No. 1 Mr. Cartagena won in his only conventional dirt start going 7 furlongs one race back at Santa Anita. This mile distance will be perfect for him and he has a work over this new dirt surface. No. 4 Afleet in Time gets back to the price tag of his last win. No. 6 Papa Kade is on a win every other race pattern and this is his win race and he gets a major rider upgrade. 1-4-6
No. 1 Macho Sox gets his first start off the Peter Miller claim and jockey Brice Blanc gets a rare ride for Miller who comes into this meet with a loaded barn, he has a nice five furlong work here on the 13th. No. 3 I Don’t Care Who drops below his claimed price one race back but won at this distance in that race. No. 6 Knock Em Flat is the speed and will be playing catch me if you can. 1-3-6
2yo maidens go five furlongs and it’s a field of 8 first time starters and this will take some board watching. Baffert sends out No. 1 Toews On Ice for his buddy Mike Pegram. Mike Smith gets another ride for Mullins on No. 7 Rockin Bayou and Kent D gets on No. 8 Bedeviled for his bro Keith, after that it’s a crap shoot. 1-7-8
They go 1-1/8 on the tall grass in the Grade I Eddie Read. For information purposes only last year 49% that is 35 of the 71 turf races at Del Mar were won by Mike Smith, Rafael Bejarano or Cory Nakatani, 53% were won by deep closers. Let’s see if that continues this year. Mike Smith gets on No. 2 Gabriel Charles for once again Jeff Mullins. No. 7 Finnegans Wake fits the deep closer angle and he won the Hollywood Turf Cup here last year, he comes here in top form and the one to beat. 2-7
In this very wide open $20k maiden claimer, a race anyone can win. No. 5 Allison Cole looks like a very sneaky first time starter. No. 2 Quality Chimes drops and gets back on the dirt, if she can run back to her race at Santa Anita back on April 2nd she can win. 2-5
3yo $40k claimers go a mile on the grass. No. 5 Highway Boss has been over his head in his turf starts, he fits here at this level and has the right running style. No. 6 Frat Boy comes in from Keeneland and gets his first start off the claim for A C Avila and he puts his go to rider Tiago Pereira in the irons, he also broke his maiden going 7-1/2 furlongs on the grass at Gulfstream Park, he looks on go and the price could be right. 5-6
Exacta box 5-6 and win and place 6
More maiden 2yo going 5 furlongs and only No. 3 Go Long has started and he showed some good early foot and has the Kent D / Keith D connections. Bejarano gets on No. 1 Gavin Streetsense for Richard Baltas. Nakatani gets on No. 5 Irish who has been working lights out at Los Al, after that it’s the all button.
THE $80K OSUNITAS GOING 1-1/16 ON THE GRASS
No. 3 Elektrum exits our list off a very good try in the Grade I Gamely, she will be coming with a late run. No. 4 Theatre Star ran good on this course last year and has the good connections of Proctor and Van Dyke. No. 6 Royal Temptress exits our HTW list as a $$$$$ play, she was unlucky to lost last time out and set gets Mike Smith back today. No. 7 Istanford is the speed and showed she could handle this course winning both of her starts here last year including the Grade II San Clemente almost a year to the day. Nakatani gets on the shipper No. 10 Personal Diary who he won with here last year in the Grade I Del Mar Oaks, she never won again after that race. 3-4-6-7-10
No. 3 Stealth Drone gets back on the dirt and that makes her a big threat. No. 8 Dr. Fager’s Gal is a lightly raced filly who will sit and make one run turning for home. 3-8
3yo who have never won 2 races go 1-1/16 on the grass. No. 1 Chiropractor is a deep closer and fits that angle and he comes here via Pimlico and Delaware for Proctor. No. 7 The Gomper ran big in his first turf start last out and at one time was thought to be a Kentucky Derby horse. Bejarano sticks. No. 9 Itsinthepost is in from France and makes his 3yo debut for Vienna, he ran good in France as a 2yo and just may like it here. We say when Kent Desormeaux sticks around for the last race he is a must use and he rides No. 10 Ground Rules who makes his first turf start, bombs away. 1-7-9-10
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Richard Saber, a former director of race and sports at the famed Stardust book, is GamingToday’s horse racing and sports handicapper. Follow Richard on Twitter @SabesBet. Contact Richard at [email protected].