Del Mar Horse Racing Picks for Sunday 8/22/21

Starting at 5:00 p.m. EST, we have 10 races at Del Mar. Using numberFire’s projections as a guide, here are some of the best bets to make at FanDuel Racing.

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.)

Forgiving Spirit and Golf Rush Candy, Race 4

FanDuel Racing Odds: 7/2 and 5/2

Race 4 is a Maiden Special Weight for state-bred two-year-olds sprinting 6 furlongs. numberFire's data projects these three to hit the board -- Forgiving Spirit (7/2), Erebus (7/2) and Brookys Tapit (12/1).

Erebus just missed here two weeks ago at 45/1 odds, and he’s sired by hot California stallion Stay Thirsty, as is Sippin N Kissin (12/1), who has had trouble in all three starts and now has a jockey change to Tyler Baze.

Gold Rush Candy (5/2) finished fifth on debut two weeks ago as the heavy favorite behind runner-up Erebus, and he’ll likely run better in his second try.

Forgiving Spirit and Gold Rush Candy are both endorsed by Top Race Reports. Forgiving Spirit makes his debut and is a threat to win at first asking, with the meet's leading jockey and trainer, Flavien Prat and Peter Miller, respectively.

Backtoflash and Mongolian Panther, Race 7

FanDuel Racing Odds: 12/1 and 5/1

Race 7 is a Claiming race for fillies and mares sprinting 6 furlongs. The numberFire algorithm likes Kind But She Lies (3/1) to win and longshot Slew’s Screen Star (30/1) to hit the board.

Kind But She Lies had the best outing of her seven-race career last month in a runner-up finish over this track.

But this is a weak group, and other runners at a price are worth a shot, including Backtoflash (12/1) and Mongolian Panther (5/1), both of whom are backed by Top Race Reports and the West Coast Handicapping Report.

Backtoflash showed better speed in a third-place finish last month over this surface, and she has a strong bullet on her work tab since, which is a positive sign for this barn. She’ll probably be moving late from off the pace. Mongolian Panther should push from the gate and returns at a lower level.

Collusion Illusion and Gregorian Chant, Race 8

FanDuel Racing Odds: 7/2 and 5/2

Race 8 is the $100K Grade 3 Green Flash sprint at 5 furlongs on the turf. numberFire projects Collusion Illusion (7/2) to win with top jockey Flavien Prat riding and coming late from off the pace.

FanDuel Racing odds suggest a 27% chance to win for Gregorian Chant (5/2). He's a contender who has won three straight races this year from off the pace, including his best ever speed figure in April. But his jockey took him toward the front in his last race in June, and he missed the board badly out East.

Collusion Illusion returns off a long layoff, but he’s top quality in a deep field. He won a Grade 1 race here last summer.

Lieutenant Dan (7/2) is versatile with speed and won his last start. He’s a multiple Cal-bred stakes winner who fits in open company. Little Juanito (6/1) was sharp off a layoff on opening day here and has a legitimate look running up close to the pace.