well.
No. 3 Pack Your Bags has won three of four against lesser competition and goes two turns for the first time. He did run well going down the hill at Santa Anita, which means he should be able to get the mile.
No. 5 Deputy Max is an improving three-year-old Malibu Moon colt who has also finished in the money in all six starts of 2010, with only a four length maiden win to his credit. His second place finish last time going a mile on the turf at Hollywood Park could be good enough to win this.
No. 9 Rummysecret War is a long shot that likes winning at big prices. He could sit off the lead of Back At You and get away at the top of the lane with Corey Nakatani climbing aboard for the first time. He has struggled a bit when moving up to face this type of company.
Will Brett Favre play in the NFL this year?
No. 10 Bring It Home has also finished in the money in all six of his starts in 2010, and his win came last year. The outside post won’t work to his advantage, but his consistency makes him dangerous.
Leg 3 - Race 7 (5,7) – The Graduation could be won by a maiden. There’s lots of speed signed up so we’ll look to a pair of horses that can win from off the pace.
No. 5 Bruno B got a terrible start breaking from the rail in his debut, but looked good running on for fourth.
No. 7 Bench Points also looked good breaking his maiden by nearly two lengths against next time winner Stormin Rae, who draws the far outside here.
Leg 4 – Race 8 (8,9,10) – We’ll stick with horses that have experience in the finale.
No. 8 Hi Card Gambler showed speed in his debut against better and finished mid pack. He should have gained a ton of experience from that race.
No. 9 Cypress Sam made up a ton of ground in his debut here last year and was compromised by drawing the rail in two of his three starts this year. He shows a consistent work tab including three works over this track for his return.
No. 10 Pious David drops to the bottom in his first race against claimers and any of his races this year would win this. He must have his issues if they’re dropping him to the bottom, but his works indicate he should be fit.
Recap – (1,2,4,5) w (2,3,5,9,10) w (5,7) w (8,9,10) – Total cost of ticket = $60
Make sure to follow me on Twitter @mdoche for last minute changes caused by scratches.
Sunday’s Result – (-$40)
Total for meet – (-$271.15)