Del Mar Picks 2017 – 7/29

Week 2 of Del Mar is capped by the Bing Crosby on Saturday and the Clement L. Hirsch on Sunday, featuring Drefong and Stellar Wind, respectfully.  Download my full card selections for the Saturday Del Mar card here, or view them below.

Race: Selections:
1 1) 6- Jungle Warfare                       2) 5- Tatters to Riches                    3) 4- Midknight Attache               
The only one with a start, Jungle Warfare is an Animal Kingdom second time starter who comes out of a live race where the horse that finished ahead of him in 2nd was a next out winner.  His July 22 workout at Del Mar looked impressive and he seems to have gotten much better than last time out.  Tatters to Riches draws to his inside and has been performing well in the mornings and draws well.  Midknight Attache should show early speed being by Midnight Lute and the dam, Starzig, is 2/2 and 26% first time out.
2 1) 10- Tiz Deliteful                           2) 1- Mama’s Sugar                         3) 7- Fabulous Lady        
Adding blinkers with Rafael Bejarano seems to be a good mix for Tiz Deliteful, who looks to be poised for a big race in this one.  Tough task, but she seems to be up to it.
3 1) 2- G.G. Ryder                                2) 1- My Italian Babbo                   3) 6- He Will     
CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’ S. – A big winner last time out at Golden Gate, capturing the All American Stakes for Jerry Hollendorfer, G.G. Ryder has been a solid runner on both dirt and turf throughout his career.  Gets Flavien Prat and is in good form.  I like My Italian Babbo’s win last time out as he steps in to stakes company this time around; coming into form and could pick up a spot here.
4 1) 7- Sly Humor                                 2) 1- Table for Three                       3) 5- Munny Spunt         
Coming in off a layoff, Sly Humor has been running against much better at Santa Anita in her last four.  She drops into claiming company and picks up Flavien Prat; perhaps the fastest horse in this field, she should be able to get the lead from the outside and should be able to take them gate to wire.  If the pace ends up being hot, Table for Three will be picking up the pieces.
5 1) 5- Encinitas                                    2) 3- Tequila Sunrise                      3) 10- Medaglia Gold    
This second time turf 2yo by Declaration of War, Encinitas, fits well in a spot where a lot of horses are trying turf for the first time, and many with little turf pedigree.  She should move up well now going a route of ground.
6 1) 9- Lake Time                                 2) 5- Precious Dixie                         3) 7- Sheza Chattykat    
Lake Time needed her last race and should improve second off the layoff; gets Gary Stevens back aboard and finds a field full of early speed which she should be able to close off of.  Precious Dixie romped last time out at Los Alamitos and comes back against better; Flavien Prat picks up the mount and she looks to be one of the few that have a late kick; expect her to be running there in the end.  Sheza Chattykat returns to sprints for Richard Baltas after showing speed in the route race at Santa Anita last time out.  Hard to not include her on my ticket.
7 1) 9- Arrowsphere                           2) 5- Causeforcommotion            3) 6- Lady Mamba
One of my favorite Del Mar angles is lone speed going a turf mile; we have that here in Arrowsphere.  She showed a lot of speed last time and faded, as she has both of her efforts going a mile or greater, but has always held on for third.  She faces much less pressure than she did in her last three and should be able to get to the lead easily and cozily.  Coming out of the same race as Arrowsphere, Causeforcommotion just got outkicked late after making it near the lead on the stretch; eligible to improve here.  Lady Mamba returns from the layoff to make her second start; her first start was a dead heat third behind Unique Bella.
8 1) 4- Gentrified                                2) 8- Night Watch                            3) 3- True Valor
Picking up Flavien Prat last time out and winning, Gentrified showed an impressive turn of foot for Vladimir Cerin last time out.  He will need to show that again to get the win here but seems to have a very similar pace scenario set up for him this time around.  Forget the last race for Night Watch, where he got caught on the rail and weakened; he showed better speed and form in his five previous starts and I’ll think that he will do that again here.  He might be able to shake free on the front end and take this field home.  True Valor will need to step up a bit here, but coming in off a win will be huge for this horse.  Keith Desormeaux has been sending out a lot of live runners this Del Mar meeting.
9 1) Drefong                                          2) St. Joe Bay                                     3) Kobe’s Back  
BING CROSBY (G1) – The Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Drefong makes his return and there is nothing saying he can’t win off a layoff.  Mike Smith is back aboard, he has been working sharp in the mornings, and Baffert knows how to get his sprinters to run well after a break.  He romped his last trip to Del Mar and now tries to start his year off with his 6th straight win.  St. Joe Bay ran very well behind Mind Your Biscuits in the Golden Shaheen; now returns to California and has been facing live company in his last two in the states.  Looks poised to run a big one.  Kobe’s Back is a hard trier who is always there; lots of speed in this field that may help his wide sweeping move late to grab a spot in the trifecta.
10 1) 8- He Could                                   2) 10- Kona Dreams                         3) 3- Uber Star  
This is an impossible race – everyone in the field is either stepping up or was well beaten against this class last time out.  I’m going with the Del Mar specialist here in He Could, who no matter the form he is coming in with, seems to run well at Del Mar.  Returns to a route after trying sprinting last time out, will be who I’m giving a try.  With the drop in class and step back into a route, Kona Dreams seems to fit well here and should be at a level he will be able to perform well at.
Best Bet of the Day: Gentrified (Race 8) Live Longshot of the Day: Arrowsphere (Race 7)
A very versatile runner, Gentrified has the ability to win from just about anywhere on the track.  Flavien Prat stays aboard this very quick son of Malibu Moon and faces a group of horses he should beat.  Ever since putting the blinkers on, he has been a different horse and has really turned it up in his last few.  Will be very tough in this spot. As I said, I love lone speed going a mile on the turf at Del Mar.  Arrowsphere is just that and finds herself in an easy spot, with a lot of horses coming in off of bad performances or long layoffs.  She does have a test with Causeforcommotion and Scandal, who finished ahead of her in her last two tries at a route, but with little pace pressure up front, she will be very dangerous on the lead.

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