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Horses To Watch Del Mar Closing week

HE’S STYLISH ( November 23): Two year old colt for Phil D’Amato, who has excellent early speed, stumbled at the start in Thursday’s fifth, spotted the field a quick six lengths and had to play catch up in this maiden special weight event at a mile. Off as 8/5 wagering choice in a field of 9, he was as far back as 15 lengths on the back side, tried to rally at the ¼ pole, but the early speed was not stopping. He still put in a good run to get third but was no factor in the race beaten 7 lengths. He proved he could get the mile distance and being this was just his 2nd start, he will be awfully tough next time out, short or long. This one has some talent.     Tab and follow.

CALEXMAN (November 24): Two year old colt for Vladimir Cerin made the third start of his young career in Friday’s opener, and it was his first on the lawn and first around two turns in this maiden special weight event at a mile on the turf. Off at 8/1 in a full field and breaking from the two hole, Maldonado sent him right to the front with a quick 1st quarter in 22.67, got a breather in the second quarter, then found another gear at the top of the lane and held off the stretch runners to win by a neck. It was a superb effort on a course that has favored late runners the entire meet. It was just the third wire to wire effort in 27 races at a mile on the lawn. This son of Midshipman cost $240K at the Ocala two year old sale so he is cut out to be a nice colt. He will now go to Santa Anita where early speed holds much better on the turf. Up the ladder.

RANCOR (November 25): Two year old filly for the “Dorf” made her third career start, first around two turns and first on the turf, in Saturday’s 2nd, a mile on the lawn for maiden special weights. Off at 17/1 in a full field, she made the running right from the start, set all the pace through fractions of 23.25 and 47.55, got hooked at the half mile, found another gear at the ¼ pole to open up 3 lengths, then got nailed very late by a horse she couldn’t see way out in the middle of the course. Although she really isn’t bred for turf, she took to the surface nicely, and speed will hold on better up in Arcadia. She’s a soon winner for a top barn and the turf is what she wants.

(November 25): Two year old colt for Richard Baltas made his 2nd start of his career in Saturday’s 8th, a maiden special weight sprint at six and a half on the main track. Off at 4/1 after breaking slowly from the rail in his debut, he broke with the field today, laid 3rd down the back side about 3 lengths off the pace. He went after the leaders at the ¼ pole, surged past them at the top of the lane, then cruised home to win by 3 over the favorite. It was another six back to the third horse in a pretty strong field of maidens. This one is bred to go long and will do his best work around two turns. Up the ladder for this well built Kentucky bred colt.

(November 26): Four year old colt for Phil D’Amato made his 1st start since the 4th of July in the Grade 2 Seabiscuit at a mile and a sixteenth on the infield turf course for older runners. Off as the wagering choice in a field of six, shortened by 3 scratches, “Reese” made the running right from the start and set moderate fractions of 24.09 and 47.50 for the half. He had a one length lead throughout but couldn’t hold off the stretch runners late on a course favoring off the pace runners all meet. He ended up third but was only beaten a length as he dug in gamely throughout the length of the stretch. In a race he probably needed, he will be much tighter next time out, and returns to his favorite course, Santa Anita, where early speed holds on much better. He has won down the hill, handles a distance up to a mile and a sixteenth, and is a Cal bred to boot. D’Amato has all types of options for this Tribal Rule colt who has never been off the board on the lawn. Follow.

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