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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Del Mar Opening Day

Opening day at Del Mar; one track for which one never has to check the weather!  It's Poly/Firm all the time!  In the 4th, Cyclometer (7-2) returns to grass and stretches out after mixing it up with the speedy Comma to the Top in the G1 Triple Bend.  Lightly-raced five-year old son of Cyclotron has run mostly short on dirt and synth; but has two good front-running turf route efforts last year.  He won at a mile, and then earned a tied-for-field high 109 figure, on the TimeformUS scale, while tiring to 4th after hot fractions at this mile and a sixteenth distance. That was a tough field; all three top finishers have placed in G2 turf stakes this year. Expect him to have things more his way here, as Pace Projector shows him with an easy early advantage.

Trainer Bruce Headley scores well in the synth-to-turf category, and interesting to see a bullet three furlong blowout, in 34 3/5, just two days before the race.  Don't see workouts so close before the race much anymore.  That's real old school; could like the horse just because of that!  Whether it was too much too close to the race remains to be seen, but it certainly indicates that he's sharp for a race in which early speed figures to serve him quite well.  Dreamcatcher (3-1) seems the most consistent of the closers and should surely be on the scene late.

In the 6th, the first division of the restricted Oceanside stakes for three-year olds, I think you gotta take a look at Tebows Big Play, despite the name and his 20-1 morning line odds.  Son of Ministers Wild Cat graduated, on grass, two races back.  He then jumped straight to stakes-bred stakes company, where he ran third, 2 1/4 lengths behind runner-up Gervinho (4-1).  However, Tebows Big Play earned a speed figure equal to that one.

Mentioned in the post the other day that you'll sometimes see that with the Timeform US speed figures (sorry, the SEO guy makes me do it, both with and without the space) if one of the horses was pace disadvantaged.  While Gervinho sat a perfect trip right behind two leaders setting a lethargic pace, Tebows Big Play was further behind after being briefly checked out of an uncomfortable spot between horses on the turn. Additionally, he conceded ground to his rival when making a big wide move on the turn.  He flattened out in the stretch; but understandable considering they were coming home in 23.64, the fastest split of the race.  Should get a better pace set up for a late run here.

Also some turf pedigree here for this to be a decent grass horse; he's out of a Lemon Drop Kid mare, and his second dam is a European stakes winner who has produced several of the same, plus My Redbyrd, a two-time stakes winner in New York.  Think he can outrun his odds here.  Undrafted (5-2) showed that he survived a futile trip to the Derby Trail with a 10-length allowance win on the grass with a big figure in his last.  That was in a four horse field; but his prior on grass was also good enough to win this, so I'll use him on top to save.  The aforementioned Gervinho was returning from a 218 day layoff, and is certainly eligible to improve here.  Best of luck and have a great day.

1 Comment:

Theodore said...

This is gorgeous!