Selections by Ellis Starr for Del MarSaturday 09/04/10

Mission Statement:
To help you be a better handicapper and bettor and at the same time keep you in the game with uncommon selections and analysis.


"Friends don't let friends bet chalk."


Guide to using these selections and analysis: The horses listed in BOLD at the top of each race section are the horses I think have the highest probability to win ('win contenders'). I list them according to my preference and with fair odds for determining the threshold for making win bets. Fair odds are a guide. The best way to use this report is to consider win bets at or above fair odds, starting with the top choice. If a horse is listed as a 'win contender' but below fair odds it still can be used in other ways to profit, such as in the exacta. When considering exactas remember that the 2nd best 'win contender' isn't necessarily the best horse to run second, so even though I rank horses in order that doesn't mean they will, or won't, finish in that order. When I feel an exacta is warranted I specifically say so.


Guide to Ratings:

  1. Race is predictable but may not offer much opportunity for profit, or is unpredictable but offers opportunity for profit if the returns are high enough.
  2. Race presents an average (decent) profit opportunity depending on the potential returns.
  3. Race that presents an exceptional profit opportunity, not necessarily that any particular horse in the race does. These races usually have vulnerable favorites, contenders at high odds, or both. Whether any horse or horses in the race present exceptional opportunity will depend on the odds and potential returns.


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Race #1 - Rating = 3

#8 Magnificent Blend - Fair odds 2/1

#2 Capt Sparrow - Fair odds 2/1

#4 Self Insured - Fair odds 3/1

Exacta: Box 2,4,8


Magnificent Blend is in top form coming off 3 straight wins, the most recent here at Del Mar on 8/13, and he appears capable of handling the raise in class off the claim out of that race and winning again with Quinonez riding back for his new trainer. Capt Sparrow runs first off the Mitchell claim and so should improve markedly off his 3rd place effort at the level and more like his effort just prior to that when missing by a nose on the wire, a repeat of that being good enough for victory here for a trainer that wins with better than 1/3 of his new acquisitions. Self Insured missed by a pair of noses on the wire on 8/5 over the track and with the winner of that race having come back to win again and with Bejarano staying aboard he could be tough right down to the finish again today.

Race #2 - Rating = 2

#4 Low Gear Power - Fair odds 5/2

#1 Spurrier / 1a Red Door Drive - Fair odds 5/2

#7 Informed - Fair odds 3/1

Low Gear Power is in the best form of his career coming off a 9th to 1st rally to win by a nose over the track on 8/7 here at Del Mar and at this mile trip. With Nakatani riding back and having won back to back last summer here at Del Mar at this distance he can post the upset in this listed stakes race. Spurrier got up to win by a head last out on 7/15 at Hollywood Park and although he loses Rosario (to Informed) he picks up Garcia and gets the good rail to save ground once again and close strongly in the late stages. Red Door Drive is coupled with Spurrier in the wagering and moves back to the main track after 3 turf races, having won the last two times he races on the main track with Pedroza up for both wins as today, meaning this horse who has been 1st or 2nd in 6 of 8 career synthetic track races is highly probable to be part of the exacta at the very least. Informed could be just prepping for stakes races following 11 months off and it might be doubtful he’s 100% ready for his best but as a grade 2 stakes winner in a listed stakes he could have a class edge over most if not all of these, one that could help him to put in a top effort, with all 4 listed contenders likely to benefit from a hot pace battle in the early stages between Aggie Engineer and Tropic Storm.

Race #3 - Rating = 2

#8 Dazzling Display - Fair odds 5/2

#2 Under Wraps - Fair odds 7/2

#7 Real Rockport - Fair odds 7/2

#4 Tales in Excess - Fair odds 7/2

Dazzling Display finished 2nd of 9 in her career debut on 7/25 over the track and with logical 2nd start physical and mental improvement looming could be tough to beat. Under Wraps is bred to win early and is housed in the top Mandella barn so must be considered with a shot in her debut. Real Rockport is a half sister to a first out winner on the dam’s side and might come in under the radar but for a competent low profile trainer in Solis having a strong meeting she is yet another worth a look when considering our wagers involving this race. Tales in Excess debuts for Hollendorfer off a series of 1:13 six furlong drills that should have her extremely fit and ready to give a good account of herself, particularly with leading rider Rosario named to ride.

