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Del Mar Horses To Watch Week 3

CHOCOLATE COATED (August 3): Three year old filly for Neil French didn’t beat much in Thursday’s 2nd, just 3 other runners due to late scratches, but she did it very convincingly. She broke running in this one mile maiden special weight event for 3 and up on the main, then settled off the pace under Stevens. She went to the lead on her own at the ¼ pole, opened up without urging, then coasted home to win by four under a hand ride. This was her first start on the main track and first around two turns after two sprints on the grass, and she handled it beautifully. She has separate gears when asked and this daughter of the good sire Candy Ride has a ton of talent. She won’t have much trouble with the first condition, dirt or grass. Follow.                                             
SECRET THORN (August 3): Four year old filly for Dan Blacker, who had been off for 11 months and was trying just her third career start, was sent to the post at 10/1 in Thursday’s 6th, a five furlong sprint on the turf for the first Cal bred allowance condition. Under Tiago Pereira, she broke running from the five hole in a full field and contested the lead all the way around. She looked like she might win the race at the 1/8th pole, but when the rider hit her right handed, she swerved to the left, then had to check to avoid hitting the leader. She lost her momentum, finished 4th, but was beaten just two lengths. She was tiring at this point in a race that she desperately needed. Still, all in all, a good performance. She’ll be much tighter next time around, and I’m sure she can get in one of these 5/8 turf races before the end of the meet. If she does, give her a long look, and I think she will still have good wagering value.                                                         
BAD JU JU  (August 4): Five year old mare for Peter Miller, who had not been to the post since January, came back to the races in the Daisycutter stakes at 5 furlongs on the turf Friday for older fillies/mares. Off at 7/1 in just a five horse field, she broke well and stalked the pace early, made a nice move to the leaders at the top of the lane, then hung in the final sixteenth, obviously in need of the race. She was only beaten a length and a half in a very good effort. She is not really a turf horse as her best races have come on the main track. She’s a solid late running sprinter and fits very nicely with these types of ungraded stakes fillies and mares. This race will do her a lot of good and this one loves to win. Miller is ice cold right now, but he’ll turn it around and this mare will help him do it. Tab and follow.                                                         
SPECTATOR (August 5): Two year old filly for Phil D’Amato tried the Grade 2 Sorrento stakes on Saturday and just obliterated a good field to win off by five at 4/1. She put away the favorite at the ¼ pole after vying for the lead throughout, found another gear at the top of the lane, and cruised home the easiest of winners. If D’Amato runs her back in the Grade 1 Debutante on Sept. 2nd at 7/8, she’s an automatic “single”, as she has won both starts now by five plus lengths. She’s a true superstar in the making.
BANK WALKER (August 5): Two year old colt for Keith Desormeaux made the 2nd start of his young career in a maiden special weight event at six and a half on the main track Saturday. Off at 10/1 in a full field, he broke well enough and sat in fifth down the back side about 4 lengths off the pace. He put in a nice run at the top of the lane to reach contention, but never could get past the 4/5 favorite. He finished 2nd beaten two lengths, but it was 8 lengths back to the third horse and this was a pretty talented field of maidens. The winner is something special, but Walker has a lot of upside as well and won’t be a maiden much longer. He’s bred to win early and should get the diploma next time out. Be ready.

By Rod Young (Turfdom)

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