Entries: Del Mar - Day 8 (July 30, 2010)
Race 2: OC 40k/N1X, 5 furlongs (Turf), 3&up
A five furlong turf sprint featuring a field without a single horse that has every sprinted at that distance on the lawn. Normally, turf sprints are races where I love to play the distance/surface angle, but I think this race is going to require a bit more digging in order to find the winner.
2-Drea m Now (8/1) has sprinted 6 ½ furlongs on the Santa Anita downhill turf course, winning his first try back in January of 2009, but I'm hesitant to try and convert that form to this race given the drastic differences in the courses.
3-Raetodandty (3/1) has sprinted six furlongs on the grass in his last two races at Hollywood Park, and each time he displayed excellent speed out of the gate. That could give him an advantage against the rest of the field.
3-Unionize (5/2) has run a series of good six furlongs sprints at Hollywood but has displayed a bit more patience in the early going by settling a length or two off of the front runners. There doesn't look to be a ton of speed to challenge Raetodandty on the front end which could make it difficult for Unionize, or anyone else, to get by in this five furlong dash, especially since everyone in this field in cutting back in distance.
If Raetodandty can't hold that lead for the entire distance, I like the 8-Quoted (4/1) to pick up the pieces in deep stretch. This gelding should be fit on the cutback from a mile last time out and should have enough early speed to keep this one in the action in the early going. If Rosario can time his ride just right, he should be rolling by the leaders within yards of the wire.
Race 5: Maiden Special Weight, 6 ½ furlongs, 3&up, Cal-bred
We are faced with essentially two choices in this Cal-bred Maiden Special Weight race: go with a first time starter or take an experienced runner that has lost multiple times. This ten horse field has only one entry that has racing experience but has yet to lose multiple races, and that's the 10-Franconi (6/1). That gelding just missed last time out against similar competition at Hollywood Park. At a minimum, Franconi represents some value and he's not yet proven to be a chronic loser, which is at least something in a race like this.
I tend to stay away from first time starters on the rail but the 1-Cee's Pryme (3/1) appears to be a gelding that could run quite nicely at first asking. Along with the very nice and consistent morning work tab, Cee's Pryme goes to post for a barn that is decent at fist asking and a jockey that is one of the best at the track. There's not a ton of value in his corner but he seems likely to be in the mix in his debut effort.
Race 7: Grade 3 Cougar II, 1 ½ miles, 3&up
The feature race of the day at Del Mar is the Grade 3 Cougar II Handicap, a race that is tied to the Breeders' Cup Marathon through the "Win and You're In" program. The race has been hammered down to a field of five after two scratches: 1-Rendezvous, and 4-Princess Taylor (GB).
Morning line favorite 5-Richard's Kid (8/5) loves to do his winning from off-the-pace, but the scratch of Princess Taylor has left this field devoid of early speed. That could given an edge to 6-Temple City (5/2), a five year old son of Dynaformer that should find himself all alone on the lead in this three-turn, mile and a half affair.