Race #4 - Rating = 2

#6 Deputy Max - Fair odds 5/2

#5 Spring Forth - Fair odds 5/2

#1 Beachrock - Fair odds 7/2

#2 Seattle Ruler - Fair odds 7/2

Exacta: Box 1,2,5,6


Deputy Max missed the win by a head and a neck last out on this course at this mile distance on 8/4 and on the hidden drop from 3 year olds and upward to just 3 year olds he could make up the few inches he lost by in that race and win this one. Spring Forth came back from 4 ½ months off on 8/21 on the main track at this distance and won nicely, his third straight race with an improvement in Equibase speed figures. With Pat V up for the 1st time in victory last out and riding him back he’s got a shot to make it two in a row, particularly as he’s a perfect fit at this first allowance level as a last out maiden special weight winner. Beachrock rallied from 7th to get up and win over this turf course on 8/1 then was flattered when the 3rd finisher came back to win. Nakatani was up for the 1st time and rides back which makes this gelding yet another with a shot at moving right through this first allowance level. Seattle Ruler led from the start and into the stretch last out on 8/15 on this course at the distance of 9 furlongs, tiring late just a bit to end up 2nd. With blinkers on to help him dig in late in the race and having led within that 9 furlong race at the point today’s race ends he’s got a shot of getting loose on the lead early and never looking back.

Race #5 - Rating = 2

#10 Can't Topper - Fair odds 7/2

#11 Capalatte - Fair odds 7/2

#2 Cosmic Angel - Fair odds 7/2

#6 Nothing to Fear - Fair odds 4/1

#8 Real Housewife - Fair odds 4/1

After the early speed duel between Seedless and Movie Duty takes its toll on them both, any of the five above might be able to capitalize and win. Can’t Topper gets preference of the quintet, having missed by a half length last out in a tougher race for 3 year olds and upward, in against just 3 year olds today, and back on the main track where she won two in a row in May and June before moving to turf for her last 2 starts. Capalatte broke in the air instead of correctly last out on 8/14 over the track versus similar and found herself with too much to do after that, still finishing well for 3rd at the end in her first start off the Lage claim and with a huge shot to improve off that effort with a clean break today. Cosmic Angel moves back to one turn and back to the main track after an irrelevant turf route try last out, and having won her last dirt sprint, missing a nose prior to that, she can rebound to competitive form in this situation. Nothing to Fear rallied from last of 9 to win by a neck on 8/6 at this distance at Del Mar and although she was facing cheaper that day she certainly has to be considered with a shot again in this situation based on the fast early pace that could make her look very good in the late stages once again. Real Housewife get a change in jockey in her first start off the Spawr claim and that may result in the same off-the-pace tactics that were successful in her first two career starts in April, both victories on the main track at this basic six furlong trip.

Race #6 - Rating = 1

#7 Retail - Fair odds 4/1

#5 River's Mambo - Fair odds 4/1

#8 Weekend Party - Fair odds 4/1

With rail sitter Candid Ride as well as Hey Maria and May Day Rose all appearing to want the lead from the start, first time starters and those that have started but did not show an inclination for wanting the lead have a shot in this race. Retail finished 7th of 9 in her career debut on 7/25 here at del Mar but now that she’s had a race she could run a lot better, particularly as her only sibling on the dam’s side is a winner and a horse who was beaten a neck in its 2nd career start (like Retail’s today) before winning in its 3rd start. River’s Mambo debuts for low profile, competent trainer Solis, with a decent series of workouts and as a filly bred to win early and often as the only other foal of her dam won 5 of 8 races in its brief career. Weekend Party is related to THREE multiple winners on the dam’s side of her family tree. TWO of which WON FIRST OUT, so give this Mandella trainee with leading jockey Rosario assigned to ride a long look when considering your wagers involving this race.

Race #7 - Rating = 2

#7 Victory Dash/ #6 L'Enchanteresse - Fair odds 3/1 (uncoupled entry)

