Del Mar Horse Racing Picks for Friday 7/10/20

With most of the sports world on pause, it's a great time to dive into horse racing, and FanDuel Racing gives you the chance to do just that.

Starting at 5:00 p.m. EST, we have 10 races at Del Mar Racetrack. Using our numberFire projections as a guide, here are some of the best bets.

As always, check the program for scratches and changes, and check the weather and track conditions.

(I will reference Equibase's Speed Figure in selected races, which tells you how fast a horse has been running in each of its races -- adjusted for track, distances, and conditions).

Maxim Rate, Race 7

FanDuel Racing Odds: 5/1

This is a 1-mile Allowance race for fillies and mares on the turf. The favorite Great Return (5/2) has implied odds to win of 29% at FanDuel Racing, but we’ll try to beat it. The 5-year-old mare is working well for trainer Richard Mandella, second off a layoff after finishing fourth of five runners against better a month ago at Santa Anita. Her trio of triple-digit speed figures last year are appealing to handicappers.

Maxim Rate (5/1) is the second choice of numberFire behind Strike at Dawn (6/1). Maxim Rate is also running second off a layoff. She finished strong from off the pace, just missing by a neck and galloping out well. With a trio of front runners and pressers setting a solid pace, she should have a strong gallop home again. Maxim Rate posted a trio of triple-digit speed figures last year in three graded stakes races.

Strike at Dawn will try to make hay later in the day for this 5:05 local Pacific time start. However, her EPO trainer Richard Baltas feeds her more than hay, and she’ll try to find that extra gear from off the pace. Her last win was at Del Mar a year ago, and she missed the money in two recent starts. Triple-digit speed figures suggests she will move up.

Pulpit Rider (7/2) has strong speed figures, as well, and finished fourth in a minor stakes race last month in her 2020 debut. She has not finished first or second since 2018 -- more than 10 races ago.

Victor Espinosa rides Ellie Arroway (6/1) breaking from the rail for suspended trainer John Sadler, whose assistant Leyva handles the duties until Sadler return next week from a positive drug suspension (of horses).

Dreams of Valor, Race 8

FanDuel Racing Odds: 5/1

Race 8 is an Allowance Optional Claimer at 7 furlongs. The prohibitive favorite was Sash (8/5), but he was scratched, opening the lane for Dreams of Valor (5/1) and Maldonado to ride him wire-to-wire. He has many triple-digit speed figures, including 108 ESF last month when pressing the pace and finishing second behind the favorite. Some solid morning works suggests more speed this time.

Daily Horse Picks likes the horse that will now be the favorite, St. Joe Bay (3/1), the only colt running in here to be claimed. A Grade 2 winner last year now offered at a $40k tag is a red flag, and he’ll try to take the lead or press the pace. This is not a good place or price to be backing St. Joe Bay.

Lightly-raced longshot Lightning Fast (15/1) has a strong morning work over the track last weekend and can outrun his odds after winning a Maiden Special Weight in January decisively. He was gelded and moves up the ranks with improvement certainly possible.

Hit the Road, Race 9

FanDuel Racing Odds: 7/2

The regular Opening Day feature at beautiful Del Mar is the $100K Oceanside Stakes at 1-mile on the turf. The race for 3-year-olds drew 12 runners. There's no clear favorite with the son of More Than Ready, Hit the Road (7/2), looking to repeat after winning from off the pace against older horses at Santa Anita in May. His late move in that race was impressive, but his balanced speed throughout is noteworthy, and numberFire has him hitting the board.

El Tigre Terrible (4/1) will take money and is appropriately named for EPO trainer Peter Miller. He was a late closing runner-up in his 2020 debut last month with a 105 speed figure and now runs two turns for the first time having hit the board in 5-of-6 starts with three wins.

Silardi (8/1) is also running for Miller off back-to-back wins including a short sprint last month. He’ll try to push the pace and extend stretching out.

Kanderel (12/1) and Ajourneytofreedom (15/1) finished 1-2 in a minor stakes mile turf race at Golden Gate last month.