Garrity's first post time is 6:07 pm EDT.
Saratoga has been a chalkfest lately, with horses winning at unappealingly short prices, so for a change of pace, we’re heading West, to Del Mar, which reopens today after being dark since last week. There are two stakes today where the turf meets the surf, and the Southern California weather, as usual, will be perfect. We have four plays on the 11-race card, and we expect fast dirt and firm turf in all of them. Let’s go.
Del Mar, Race 3; 6:07 pm ET
Allowance/Optional Claiming, 1 ⅜ miles, Turf, 3 & Up
This marathon second-level allowance on the turf drew a field of seven. We’re all in on the favorite, 3-Border Town, who runs for Richard Mandella and who will be ridden by Flavien Prat. He’s a regally-bred 4-year-old colt, by top turf sire War Front and out of a Sadler’s Wells mare, and he looks like he simply outclasses this field. He’s never run this far, but that doesn’t worry us, as he’s bred to thrive going long. Look for him to sit toward the rear early, gain steadily down the backstretch and around the far turn, and to grind his way to the front in deep stretch. We will bet him to win at 2-1, and play him (see below) in the Daily Double comprising Race 3 and 4. The bets: Del Mar, Race 3, $30 to win on 3-Border Town; $20 double, 3 (Border Town) with 5 (Big Sweep) .
Del Mar, Race 4, 6:37 pm ET
$125,000 Fleet Treat Stakes, 7 furlongs, Dirt, California-bred 3-Year-Old Fillies
The Fleet Treat drew a short field of five, but we like it as a betting race, as we think 9/5 favorite 5-Big Sweep is going to be very, very difficult to beat. She’s won two of her three career starts, including the Echo Eddie Stakes at Santa Anita on May 15, and her one loss was in a longer race, which we are willing to excuse, as she looks like a sprinter to us. She figures to dominate this race at a short price; we will bet her to win at 9/5. The bet: Del Mar, Race 4, $50 to win on 5-Big Sweep.
Del Mar, Race 6, 7:37 pm ET
$50,000 Maiden Claiming, 5 ½ furlongs, Dirt, California-breds 3 & Up
Eleven state-bred maidens go in this sprint. 8-Bluegrass Patriot is a strong play: he drops into this maiden claimer after two good efforts against Maiden Special Weight company, and he possess high speed on a Del Mar dirt course that has been very favorable to speed. We look for Bluegrass Patriot to dominate this race on the front end; we will bet him to win at 5/2. Key stat: this year, trainer Mark Glatt has eight wins in 14 races, an incredible 57% strike rate, with horses dropping from straight maiden to maiden claiming. The bet: Del Mar, Race 6, $40 to win on 8-Bluegrass Patriot.
Del Mar, Race 9, 9:07 pm ET
$65,000 Daisycutter Stakes, 5 ½ furlongs, Turf, Fillies & Mares 3 & Up
The Daisycutter is an excellent betting race, with nine females lining up to dash 5 ½ furlongs on the Del Mar turf course. There’s a lot of speed in the group, which makes the pick 6-Jo Jo Air. She’s a Wesley Ward trainee who has the perfect stalking style: she can sit just behind what should be a wickedly fast pace, and pounce when the pacesetters begin to tire. We think her 7/2 odds are generous, so we will bet her to win. The bet: Del Mar, Race 9, $30 to win on 6-Jo Jo Air.
That’s all for today. Until tomorrow, enjoy the racing, be safe, and, as always, good luck at the windows.