#2 Salty Fries - Fair odds 4/1

#4 Sky Chant - Fair odds 4/1

Exacta: Box 2,4,6,7


Victory Dash runs first off the claim by leading trainer O’Neill, who goes to apprentice Gihua who Doug has had good success at the meeting (2 for 8). The filly comes off a strong win at six furlongs on the main track and is confidently raised 100% in class but not really, as she moves from 3 year olds and upward to just 3 year olds. Having run well around two turns previously (beaten a neck and nose) the only question is whether she will like the sod, but as a granddaughter of Nureyev that’s not an issue either, so I think she’s got a square shot to win 2 in a row. L’Enchanteresse is the other O’Neill starter, and if we bet on we should be the other as we can’t possibly know which is better able or well intended to win. L’Enchanteresse missed by a half length to Sky Chant last out on 8/11 at this distance and although 1-6-4 in 18 races can run well enough here to be part of the exacta at the very least, with a shot at winning if she improves off that last effort. Salty Fries rallied from 9th and last after veering in and breaking slowly to get to within a half length of the lead and 2nd place in the stretch last out at 7 furlongs on the main track before tiring to 5th, that effort coming in a Cal-Bred stakes race. With a drop into this claiming race and with a better start she too could have a strong way in the outcome today. Sky Chant won last out on 8/11 and two before that on 6/23, both on the turf, with a no-excuse 7th finish in between the wins. The loss came at this 50K level which may indicate she will regress off her win last out at the 40K level but that’s not a given considering there really is no difference between 40K and 50K for 3 year olds only, so she could hold her form and win again.

Race #8 - Rating = 3

#6 Sugarinthemorning - Fair odds 5/2

#2 Wickedly Perfect - Fair odds 5/2

#3 Tell a Kelly - Fair odds 4/1

#10 A Z Warrior - Fair odds 9/2

#12 Izhelegal - Fair odds 9/2

Simply put, the 97 Equibase Speed Figure ( a numeric measurement of time) earned by Sugarinthemorning when winning on 8/14, even in a maiden race, was the same as the 97 figure Wickedly Perfect earned 8 days earlier winning the Grade 3 Sorrento Stakes, the precursor to this Grade 1 Debutante Stakes. With two-year-olds capable of improvement from race to race both fillies have about the same probability to win here if no other horse leap-frogs over them in terms of how fast they can run, unlikely as the next best winning figure is 90. With Sugarinthemorning bound to go to post at much higher odds than Wickedly Perfect, the former is decidedly the better wager of the two to win. That being said, both must be used on any exacta, trifecta, pick 3 or pick 4 tickets played involving this race.


Tell a Kelly is next best on paper, also having just broken her maiden over the track, in her 2nd career start, with a fine 90 figure she appears capable of improving upon for the top barn of John Sadler and with Quinonez in the saddle today as for that last win. Considering that Wickedly Perfect went from maiden winner to stakes winner in the Sorrento, it’s not a big leap of faith at all to believe Tell A Kelly (or Sugarinthemorning) can leap from maiden winner to stakes winner today.


A Z Warrior and Izhelegal finished 2nd and 3rd, respectively, behind Wickedly Perfect, in the Sorrento, and given that they were separated by a head there’s no real separating their probability for run well again today. Both fillies make their third career starts and their Equibase Speed Figures are improving and both get good posts and have solid finishing kicks to benefit from the likely early speed battle between Gone Rebel and Avid, who both led from start to finish in their recent victories.

Race #9- Rating = 2

#6 Nextdoorneighbor - Fair odds 5/2

#9 Italian Rules - Fair odds 7/2

#2 Details R Sketchy - Fair odds 7/2

Exacta: Box 2,6,9


Nextdoorneighbor rallied to miss the win by ¾ of a length in his career debut last November in a sprint just like this one then two later won going two turns. After a poor effort in a stakes in March he was rested, returning today fresh and fit and with a fine series of workouts suggesting he can repeat his debut effort and win in this situation as he nearly did 10 months ago, particularly with a nearly guaranteed “Three’s a Crowd” early pace duel between need-the-lead types Gallatin’s Run, Streakin’ Mohican and Usurp, that trio likely to be pushed into sizzling fractions by Indian Firewater as well. Italian Rules adds blinkers back after five races without them, the best of which was a 3rd place effort last out on 8/15 in his first race at the meeting. With his last win having come with the hood and with a portentous blinkers on/ fast workout pattern, he could make a good deal of noise in this situation at a price.  Details R Sketchy moves back to the main track after a 4th place effort on turf to tougher and as he rallied from 8th and 10 lengths back early to miss by a length and one-half prior to that he too figures to be making substantial progress in the stretch after the hot early pace and as such rounds out our trio of contenders in this event.

Race #10- Rating = 1

#2 Dancinconestrellas - Fair odds 3/1

$1 exactas: 2 over 1,4,7,8 then reverse and play 1,4,7,8 over 2

#1 is Princess Beau K, #4 is Magic Lantern, #7 is Harmony’s Hope and #8 is Snovember


Dancinconestrellas is racing at this bottom 25K maiden claiming level for the 1st time, coming off a fast finish after breaking slowly (7th and last) to be beaten only 3 lengths at the end versus tougher foes. Likely to improve off the experience of a race as well, she could be tough to beat here with a clean break.

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