Lady and The Track | February 9, 2023

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Pacific Classic Undercard Features Offer Tremendous Value

Del Mar’s Spotlight Race Saturday Supported By Three Top Graded Stakes

By Derek Simon

Saturday’s Del Mar feature races are the Del Mar Handicap, a 1 3/8-mile turf affair for older horses, and the Del Mar Oaks, a 1 1/8-mile turf event for sophomore fillies. Both offer full fields and both appear to contain vulnerable favorite.

Here’s a closer look:

6th Del Mar
Del Mar Handicap (GII)
1 3/8 miles (turf)

Despite winning seven of 12 starts versus Grade 2 company, ITSINTHEPOST (7-2 morning line odds) has yet to visit the winner’s circle at Del Mar. In 10 starts where the turf meets the surf, the 6-year-old gelding has just three second-place finishes and one third-place finish to his credit. Worse, he is coming off a disastrous start in the Eddie Read (G2). I think he’s vulnerable.

Among the horses I’m interested in are KENJISSTORM (9-2), MULTIPLIER (6-1) and RITZY A. P. (20-1). The former boasts competitive speed and pace figures and has good early foot in a field lacking much early zip.

After competing exclusively on the main track for the first nine starts of his career, including tries — albeit highly unsuccessful ones — in both the Preakness (G1) and Belmont Stakes (G1), Multiplier switched to turf on May 13 and instantly won an optional claimer before being beaten just two lengths in the Manhattan (G1) and 2 ½ lengths in the Eddie Read.

Del-Mar-Oaks-OddsRitzy A. P. is particular intriguing to me, as he wheels back quickly after a great performance in the Joseph T. Grace Handicap at Santa Rosa. Yeah, the Joseph T. Grace is not exactly the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1), but the Daniel Blacker trainee is in peak form right now — and he’s 20-1 on the morning line.

8th Del Mar
Del Mar Oaks (GI)
1 1/8 miles (turf)

In her first US start, COLONIA (7-2) won the ungraded Hatoof Stakes, while recording decent — but not great — speed and pace figures. I’d look to beat her with… (more)