Saturday’s tenth race from Del Mar is the Level 2 San Diego Handicap for kids ages 3 and up running a mile and a sixteenth on the main track. Publication time is 9:37 p.m. EDT.
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I’ve been a fan of the No. 2 Defunded (5-1) ever since he returned as a gelding and graduated as my 8-1 first pick at Santa Anita in March 2021. Mar, and he finished the exacta in a trio of graduated stakes starts. It’s a good distance for the early sort and he’s had quality speed ratings in his last three starts.
Number 7 Tripoli (6-1) rallied for the place in this race last year and followed that up with a 6-1 upset in the Pacific Classic (G1). He then gave up and came back with a troubled 4th from the American (G3) one mile on grass. This final preparation of the turf should prepare it to advance to this spot.
No. 3 Mandaloun (4-1) widened and weakened to 4th in his first start from Saudi Arabia in the Stephen Foster (G2) on July 2. He is twice winner of the bet on this distance and could rebound for Florent Geroux and Brad Cox.
No. 8 Country Grammer (5-2) is the estate class. He won the Peter Pan (G3) in 2020, the Gold Cup (G1) last year, and finished second in the Saudi Cup (G1) and 1st in the Dubai Gold Cup (G1) in his last two starts . He’s using it as preparation for the Pacific Classic, and he wants every bit of the classic distance.
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#2 to win
Recent Best Bet Winners
July 1 – Net a Bear ($6.20), Trifecta ($87.80)
July 2 – Crystal Cliffs ($4.20) – tied
July 3 – Chasing Artie / The Virginian exacta ($29.00)
July 6 – First I’ve Seen / Hannah’s Haven exacta ($17.40)
July 9 – Butterbean/Falconet exacta ($22.00), trifecta ($74.20)
July 11 – Mo Clare’s ($6.80)
July 16 – Trifecta Beren/Wondrwherecraigis/Pickin’ Time ($146.00)
July 22 – Practice Squad ($12.60), exacta ($26.20), trifecta ($31.40)
July 23 – Dolce Zel ($8.60), trifecta ($96.00)
July 24 – Bellabel ($8.00)
July 25 – Heywoods Beach ($8.20), trifecta ($70.60)
Tuesday – Nice Ace ($5.00)
Thursday – Fun to Dream ($4.20), Trifecta ($35.60)