Del Mar Horse Racing Picks for Saturday 8/7/21
As always, check for scratches and changes and monitor 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.)
Montebello and Flying Drummer, Race 4
FanDuel Racing Odds: 9/5 and 4/1
Race 4 is a Maiden Special Weight for two-year-olds sprinting 6 furlongs. Disgraced EPO trainer Bob Baffert has two of the favorites and first-time starters in Montebello (9/5) on the rail and Flying Drummer (4/1). The numberFire model projects those two to finish first and second, respectively.
Leading jockey and strong gate rider Abel Cedillo takes the call for Montebello, a son of Curlin. Flying Drummer is a son of Gun Runner and breaks from the outside No. 7 post.
Forbidden Kingdom (3/1) also makes his debut for respected trainer Richard Mandella, and he’s a son of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah.
Thirsty Always and Pappacap, Race 9
FanDuel Racing Odds: 7/2 and 8/5
Race 9 is the $200K Grade 2 Best Pal Stakes for two-year-olds sprinting 6 furlongs. The defection of pre-race favorite Big City Lights has turned this race into a toss-up, according to Guaranteed Tip Sheet.
Breaking from the rail is Bet On Mookie (5/2) for EPO top trainer Peter Miller, who also enters Aquitania Arrival (4/1). Favorite Pappacap (8/5) is the projected in-the-money finisher behind winner Thirsty Always (7/2) and Bet on Mookie.
Pappacap (8/5) should get to the front in a race with not as much speed. He won his debut in Florida in May and can take this if he flashes that same speed. A bullet work at Del Mar two weeks ago has him sharp for trainer Mark Casse with jockey Joe Bravo getting the ride.
Bet On Mookie is the only other potential speed up front, and he dominated maidens last out on the turf. He switches over to dirt for this one.
Bet on Thirsty is 2-for-2, including an impressive stakes debut win last month from off the pace against open company. Super Screener notes he’s the only horse in the field who has raced further than 5 furlongs.
Finneus (3/1) will likely be a late-running contender making up ground.
Charmaine’s Mia and Maxim Rate, Race 10
FanDuel Racing Odds: 4/1 and 7/2
Race 10 is the $200K Grade 2 Yellow Ribbon Handicap for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles on the turf. The three near even favorites are Maxim Rate (7/2), Charmaine’s Mia (4/1) and Dogtag (4/1). numberfire picks Maxim Rate to win ahead of Dogtag and Charmaine’s Mia.
Maxim Rate returned to peak form last race to win the Grade 1 Gamely the end of May. She’ll likely be coming off the pace and trying to catch Charmaine’s Mia, who won three straight graded stakes races this year until fading as the even-money favorite in the Gamely Stakes. Blistering fractions were an issue that race, and she will try for more even energy distribution this time. Charmaine’s Mia won a Grade 2 race wire-to-wire in April over a charging Dogtag, who will have leading turf rider Umberto Rispoli riding for Richard Mandella.