2017 Del Mar Handicap Picks
Making Sense of the Favorites
A quick glance at the past performances reveals the parity that defines this field. Hunt (3/1 ML) and Ashleyluvssugar (7/2 ML) figure to get strong opposition from Itsinthepost (4/1) for post time favoritism and this certainly looks like the kind of race where a handful of others look more than capable of winning at a price.
Hunt is the now horse, arriving on the scene July 22 in the second start of his five year-old season to win the Grade 2 Eddie Read Handicap – a mile and an eighth race at Del Mar. That was the Phil D’Amato trainee’s first race beyond a mile in nine starts, but he was good enough to beat Ashleyluvssugar and another Del Mar Handicap rival, Mr. Roary (12/1 ML) handily. Now he’ll stretch out even further, leaving some handicappers to debate just how far this former sprinter is willing to go. Flavien Prat will be in the driver’s seat once again and should have Hunt close to the early pace.
From a speed figures stand-point, Ashleyluvssugar ran something close to her usual race (102 Beyer) in the Eddie Read and was simply outfinished by Hunt. This six year-old, Peter Eurton trainee has class to spare, but may be vulnerable as there were few excuses in the last race. 7/2 ML seems like a short number, so we’ll look elsewhere. The other runner among the top three choices, Itsinthepost, ran flat in his last start – the Grade 1 United Nations at Monmouth Park July 1. He’s 0 for 7 at Del Mar and has a top career Beyer Figure of 100, suggesting he’s vulnerable in this spot as well.
In a race where price-shopping seems like a great idea, there are several choices to whet the appetite. He Will (12/1 ML) is easy to dismiss at a cursory glance, but under more scrutiny this runner ran deceptively well while finishing second a head back of My Italian Bobo in the California Dreaming Stakes July 29. The Jerry Hollendorfer trainee has good natural speed and will be ridden by one of the best finishers in the game in Mike Smith.
The previously-mentioned Mr. Roary is another that can surprise. The four year-old did most of the dirty work in the Eddie Read, tracking an honest pace before being outgamed by Hunt and Ashleyluvssugar. He wasn’t beaten all that much (1 1/2-lengths) and is entering the third race of his form cycle. The 101 Beyer he earned in the Eddie Read was a career-best -a clear indicator he’s in top form. Flamboyant (15/1) is also appealing. He’s run fast enough to win this race in the past and looks to be training well. Underrrated turf jockey Brice Blanc will give this one a nice trip.
Del Mar Handicap Picks
With favorites we consider vulnerable, we’ll shoot for a price in this event. Flamboyant has the look of a live outsider, so he gets the nod in this wide-open distance race. This one looks like a trifecta and superfecta players dream as the contention for the bottom rungs of each bet is extremely deep. Play this one with house money by taking advantage of sign-up and deposit bonuses!
- 1st: Flamboyant
- 2nd: Hunt
- 3rd: Mr. Roary
Category : Picks and Parlays
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