Celebrating Del Mar’s return with the first 4 races

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The Vegas racebooks will be rocking starting this Wednesday with the opening of the Summer Del Mar meet. Then on Friday it will be Spa to Spa racing as the great Saratoga meet opens.

Both meets are a horse player’s dream as we will see large pools and chances to make big scores with small bets.

For horseplayers here in Vegas we will also have a chance to hit the Twin Q that Station Casinos will be offering. Lots to do and, as they say, it’s always cool and dry in the racebooks here in Vegas, with local sportsbooks offering free parking, Racing Forms and cocktails for players. No better place to be, Vegas is a horseplayer’s dream.

With Del Mar racing on Wednesdays and Saratoga racing six days a week, this bettor would suggest tuning into Race Day Las Vegas on AM 1400 Wednesdays through Sundays during the week, 7-8 a.m., and on Saturdays and Sundays from 8 to 9 a.m. Most importantly, tune in each Wednesday to get my play of the day on the show as I will be co-hosting with Ralph Siraco.

There will be plays each and every day Wednesday through Sunday from Richard Eng, Jerry J., Jon Lindo, Pat McQuiggan and yours truly. You can also listen anywhere in the world on the web. Just go to www.RaceDayLasVegas.com and click the “Listen Live” icon.

As we said in last week’s article, I will have the first four races at Del Mar for the Wednesday, July 18, card, so here we go.

Race 1: If you have never been to Del Mar for opening day, the first race always starts in front of the grandstand and clubhouse as the roar goes up when the horses cross the finish line for the first time. Today we get $16K claimers going a mile on the dirt. No. 6 Popular Kid gets his first start off the Doug O’Neill claim and gets a major rider upgrade to Rafael Bejarano who will be having a big meet.

No. 8 General Ike drops a notch for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer who was on fire at the end of the Santa Anita meet. This 7yo gelding gets the services of the hot bug boy Asa Espinoza and had a big time last work on the 13th.

No. 9 Preacher Roe is the stablemate of Popular Kid and also gets his first start off the O’Neill claim. This 7yo gelding gets Flavien Prat aboard. 6-8-9

Race 2: $40K 3yo travel a mile on the grass. No. 1 Jimmy Chila has been sprinting down the hill of late and could take to this mile trip. No. 3 Kylemore broke his maiden on this course last year at this mile turf trip and gets the underrated turf jock Brice Blanc up for Eoin Harty. No. 9 Ayacara has been facing stronger and has the connections of trainer Keith Desormeaux and his brother Kent riding. He will be the one to fear late. 1-3-9

Race 3: $20K claimers go six furlongs. No. 1 Lucky Staxx is in tip top form with two wins and two seconds from his last four starts. We like the fact that Espinoza gets on and he also owns a nice last work on the 11th, getting his first start off the O’Neill claim.

No. 3 Gonna Fly Now gets a major jockey upgrade with Bejarano on for trainer Richard Baltas. This 9yo gelding still has some run and will like the turn back in distance from a mile last out to six furlongs, today’s distance. No. 7 Eighty Three won first off the Hollendorfer claim last out and has a good last work. 1-3-7

Race 4: It would not be Del Mar without 2yo racing. It starts in this race with maiden 2yo fillies going five furlongs. We will be taking our shot here in the pick five singling No. 7 Blueberry Princess, who should be a real good price with fillies like No. 5 Flying to the Line for Peter Miller and Dichotomy for O’Neill.

Those two fillies ran 2nd and 3rd coming out of the same race at Los Al back on June 28. We will look to beat them with this price play. Blueberry Princess exits a key race in which the first two finishers came back to score next out. She hopped in a slow start, running an even race and worked a bullet on July 8 as the best of 80 horses that day. 7***5-10

Race 5: We will need to go four deep in this 1-1/16 turf route for optional $62,500 runners using four runners exiting the same race. No. 5 Play Hard to Get, who was a close 5th, No. 8 Ritzy A.P., who was second gets Prat today.

The last time this 4yo colt won was when Prat rode him and it was here at Del Mar at this exact distance. He will be our key runner. No. 9 Ya Gotta Wanna finished 7th in a troubled trip and No. 11 Ann Arbor Eddie finished a close fourth. We will use all four in the picks and key on Ritzy in the exotics. 8**-5-9-11

You can get the entire Del Mar card each day at www.gamingtoday.com. Remember to check for late scratches. So get out and have a good time. You could be walking around lucky and not even know it.

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