Thursday Del Mar Recap: November 23
Fast main track and firm turf course. Two dueling front running winners on dirt (8f, 6f). The winning turf course running styles were a front runner at eleven furlongs, a stalker at one mile, a closer at eleven furlongs, and a stalker at one mile (rail at 6 feet).
Riding double for Mike Smith. Two wins for trainer Steven Miyadi.
November 23 Claims: Race 3 - Twentytwentyvision ($62.5k, John Sadler).
Two horses on my Derby list (Shivermetimbers, He’s Stylish) ran in a Thursday maiden route (5th race) and they had vastly different journeys. Shivermetimbers dueled from start to finish and nipped outside stalker Peace by a head. The top two were 8+ lengths in front of troubled show finisher He’s Stylish. The latter stumbled badly at the start and rallied from last to land a share as the favorite.
How Unusual rallied from 11th place to upset stalking favorite Responsibleforlove in the Grade 3 Red Carpet Handicap. Laseen found some stretch traffic and ended up a length behind the top two in 3rd.
Friday Del Mar Recap: November 24
Fast main track and firm turf course. One front running on dirt (6f). The winning turf course running styles were a front runner at one mile, a stalker at five furlongs, a patient runner at one mile, and a presser at a mile and a half (rail at 6 feet).
Riding double for Stewart Elliott.
November 24 Claims: Race 2 - Dangerously Close ($20k, Genaro Vallejo). Race 6 - Clear the Mine ($40k, Mark Glatt).
Dangerously Close was clearly second best in today’s 2nd race and crafty, low profile trainer Genaro Vallejo claimed her for $20,000.
Keeneland shipper Clear the Mine was a prominent throughout 3rd in today’s sixth race for George Weaver and Mark Glatt nabbed her for $40,000.
Mike Smith put Manitoulin close to a crawling pace and he had enough in the tank to hold off chalk Chicago Style by a neck in the Grade 2 Hollywood Turf Cup.
Saturday Del Mar Recap: November 25
Fast main track and firm turf course. Two front running winners on dirt (6.5f, 8f). The winning turf course running styles were two stalkers at one mile, a patient runner at a mile and an eighth, and a closer at one mile.
Rafael Bejarano and Evin Roman both booted home a pair.
November 25 Claims: Race 1 - Airfoil ($10.5k, Justin Clark), Overcomer ($12.5k, Charles Treece). Race 3 - Beaumarchais ($16k, Reed Saldana), Out of Patience ($16k, Kristin Mulhall), Tribal Jewel ($16k, Ryan Hanson), Dukes Up ($16k, Doug O’Neill). Race 6 - Eight Spokes (claim voided, reason vet).
Prime Attraction got the jump on Irish Freedom and captured the Grade 3 Native Diver by 2.5 lengths. The latter seems like a grinding, long winded sort and might want ten furlongs or more. Mubtaahij checked in 3rd and Top of the Game finished an uncomfortable 4th.
Mo Town has found a home on turf and rolled home from off the pace in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby for John Velazquez and Tony Dutrow. Channel Maker edged Big Score and Sharp Samurai in a blanket finish for the minor awards.
Daddy Is a Legend stormed home from off the pace under Joe Bravo to capture the Grade 3 Jimmy Durante Stakes for grassy 2-year-old fillies. She is a good one for trainer George Weaver. The East Coast fillies dominated this flat miler event with Data Dependent (Chad Brown) landing the place and Raucous (Christophe Clement) finishing 3rd.
Sunday Del Mar Recap: November 26
Fast main track and firm turf course. Two dueling front running winners on dirt (6f, 6.5f). The winning turf course running styles were a stalker at a mile and a sixteenth (Hunt), a stalker at one mile (Fizzy Friday), a last-to-first closer at one mile (Off Limits), and a front runner at one mile (Analyze It).
Training triple for Phil D’Amato included Hunt in the G2 Seabiscuit Handicap. Trainer Chad Brown had a turf stakes double with Off Limits in the G1 Matriarch and Analyze It in the G3 Cecil B. DeMille.
November 26 Claims: Race 2 Bear Skinned ($20k, Peter Miller), Native Treasure ($20k, Jack Carava), Mesa Sky ($20k, Bob Hess Jr.). Race 4 - Haveiture Way ($20k, Ryan Hanson). Race 5 - Peach Cove ($40k, John Sadler).
Hunt sat a perfect stalking trip and needed everything to go right to hold off He Will’s late surge by a nose. I have always liked the latter and would like to see him elevate his game and get a graded win in the near future. Post time favorite Pee Wee Reese set the pace and checked in 3rd, a length in front of Om (still winless since 2015).
Off Limits produced a big late kick under Joel Rosario to smartly overhaul Hawksmoor in the Grade 1 Matriarch. Chad Brown’s deserving winner has never been better. The aforementioned runner-up did all of the pace dirty work and outran her 12-1 odds. Insta Erma ran past Cambodia late to secure the show.
Analyze It lived up to his top billing in the Grade 3 Cecil B. DeMille. Chad Brown’s talented juvenile colt went straight to the front and made short work of his rivals in a 4-1/4 length romp under Jose Ortiz. Pubilius Syrus was clearly second best and East Rand was up for the show at 80-1. You have to think that the winning connections will be tempted to try him on dirt at some point.
That’s a Del Mar fall meet wrap! My weekly recaps will resume with the upcoming winter meet at Santa Anita Park.