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Horses To Watch Del Mar Opening Week

INCENSED (November 1): If Paco Lopez is going to become the regular rider for the Peter Miller barn, he better learn how to ride the turf course better than he did in Wednesday’s opener. Off as the 3/1 second choice in the wagering, he sat third behind the early speed and was in excellent position to win the race turning for home. But Lopez got him boxed in behind horses, couldn’t find a seam to get through, checked, and then finally swung to the outside while losing at least 4 lengths. He finished strongly but the race was over. He missed by a neck and was much the best. Miller may get another race in him for this first allowance condition before the end of the meet. He’s a soon winner.

SIGUR ROS (November 1): Three year old gelding for Carla Gaines made his debut in Wednesday’s sixth, a maiden special weight sprint on the main track for 3 and up. Off at 6/1 and drawing the rail slot in an 8 horse field, he came out running under Tyler Baze and set quick fractions of 21.72 and 44.78 for the half. He maintained a one length margin into the stretch, found another gear, but got nailed late by the favorite to lose by two. It was an excellent debut for the win early sire Gemologist and he should be able to get the job done in start #2; hopefully he won’t draw the fence again. He’s a soon winner for a barn who rarely wins first time out.

ONE FAST BROAD (November 3): Two year old filly for Mick Ruis is actually “One Slow Broad” when it comes to getting away from the gate, but she’s a runner just the same. She tried the Cal bred Juvenile Fillies stake on Friday at 7 furlongs on the main track and once again she got away slowly and quickly spotted the field 8 lengths. Off at 4/1 in a field of 9, she was as much as 13 lengths back by the half mile pole, but they were running quickly up front with fractions of 21.85 and 44.30, and when Nakatani swung her to the outside at the top of the lane, the speed came back to her and she got up by ¾ of a length. Her best surface is the turf and she was only in this race because the pot was $200K. She has never tried the hill at Santa Anita but she would be ideal for that type of layout. She’s a Cal bred, that can go short or long, turf or dirt, and that leaves all sorts of options for a trainer who is on the upward trend on this circuit. Tab and follow.

SMOKEM (November 4): Two year old colt for Gary Sherlock tried the Golden State Juvenile stakes on Saturday and just missed in a gutty performance where he was clearly the best. Breaking from the rail in this 7 furlong Cal bred stakes, he was last early but only about 5 lengths off the pace. He moved up at the 3/8th pole, then had to check badly when a horse in front of him started stopping. He fell back to last again, then re-rallied at the top of the lane, closed gamely on the outside and just missed by a head at the wire. It was a strong effort for a colt that has never been worse than 2nd in five trips to the post. He still only has a maiden victory so Sherlock has all types of options for this Cal bred. He’s a soon winner.

Z Z TIGER (November 5): Two year old filly, owned and trained by Jeff Bonde, made her debut in Sunday’s opener and got caught in a three way speed duel that cost her in the end. Off as the wagering choice at 6/5, she broke running from the outside under Rosario in this six furlong maiden special weight event, and three of them hooked up early in a quick first split of 22.01. She put the other speed away at the 3/8th pole, opened up 3 on the field, but she was all done at the 1/8th pole, faded to third and was beaten 4 lengths at the wire. She’ll be much tighter for start #2 and will be running over a more speed favoring track as well at either Los Al or Santa Anita. This Cal bred is a soon winner for a barn that does very well with juveniles. Tab and follow.    

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