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Del Mar Handicapping Horses To Watch Nov 27

BASHFUL (November 22): Three year old filly for Richard Mandella made her debut in Thursday’s 2nd, a maiden special weight sprint at 5 furlongs on the turf for 3 and up. Off at 7/1 in an 8 horse field, she broke with the field, but was pretty much void of any early speed and dropped to the rear of the pack down the back side. Mike Smith kept her on the rail throughout and she found a seam at the top of the lane, burst through it, and finished out very stylishly to win by a length and a half over a good field. They paid $330K for this daughter of Orb and she is bred to go long and can handle either surface. Mandella will probably save her for the winter meet at the Great Race Place and might try her down the hill. Off her debut, she can handle the first allowance condition and might be a star in the making.

AMUSE (November 22): The first filly above for Richard Mandella may have been somewhat of a surprise, but this 3 year old filly for the Hall of Famer was expected to win and went off at 4 to 5 in race 7 on Thursday. She had just broke her maiden by five and was trying the first allowance condition at ¾ on the main. She missed the start to be away slowly, in fact she was dead last, and was 12 back by the half mile pole. She started to kick it in at the ¼ pole, made a huge move to be in contention at the 1/8th pole, but the front runner was gone and she had to settle for second beaten three at the wire. With an average break, she was best today. Mandella may stretch her out for her next start but either way, she’s a cinch to knock out this condition. This one is bred in the purple and races without Lasix. Follow.

BLITZKRIEG (November 23): It’s the Richard Mandella trifecta this week as this three year old gelding was dropped in class in Friday’s 4th, and then a major rider switch to Prat, and this son of the good turf sire War Front won easily from a group of maidens. Off at 5/2 in a field of 9, for a claiming tag of $50,000 at a mile on the turf, Prat kept this one under a stranglehold early and was six lengths off the pace down the back side. When he turned him loose at the top of the lane, he inhaled the leaders and went on to win by three in the easiest way possible. He had been running off in his earlier races and had nothing left for the stretch, but Prat got him to relax early and he was a different race horse. He’s now eligible for those starter races, non winners twice, and as long as Prat rides him back, he should win again. Up the ladder.

GRAY MAGICIAN (November 24): Two year old colt for Peter Miller, who just came into his barn from Hector Palma, found his hole card on Saturday, as he went two turns for the first time and just annihilated a decent field of juveniles. Off as the heavy 1 to 2 choice in a field of six, he broke well under Prat, but was quickly taken back off the pace and relaxed in third down the back side five lengths off the pace. Prat asked the question at the ¼ pole, and he quickly ran up to the leaders, then opened up in the stretch drive and won by nine, geared down late. The barn switch and moving to two turns made a big difference, and this one looks like stakes material next year. Tab and follow.

POPULAR KID (November 24): When a stretch running horse starts showing more early speed in a race, it’s generally a positive sign that the animal is reaching peak form. Such is the case of this 4 year old gelding for Hollendorfer in the sixth race on Saturday. Off at 5/1 in a 9 horse field for the first allowance condition going a mile on the main track, he broke running under Desormeaux and was within 3 lengths of the lead around the clubhouse turn and the half mile pole. That is uncharted territory for this late runner and he made a move at the front runner at the top of the lane but couldn’t quite get there, losing by a neck at the wire. The winner had it all his own way throughout. The “Kid” is in peak form right now for the Dorf, and though this is his 7th trainer since March, he’s the one that can get this claimer to win this condition. He’s made over $100K the last two years each and has 36 starts in his career, yet is still just four years old. He is all race horse. Follow.

By Rod Young (Turfom)

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