Racing at Del Mar with Marc Doche: Awesome Baby can punctuate big day for Baffert in Debutante - Pick 4 Blog
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Racing at Del Mar with Marc Doche: Awesome Baby can punctuate big day for Baffert in Debutante


Currently third in the trainer standings, Bob Baffert can close the gap with a big day.

Currently third in the trainer standings, Bob Baffert can close the gap with a big day.

Bob Baffert hopes a big day from coast-to-coast culminates with his eighth $300,000 Del Mar Debutante (Grade 1) triumph with 5-to-2 morning line favorite Awesome Baby making the leap from an impressive debut to face seven other juvenile fillies over seven furlongs on Polytrack.

Six additional Baffert runners go to post preceding the local feature, with both Sky Kingdom and Liaison entered in the $90,000 Harry F. Brubaker, and in upstate New York at Saratoga, America’s horse, Paynter, should go favored in the $750,000 Woodward Stakes (G1).

Leading rider Rafael Bejarano makes the trek east to ride Paynter, while Julien Leparoux joins him at Saratoga to ride second choice Successful Dan in the Woodward.

Saratoga-like weather conditions descend upon the seaside paradise for the second straight day with heat and humidity an unwelcome guest replacing the cool ocean breeze.

Sent off as the 4-to-5 favorite in her debut on August 4, Awesome Baby carved out swift fractions to clear off to an easy lead and came within two ticks of the 5 ½-furlong track record, crossing the wire nearly five-lengths in front of her over-mated foes. A daughter of Awesome Again, additional ground should suit this miss well, and she will be difficult to beat if she can break cleanly from the inside post despite facing runners with stakes experience.

Owner Paul Reddam sends two of the three stakes winners in the group with 7-to-2 second choice Concave exiting a half-length win in the Sorrento Stakes (G2) looking to run her record to a perfect 3-for-3 and 6-to-1 shot Sprouts entering off a pair of clear wins in ungraded stakes trying to win for the fourth straight time since an unsuccessful debut.

It’s interesting to note that Mario Guiterrez opts to ride the longer priced Reddam for lower profile conditioner Edward Freeman, while second-leading trainer Doug O’Neill gives a leg up to Patrick Valenzuela for the first time on Concave.

The 4-to-1 third choice is She’s a Tiger, who adds blinkers and Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens after getting run down by Concave in the Sorrento. The Tale of the Cat filly and half-sister to multiple graded stakes winner Smiling Tiger wired the Landaluce Stakes in July at Hollywood Park, which makes her the likeliest to keep Awesome Baby honest on the front end.

We’re off to the races!

Pick 5 –

Leg 1 – Race 1 (4,5,6,8) – No. 5 Jet Blue Girl returns to this circuit much cheaper than she left, but gets back to her preferred surface after inexplicably being campaigned on dirt in the minor leagues.

Spread with No. 4 Ghost N Your Heart, No. 6 One Magical Girl and No. 8 Funny Belle.

Leg 2 – Race 2 (4) – Two sprints to a route should be perfect for No. 4 Southern Freedom, as he can track the pace throughout before clearing away through the stretch as a short-priced single.

Leg 3 – Race 3 (1,3,5,8,9) – No. 1 Danderek is sharp and drawn right to try and lead wire-to-wire again, but No. 5 Senator Bob has speed and PVal in the irons to potentially keep things honest up front.

No. 8 Beachcombing can sit the perfect trip stalking the front pair, while closers No. 9 Major Magic and No. 3 So Elite can roll late.

Leg 4 – Race 4 (2,3,4,7,9) – No. 9 New Year’s Day is probably the best horse, but drawn wide into the short clubhouse turn is no bargain, especially for a juvenile, so we’ll spread with No. 2 Cautious Giant, No. 3 Carson’s Ten, No. 4 Candy Boy and No. 7 Bond Holder.

Leg 5 – Race 5 (1,4,7,9) – The Baffert pair of No. 7 Sky Kingdom and No. 9 Liaison is tough, but No. 1 Summer Hit has dangerous speed and if he can slingshot off the clubhouse turn to the lead can be tough on the front. There is some other questionable speed lined up outside of him.

No. 4 Clubhouse Ride has tailed off in his last two, but the class relief and move back to Garrett Gomez could wake him up.

Recap – (4,5,6,8) w (4) w (1,3,5,8,9) w (2,3,4,7,9) w (1,4,7,9) – Total cost of ticket = $200

Yesterday’s Result – (-$120)

Total for current Del Mar meet – (-$2,991.80)

Total from 7/20/11 – 7/14/13 – (+$21,364.70)

Late Pick 4 -

Leg 1 – Race 8 (2,6) – A hot pace is envisioned mean No. 2 Northern Iowa and No. 6 Unusual Heatwave can capitalize from off the pace making their second starts off long layoffs.

Leg 2 – Race 9 (1,3,6) – Three-deep in the Debutante with No. 1 Awesome Baby, No. 3 Concave and No. 6 She’s a Tiger.

Leg 3 – Race 10 (1,2,4) – Too far back early, No. 2 Rookie Sensation battled through the stretch to miss by just a neck to a stakes winner in his last. He should be a bit closer early today and can save ground behind what should be a swift pace before mowing down the field.

No. 1 This One’s for Mel has been the runner-up in three straight and could get over the hump with Gomez climbing aboard and No. 4 China Prince chased the same runner that Rookie Sensation did and can be much improved in his second off the layoff.

Leg 4 – Race 11 (2,3,4,5,7,9,10,12) – A massive spread to close the first of three straight 11-race cards using No. 2 Moon Ride, No. 3 Waster At Midnight, No. 4 Tappingintherain, No. 5 Scherzinger, No. 7 Lyla Della, No. 9 Sidebar, No. 10 The Magic Stone and No. 12 Perfectamente.

Recap – (2,6) w (1,3,6) w (1,2,4) w (2,3,4,5,7,9,10,12) Total cost of ticket = $72

Yesterday’s Result – (-$48)

Total for current Del Mar meet – (-$2,186.10)

Total from 12/26/10 – 7/14/13 – (-$6,997.95)

Best Bet of the Day – Can now be found in the Handicapping section at

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For more Del Mar action check out Jarrod Horak’s Pick 6 Blog.

Good luck!

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