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Nov 23 Horses To Watch Del Mar

MAD STEVEN (November 19): Two year old gelding for Steve Miyadi made start #2 on Friday in a maiden claiming race for $32,000 at ¾ on the main. Off at 12/1, though getting plenty of early action, he drew the dreaded rail and was forced to gun right from the start and dueled with two others through a quick opening quarter in 22.29. Taking all the worst of it from the fence, he put the other speed away by the ¼ pole but was no match for the odds on favorite, who swooped up on his outside and went right on by. He gamely held second and was beaten two and a half at the wire. This one is a “cheapie” no doubt, but he has some heart and he’s good enough to break his maiden up at Los Al in December. He is owned and bred by one of the top owners in the country in Gary Barber, and he will run him anywhere that he can win. Tab and follow.

KRIST1’S TIGER (November 19): Four year old filly for Ray Bell tried the first Cal bred allowance condition on Friday at six and a half on the main. Off at 5/1 in a field of 8, she was pretty much void of any early speed and sat six lengths off a dueling pace under Mike Smith. Breaking from the two hole, Smith quickly got this one to the outside and was five and six wide the entire trip, but those did seem to be the best lanes on Friday. He went after the leaders at the ¼ pole, swung six wide into the stretch, then won going away by five at the wire with a strong gallop out to boot. This one has already won this condition on the turf and right now she’s good enough to win against “open” company on either surface. She has now been first or second in 11 of 17 starts. Up the ladder.

FLINTMORE (November 20): Three year old gelding for Phil D’Amato made his debut in Saturday’s opener at 5/8 on the turf for maiden special weights three and up. Off at 8/1 in a field of 9, he may have just been in for the run, as he is bred to go longer and not necessarily for the sod. Nonetheless, he broke OK out of the 8 hole, but was pretty much void of any early speed and was a good 8 lengths back down the back side. Frey swung him to the outside at the ¼ pole and although caught very wide he started to make up some ground. He was forced even wider at the 1/8 pole but was finishing strong and ended up fourth beaten two at the wire. He galloped by the entire field just after the finish. This Kentucky bred is in good hands with D’Amato and he looks like a soon winner up in Arcadia either in a longer sprint on the turf or on the stretch out. Tab and follow.

RIO OCHO (November 20): Four year old gelding for Jeff Mullins made start #2 off a 16 month layoff on Saturday in a maiden special weight event at a mile and a sixteenth on the turf, three and up. Off at 6/1 and cut in half off a morning line of 12/1, he was covered up early by Van Dyke and sat 8 lengths off the pace down the back side. He got moving at the ¼ pole, circled around some horses on the outside, then put in a nice run down the lane to miss by just a half at the wire. This Irish bred has a nice turn of foot for the lawn and his next race will be his third off the bench, often a horse’s best performance. He’s good anywhere from a mile to a mile and an eighth. He’s a soon winner for a solid barn.

FORBIDDEN (November 21): Three year old filly for Richie Baltas made her stateside debut in Sunday’s finale, a maiden special weight at a mile and a sixteenth for fillies and mares 3 and up. Off at 14/1 in a full field, she was covered up early by Bravo and saved ground while racing near the fence down the back side 10 lengths off the lead. She started to close some at the ¼ pole, stayed inside for the stretch run, and ran on well down the lane to get third beaten two and a half at the wire. She was a private purchase by LNJ Foxwoods who have done extremely well with their Euro purchases. She’s in good hands with Baltas and should be able to graduate up in Arcadia in late December. Her two races in France were uneventful but she showed she can run today, at least by California standards. Follow.

By Rod Young (Turfdom)

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