Saturday’s Picks from Del Mar

In four decades in this game I thought I had seen it all. The debacle in Friday’s nightcap on day one of the Breeders’ Cup just added to the fun.

In the Juvenile Turf, the Charlie Appleby trained Albahr flipped over and got stuck under the gate in the two post, forcing a late scratch. His stablemate Modern Games, the betting favorite was in the one post.

An assistant starter opened the front of the gate and Modern Games bounded out and appeared unfazed and unhurt. However, apparently there as “confusion” at the starting gate as the lead Vet said afterward and both horses were scratched.

Once the Vets at the starting gate realized the mistake, they let Modern Games run, but for purse money only. If you had Modern Games in the Pick 4 and Pick 5 like I did, you got stuck with the betting favorite Dakota Gold, who I did not like at all.

The $1 Pick 4 with Modern Games before the scratches of the #1 and #2 was paying $235.70 and the Pick 5 was returning $1,168.20. Along with my second and third choices Portfolio Company and Dubawi Legend, I thought I was sitting pretty well to end the day on a good note.

Instead the pure ineptness of the Vet crew at the starting gate screwed quite a few horseplayers that bet millions on Modern Games in all the pools.

As Modern Games crossed the wire after trouncing the field you could hear the cascade of boos reigning down on Del Mar from upset fans who knew they just got screwed.

Between that idiocy and watching trainer Bob Baffert visit the winner’s circle twice, it reminded me just how utterly idiotic this industry can be.

Enjoy Breeders’ Cup Saturday.

NBC Sports Network has the television coverage of the Breeders’ Cup from 2:30 to 8:00 ET. The Breeders’ Cup Classic will be broadcast live on NBC at 8:00 ET. “America’s Day at the Races” is on FS2 from 12:00 to 6:00 ET with the action from Belmont Park and Churchill Downs. TVG is offering new players up to a $300 Risk Free wager. In addition, Twin Spires is offering a $200 Breeders’ Cup sign up bonus.

Here is the opener from Del Mar to get the day off to a good start:


Race 1 OClm $40,000N1X

  • #1 One Fast Bro 3-1
  • #5 Appreciated 6-1
  • #6 Dicey Mo Chara 7-2
  • #2 Kazan 8-1

Analysis: One Fast Bro came with a good late rally after coming wide into the stretch to finish in the runner up spot last out at this level at Santa Anita going a mile, The winner Subconscious who came back to win the Twilight Derby (G2) in his next outing on Sunday. Two back over the turf here at this distance the gelding came with a good late run to finish a game second, beaten a half-length for the top spot. He beat state bred Alw-1 foes over the grass here three back off a 4 1/2-month break. He draws the rail and Bravo rides him for the second time. He should get an honest pace to run at here.

Appreciated dueled for the early lead and battled on gamely to beat $40,000 claimers last out going a mile at Santa Anita. He beat $32,000 foes two back on the grass here at a mile. He was claimed out of his last start by the O'Neill barn that is 21% winners first off the claim. The barn is coming off a solid Santa Anita meeting where he hit at a 27% clip. The switch back to turf has this guy back in sharp form and he looks capable of being in the mix here as he takes on a tough group here.


Race 9 The Breeders' Cup Mile G1

  • #1 Master of The Seas 12-1
  • #6 Mo Forza 5-1
  • #3 Space Blues 3-1
  • #2 Smooth Like Strait 10-1

Analysis: Master of The Seas will be the higher price of the duo sent out by the Appleby barn that has sent out 15 starters in North America this year and has won six races, four of those Grade 1 wins. The colt had a rough trip last out in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (G1) at Ascot, checking in seventh at 11-1. He came back off a four month break two back with a good runner up finish in the Joel Stakes (G2) going a mile over good to firm ground. The colt was beaten just a nose three back in a tough beat in the 2000 Guineas (G1) at Newmarket back in May. The winner was Poetic Flare who went on to win the St. James Palace (G1) at Royal Ascot in June and ran second in both the Sussex Stakes (G1) and Jacques le Marois (G1) and in his last outing was third in the Irish Champion Stakes (G1). The colt picks up Doyle as Buick sticks with stablemate Space Blues. This colt should bounce back with a much better effort here with a better trip and firmer ground than he got last out and he is going to end up a decent price.

Mo Forza looks the best of the U.S. based runners and the home team has won this race in 7 of the last 10 editions. The Miller trainee came back off a 11-month layoff with a game win in the Del Mar Mile (G2) and last out stalked the early pace and came with a good late rally to win the City of Hope (G2) at Santa Anita. He only made three starts last year, winning the Del Mar Mile and City of Hope before hitting the sidelines. The five-year-old has landed in the exacta in 5 of his 6 trips over the grass here and should get a good tracking trip sitting mid pack. The 5-1 morning line looks fair and he may end up going off a bit lighter.

Space Blues came with a good late rally over heavy ground to rally from the back of the pack to win the Prix de la Foret (G1) at seven furlongs. The Foret was the race Goldikova used as a prep when she won this race three years in a row. Except for his trip to Dubai, this guy seems to fire ever time out and won his last four starts last year, capping off the season by winning the Maurice de Gheest (G1) at Deavuville. He needs some pace and a trip to get the job done here. He is taking action, as low as 5-2 in ante post wagering overseas.


These are price plays for exotic players looking to find a couple of extra contenders to use in their Pick 4 and Pick 5 wagers. Or for those with smaller bankrolls, you might want to get in a small win wager. 

Del Mar

  • R1: #2 Kazam 8-1
  • R3: #6 Bodhicitta 12-1
  • R4: #3 Edgeway 12-1
  • R5: #8 Caravel 20-1
  • R6: #8 Eight Rings 10-1
  • R8: #5 Aloha West 8-1
  • R8: #3 C Z Rocket 12-1
  • R9: #1 Master of The Seas 12-1
  • R9: #2 Smooth Like Strait 10-1
  • R10: #5 Clairiere 12-1
  • R10: #11 Dunbar Road 15-1
  • R11: #5 Tribhuvan 20-1
  • R11: #7 Walton Street 8-1
  • R12: Art Collector 8-1

Good luck today!