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Sept 8 Del Mar Horses To Watch

SUMTER (September 2): Two year old colt for Richard Mandella made start #2 on Thursday and ran much better than his debut. Off at 9/2 in this 8 horse field at 5/8 on the turf for maiden special weights, he broke running from the six hole under Frey and was two back of the odds on leader down the back side. He made a run at the leader at the 3/8 pole, continued to be a threat at the top of the lane, but just couldn’t catch the heavy favorite. He was beaten two and a half at the wire but never stopped trying. He’s bred top and bottom for the turf and he looks like a route horse to me, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Mandella stretches him out next. He looks to be a soon winner for this Hall of Fame stable.

SO I’M TOLD (September 3): Was this two year gelding making his debut on Friday well meant or what? Bet down from a morning line of 15/1 to 6/1, he raced about as green as a horse can race in this maiden special weight event for juveniles at a mile on the turf, yet still won the race. He veered in at the start from the one hole, checked briefly into the clubhouse turn, then settled in 4th down the back side three lengths back of the leaders. He checked badly at the 3/8 pole when Gutierrez ran him into a horse’s heels, lost his momentum, and fell back five off the leader at the top of the stretch. The jock hit him right handed at the 1/8 pole and he veered in, then hit him left handed and he lugged out over three paths and almost caused interference, and yet he straightened out and caught the leader at the wire to win by ¾ of a length. The trainer is Eddie Freeman, who most people haven’t even heard of, yet his win percentage is 40% year to date and he’s won 3 of 5 at this meet. By the way, this was a Turfdom top choice selection and he paid $15.40 and topped out a pick five that paid $3674, which we had. Up the ladder.

VETOED (September 4): Four year old gelding for Bob Baffert made just the 2nd start of his career in Saturday’s opener, a ¾ dash on the main track, maiden special weights, 3 and up. Off as the 2/1 wagering choice in a field of 9, he hopped at the start and spotted the field 8 lengths right out of the gate and was all alone in last by the half mile pole. Prat kept him on the rail and he started chewing up some ground at the head of the lane. He came through down on the rail for the final furlong and was finishing fastest of all in this field, but couldn’t quite get there. He settled for second beaten just a length at the wire to a 45/1 shot. He was much the best in this race. This son of Breeders’ Classic winner Bayern gets the money next time out wherever Baffert decides to run him.

CORNICHE (September 4): When you pay $1.5 million for a colt you expect him to be a runner, and such in the case with this Baffert first timer as he won his debut as simple as breaking sticks. Off as the one to two choice in a field of 10 going five and a half in this maiden special weight, Smith just pointed him in the right direction and he made the lead with quick fractions of 21.72 and 45.13, all under a hand ride and the jock never moving a muscle. An outsider came to him at the 3/16 and Smith just shook the reins at him and he quickly opened up to win by four. He’s stakes material right now and this son of Quality Road could be any kind. Tab and follow.

CAIRO MEMORIES (September 5): When you win a route race on the turf in your debut by five lengths, that’s impressive, and such was the case on Sunday when this two year old filly for Bob Hess made her debut. Off at 16/1 in a field of 10 going a mile on the lawn, she broke well enough and settled in fifth down the back side about six lengths off the leaders. Desormeaux asked her for run at the ¼ pole, and she swooped around the leaders to get the lead at the top of the lane, and extended her advantage from there. This daughter of Cairo Prince out of an Indian Charlie mare looks like a good one and she will have plenty of time to develop for Hess, who just happens to be the owner as well. Up the ladder.

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