At my blog site http://the-clocker.blogspot.com/ yesterday, I shared some insights on handicapping European horses from Night School. Little did I realize that the Arlington turf races would become a mini laboratory. In the morning the turf was rated firm and by race time due to thunderstorms it became yielding. One of the tips from Night School was that Euro horses generally race on soft turf courses. At that time the Secretariat was about to start and was part of the Sovereign Stables Challenge Contest. I originally liked Wilcox Inn, but when I saw Ziyard(IRE) being a first time starter with a strong resume overseas, I switched. The result was a strong race and almost held off Treasure Beach. Paid $8.20 to place! Carrying that philosophy through the Beverly D and the Million, it was almost too easy. I did ignore the European Bounce caution, thinking the soft turf would feel like home again. Stacelita(FR) romps the Beverly D for $5.60 and Cape Blanco(IRE) takes the Million and pays $6.20. Nice paydays for quality race horses.
For Sunday August 14, 2011, the race today for Weekend Handicap is the JC Mabee(G2) at DelMar. It is for 3YO + fillies and mares on turf covering 1 1/8 miles. Field of 8 and of them 6 could claim to be contenders. This is race is highly contentious and loads of speed.
1. #4 Malibu Pier ML 5-1: I know this might be a surprise to some. This Malibu Moon 4YO through A.P. Indy just feels right for this race. She has won at this level going longer, Carla Gaines wins 20% of her stakes races and Brice Blanc has ridden her to 2 of her 3 wins this season. Her Beyers are not as high as the others but runs consistently in the high 90’s. She looks to be in top form (strong workout on the 10th), great pedigree for the turf and intuition says yes today.
2. #1 Harmonious ML 5-2: Came in 2nd after a 4 month layoff and raced her best Beyer of 99. She has won at the G1 level and Sherriffs wins 33% of his stakes races. Rosario the hot jockey at Del Mar rides her again. We can expect to see a big effort today on the 2nd off a layoff.
3. #5 Wasted Tears ML 5-1: She has won 12 of 20 lifetime, has been a success at all levels of Graded races, won once at this distance and has consistent Beyer’s. She takes off at the start and has the ability to wire it, the only question with all the speed in this race, can she control the pace. Another plus is when Bert Evans places one of his horses in a stakes race they usually win. The only downside, and this is a minor point but David Flores is having a wretched Del Mar meet. He has had only 4 wins in 60 mounts. He is a great jockey and wins a good deal on turf, it’s his first time on Wasted Tears.
Outsiders: Not going to use dark horses today for these 2 gals having every right to be in the top 3. #2 Cozie Rosie ML: 7-2 and #7 Celtic Princess ML3-1: Both horses are fast, great connections and have won at this level. The trouble I have is neither have won at this distance, pedigree suggest they can, but with this classy field they could get in trouble. It wouldn’t surprise if either won, of the two Celtic Princess seems ready to go.
“Bombs Away”: #8 Medaglia D’amour ML 12-1: This 6YO hasn’t raced in a year, last winning the Wilshire (G3) by 1 ¼. Strong pedigree for this distance, top 90 Beyer’s and Talamo up (wins 21% on Turf). The angle here is she won her maiden after a 5 month layoff on first time turf. 2 of her 3 wins she stretched her lead coming to the wire.
In the end, with all this speed, it will be interesting to see which lady is still standing!
Have a great day and see you all next weekend!