Maiden America Sunday picks: Hooptie Handicapper picks 4 races at Del Mar including the 100K Bob Hope Stakes
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Maiden America Sunday picks: Hooptie Handicapper picks 4 races at Del Mar including the 100K Bob Hope Stakes

First picked race at Del Mar, the 2nd, posts at 4 pm ET

Maiden America


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Yesterday in the sixth at Laurel, Buff My Boots looked like he should be buffing the boots as he was totally off his game. In the seventh, Beast Or Famine was well positioned down the stretch and Dexter Haddock fought valiantly prompting him to switch leads and by the time Beast came around, he made a late surge just missing by a head.

Del Mar Race 2 - $70K State Bred Maiden Special

2yo fillies going six furlongs

With 5-Bold Choice (8/5) struggling at Del Mar in her two chances, I am taking the filly 7-Professors’ Pride (6/1) and candidly I would have taken her regardless of others. I have been waiting to bet a Bayern filly debuting as that angle has been profitable this year at 32%.

Del Mar Race 3 - $70K Maiden Special

2yo’s going five furlongs on turf

This can either be a blowout or an exciting finish as five of the eight entrants have a chance at winning today. 1-B Dawk (5/1) love the first time Gormley angle, yet none of his first time offspring have won on the turf while debuting. A week ago, he just blasted a :59.6 from the gate, so expect anything. Doug O’Neill just 7% winners with first time starters and only 14% with Abel Cedillo. Use underneath. 7-Memes (12/1) struggled in his debut last out breaking slow, running green, then checked along the way. He garnered a 72 Equibase number, yet Practical Joke progeny are not yet known for their turf prowess. Two horses won from his last race; one stretching out to a mile on turf and the other horse was moved to dirt. Why Eurton & Co keep him on turf is a wildcard. Pass. 5-Midnight Fury (15/1) nine first time two year olds running on turf for Connect and only one has managed to, ahem, connect. His dam, Better Not Blink, has one other foal who won at first ask on Tapeta at GG. She did not hit a big speed number, so with no real turf pedigree, he is one to use underneath for a price. Peter Miller getting Umberto on 3-Apprehend (9/5) as stud Flavien takes 2-Sumter (5/2). Apprehend put out a great effort in his debt last out getting smoked by Corniche, like all have who faced him. His works have been terrific, yet, again, Arrogate has little turf progeny and pedigree, so the move is odd. Flavien will get the better of Umberto in this race with Sumter, who was nosed at the wire last out. A week ago, he popped a :59.8 work and the switch to Flavien is going to change the speed dynamic of this horse as Prat is likely to rate him. The two recently mentioned are going to be tough to beat today, but I am taking 4-Admiral Halsey (4/1) who the connections, and the betting public burned too much money with Wesley Ward training, so gelding, a new barn with Phil ‘Amato and a :58.4 bullet on November 7th, make him my choice.

Del Mar Race 6 - $70K Maiden Special

2yo’s going one mile

Of the 123 horses we have tracked with two races, fourteen have won, or 11%. 7-Don’t Swear Dave (4/1) 4-Noble Union (15/1) and 6-Durante (6/5) all fit that. Compounding my decision to bet against Durante is, other than price, every horse we have tracked, including Corniche, Eda, Shipsational et al, who have hit a 92 Equibase score, or better, in their last, have taken a hit in score next out. With Durante putting up a 94 last time, which would mean that his reduction would have to be lower than the winners’ score. The much maligned Bob Baffert has two in this today with 3-Blackadder (3/1) and 2-Portsmouth (5/1) and given Bob’s propensity, and record (31% wins) with Quality Road foals, look for Blackadder to be a factor. Of course, picking up Flavien on Blackadder is a major plus because with BB, they are a deadly 41% shot. Twirling Candy, Portsmouth’s sire, Twirling Candy, is a 30% winner overall with 2yo males in their second race and 33% winners in their first route and frankly, after watching his last, will not be a factor today. 1-Union Train (6/1) may be a sneaker in this with the bloodlines of Union Rags and Curlin to go longer. Toss in a solid :forty-eight work a few days ago and hot jock Victor Espinoza (31% the last 10 days) and you have a shot with a price. I am going with Blackadder. In his debut last time raced, nobody was going to tough Messier that day and today Messier goes to the Bob Hope Stakes and Blackadder will get his shot for revenge later.

Del Mar Race 8 – The G3 $100K Bob Hope Stakes

2yo’s going seven furlongs.

One hundred years ago, I watched Bob Hope being interviewed by Johnny Carson, and Hope told the story of when he first arrived in Hollywood. As Bob Hope explained, he told Louis B. Mayer in 1938 that he does not need Hollywood because he had over $100K in the bank. The irony.

Which Baffert horse do you choose, because 5-Forbidden Kingdom (9/2) does not appear to be able to sustain seven furlongs from the front? I am going with Kamui (5/2) as I watched his ears perked up last race while killing it down that long Los Al stretch. Add Kamui to Roadster, High Velocity and Quality Response as Baffert trained two year old colts by Quality Road. Many of us still feel the pangs from Roadster’s pos effort in the Kentucky Derby.

Until Next Weekend

Happy Hunting 😊

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