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Friday, August 25, 2023

Today’s Race Card/Horsecellany

There are eight races today, four on the turf. There is a stakes race—

The Solano Beach, Race 7



Note: Please keep in mind we are handicapping Del Mar Fridays and Saturdays only (except there may also be a Monday holiday which we would analyze), as we are doing Sundays at Saratoga for the remainder of their summer meet (much better Sunday cards, most of the world’s best riders (a la Flavien Prat, Irad Ortiz et al. and trainers are there). There is at least one holiday Monday that Del Mar races (Labor Day, Monday September 4) and we will handicap any Monday holiday racing.


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Post Time today is 3:00 PM PDT, 6:00 PM EDT







ULTIMATE PICK OF THE DAY:             Thirsty (Race 2)

PENULTIMATE PICK OF THE DAY:     El Magnifico (Race 4)





Note:   Assume for this exercise that you are contemplating wagering on a Pick 6, and that each of the six races has eight entries.

There are 86 possible outcomes, or 262,144 possible outcomes. One bet, one in 262,144 chance to win. Not nearly as bad as Power Ball or Megamillions, still weak.

For a Pick 5 wager, assuming the same parameter of five races, with eight horses each, the odds of a win are much better, since there are “only” 32,768 possible outcomes.  Still, pretty stark.

The number of combinations for a Pick 3 dwindle to “just” 512.

Now you know why a Pick 6 can pay $3215.32 for a $.20 bet (Del Mar Sunday) and a trifecta in the same race pays $40.90 for a $2 wager.

The Place Pick All (get the place horse in all ten races) after Race 10 paid $15,615.80 for $1.

This is why on my small budget, I will stick with betting my LL’s, and betting to win and the corresponding exacta when the favorite looks like a serious overlay. But, I have no control over your wallet, and I wouldn’t want to use it in any event! Wager wisely is all that I am saying…



Note 2: with the plethora of scratches of late, you might consider upgrading to the enhanced analysis…just a thought






Five raced at race distance, just Tickle My Fancy won at RD. Only three won a turf sprint, Katerini and Aventapp, in addition to Tickle My Fancy.


Aventapp   the rested mare hit the board in her last twelve turf sprints, winning once at six furlongs, including all three at RD, speed figures are steady, this will be a duel…with her stable mate…

Katerini   the lightly raced, rested five year old sports incredibly steady turf speed figures of late, and she turns back 1,980 feet, she hit the board in five of her last six sprints, winning one, and that five pound apprentice weight allowance is like giving her a head start in so short a race

Keychain Girl   Craigmyle kills the turf sprint as well as his charge’s second race after layoff, his two prior turf sprints have been troubled, and he does have very favorable pedigree for this trip




All but Thirsty raced at RD, and three won at such distance: Straighten Up, Corporal Klinger and Midnight Lightning. Too Much Info never won a dirt sprint.


Thirsty F  won a laugher last time out, at RD+, with Vazquez in the irons, he is extremely well-rested and Miller loves the claimer

Straighten Up   worked four furlongs at a crisp 38.8 mph a week ago; his las two sprints have been troubled trips, but he hit the board in his first three sprints, winning once at near RD at Los Alamitos

Corporal Klinger    rested, he won his debut, narrowly, at RD, with Alsagoor aboard who enjoyed a seven pound weight allowance back then, Hanson/Alsagoor $$$$





Seven raced, but none raced on turf, and none raced at RD on any surface. This is thus very much a “maiden of maidens” race, difficult to handicap, as we are relegated to an analysis  of pedigree, rider/trainer success rate and workouts.


