Wednesday 11.3 Del Mar Picks: Garrity looks to get a feel for the Breeders Cup track surface with 3 race bets
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Wednesday 11.3 Del Mar Picks: Garrity looks to get a feel for the Breeders Cup track surface with 3 race bets

First post 4:03 pm EDT.

We are heading to Del Mar today, partly to get a grasp on how the track is playing in advance of the Breeders Cup, which is Friday and Saturday, and partly because gambling is fun. We have plays in three races where the turf meets the surf, and we expect fast dirt and firm turf in all of them. Let’s go.

Del Mar, Race 2, 4:03 pm
Allowance/Optional Claiming, 1 mile, Turf, 2-Year-Old Fillies

Seven juvenile fillies line up for this allowance at a mile on the turf. This will be a fascinating test of how the Del Mar turf course is playing, as the two favorites have drastically different styles: 5/2 second choice 3-Liam’s Dove has abundant speed, whereas 9/5 favorite 5-Sparkle Blue is an East coast invader with a strong finishing kick. It looks to us like there are enough runners with early zip for the pace to be robust, and to set the table for Sparkle Blue’s stretch run; she is the pick, but we will be watching how the final quarter mile of this race plays out to see if it will impact how we attack the Breeders Cup turf races (see our Breeders Cup post for more information on that). We will bet Sparkle Blue to win. The bet: Del Mar, Race 2, $40 to win on 5-Sparkle Blue.

Del Mar, Race 6, 6:06 pm ET

Allowance/Optional Claiming, 1 mile, Turf, 3-Year-Old Fillies

This first-level allowance drew a field of nine. The 8/5 morning line choice is 3-Nazuna, an Irish-bred filly who is favored primarily because she is trained by Chad Brown. She was an also-ran in each of her last two starts, both stakes races, and in them she finished strongly after falling far behind early. This is exactly the kind of horse we will almost certainly be betting against in the Breeders Cup: deep closers on the turf from big-name trainers, and we will do so here, with 5-Carpe Fortuna, a Peter Eurton trainee who should be much closer to what looks to be a moderate early pace, and who therefore should have a significant tactical advantage in the race. We will bet Carpe Fortuna to win at 5-1. The bet: Del Mar, Race 6, $40 to win on 5-Carpe Fortuna.

Del Mar, Race 7, 6:40 pm ET

$100,000 Seashell Stakes, 1 mile, Dirt, Fillies & Mares 3 & Up

Six go in the Seashell. The likeliest winner, on paper and if the track plays fair, is 2-Moonlight d’Oro, who quite smartly won the Grade 3 Las Virgenes at Santa Anita in her last start. That race was in February, so she starts here off a layoff, but she looks fit, as her recent morning workouts are good, and her trainer, Richard Mandella, who is in the Hall of Fame for a reason, is good at getting horses to fire off the bench. We expect her to win, but this is another race worth watching to see how the track is playing: Del Mar can get pretty speed-favoring, and there is an abundance of quality speed in this race, especially 6-Livingmybestlife, who won a minor stakes in wire-to-wire fashion at Los Alamitos six weeks ago. The past performances suggest that Moonlight d’Oro should get a good stalking trip from her inside post, sitting just behind the leaders early, gain ground on them around the far turn, move to the front at the top of the stretch, and win with a strong finish, but a track bias in favor of speed could alter the results significantly. We will bet Moonlight d’Oro to win at 8/5. The bet: Del Mar, Race 7, $40 to win on 2-Moonlight d’Oro.

That’s all for today. Until tomorrow, enjoy the racing, be safe, and, as always, good luck at the windows.

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