Racing at Del Mar with Marc Doche: Derby double as banner meet winds down - Pick 4 Blog
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Racing at Del Mar with Marc Doche: Derby double as banner meet winds down

Outside Nashville can get the Pick-6 off to a long shot start after this gallop at Santa Rosa.

Outside Nashville can get the Pick-6 off to a long shot start after this gallop at Santa Rosa.

The overwhelming success of one of the best race meets ever is illustrated with 24 entries and 20 runners going to post across two divisions of the $250,000 Del Mar Derby (Grade 2) for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8-miles on turf.

As a warm-up, last year’s juvenile filly champion Beholder makes her first start since just getting run down in the Kentucky Oaks (G1), facing four other 3-year-old fillies as a massive favorite in the $100,000 Torrey Pines Stakes at a mile on the main track.

The first division of the Derby goes as race six and begins a supremely difficult Pick-6 sequence.

The runners intent on the early lead break from the outside two posts, so we’ll figure that 12-to-1 shot Redwood Kitten and 5-to-1 Chief Havoc will ensure an honest pace while compromising each other’s chances.

Both turf tries for 7-to-2 second choice Gabriel Charles have been exemplary, exploding late to both win the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint Preview coming down the hill at Santa Anita last November and then on opening day in a runner-up Oceanside Stakes effort when too far back early making his 3-year-old debut. Big money Mike Smith sticks with the Street Hero colt, who has fired five straight solid turf works since his last.

An interesting running line to draw back to is Gabriel Charles’ debut, which came last summer over this main track when he prevailed in a blanket finish over two others, including today’s 15-to-1 long shot Outside Nashville. A consistent sprinter in stakes and against older runners since then, the Broken Vow colt tried the turf route game for the first time in his last and it resulted in a dominating 4 ½-length win in a minor stakes at Santa Rosa.

A pair that have done little wrong in their careers will deservedly take money, with 3-to-1 morning line favorite Gervinho trying to win for the fourth time in six career tries and Oceanside winner Rising Legend listed at 9-to-2 having never finished out of the money in eight starts.

Rapidly improving and drawn right to try and steal away on the front end, 12-to-1 long shot Ethnic Dance tries for his third straight clear win on turf in the second division of the Derby. Speed rider Edwin Maldonado takes over for the first time aboard the Cal-bred son of Tribal Rule getting a serious class test jumping into graded stakes company after only facing state-breds.

Three shippers loom major chances and one of them is 7-to-2 morning line favorite Infinite Magic, who has drawn increased attention this week because one of the partners in the Team Valor ownership group is retired NFL running back and current TV analyst Marshall Faulk. After beginning his career with a pair of wins from five tries in Great Britain, the More than Ready colt has notched two more wins since coming to the United States, capped by an impressive score in the American Derby (G3) at ArlingtonPark on July 13.

Another Arlington invader is 8-to-1 shot General Election, winner of the Arlington Classic (G3) in May before getting vanned off after a dull American Derby effort. Turf dynamo Julien Leparoux takes his maiden voyage aboard the Harlan’s Holiday colt and will be coming from the clouds late.

Play It Loud is 6-to-1 also looking to rebound from a dull effort in a restricted stakes at Saratoga that followed a runner-up effort when missing by a neck in the Hill Prince Stakes (G3) at Belmont Park. Getting Gary Stevens in the irons is a big advantage for the son of Unbridled’s Song, who has sparkled in three turf works locally since moving to the barn of Jeff Mulllins.

Keeping the with NFL theme is 6-to-1 shot Dorsett, a fourth shipper entering off a three-length win in the Mystic Lake Derby at Canterbury Park. Riding champ Rafael Bejarano gets the call, but the Artie Schiller colt has regressed in both previous tries following a win.

We’re off to the races!

Pick 5 –

Leg 1 – Race 1 (1,2,4,6) – A short, but tough field of six where we leave off the two longest prices and go with No. 1 American Act, No. 2 Lucky Primo, No. 4 Huntsville and No. 6 Soi Phet.

Leg 2 – Race 2 (1,5,6,7,9,11,13) – No. 13 Chicago Hero could find himself on a comfortable early lead and is the top pick at a big price in a wide-open race where we spread with No. 1 Scatman Blues, No. 5 Perfect Magic Man, No. 7 Ice Cream Truck, No. 9 Dark Timbers and No. 11 Moonlit Meteor.

Leg 3 – Race 3 (5) – The last time No. 5 Beholder raced off a layoff this year it didn’t look like she could lose, but a minor ailment discovered after the races resulted in her just getting beat at 1-to-5. We, as well as most everyone else, will count on Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella having her ready and his decision to replace Garrett Gomez with Stevens not bringing any bad karma.

Earlier this week, Gomez (@gogowins1) tweeted, “Mandella don’t want me . Not begging! To old for that shit!”

Leg 4 – Race 4 (ALL) – A marathon on turf where a case can be made for all ten runners.

Leg 5 – Race 5 (8) – Already one of our favorite horses after anchoring a massive score as a single in the final leg of a Pick-5 in her debut last summer, we’ll hope lightning can strike twice with No. 8 Maker Or Breaker.

Recap – (1,2,4,6) w (1,5,6,7,9,11,13) w (5) w (ALL) w (8) – Total cost of ticket = $140

Yesterday’s Result – (-$200)

Total for current Del Mar meet – (-$3,191.80)

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

Late Pick 4 -

Leg 1 – Race 8 (1,4,5,8) – Lots of speed signed on, which would mean we normally look for a closer, but No. 2 Minds Eyes will probably be too far back, and the speedsters having solid tracking ability, so we’ll use No. 1 Hidinginplainsight, No. 4 Hail Mary, No. 5 Heir Kitty and No. 8 Kinz Funky Money.

Leg 2 – Race 9 (1,2,5) – Go with the trio of higher prices from the four preferred above with No. 1 Ethnic Dance, No. 2 Play It Loud and No. 5 General Election.

Leg 3 – Race 10 (4,5,7,8,9) – Spread with Cal-bred maidens using No. 4 Ajac, No. 5 Oh Daddy Oh, No. 7 California Jade, No. 8 Missing Groom and No. 9 Charisma Code.

Leg 4 – Race 11 (5,8,11,12) – Add an always special full field of non-winners of two to a difficult sequence where we settle on No. 5 Flashy Dame, No. 8 Gelila, No. 11 With a Miracle and No. 12 Smart N Dreamy.

Recap – (1,4,5,8) w (1,2,5) w (4,5,7,8,9) w (5,8,11,12) Total cost of ticket = $120

Yesterday’s Result – (-$72)

Total for current Del Mar meet – (-$2,258.10)

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

Make sure to follow me on Twitter @mdoche for last minute changes caused by scratches and much more!

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

Good luck!

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