Del Mar Picks for Saturday, July 31 ft. The Bing Crosby Stakes

Del Mar picks and analysis for Saturday, July 31 featuring the Bing Crosby Stakes.

Race 1

Post time: 5:00 PM ET

Distance: 6 furlongs

Type: $25,000 Claiming

Age: 3-years-old and up

Surface: Dirt

Overview: Expect Ray Ray and Ka’nah to be the early speed and both horses are likely to be relevant toward the finish. Defense Wins had a bad trip last time out but has been the most consistent horse in the field prior to that outing and having Flavien Prat aboard who has won 29% of his mounts this season at Del Mar gives me a lot of confidence. Palaleo provides good value based on his trainer having a very strong track record in claiming races.

Prediction: 2-7-8-3

Race 2

Post time: 5:30 PM ET

Distance: 5 furlongs

Type: Maiden Special Weight $70,000

Age: 2-years-old (fillies and mares)

Surface: Dirt

Overview: A six-horse race with the entire field starting for the first time. Based on all the metrics, Bob Baffert’s colt, Grace Adler, is the presumptive favorite and for good reason. Amazing pedigree combined with an incredible recent five-furlong workout in 59 seconds and change. Haute Lady should be the early speed, but Sugar Sugar and Travel Smart should be there at the end.

Prediction: 6-3-5-4

Race 3

Post time: 6:02 PM ET

Distance: 1 mile

Type: Maiden Special Weight $70,000

Age: 2-years-old

Surface: Turf

Overview: While I understand why Lookout Point and Il Capitano are the two favorites, neither will be mistaken for Wit or even some of the two-year-olds in the previous race. I’d look at the two first-timers, Astronomer and Quincey, to provide some value in a wide-open field. Astronomer’s trainer, Simon Callaghan, has a good turf winning percentage and has had a nice meet thus far at Del Mar. Takeittothebank is a long shot who might provide very nice value on the backend of exotic tickets based upon some strong recent workout figures.

Prediction: 1-3-4-7

Race 4

Post time: 6:34 PM ET

Distance: 1 mile

Type: Allowance $20,000 Optional Claiming

Age: 3-years-old and up

Surface: Dirt

Overview: There is a reason Flavien Prat is winning 29% of his mounts and it’s because he’s routinely on quality horses and it’s the case again with California Kook who will have the blinkers on after having issues getting away fast in previous races, which is a little concerning despite strong Beyer Speed Numbers. I don’t love when favorites are trying something new for the first time after being non-factors in five previous races. Outside of the favorite, Appreciated offers more to like than second favorite George Herman Ruth. Finally, look for Anitanewmercedes (great name) to be a factor late.

Prediction: 2-1-7-6

Race 5

Post time: 7:06 PM ET

Distance: 5 furlongs

Type: $50,000 Claiming

Age: 3-years-old (fillies)

Surface: Turf

Overview: There is not an overwhelming favorite in this field as each horse has its pluses and minuses. Speeding is taking a step back in class, which might provide some much-needed relief, but her speed figures hardly inspire confidence. Gayles Evening and Til I Found You each offer better value and more recent success along with having trainers who have solid records on turf sprints. Meanwhile, Mind Meld is a lightly raced horse that could take a step forward at this distance and offers moderate value.

Prediction: 3-8-1-5

Race 6

Post time: 7:36 PM ET

Distance: 1 mile

Type: $16,000 Claiming

Age: 3-years-old and up

Surface: Dirt

Overview: This is a significant step down in class for the favorite Dark Side, but I’d still be wary seeing as distance is a bit of a question mark and that he’s never won on dirt. Railsplitter and Unilateral answer some of those questions at slightly better prices. Achilleus and Full Draw both offer excellent value on horses that have had very strong recent workouts at five furlongs that would give you the impression they can compete with the favorites.

Prediction: 2-4-5-9

Race 7

Post time: 8:06 PM ET

Distance: 5 furlongs

Type: Allowance $20,000 Optional Claiming

Age: 3-years-old and up (fillies and mares)

Surface: Turf

Overview: Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but Flavien Prat is on the best horse in the field. Alice Marble is very good and coming off back-to-back wins at 5 ½ furlongs. I like Capital Heat more than Lava Lane based on previous records and consistency. D’s Lovely Sophia should offer good value for a horse that has posted comparable Beyer Speed Figures to the top horses in the field and always seems to hit the board.

Prediction: 3-4-5-7

Race 8

Post time: 8:36 PM ET

Distance: 7 furlongs

Type: $50,000 Claiming

Age: 3-years-old 

Surface: Dirt

Overview: Code Duello offers good value as a horse that is taking a step back in distance and who has had sharp workout figures. Wipe the Slate ran his best race at this distance but can be wildly inconsistent and often takes a step back after taking one forward. Long shot Alpine Thunder should be the early rabbit but will fade. Herd Immunity and Sea to Success should be forwardly placed and have the stamina to stay strong in the homestretch.

Prediction: 3-1-6-2

Race 9

Post time: 9:06 PM ET

Distance: 1 1/8 miles

Type: Allowance $62,500 Optional Claiming

Age: 3-years-old and up

Surface: Turf

Overview: Favorite Ready Soul seems vulnerable given his only effort at this distance resulted in a poor finish in which he was clearly gassed but is coming off a very strong effort at a mile under new trainer Phillip D’Amato. In my eyes, Sash offers outstanding value against significantly better competition than any other horse in the field and has a capable trainer and jockey leading the way. Rip City has been raced almost exclusively at a mile but seems like the additional distance might be of great benefit.

Prediction: 9-7-3-6

Race 10

Post time: 9:36 PM ET

Distance: 6 furlongs

Type: Bing Crosby Stakes – Grade I

Age: 3-years-old and up

Surface: Dirt

Overview: The big race of the day and it shouldn’t disappoint. CZ Rocket is the class of the field based on previous efforts and lifetime records, but Brickyard Ride and Dr. Schivel will offer stiff competition. Last year’s Bing Crosby Stakes winner, Collusion Illusion, appears to be an afterthought in the race given that Flavien Prat has his choice to ride him or Dr. Schivel and chose the latter. Vertical Threat is the unknown factor in this race as he just put up a huge number last time out that is significantly better than anything he’s done before, but he’s also taking a huge step up in class.

Prediction: 3-8-9-2

Race 11

Post time: 10:06 PM ET

Distance: 1 mile

Type: Allowance $20,000 Optional Claiming

Age: 3-years-old and up

Surface: Turf

Overview: US Danger has won his last three on turf and most recently did so at a mile distance. Guess what? This race is a mile on turf. Sometimes you just don’t want to overthink things. Horses get used to winning just like anyone else and in a pretty evenly matched field, I like a horse that is a proven winner on the surface at the distance. Carmelita’s Man is another strong horse that appears to like the distance and surface. Signofthecross is making his turf debut, but has done well at the mile distance on dirt and is remarkably consistent in terms of performance while offering great odds.

Prediction: 4-2-9-1

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