Opening Day at Del Mar: Mike Dennis offers strategies and two Friday race picks
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Opening Day at Del Mar: Mike Dennis offers strategies and two Friday race picks

First post at Del Mar is 5 pm EDT.

Mike Dennis


Today is the first racing day of the summer meet at Del Mar. Kicking off the 2021 meet is a full card with full fields. For the most part if you are reading this then you are aware of the stigma California racing has been carrying with it for a while now. Between the medication, surface and Bob Baffert issue, things have been a bit rocky and if you are on Twitter it is seen quite a bit. Too often I see tracks given up on because of what a horse player thinks they know. All I ask is to give Del Mar a chance and to read my daily posts for Del Mar picks. Let’s help scratch each other's backs and support horse racing in California.

Going into the Del Mar Meet . . .

  • Watch Kristin Mulhall horses, she might not have the largest stable but her horses tend to run if they are 2-1 or 20-1.

  • Get the playback list going, Del Mar is racing 4 days per week after the initial week. Therefore open up an Excel sheet or write with a pencil. Note your bets, they will come back and believe it or not you do get good trips as a bettor if you stick with it.

  • Chill for a bit and see how the track is playing and in general what the feel is. Lot’s of racing and prices will be there. No need to bet the hell out of John Sadler entries because you want action.

Two Opening Day Selections

Race 3 - #1 Quite Secretary (6-1)

I once saw Marcus Hersh of DRF make fun of a tweet I posted saying “pace is the race”. As cliche as the tweet may have been, there are still certain races where literally pace is the race. Tyler Blaze up in the mount knows how to manage a horse's pace and on paper Quite Secretary should be able to grab the lead early. The value is there to take the shot with two negative outcomes possibly happening. The first, she does not get the mile-and-8th distance. A second outcome is one other jockey reads the PP’s and guns it out of the gate to press what looks to be the controlling speed. With 6-1 on the ML board the money is right, a very obvious paper angle which may slice that number in ½.

Race 7 - #6 Bench Judge (12-1)

Bench Judge is a 5yo gelding trained by Peter Miller. During the six month or so Santa Anita meet he posted two wins in 5 races, tossing the dirt race though. Not the fastest, not the prettiest but has the best value for the chance of winning. Cutting down a panel will make it gun and go from the gate, at least that is what I hope for. Note trouble last race out and this oddball workout pattern makes me scratch my head but will keep itching for 12-1.

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