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Jul 16, 2004


By: Joe Girardi

Del Mar opens its doors for the 2004 meeting on Wednesday July 21st and run through September 8th

with Tuesdays as their dark days. The first post will 2 p.m. pacific time, except for “Four O’clock Fridays” when

post time will be 4 p.m. PT. The only other exception is on Pacific Classic Day, Sunday, August 22nd when post

is 1 p.m. PT.

            The opening day stakes race is as usual the Oceanside stakes for three year olds at a mile on the turf, the

purse is $100,000. The are six other grade I stakes during the Del Mar meeting with the Pacific Classic the highlight

of the meet. The Classic carries a purse of $1 million dollars and is run at 1 and ¼ miles for three year olds and up.

Last year’s winner was CANDY RIDE who was talked about as the best horse in the country after defeating

MEDAGLIA D’ORO in a quick time. However after that race he did not run the rest of the year and was said to be

back in training. This race should have a strong impact on the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Lone Star Park at the end

of October.

            For those of you that are going out to the track not just for the horses but to entertain the entire family

Del Mar has options for you also. Every Saturday and Sunday and also Labor Day are Family weekends. There

are many free activities for the kids, petting zoo, face painters and gamezone, just to name a few. For further

information about family weekends please visit Del Mar’s website at

            For those of you are going to Del Mar or are going to a simulcast facility to play on Del Mar lets take a look

at some jockeys or trainers that can help you make a profit while enjoying the day at the shore.

            The leading jockey at last year’s Del Mar meeting was Patrick Valenzuela who was three wins in front of

Julie Krone. It would be nice for those two to be going at it again this year however, P Val’s riding status is up in

the air right now and Krone came out last week and basically said for all intents and purposes she is retired. If they

both don’t ride that should leave the door wide open for Solis, Smith, Espinoza, and Nakatani to battle it out.

However, when looking for value, a jockey like David Nuesch who won at 11.7% last year had a solid in the money

percentage of 31.7%.

            Some jockeys to stay away from based on last year’s meeting are Felipe Martinez who won only four times

from 116 mounts for a 3.5 %. Another jockey who didn’t perform well was Fernando Valenzuela who was 0 for 24.

Both of these jockeys ride almost every day so tread lightly when playing their mounts at Del Mar.

            When looking at the trainer’s side of things last year’s winner was Bob Baffert who visited the winner’s

circle 23 times. His win percentage was only 19%. It might be tough for Baffert to repeat this year unless he is

stacked with some top two year olds because he is not having a great year. However, the second place finisher

last year was Jeff Mullins who continues to impress. He had 15 wins last year with a very impressive winning

percentage of 28.3%. Some trainers to look for when playing Del Mar are John Shirreffs, who as of this writing had

yet to get a winner at the Hollywood meeting, he was 7 for 22 last year with an in the money percentage of 59.1 %.

Many trainers point specifically to this meeting so give him a shot at Del Mar. Some other trainers to look for that

you would not normally look for on this circuit is Art Sherman, who is based in Northern California. He was 5 for 21

for a winning percentage of 23.8% but he had only one other horse hit the board. When he ships one in be prepared

for that horse’s best effort. Another trainer that can help you at the windows is Matthew Chew, who is not known

for a high percentage, he only ran seven horses at the meeting but he won with three of them. His win percentage

was 42.9% and an in the money percentage of 57.1%.          

            Some of these hints can help you cash some winning tickets, but a day out at the track is just as good, well

almost. Good Luck!


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