Acclaimed Preacher  (ML 15/1) a rough start marred her debut, but that Aguilar weight allowance looms large, Mathis kills the dirt to turf transition, and his entry’s first turf, the pedigree is also favorable

Sushi Sticks F (narrow)  fist time starter (“FTS”); she has extremely favorable pedigree for this race, connections are top notch as well

Moment’s Pleasure   very favorable pedigree for this turf trip, and Lewis fares well in the stretch out, Barrios tries again





No entry raced at RD, though two raced, Rothschild and El Magnifico and only the latter hit the board, placing at five furlongs. Bob Baffert enters two…

Experience counts…


El Magnifico   hit the board at five furlongs last June as noted, and the roan carries HOF’er Desormeaux, Keith kills it with his maiden’s second start

Rothschild    took a circuitous route in his debut, which I discounted, Yakteen excels with his maiden’s second start, and with a rested entry as here, Yakteen/Vazquez $$$$ here

Wynstock F (narrow)  this Baffert entry has favorable lineage for this trip, and the connections are as good as it gets on paper (even though the stats don’t beat that out)




Eight raced at RD/near RD on turf, and three won, once: She’s Got a Way, Alvina and Just Nails (AE).  Only seven of the entries have won a turf sprint.


Albayaader (co-favorite)  (IRE- County Cork)  a fine Irish lass, born and bred on the lush village green, thus preternaturally suited for the turf race, she is very well-rested, and benefits from the Aguilar five pound weight allowance, she won three  turf sprints, and those three wins came in her last four trips, she turns back 990 feet and Mullins kills the turf sprint

Real Fire   drops from her high horse in the graded stakes realm, where she floundered last time out, she hit the board in seven of ten turf sprints, she is well-rested to boot

Alvina   she too enjoys a nice class drop, and she hit the board in both of her U.S. races, one a sprint, she turns back 2,310 feet, D’Amato/Franco $$$$$ historically





Just six raced, all at RD, and only Halo Uncle hit the board at RD. The other entry to hit the board in a dirt sprint was Handsome Harry, at RD less a furlong.


Halo Uncle   hit the board in his debut, at five furlongs, with Aguilar in the irons, he of the five pound weight allowance, who knows the gelding well, Bonde kills turf to dirt transition

Handsome Harry   hit the board in his debut, at RD less a furlong, and I discounted that most recent, turbulent trip, Ms. Mulhall kills it with her two year old’s

Havoc  F (narrow)  that seven pound Torrealba weight allowance is akin to giving the gelding a head start in the race, and his debut here at five furlongs was also a less than ideal trip, will battle





The Solana Beach

One mile, turf course ($150000)


Seven raced at RD and six of the seven won at such. Two entries have never won a turf route: Chancery Way and Glorious Spring. Three entries have won at stakes level: Chancery Way, Eddie’s New Dream and Rose Maddox.


Ultimate Hy   she hit the board in at least eight of nine turf trips at RD, winning three of them, and in fact she comes off a win here at RD, she just worked four furlongs at 38.3 mph on the dirt

Eddie’s New Dream F   she knows little else but the turf route, and she hit the board in at least twelve of sixteen of such races, winning a third of them, including a win at RD last May at stakes level, with Gutierrez who knows her quite well driving, top 2022 earner

Rose Maddox   she hit the board in six of seven turf miles, winning once two Aprils ago, the top 2023 earner won at stakes level at RD+ 330 feet last April, Miyadi excels in the dirt to turf transition, and Miyadi/Hernandez $$$$ historically


Likeable Longshot:   Sunshine Babe  (ML 12/1)  she hit the board in most of her routes, and raced at RD a dozen times, winning twice, Polanco does his best work in routes, and HOF’er turf expert Desormeaux in the irons cinches the selection




Five entries raced and all raced at RD. Four hit the board at RD/near RD.


Brookys Gal   she hit the board in both of her sprints, both at RD/near RD, Bravo rides again

Big Rainbow   hit the board in one of two sprints at five furlongs, and that last trip was a circuitous one, that Torrealba weight allowance looms large

Likeable Longshot:  Josie Earp   (ML 15/1)  FTS; she has extremely favorable pedigree for this trip, and Miyadi/Herrera $$$$ historically





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