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    Del Mark Picks for Sunday, August 1 ft. The Clement L. Hirsch Stakes

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    Race 1

    Post time: 5:00 PM ET

    Distance: 6 furlongs

    Type: Allowance $40,000 Optional Claiming

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

    Surface: Dirt

    Overview: The first race features an interesting two-horse duel between Just Distorted and Big Sweep. Those two horses should have an easy time with the rest of the field, but I think Just Distorted is going to just be too much. This is a horse that hit a 90 Beyer’s Speed Figure in her race and even if she plateaus for her third trip out, she still will be more than Big Sweep can handle. Queengol and Liv and Let Live provide some value on the backend of exotic bets.

    Prediction: 4-5-1-6

    Race 2

    Post time: 5:30 PM ET

    Distance: 5 furlongs

    Type: Maiden Special Weight $70,000

    Age: 2-years-old

    Surface: Turf

    Overview: Love handicapping young horses because it lets you dive into workout times and pedigree. Urban is the morning line favorite simply because he was expensive ($375,000), but he’s posted some mediocre-to-poor workout times at five furlongs. On the other hand, Bombs at Cocal has outstanding times leading up to the race, as does Time to Party so look for them to battle down the stretch. Magnolia has a very good pedigree (Frosted and Hardcore) as well as a trainer (Simon Callaghan) who wins 26% of his 2-year-old races but may not have the speed and is better suited for longer distances.

    Prediction: 7-2-1-6

    Race 3

    Post time: 6:00 PM ET

    Distance: 5 furlongs

    Type: Maiden Special Weight $70,000

    Age: 2-years-old

    Surface: Dirt

    Overview: Bob Baffert has two outstanding two-year-olds in this race, Pinehurst and Enbarr, who are both solid bets to get to the winner’s circle and have similar pedigrees (Giant’s Causeway). However, I think Enbarr’s workout figures are a little crisper and offer a little better value. Look for Penetrator and long shot Khantaro d’Oro to round out the board as they both appear to have the ability to master the distance of five furlongs.

    Prediction: 5-1-7-4

    Race 4

    Post time: 6:30 PM ET

    Distance: 5 furlongs

    Type: Maiden Special Weight $70,000

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

    Surface: Turf

    Overview: Favorite Leisurewear is making her first start in the United States, which sometimes makes me leary since it can take horses a couple of races to become accustomed to American turf. While her trainer Phillip D’Amato hasn’t won yet this season, he’s got a great record of winning turf sprints, and this field, while solid, isn’t too daunting. Kalon is a nice horse that puts up consistent figures each time out and should challenge, which is the same for Bowl of Cherries, who appears to be just a slight gap behind Kalon. Of the first-time starters, look at Pequena Tormenta as a fillie who might surprise in her debut.

    Prediction: 8-6-5-9

    Race 5

    Post time: 7:00 PM ET

    Distance: 6 furlongs

    Type: $8,000 Claiming

    Age: 3-years-old and up

    Surface: Dirt

    Overview: The morning line favorite, Reedley, is untrustworthy as he’s been trending down since getting claimed and being under a new trainer two races ago. Instead, get a little bit of value with Next Flight, who won last time out and who has a trainer (Steven Miyadi) who wins 25% of his claiming races and 23% of his spring races. Not a bad combination. Rinse and Repeat should figure heavily at the end as he’s taking a slight step down in class to get on the board. Whenducksfly and Bob’s Sniper both offer good value on the back end of exotic bets.

    Prediction: 3-2-6-10

    Race 6

    Post time: 7:30 PM ET

    Distance: 1 mile

    Type: Maiden Special Weight $70,000

    Age: 2-years-old

    Surface: Turf

    Overview: A lot of unknowns in this field of two-year-olds. Into Touring, the morning line favorite needs to improve over his last outing, but stretching out to a mile might benefit him. Violet Storm and A Crown for Kitten both have strong turf pedigrees, but the former has slightly better workout figures than the latter. Baby’s Dream doesn’t offer good enough value given the question marks. On the flip side, if you’re looking for value, take a flier on Beachgrass who has been working out impressively at six furlongs and should handle the distance.

    Prediction: 4-7-1-11

    Race 7

    Post time: 8:00 PM ET

    Distance: 6 1/2 furlongs

    Type: $40,000 Maiden Claiming

    Age: 3-years-old and up

    Surface: Dirt

    Overview: There is some value to be found in this race as horses like Diamond Ranger and Love of Sport have high odds but are likely to hit the board given the mediocrity of the competition. Favorite Kattath isn’t overwhelming, and I certainly wouldn’t pick him to win outright. This feels like a race where you want to box a few different exacta and trifecta bets. Finally, No Hang Charlie offers a very good price for a horse that should be near the front most of the race. 

    Prediction: 8-12-7-1

    Race 8

    Post time: 8:30 PM ET

    Distance: 5 furlongs

    Type: Allowance $20,000 Optional Claiming

    Age: 3-years-old and up

    Surface: Turf

    Overview: I have a feeling Catemaco will get bet down, but I really like this horse who posted an 83 Beyer’s Speed Figure the first time out and should improve upon that now that he’s gotten more comfortable racing. Star Racer should be the early speed and can run well enough to be a factor at the end. El Diablo Rojo won last time out as 5 ½ furlongs and has Flavien Prat aborad, but is taking a step up in competition. Long shot, Stir the Pot, offers great value for a horse that has improved each of his last three races under a new jockey and has been posting blistering workout times.

    Prediction: 6-3-7-10

    Race 9

    Post time: 9:00 PM ET

    Distance: 1 1/16 miles

    Type: Clement L. Hirsch Stakes. – Grade I

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

    Surface: Dirt

    Overview: This is the crown jewel of the day. If I’m being generous, it’s a four-horse race between Warren’s Showtime, As Time Goes By, Venetian Harbor, and Shedaresthedevil, all of whom have posted between 96-99 Beyer’s Speed Figures this year. Warren’s Showtime is making the transition to dirt after six consecutive races on turf, so that could go badly and explains why she’s at a slightly higher price than the others. A lot of people like Bob Baffert’s As Time Goes By, but she needs to be urged to go beyond a mile, and even when she wins at a longer distance she’s typically getting tracked down and not pulling away. Against Venetian Harbor and Shedaresthedevil, that won’t work. Venetian Harbor should be the early speed, but I’m going with Shedaresthedevil, who beat super horse Letruska earlier this year at the Grade II Azeri. Anyone who can best Letruska is always a safe bet. Paige Anne presents the best chance of any of the long shots to hit the board.

    Prediction: 7-6-2-4

    Race 10

    Post time: 9:30 PM ET

    Distance: 1 mile

    Type: $50,000 Maiden Claiming

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

    Surface: Turf

    Overview: Not the most inspired field to close out the day, but they’re evenly matched, which creates opportunity at the betting window. Shizaam is a horse that is making her second start after coming over from Ireland and typically European horses improve dramatically the second time out as they get more accustomed to American turf. Favorites Witch Moon and Ginger Queen don’t offer anything compelling but can handle the distance. Quinevere offers decent value and has improved each time out and is now under the professional guidance of Umberto Rispoli. I’d expect a thrilling stretch run with four or five horses closely vying for the win.

    Prediction: 8-14-4-2

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