2022 TVG Del Mar Handicap Betting Odds and Contenders Preview
The best turf horses on the west coast line up Saturday, September 3 for the Del Mar Handicap (G2)! The race offers a purse of $300,000, and its winner gets an expenses-paid berth into the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) at Keeneland. The race drew a field of 11 to go 1 ⅜ miles on the lawn, including 2020 Del Mar Handicap winner Red King, Eddie Read (G2) winner Master Piece, and Cougar II (G3) winner Heywoods Beach.
Read on to learn about the field, find out about the trends in the race, and know how to watch and wager on the race online!
Del Mar Handicap 2022 Information
Race Date: Saturday, September 3, 2022
Track: Del Mar
Post Time: 6:00 p.m. Pacific time
Distance: 1 3/8 miles on the turf
Age/Sex: three-year-olds and up
Where to Watch: FanDuel TV
Where to Bet: TVG.com and FanDuel Racing
Del Mar Handicap Odds
Del Mar drew the field for the 2022 Del Mar Handicap on Wednesday, August 31 and assigned a morning line the next day. That morning line can provide clues about how betting is expected to go, but especially in a large and closely-matched field such as this one it only provides an initial guide.
Here are the horses in the 2022 Del Mar Handicap in post-position order including their trainers, jockeys, and morning-line odds.
|1||Dicey Mo Chara||Leonard Powell||John Velazquez||15-1|
|2||Gold Phoenix||Phil D'Amato||Flavien Prat||6-1|
|3||Gregdar||Phil D'Amato||Umberto Rispoli||5-1|
|4||Red King||Phil D'Amato||Hector Berrios||8-1|
|5||Tango Tango Tango||Jack Sisterson||Declan Cannon||20-1|
|6||Tizamagician||Richard Mandella||Mike Smith||4-1|
|7||Order and Law||Robert Hess, Jr.||Edwin Maldonado||30-1|
|8||Tesoro||O. J. Jauregui||Joe Bravo||20-1|
|9||Master Piece||Michael McCarthy||Abel Cedillo||3-1|
|10||Masteroffoxhounds||Phil D'Amato||Juan Hernandez||6-1|
|11||Heywoods Beach||John Sadler||Ramon Vazquez||8-1|
Keep watching FanDuel TV up until post time to make sure you can make the best bet possible! Horse racing is a game of information, and up-to-the-minute news can give you what you need to make the best best. And, if a horse who you expect to take money is cold on the board (or, a horse you expect to be a long shot is taking money), you can evaluate the odds, use the latest news to determine if that horse is still offering value, and make a smart wager.
Del Mar Handicap Prep Results
Oddly enough, the prep race with the most horses was a race on the dirt: the Cougar II (G3) on July 24, run at 1 ½ miles on the dirt. Heywoods Beach stalked the pace and stayed on well to win by a neck over Tizamagician; both of these horses return. Two of the also-rans go as well: Order and Law ran an even fourth, three lengths beaten, and Dicey Mo Chara weakened significantly to run fifth of six, ten lengths behind the winner.
A more traditional prep race, the nine-furlong Eddie Read (G2), featured three horses who entered this race. The pace was sharp in the Eddie Read and Master Piece took full advantage, rallying from second-last and bounding clear to win by 3 ¼ lengths. Masteroffoxhounds dueled on the pace and flattened to fifth, beaten four lengths; Tango Tango Tango tracked and weakened to run seventh.
Two other horses prepared in stakes. 2020 Del Mar Handicap winner Red King last raced June 19 in the 1 ¾-mile San Juan Capistrano, where he did not have an easy trip but still had good run late, finishing second by only a head. Tesoro last raced in the restricted Wickerr on Del Mar’s opening day; he finished seventh, but was beaten by only 2 ¾ lengths and did have some traffic late.
Both Gregdar and Gold Phoenix come out of the same allowance, a second-level, 1 ⅛-mile affair July 24 at Del Mar. Gregdar went off favored and got the winning run, tracking and taking over to win by 1 ½ lengths in the end. Gold Phoenix, who ran third in the 1 ¼-mile Charlie Whittingham (G2) three starts back, closed from last, had to wait for room, and finished third beaten only two lengths.
