(DEL MAR opens July 16)
VICTORY DANCER: First-time starter settled far back, while off the rail. She was bumped after being taken four wide into the stretch, but kept to her task and finished a clear second. Trained by Bob Baffert, his second time starters usually do better. This girl will be very tough in her second start.
ONLY FIRST CLASS: Had been off since March and was let go at 10-1. She stalked off the rail, but had to wait off heels when ready to make her move. Came on once clear to finish second in a top notch effort.
THUNDER BLUFF: Off since running fifth at Santa Anita last Feb. 4. Came back smoking in this 40K claimer and took these wire-to-wire in a very impressive performance against a very tough field. Look for him to move up and repeat.
TRIPPED THE LIGHT: HTW pick. Just stormed home down the lane and won going away. She took some time to break her maiden, but occasionally when the light goes off these type come right back with another big effort. She was claimed by the sharp Jerry Hollendorfer. Look for her to respond in the right spot for a repeat win.
LUCKY HONEY: Was bet in half from the morning line and just ran too good to lose in a head bob finish. Claimed by Mike Mitchell, who will have this guy in the winnerís circle very soon. $$$
RUMBA ALONG: Had been running on or near the lead, but took back in this flat mile on the grass and made a strong four wide move into the stretch. Barely lost a three-horse bobbing finish. This one looks like the real deal and could turn out to be a top class turf runner. A must follow. $$$
JOHNNY HIGH BRITE: Had been away since being claimed for $12,500 last July by Jeff Mullins. Came back in this spot for 16K and may have been best, but had to settle for a hard-fought third. If this race didnít take too much out of him, he will be back soon and get the win.
LAUREN C: Looked good in this spot, but bobbled at the start and was steadied hard to lose all chance. She did try and make a little run, but got in tight on the turn and the jock took hold after that. Just toss this race and upgrade her chances next time out.
ZETTERBERG: Was well-regarded last year as a 2yo, but just could not find the winnerís circle. He got there today in this 6f turf sprint and just may be on his way up the ladder.
SPRING CATCH: Was just starting to make her move when forced to be steadied behind a bad spill on the turn and never got going again. Look for her to rebound in next start.
NOOTKA ISLAND: Just finished last in a 50K mile distance claimer on the grass. Has been going downhill of late, but someone thinks they can get this mare back on the beam. Trainer Mike Mitchell lost this girl via the claim box for 80K last December and now reclaims him for 50K plus maintaining part ownership. Look for this girl to make a big move forward in first start back with Mr. Mitchell.