Pick 4 Preview: Del Mar - John C. Mabee Stakes, Aug 11, 2013
The feature race on Sunday at Del Mar is the Grade 2 John C. Mabee for fillies and mares going nine furlongs on the turf. It comes down to Tiz Flirtatious and Lady of Shamrock, who renew their rivalry once again. In the pick-4, play both as Lady of Shamrock, while talented, is always dependent on the pace. Perhaps that is why trainer John Sadler entered the Argentine-bred Journaliste.
As for the other three pick-4 races, those are a little more wide open.
The sequence starts in race six with two-year-olds sprinting six and one half furlongs on the main Polytrack. The favorite, for the third time in his three career starts, is the Bob Baffert-trained American Pride. The $180,000 Barrett's purchase finished fourth in his debut then improved to be second in his next start. Even though he finished second, he ran a winning race, finishing three and one-quarter lengths in front of Bond Holder, who is also in this race. American Pride is the horse to beat and the horse to catch, but the one that may do just that is Southern Freedom, trained by Jerry Hollendorfer. Southern Freedom finished a strong-closing third in his debut and can move forward with a race under his belt. Dance With Fate was well bet in his debut, but never really got anything going and finished eighth. That four-furlong bullet drill on August 6 jumps off the page. Expect some improved speed.
Race seven is a claiming race for three-year-old fillies and if Lady Rosamond does not win on the tumble in class then it's anyone's race. Lady Rosamond cost $260,000 as a two-year-old, won an $80,000 allowance race in March and is now offered up for $40,000. Of course her trainer is Bob Baffert so he may just be playing the claiming game.
Plenty of options if you are trying to beat the favorite here with Daddy's Song, Sallyana, Majestic Stinger, Bottle Blonde, Sultry Season, Lady Katfish and On Golden Pawn. Tough, tough race.
More claimers in race nine, this time for three-year-olds and upward going a route of ground. Would You and Joe Carl just finished one-two at the level just below this and both will be starting for new connections on Sunday after being claimed from that race. They are once again contenders.
John Sadler has two in the race and both have a shot. God Of War will be up close on the drop from allowance races while Majestic Moment will be doing his best running late after finding the waters too deep in the Grade 3 Cougar II Handicap. Mr. Make Believe goes first-off-the-claim for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer and is the morning line favorite, but jockey Julien Leparoux must work out a trip from post 12.
Definitely not an easy way to end the sequence, but with a possible single of American Pride in the first leg and only using two in the third, the ticket can still be economical and produce a decent payout.
First post on Sunday at Del Mar is 5:05 pm ET with the pick-4 off at 7:40.