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Del Mar Horses To Watch from weekending Aug. 30

K P D DAY (August 28): Three year old gelding for Jeff Mullins made start #2 in Friday’s fifth, a turf route at a mile and a sixteenth for maidens with a claiming tag of $50,000. Off at 7/2 in a field of 9, he was reserved early by Rispoli into the clubhouse turn about five lengths off the pace. The jock kept him inside to save ground down the back side, and also stayed there into the stretch, hoping to find a seam and burst through it in the drive to the wire. He was unfortunately blocked from the ¼ pole to the 1/16 pole before he finally got free, made a late surge at the winner, but came up a head short at the wire. Rispoli has been able to maneuver his way between horses in these situations most of the time, but they had him boxed in well today, and it cost him the race. That happens when you stay on the fence and the seam never develops. Still, this son of Normandy Invasion improved a lot over his debut, and he should be able to score when they move up to Anita in mid September. Follow.

PIZZAZZ (August 28): Two year old filly for Richard Mandella made her debut on Friday at 5/8 on the turf in a maiden special weight and may just have been in for the run. Off at 7/2 in a field of 9 under Mike Smith, she broke a step slow from the gate and was a good 8 lengths back down the back side. Smith kept her on the fence and she was loaded at the top of the lane, but had nowhere to go for a furlong until she angled out, and then finished well to get second, beaten two at the wire. She is a runner no doubt about it, but I think they were just giving her a race in this one. She will be much tighter in start #2 and they may even stretch her out as she is bred to run all day. I wouldn’t mind seeing a rider switch either, as Smith is only 3/44 at this meet and he may be getting a bit long in the tooth these days.

CAJUN TREASURE (August 29): Five year old gelding for Peter Eurton has spent his entire career racing on the grass, but that all changed Saturday when he put him in a starter allowance race for non winners three times at a mile on the main. Off at 3/1 in a 7 horse field, he broke on top under Prat, but then was covered up nicely and reserved in third 3 lengths off the pace. He moved toward the leaders at the ¼ pole and took control of the race at the 1/8 pole, then opened up to win by three going away. His two works coming into the race on the main track were outstanding and I think they finally found his hole card. The next step is the first condition allowance, and although he has failed at this level in the past, I’m sure they will keep him on the dirt, and if Prat rides him back, go to the windows.

SURFING STAR (August 29): Five year old full horse for Bruce Headley, who had not been to the post since April of 2019, surfaced in the second allowance condition at five and a half on the main Saturday. Off at 8/1 in a 7 horse field, he broke well from the outside and settled in the back of the pack about six lengths off the leaders. Rispoli put him to a drive at the top of the lane and he finished well out in the middle of the track to nail down third, beaten four at the wire. This was strictly a prep, as this Cal bred is best at a mile and this race sets him up nicely for that, if Headley can keep him in one piece. This was just his 8th career start, but he has only missed the board once. He might even surface in a Cal bred stakes. Tab and follow.

NERO (August 30) Five year old full horse for John Sadler was in for the first allowance condition on Sunday in a full field at 5/8 on the turf. Off at 9/2, he had about as rough a trip as you can get on this course, but that’s what happens on these short sprints with a stretch runner. Rispoli had him mid pack early, but he got shuffled back at the half mile pole, was forced to check, and was soon last, 9 lengths off the pace. He was loaded turning for home, but got boxed in at the top of the lane, checked again trying to find a seam, finally angled out and was 8 wide, then finished well to get fifth beaten four at the wire. He will get more yardage in his turf sprints up at Arcadia and is good enough to win this condition, although he was in for the $40,000 claiming tag today. Sadler will find a spot, be ready.

By Rod Young (Turfdom)

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