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San Clemente Handicap 2014; Twelve Salty Senoritas Ready To Rumble

San Clemente Handicap 2014; Twelve Salty Senoritas Ready To Rumble: Ready, set, go! The 2014 Del Mar Racing season jump-starts this Thursday, July 17 with the Oceanside Stakes and this means the famous seaside track will be filled with the following: lots of fun, food, fancy hats, great wagering and plenty of horses.
Saturday, July 19th, will bring us to the 45th running of the (GII) San Clemente Handicap where the “surf meets the turf”. I have to say I’m really jazzed this track is open for the season as it’s one of my favorites. The race is for 3 year-old fillies running a mile on the sod for a grand prize of $200,000.

San Clemente Handicap

The San Clemente Handicap is just one of many exciting events happening at Del Mar on opening weekend 2014.
Photo: LA Times

Opening Day is expected to draw 45,000 ready-to-wager revelers decked out in their finest. The annual “Hats Contest” will celebrate its 20th anniversary, so I’m sure there will be some stiff competition from a few Milliners as well as some fun creative hats from the racing fans.

Del Mar is unveiling it’s new turf course that consists of entirely GN-1 Bermuda grass which has the ability to adapt better to the marine environment with all of the saline reclaimed water. The six rail settings have been set at six-foot increments for the new course, ranging from zero to a temporary rail 30 feet out. It will be exciting to see how the new course plays out this weekend.

Besides the horse races, Del Mar will also boast an array of food, family-friendly activities, racing seminars and the annual Summer Concert Series. There will be beer festivals, including the San Diego Craft Beer Fest on July 26th with more than 40 locally-brewed beers to sample. Entry will be free that day with track admission and for an additional $18, fans will receive five 7-ounce beer tastings. I should have planned my summer vacation around this, sounds fun and would be nice to get out of the oven in Phoenix. Next year!

The San Clemente is the 9th race of the day on a card of 11 with a start time of 6:00 pm, PST.

Kari’s Picks and Plays:

Holy Smokes do we have a full and tough field here. My Conquestadory is my top pick to win the San Clemente. The daughter of Artie Shiller, trained by Mark Casse, is coming of a 2nd place finish as the favorite on May 18, 2014 at Woodbine in the (GIII) Selene going 1 1/16 miles on the turf at Woodbine. That race was her first off a six month layoff after finishing 4th in the Breeder’s Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf on November 1, 2013. Prior she has two stakes wins at Woodbine. First time out in September she beat a bevy of boys in the (GII) Sumner Stakes and followed that up with a win in the (GI) Alcibiads Stakes in October. She has some nice works and is ready with Espinoza in the irons exiting door #12.

The Tom Proctor trained daughter of Curlin, Diversy Harbor is another classy filly i this race. She impressed me in her first run going a mile down the hill at Santa Anita where she lagged at the back of a large field, rallied on the far turn, spun wide in the stretch run and rocketed down the center of the track to roll home by 3 lengths for the win. She’s had five races in 2014 since her maiden in January with a race record of 5:2:2:1 and has never been off the board. Last out on May 31st in the 1 1/4 mile (GI) American Oaks on this track, she broke slowly and blasted up at the end to snag second behind Room Service. She also has a 3rd in the (GII) Honeymoon Stakes May 4th going 1 1/8 miles and a 2nd in the (GIII) Providencia Stakes going a 1 1/8 miles. Diversy Harbor exits post #4 with Mike Smith up to ride. I think with the cut back in distance to a mile she’s going to be tough.

I think the tough one, if she can wire the field, is Istanford. The Mike Stidham trained daughter of Istan has some nice speed and she should have the clear lead and possibly hit first if the turf plays like it did yesterday. Last out going 1 1/8 miles on the turf in the Churchill Regret Stakes (GIII) she ran 7th after setting the pace and tiring. Prior she beat the boys on May 24th in the Arlington Classic (GIII ) going 1 1/16 miles where she again dictated the pace and held for her first graded stakes win. She won her maiden going a mile on the turf at Arlington Park and with the cutback in distance exiting from my favorite post #8 with Bejarno in the saddle, game on girl!

My Conquestadory looks ready to roll here with a race under her belt and some nice works. Let’s hope she gets back to her winning ways second off the layoff. Diversy Harbor has the pedigree for further; however, she has won at this distance so look for her to be knocking if she can get a move-on from the back. Istanford would wire, beware. I’m going to play a $1 pick 3 starting Race #8 5,9/4,8,12/5,9 and also play a combo of Sigi and I’s picks with a $1 pick 3 starting Race #8 2/7,8,12/3,9 $6 as a back-up bet. Good luck to everyone and thanks for the picks Sigi!

Sigi’s Picks and Plays:

Race #9: 12,4,7
My Conquestadory returned on May 18th at Woodbine losing by a nose. Since that effort she’s working very well and looks fit for this race. Diversy Harbor returns to her favorite distance. She was second in the American Oaks (GI) behind Room Service. Sandiva is a graded stakes winner in France and England and should run well here. My play will be a $1 pick 3 starting in Race #8 2/4,7,12/3,9,5 – $9.00.

Related Links:
Del Mar Full Card
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2014 San Clemente Handicap Post Positions & Odds
1. Tiz the Key 8-1 T.Baze/R.Mandella
2. Tepin 20-1 S.Elliott/M.Casse
3. Miss Machiavelli 20-1 K.Desormeaux/J.Desormeaux
4. Diversy Harbor 7-2 M.Smith/T.Proctor
5. Concave (ON) 20-1 M.Gutierrez/D.O’Neill
6.. Sushi Empire 20-1 C.Nakatani/E.Harty
7. Sandiva (IRE) 5-1 M.Garcia/M.McCarthy
8. Istanford 8-1 R.Bejarano/M.Sitdham
9. Morning Fix 6-1 E.Trujillo/J.Hollendorfer
10. Sheza Smoke Show 6-1 J.Talamo/P.Eurton
11. Tiz Kissable 15-1 D.Carr/T.McCanna
12. My Conquestadory 9-2 V.Espinoza/M.Casse