Del Mar Handicap Contenders
Dicey Mo Chara: He ran a close second in the 1 ½-mile San Luis Rey this March at Santa Anita, but did not match that in either the Charlie Whittingham (G2) on grass or the Cougar II on dirt. The return to grass should suit him, he likes Del Mar, and the distance should be fine. But, this is a deeper field than the San Luis Rey was, and he will have to run a career best to be competitive.
Gold Phoenix: His only stakes try was a credible third in the Charlie Whittingham. The losses in allowance company in his last two are concerning, but perhaps the nine-furlong distance was a little too short. The presence of Flavien Prat in the irons is a positive sign, and the stretch out to his longest distance yet may put this tactical gelding back into his best form.
Gregdar: He got the best of Gold Phoenix in an allowance last out, and he is perfect in two starts at Del Mar. And, he is versatile enough to run a good race from well off the pace or right up on it. The question is class, as he has run off the board in both of his stakes attempts, against fields not quite as deep as this one. The switch to Umberto Rispoli isn’t a bad sign, as Rispoli rides well over the California lawn, but he needs to move forward.
Red King: This distance is a cozy spot for him: he won this race two years ago and his last victory came over this course and distance in an optional claimer last November. He looked something closer to his old self when finishing a close second in the San Juan Capistrano last out, though has now been on the bench two and a half months and will need to turn back the years.
Tango Tango Tango: He flattened late in the Eddie Read last out, settling for fifth. But, this start has him second off a freshening and stepping back up in trip. This four-year-old has tried so many distances that it may be hard to determine yet what his best is, but his victory in a 1 ¼-mile second-level allowance at Belmont on May 1 suggests that more distance may suit him well. He is another who has to improve, but unlike some of his foes, he is young and lightly-tried enough to have that upside.
Tizamagician: A fixture in dirt marathon races, the ability to get 1 ⅜ miles is no question—in fact, that may be on the short side. However, he has not won in over a year and has a proclivity for running second. He also will not get an easy time on the front end with the likes of Heywoods Beach and Masteroffoxhounds to his outside. Furthermore, as he is owned in part by MyRacehorse, he will probably be overbet.
Order and Law: He was claimed for $62,500 two starts back, and ran an even third in the Cougar II in the first start for his new connections. He has a lot of experience on both turf and dirt during his career, making the surface switch logical. And, he finished evenly enough in the Cougar II to suggest that if he holds that form on dirt, he may be able to stay this 1 ⅜-mile trip, making him intriguing for the minors at extremely long odds.
Tesoro: He makes his second start off a two-month freshening. He is a better turf horse than he is a dirt horse, so it makes sense to see him stay on the grass. However, he has never tried going this long before and his 1 ⅛-mile try in a minor stakes at Fresno was not enough to make him exciting for a stretch out a quarter-mile beyond that. That was last October, meaning perhaps he has improved at age four, but he still has a lot to prove.
Master Piece: When trainer Michael McCarthy has faith in a horse, he is usually right. That shook out July 31 when he came rolling at 16-1 to win the Eddie Read by daylight. He keeps Abel Cedillo from that outing, as well. It also helps that he has some form over this course and distance: he closed smartly for second to be beaten by only half a length in this race last year. As long as he finds a place to settle back and save some ground he has a good shot to do one better.
Masteroffoxhounds: He flattened late to finish fifth in the Eddie Read second off a two-month break after disputing a sharp pace. But, he has run well enough in his last two starts to suggest that he is something of the same kind of horse as he was for previous trainer Richard Baltas, who is currently all but suspended. His post is a recipe for ground loss, but if jockey Juan Hernandez can find him a stalking spot like in the Charlie Whittingham three back, he has a chance.
Heywoods Beach: A winner on dirt and turf, he turns back in distance off a win in the Cougar II. He pressed the pace and kept on going that race, the sort of trip he and jockey Ramon Vazquez may just get again in this spot. It is a bigger field, and he risks ground loss from this 11 gate. However, he is in strong form for connections who do well together, and he has the stamina.
