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2017 Del Mar Summer Meet Preview

The much anticipated 2017 summer meet at Del Mar is just around the corner. Letís look back at the 2016 summer meet to see how the track played and which connections were winning races. †

Track Profile - 2016 summer meet

5.5f - Front runners dominated at this distance followed by pace pressers. It was rare for a midpack stalker or late runner to win at this trip.

6f - Late runners did not win at this distance last summer. The preferred styles were a front runner or midpack stalker with the latter clicking at a near 50% rate.† †
6.5f - Late runners struggled at this dirt sprint distance. Pressers dominated, followed by front runners and midpack stalkers.

7f - A small race sample with pressers winning more than expected.

8f - Front runners and pressers won 8 out of every 10 races run at this distance. †

8.5f - Similar to a flat mile with forwardly placed runners winning most of the time.

5T - All running styles had a shot with front runners winning at a decent clip.

8T - Flat mile turf races generally played fair with pressers holding the advantage.

8.5T - This distance on turf played fair with all running styles having a shot. Pressers won more than their fair share.

9T - Played similar to 8.5f turf races. Once again, pressers performed well.

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The 2016 summer meet saw a rare tie at the top of the standings between Rafael Bejarano and Flavien Prat. They were also 1-2 at the 2015 summer stand and both figure prominently again in 2017.

Santiago Gonzalez was third in the standings last summer with 31 trips to the winnerís circle. He typically rides well at Del Mar.

Kent Desormeaux is another solid Del Mar rider. He was third in the money standings in 2014 with $2.2 million (32 wins). In 2015, his win total dipped to 21 with $1.1 million but he bounced back in 2016 with 25 wins and $1.7 million in earnings.

Apprentice Evin Roman, fresh off a tie for first at Santa Anita and an outright riding title at Los Alamitos, figures to receive plenty of live mounts and should rack up numerous wins at Del Mar.† †


Phil DíAmato was the leading trainer last summer with 23 wins, followed by Peter Millerís 21 victories and 20 for Richard Baltas. Bob Baffert was next in line with 19 wins.

Jerry Hollendorfer edged Peter Miller 22-20 in 2015 with Richard Baltas and Doug OíNeill tying for third with 17 wins apiece.

In 2014, it was a dead-heat between Jerry Hollendorfer and Peter Miller with 20 wins for both. John Sadler was third (17 wins) and Doug OíNeill was fourth (16 wins).

All of the conditioners above will almost certainly chime in with multiple wins in 2017 and one will likely emerge as the leading trainer. †

One trainer I will keep my eye on is Ron Ellis. From 2014-16 (Del Mar summer meets), he went 16-for-87. He claimed multiple horses late during the recently concluded Santa Anita meet and might make some noise this summer. †


Watch out for early track bias trends and bet accordingly. If a jockey and/or trainer jumps out to a quick start, try to strike while the iron is hot. Do not be afraid to play fresh horses aimed specifically at the Del Mar summer meet. Also, the horse for course angle can be a strong play at the seaside oval. Most importantly, have fun and good luck at the races!

By Jarrod Horak

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