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Del Mar Horses to Watch Nov. 19

VENETIAN HARBOR (November 15): Two year old filly for Richard Baltas made her debut in Friday’s third, a maiden special weight affair at 5/8 on the lawn. Taking a lot of late money, (she was in the gate at 9/5 and was even money on the far turn), she came out running under Prat, but then took back at the 3/8, when he didn’t want to engage in a speed duel. She fell 3 lengths off the pace, then re-rallied in the lane but fell one length short at the wire. She ran the final quarter in a very fast 22.25 and was past the winner just a few strides after the wire. Baltas always does well with 2nd time starters but is only 7% with debut runners. This one is bred for turf or dirt and they won’t beat her in start #2. Be ready.

TIGRE DI SLUGO (November 15):  Four year old colt for Mike Puype made his long awaited debut in Friday’s finale at five and a half on the main for Cal bred special weight maidens. Off at 9/2 and an overlay from the M/L of 5/2, he broke slowly from the 3 hole under Prat and was mid pack down the back side. Prat tried to maneuver him to the outside as he hated the dirt kick back, but was blocked up until the ¼ pole. Once he swung to the outside, he burst into the lead, corralled the early pace setters and finished full of run. He only prevailed by one length at the wire but his gallop out was strong past the wire. This son of the good stallion Smiling Tiger obviously has some issues, as he is almost five years old and just had his first race, but he has talent, and he should be able to handle the first allowance condition for state breds. He’s in good hands. Up the ladder.

KING ABNER (November 16): Five year old gelding for Phil D’Amato tried the second allowance condition on Saturday at a flat mile on the main track. Off as the 3 to 5 wagering choice in a field of just four shortened by scratches, he broke well over the soon departing Martin Garcia, and then sat third into the clubhouse turn. He was still third at the half mile pole, went to the lead on his own at the ¼ pole, then simply ran away from the field, all under a hand ride. It fact Garcia was totally motionless in the irons, and this one could have easily won by 7 or 8 if needed. Granted, he didn’t beat all that much, but this one is very sharp right now. Plus he’s a Cal bred, can go short or long, and handles turf or dirt. D’Amato has a zillion options with “Abner” and he will win right back no matter where he ends up. Be ready.

MUNDAYE CALL (November 16): Two year old filly for newcomer Don Chatlos made his California debut on Saturday and couldn’t have been more impressive. Off as the 6 to 5 favorite in a field of 9, he went straight to the lead from the rail slot under Mike Smith in this maiden special weight sprint, and was never headed throughout. He set fractions of 22.65 and 45.74 over a very dull racing surface.     He led by two heading into the stretch with Smith never moving a muscle, and widened down the lane to win by four. It could have been by 10 if he so desired. This daughter of Into Mischief can go short or long and is a future stakes winner. They can easily win the first condition allowance should one of those races fill. Up the ladder for an exciting looking juvenile.

SHE’S SO SPECIAL (November 17): Two year old filly for Peter Miller made the second start of her young career, but first since July, in Sunday’s 2nd, a maiden special weight event at 5/8 on the turf. With a lot of late money, she went off as the 6 to 5 choice, broke slowly, and was last down the back side, 8 lengths off the leader. Prat kept her on the rail and she found a seam turning for home, stayed on the fence, and finished with good courage to be beaten a length and a half at the wire. The winner went wire to wire and is a very good juvenile for Callaghan. “Special” had a strong gallop out past the wire and is a very soon winner. She’s bred to go long and probably will not race until Santa Anita starts their winter meet just after Xmas. She will get her diploma next time to the post.

By Rod Young (Turfdom)

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