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Jul 12, 2013

AMERICAN TURF CLUB LEAD-DEL MAR OPENING

By: JOE GIRARDI


               When it comes to horse racing the official start of summer should be when Del Mar opens its doors for the season. The 2013 season gets underway on July 17th and runs through September 4th.

               The season gets underway with the traditional Oceanside Stakes which is run over the turf at one mile with a purse of $100,000. That just gets the stakes season started but there are seven Grade I’s throughout the meeting and the first one starts on July 20th with the Grade I Eddie Read Stakes, run over 1 and 1/8th miles over the turf with a purse of $300,000 guaranteed. The following weekend on July 28th, Del Mare will host the Grade I Bing Crosby Stakes for three year olds and upward at six furlongs with a purse of $300,000. The following Saturday, August 3rd, the Clement L. Hirsch Stakes will be run at 1 and 1/16th miles for fillies and mares, three years old and upward with a purse of $300,000. Two weeks later, on August 17th, they will host the Del Mar Oaks, a Grade I for filly three year olds run over 1 and 1/8th miles again with a purse of $300,000. The following Sunday, August 25th, the highlight of the meeting, the Pacific Classic will be run for three year olds and upward over 1 and ¼ miles with a purse of $1 million dollars. GAME ON DUDE is expected to run and will be a prohibitive favorite to keep his undefeated season alive. Six days later, the Del Mar Debutante, a Grade I for filly two year olds will be run over seven furlongs with a purse of $300,000. The seventh and final Grade I of the meeting will be on closing day, the Del Mar Futurity, also run over seven furlongs with a purse of $300,000 for two year olds.

               When attacking the meeting from a bettor’s standpoint, let’s take a look at how the jockey’s and trainer’s standings went last year. In the jockey’s standings the winner last year was Rafael Bejarano who crossed the wire first 52 times from 225 starters for a win percentage of 23%. His in the money percentage was a solid 58%. He defeated the second place finisher, Joe Talamo, by nine wins and an in the money percentage of 45%. Garret Gomez checked in third just four winners behind Talamo with 39. Those are the three biggest names in the riding colony out there for the most part, so getting value at the windows with those jockeys will not be easy. Here are a few jockeys that can get you some value at the windows but are also solid riders. Corey Nakatani, didn’t have the best of years last year with only 13 wins and an 11% winning percentage but he is still very capable and can add some value at the windows. Agapito Delgadillo, a hard knocking veteran score with 9 horses last year from 86 tries and had a respectable in the money percentage of 34%, he could be one to watch especially on nicely priced horses.

               On the trainers side of things, Peter Miller edged out Bob Baffert by just one win, 21-20 and he had a winning percentage of 20%, his in the money percentage of 52% was solid. Baffert on the other hand had a higher winning percentage with 24% and his in the money percentage was just a tick higher at 53%. There were definitely a few trainers that come in under the radar that are more than capable and know how to win and could offer some value at the windows. Carla Gaines, had just 8 winners but from only 31 starters for a winning percentage of 26%, her in the money percentage was just below 50% at 48%. Vladimir Cerin, also had eight winners but from 2 less starters at 29 for a winning percentage at 28%. Tom Proctor, whose barn was starting to heat up at the end of the Hollywood meeting, had a solid year here last year with 6 wins from 26 starts and an in the money percentage just at 50%. Look for his horses when Del Mar opens next week.

               If you are looking for more insight on the Del Mar meeting but our August issue of American Turf Monthly by going to www.americanturf.com or calling 1-800-645-2240. Good luck at the windows!



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