Del Mar offers sand, surf and action this meeting and it will only be a prelude. In the fall, Del Mar offers quite a bit more when they will host their first Breeders’ Cup.
Starting Wednesday, July 19 Del Mar offers a variety of options for owners, fans and bettors. They meet will go to Labor Day, September 4. The most prestigious afternoon will be on August 19 when the $1,000,000 TVG Pacific Classic will be presented for the 27th time.
This is a beautiful racetrack and was founded in 1937 by crooner Big Crosby and his buddies. During this meeting, Del Mar offers a total of 41 stakes worth $7.3 million.
Besides the Pacific Classic, Del Mar offers other stakes with direct Breeders’ Cup ties. They are the $300,000, Grade I Bing Crosby Stakes, the $300,000, Grade I Clement L. Hirsch Stakes, the Del Mar Handicap and the Grade II $200,000 Pat O’Brien Stakes.
One of the early highlights that Del Mar offers this season is the return of Arrogate. He is aiming for the July 22 San Diego Handicap and will try to build on his already massive $17 million bankroll. The Bob Baffert superstar has not been seen since winning the $10 Dubai World Cup in March. After losing his debut, Arrogate has now won seven straight races including a win over the Del Mar surface last year. He has been training like the proverbial Swiss Clock for this race and has not missed a beat in weeks. He posted a best of the morning: 46 4/5 workout on June 18 and followed it up with a pair of clever six-furlongs drills. To prove he is thriving right now, Arrogate worked on Saturday July 15 and sizzled in 1:11 for 6 furlongs, the best time of the morning at Santa Anita.
Even though Del Mar has changed its surface over the years, there have been a few trends that figure to continue. One of things that players have to do is watch the races intently and try to local the proper winning style for that day.
Try to pay strict attention to where the winners are coming from on a daily basis. It also seems that because of the younger maybe less sophisticated crown, the fans tend to gravitate to the favorite.
Younger fans that are in mass at this meet just want to cash tickets and some don’t care if the price is 3-5 or 3-2. They just get a thrill of cashing. That’s why short prices abound.
One cannot obsess with just one race style. On some days, inside speed will be very potent. On other days, those that have the ability to rally wide will offer the best value. Bettors must focus on all types of styles, as you can’t get caught up with speed and only the speed. Many fans have a myopic view of the game so take advantage.
This meeting for the owners is all about being seen and getting to the winner’s circle. Horses that should belong in a $50,000 claimer can show up for a price half of that or even less because the owners want to have their pictures taken after the race.
The owners that make the trek down for the meet want action. Because the purses are excellent, stables cannot keep a decent claiming horse in the barn unless they are padlocked to the stall.
This is also an opportunity for the three-year-old set to assert themselves.
Pay attention to upper echelon sophomores that have been freshened for this meet. The fact that they have not been through a hard grind all year gives them an opportunity to put 2 or 3 super races together against a tired crew.
As far as the turf racing is concerned, expect the grass course to play a little deep early in the meeting. This is a pretty consistent trend and it makes sense. Since Del Mar is seldom used, the grass has a good opportunity to grow and mature. During the early turf races, closers can have a distinct edge. As the meeting goes on, and the turf is used and abused, it can become faster and more conducive to the speed horses doing well.
The turns are tight and players need to find agile, shifty runners than can quicken in a hurry.
Taking a shot at foreigners or runners that are coming off layoffs and using them in the exotics is a good way to turn a short price winner into huge dividends.
Don’t be scared to take a shot with Northern California shippers. Art Sherman, who trained the great California Chrome, has had great success at this meet. Steve Miyadi, a high percentage guy, only figures to bring live horses to this meeting.
Last year, Miyadi only sent out 14 runners at the Del Mar meeting but three won and four others ran in the money. Northern California-based conditioner Billy Morey Jr. sent out 18 runners at this meeting and won at a 22% clip.
The usual suspects will vie for the training title. The names Baffert, Peter Miller, Richard Baltas and Doug O’Neill will be sending out winners in bunches but there is another trainer that must be watched.
His name is Michael Machowsky. Last year he saddled 24 horses at the Del Mar meeting and nine won.
Last year Miller won the opening day Oceanside Stakes with Monster Bea. The Oceanside is generally well subscribed and is sometimes split into two races.
Rafael Bejarano and Flavien Prat will likely vie for the jockey title but there are a couple of longshot riders that must be watched. Del Mar offers rookie Evin Roman a chance to build on his recent success at Santa Anita. Youngster Kyle Frey impressed some trainers at the Santa Anita meeting and should offer value to betters.
Old pros like Mike Smith and Gary Stevens will still get the best horses around when the money is down. Stevens finished seventh in the last Santa Anita meeting and he only had 82 mounts. Smith won at a 31% clip during the recent Santa Anita meeting.
Don’t lose focus. One day does not make a difference. Keep an even keel and take care of the bankroll.
In one is lucky enough to be in attendance at Del Mar this meeting, do not dare leave the track without trying a margarita. There is no better way for friends to soothe a tough beat or celebrate a juicy trifecta hit.
- La Jolla Handicap Lures Turf Specialists - August 4, 2017
- $1.2 Million Whitney Stakes Tops Saratoga Card - August 3, 2017
- Hall of Fame Stakes Goes Friday at Saratoga - August 2, 2017
- Jim Dandy Result Muddles Sophomore Picture - August 2, 2017
- Haskell Invitational in Jersey Spotlight - July 29, 2017
- Bing Crosby Stakes Tops Del Mar Bill - July 28, 2017
- Early Del Mar Trends Crystalizing - July 24, 2017
- San Diego Handicap Entices Half Dozen - July 21, 2017
- Schuylerville Stakes Billed at Saratoga - July 21, 2017
- Saratoga Race Course Set for Friday Opening - July 19, 2017