Del Mar Handicap Past Winners Past Performances
Over the last ten years, five of the winners of the Del Mar Handicap came out of the Eddie Read: Hunt (2017) won it, Ashleyluvssugar (2016) and Vagabond Shoes (2013) ran second, Casino Host (2012) ran third, and Fashion Business (2018) ran eighth. Master Piece, Masteroffoxhounds, and Tango Tango Tango all took the Eddie Read route, though only Master Piece ran in the money.
However, more recently, the San Juan Capistrano has been the key race for the Del Mar Handicap. Red King (2020) won it in his last start and Astronaut (2021) ran second. Even Acclimate, who won in 2019 off of an 11th-place finish in the state-bred California Dreamin’ Stakes, won the San Juan Capistrano two starts before taking the Del Mar Handicap. Only Red King comes out of the San Juan Capistrano this year; he finished a good second.
Big John B, the winner in both 2014 and 2015, was the only horse who bucked these trends. In 2014 he came out of a second-level allowance win, and then made his stakes debut in this race. The following year, he prepared with a dirt win in the Cougar II.
Del Mar Handicap Undercard
The Del Mar Handicap closes Saturday’s eleven-race card at Del Mar. It is one of five stakes on the card. The $1 million Pacific Classic, which features the return of Flightline, goes as race 10. The card also includes the Del Mar Derby (G2), Del Mar Mile (G2), and the Shared Belief Stakes. With big fields and classy horses all day long, Saturday is a perfect day to watch and wager on Del Mar at TVG and FanDuel.
Del Mar Race Track
Del Mar Race Track is located just north of San Diego and about two hours south of Los Angeles. As Del Mar Handicap’s famous song says, you can “take a plane, take a train, take a car.” After all, the rail line stops just yards away from the track entrance. Fans can see the ocean from up in the grandstand off past the head of the stretch.
There are several trackside restaurants available, including Red Star Café, Stretch Run Grill, Veranda Café, and 17 Hands. Horsemen and fans alike gather to dine overlooking the paddock or just above the finish line and enjoy both cuisine and racing action.
Del Mar Race Track has a one-mile oval with chutes for 7/8 and 1 1/4 mile races and a seven-eighths mile oval with a diagonal straight away chute for 1 1/16 and 1 1/8 mile horse races. The turf course is a combination of Common Bermuda and Hybrid Bermuda.
More recently, the Del Mar Race Track underwent a major renovation to modernize facilities. Thanks in part to those changes, as well as a widespread advertising campaign anchored by the slogan, “Where the Turf Meets the Surf,” the Del Mar Race Track continues to post records in handle and attendance while offering some of the greatest thoroughbred horse racing in America.
Del Mar Handicap FAQ
Q: When is the Del Mar Handicap?
A: Saturday, September 3, 2022, at 6:00 p.m. Pacific time.
Q: Where is the Del Mar Handicap?
A: It takes place at Del Mar Race Track in Del Mar, California.
Q: Which trainer has the most wins in the Del Mar Handicap?
A: Trainer Charles Whittingham leads with seven victories between 1961 and 1990. This year Phil D’Amato can tie Whittingham if he wins: he has six wins already, and he conditions Red King, Gold Phoenix, Gregdar, and Masteroffoxhounds. John Sadler (Heywoods Beach) has won twice, and Richard Mandella (Tizamagician) has won once.
Q: Who is the favorite for the Del Mar Handicap?
A: Off a sharp late-running victory in the Eddie Read, Master Piece has been named the 3-1 morning-line favorite. He would be no surprise, though due to his large ownership group through MyRacehorse there is a good chance morning-line second choice Tizamagician could be bet down to favoritism with syndicate money.
Q: Who is the best Del Mar Handicap jockey?
A: Bill Shoemaker won the race eight times between 1950 and 1987, still a record. Among jockeys riding this year, Flavien Prat (Gold Phoenix) has won twice; Umberto Rispoli (Gregdar) and Mike Smith (Tizamagician) have won once.
Q: Who won the Del Mar Handicap in 2021?
A: Astronaut won the 2021 Del Mar Handicap for trainer John Shirreffs and jockey Victor Espinoza, neither of whom are represented this year. Red King, who won in 2020 for Phil D’Amato, returns in the 2022 edition.