Del Mar opens with Oceanside Stakes

I like to pick my spots early at Del Mar due to the uniqueness of the track. That means I'll be concentrating my plays on the turf course while I watch to see how the Polytrack plays.

Del Mar's opening day feature today is the (two division) Oceanside Stakes, for three-year-olds going one mile on the turf. Blingo, an Artie Schiller colt who is 2-for-2 on turf, is the 3-1 morning line favorite in the first division. Blingo is a sustained pace runner (aka a closer), and it looks like he will get plenty of pace up front to run at. I don't love anything in the first division at the expected odds.

In the second division, Holy Candy is listed as the 7-5 favorite. The son of Candy Ride (an excellent turf influence) will be making his first start on the surface. Similar to Blingo, Holy Candy is a sustained pace runner in a race with a lot of early speed.

Holy Candy finished second as the favorite in his first three caree races, then he broke through with a powerful 3 1/2-length maiden win going one mile on the Santa Anita dirt on March 23. For his first race against winners, Holy Candy shipped to Kentucky and finished 4th (of 13) in the Grade 1 Bluegrass Stakes on April 14.

Holy Candy returned in the Affirmed Handicap (G3) at Hollywood Park on June 3, when he finished a steady 3rd behind Nonios and Liaison. That was a pretty fast race, and Holy Candy could move forward second off the layoff and moving to grass.

An interesting longshot to pair with Holy Candy or play independently is Power Foot (12-1 ML Odds). This Powerscourt colt has moved forward with each subsequent race. Following a sixth-place debut sprinting, he stretched out to 1 1/16 miles and broke his maiden with a late rally between horses.

In his first race against winners, Power Foot made an early advance and then had to wait behind horses before going outside and rallying for third. These were excellent learning experiences, and I think Power Foot could continue to move forward. He is a threat to hit the board at a nice price.

As for the main track, I think horses need to learn how to race on Del Mar's Polytrack, and they need to be extremely fit. Morning works are not the same thing as competing with other horses under race conditions.

I'll try to give horses a race over this quirky, deep synthetic track before I bet on them to show their best. That approach includes forgiving a losing effort first-time on Polytrack if I like other things about the horse (pedigree, distance, trip), and if it comes back and works well. I've caught quite a few nice prices betting the second-time Polytrack angle at Keeneland and Arlington.


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Pete Denk

In race 2, a 5f turf dash for NW1, the winner and runner-up rallied from the back. There was a speed duel up front, but it's never easy to close at 5f.

The winner Lakerville had the top closing fraction in the race. That is my favorite angle in turf races and a flat bet profit for me.

He had come home in 23-1 in a turf sprint at Hollywood. He also had the best closing fraction today.

18 Jul 2012 6:03 PM
Pete Denk

Back on the turf in Race 4. Will wheel back some of my profits from the Race 2 exacta on trip note #4 Te Rapa (7-1).

18 Jul 2012 6:52 PM
Pete Denk


Te Rapa wins at 7-1.

18 Jul 2012 6:59 PM
Pete Denk

Will come back with another trip note horse in race 5, a maiden special for Cal-bred 2yos.

#7 Fighting Hussar drew the rail in the debut and checked hard on the turn. He still came running for a distant third behind a good winner for the class level (Strong Wind, came back to finish 4th in G3 Hollywood Juvenile.

Fighting Hussar is currently 9/2 with 9 mtp.

18 Jul 2012 7:20 PM
Pete Denk

Fighting Hussar finishes third, behind a pair of Sadler first-time starters, Ballard Ruler and Life A Riley.

18 Jul 2012 7:38 PM
Pete Denk

Blingo is a surprising 9/2 with 15 mtp in the first division of the Oceanside. I can get on board at that price.

There is plenty of speed in here for his staying move. He has a touch of class and is 2-for-2 on turf.

18 Jul 2012 7:49 PM
Pete Denk

One mile at Del Mar turned out to be too sharp a trip for Blingo (4th?).

18 Jul 2012 8:10 PM
Pete Denk

The next two are on Poly, and I'd rather not blow any profits on them. Sitting out til the second division of the Oceanside, where I'll play Power Foot to hit the board.

I like Holy Candy, but not at the 7-to-5 ML price. We'll see...

18 Jul 2012 8:30 PM

I had Koast in the 6th. Felt strong at the top of the stretch but he ran up into Chips All In and couldn't regain stride.

18 Jul 2012 8:32 PM

I'm going with The Unusual One in the 8th.  

18 Jul 2012 8:46 PM

Power Foot ran well.  Again looked good at the top of the stretch but speed held, even with those fast fractions.  

18 Jul 2012 9:44 PM
Pete Denk

Yeah I thought Powerfoot ran pretty well, Kev. 4th at 25-1.

Wish I would have played the super. It paid $190 for a dime. Tactical error on my part. This horse was taylor-made for an underneath wheel in the exotics. I only extended him to 3rd in the tri.

Calling it a day with small profit. I'll put a blog up so we can all share weekend plays at Saratoga and Del Mar beginning Friday.

18 Jul 2012 10:16 PM
By a long nose

This is a boring blog dude. Spice it up a little.

18 Jul 2012 11:46 PM
Pete Denk

This comment system is a bit slow for raceday chatting.

Curious how many of you guys are on twitter?

I am @petedenk on there.

18 Jul 2012 11:46 PM

Pete : How about using THS chat on a regular basis ?  It still needs to be moderated but if it's only on Friday and Saturday, it might be doable since you seem like you're on the blog anyway during raceday.  If not, twitter it is.

18 Jul 2012 11:58 PM

I am on the twitter, I followed you a couple of weeks back. I look forward to you sending us some more 7-1 shots. Good Luck

19 Jul 2012 10:44 AM

so, Saratoga starts tomorrow, and I have a good feeling about a nice price horse in the 2nd race, Quien Es Mi Papa, which when translated is Who's your daddy! been working great, 15-1 Ml ODDS, pair that one up with the red hot Clemente horse Fast and Strong, and you could have a big start to the meet. Cant get past the Wesley Ward horse Lignite in the 3rd

19 Jul 2012 2:21 PM

Think the 6 is a lock in the 6th at Delmar.  Hoping for 2-1 odds.  

19 Jul 2012 4:11 PM

I guess thats why there are no locks in horse racing.  Bad first step gives the field 15 lengths, then gets stuck going wide and  finishes a close 3d.  

19 Jul 2012 7:58 PM

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