The Del Mar spot plays to start the meeting will give fans a bit of variety to go along with personal tendencies. Let’s first isolate some young runners that have not yet established themselves on the racetrack.
One way to start would be to consider watching the early Daily Double and see what we can learn and then hone in on the third race of the day.
The third race offers bettors a number of Del Mar spot plays to evaluate but we are going to land on Alsatian. This race is for California-bred three year olds and upward that have never won two races. It will be run at a mile and a sixteenth on grass. The conditions immediately convey to the player that these runners are still learning the game. Some are battle-tested pros that have had umpteen chances and others are facing winners for the very first time.
The entire field is separated by 20 Beyer Speed Figures. There is a first-time gelding in the race named Popular Kid and a horse that just broke his maiden at 38-1 in Ibon.
The Del Mar spot plays that can be taken advantage of this meeting are the plays that have a history. Alsatian has a history at this seaside track. He broke his maiden on this very turf course last fall when he overcame the 11 post and drew off to win by over two lengths. He has only run one poor race since and he was compromised by a poor outside post position that day. The runner showed his talent when he ran second in the state-bred $201,000 Snow Chief Stakes in May. The son of Acclamation is out to atone for a loss as the favorite last time. He is owned by the famed Calumet Farm and is trained by Doug O’Neill.
Alsatian has limited speed so his rider Evin Roman must be patient. There is speed in here in the form of Packin Heat, Plain Wrap and Accountability. Expect Roman to take a hold of Alsatian, try to get him to relax, and then make the one run. With this race a wide-open affair, Alsatian is one of the Del Mar spot plays that could pay a price.
Del Mar spot plays in maiden races are not easy to find but the fourth race offers a chance to get paid. Eight fillies will pit skills going six furlongs in a Maiden Special Weight race and there are plenty of question marks. There are three first-time starters and that is as good a place to start as any.
Pretty Owl is trained by Bob Baffert and that makes her an automatic threat. Pretty Owl’s sire is Into Mischief and he pops with about 13% with debuters in a 253-starter sample. The sire took his debut at two, won the Grade 1 CashCall but Pretty’s Owl’s dam was unraced. The dam has been productive as all three siblings won and one cashed at the tender age of two. The best of 16 bullet workout a week ago should have Pretty Owl on her toes.
Snowdust will be making her first start for trainer James Cassidy, who is 3 for 72 the last 5 years with debuting MSW runners. Snowdust’s sire The Factor is 10 for 86 with debuters. The Factor won at 2 and took multiple Grade 1s. Three of four siblings of Snowdust won including Giovanni Boldini, who took several stakes, banked over $450,000. This runner may need a race or two.
Literary Critic has trained long and hard for her debut. She is by City Zip, who hits with about 15% of his debuters. The Grade 1 winning sire won five times at 2 but the lone sibling was out of the money twice.
The politically-inspired Unlucky Hillary breaks from the rail. She was off slowly for a tag but she improved with the wraps last time. There are several multiple race winners in the family. One cashed at two and the top earner Left a Message took a stakes and earned over $200,000.
Slim Fit ships in from Delaware Park and is in the good hands of Tom Proctor. Her 8 for 25 dam banked nearly $200,000 and this is her first to race. Proctor has popped at 18% the last 5 years with second shooting MSW runners.
Discreetly Leah has been on vacation and the lone sibling lost his only start. Considering the layoff, fans should try to get a good look at her on the track.
Motown fans have a vehicle in the fourth in Soul Singer. This miss caught the fast splits in the grass debut but her dam lost 7 times. On the other hand, all five siblings won including double juvenile winner, Grade 3 winner and over $200,000 earner Shkspeare Shaliyah.
Classy Tune will try to climb the charts as she breaks from the extreme outside post. Her trainer Simon Callaghan is three for fourteen or 21% the last five years with second off the layoff Maiden Special Weight racers. This filly is drawn right, figures to love the slightly shorter distance today and could very well be long gone.
Up the volume on Classy Tune as she is one of the key Del Mar spot plays.
Hold That Smile will have to draw into the race but this young filly seems to be on the verge of a big effort in the ninth contest. She made her racing debut on June 30 at Santa Anita off a modest work tab and was fully engaged from the sound of the bell. She had dead aim at the top of the stretch but just could not match strides with the clear winner. Hold That Smile’s pedigree is just fine. Her sire Smiling Tiger won the Grade 1 Bing Crosby Stakes at Del Mar and the Grade 2 San Carlos Stakes. Hold That Smile’s dam won a stakes and produced several six-figure earners.
Taking advantage of Del Mar spot plays can be a good thing to do as the meet unfolds. There will be days during this meeting when things just don’t go according to plan and the winners get to be few and far between. Just like when a good gambler backs away at signs of a losing streak, horseplayers can just isolate a couple of key plays to get back in the black.
Good luck, it’s a long meet, let’s cash some tickets.
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