Solana Beach Stakes Headlines Friday Twilight Card at Del Mar
The stakes action for the week at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club commences with the $150,000 Solana Beach Stakes. The one-mile event for California Bred or California Sired Fillies and Mares drew a solid field of 9 that includes the second, third, fourth and seventh place finishers from last year’s rendition.
Of the four mares exiting last year’s Solana Beach Stakes, #8 Moonless Sky brings the strongest resume into Friday’s twilight card. The daughter of Bold Chieftain has won 5 of 16 career starts for trainer Eddie Truman and has a win and a runner-up effort over the sod. Furthermore, she has thrived at the one-mile distance notching all of her career victories at eight panels. I was far from impressed with her effort during the first week of the meeting, but that came versus open company high level optional claimers. She should relish the return to state bred competition.
#3 Shehastheritestuff only beat one horse in last year’s Solana Beach, but ran a strong third 19 days later before heading to the bench for veteran conditioner Paddy Gallagher. The daughter of Unusual Heat was overmatched in her first start off the near ten-month break in the Grade 3 Wilshire, but that was understandable. The five-year-old has performed well over the Jimmy Durante Turf Course and should appreciate the drop in class. Getting hot riding Drayden Van Dyke back in the saddle helps since he has been onboard for a number of this gal’s top efforts.
#2 How Unusual stalked early and held on for third at 12-1 last year for trainer Michael Pender, but she had a strong prep at nine furlongs before the Solana Beach in 2017. I do not have much interest in using her this year in her first try since mid-March.
#4 Lynne’s Legacy makes her second start of the meeting after a seventh-place finish in the Osuinitas Stakes a few weeks back. The fact that the temporary rails are out at 30 feet will make things difficult on the Doug O’Neill trainee, but if they fly early on she should be finishing well under jockey Rafael Bejarano.
#9 Cordiality has faced open company in all 5 of her starts in 2018 for trainer Mark Glatt, including a strong third place effort in the Grade 3 Wilshire where she posted a career best 100 BRIS speed rating. The daughter of Papa Clem has won 8 of 22 and has finished in the top two in 3 of 4 tries over this turf course. Jockey Tyler Baze should be able to stalk just off the early pace of #1 Queen Bee to You and #7 Princess Roi. If Baze can avoid getting caught up in an early battle his mount should be very tough to get by late.
#6 Cheekaboo has not won since June of 2016 at Santa Anita, but she has run third in 3 straight starts for trainer Peter Eurton. She did not threaten the winner on July 29th, but I love the way she finished under Hall of Famer Gary Stevens. She is hard to endorse on top given the lack of victories of late, but she has a big shot to hit the board on Friday.
The aforementioned Princess Roi made her first start since early April on July 21st for trainer Richard Baltas. The daughter of Roi Charmant sped to the lead from her inside draw before tiring late in an optional claimer over this course. She will need to pick things up to be a factor in this group, but she likely needed that race. It is interesting that Hall of Famer picks up the mount with regular rider Corey Nakatani sidelined due to injury.
#5 How About Zero has struggled to put back to back starts together in 2018 and will need to run a lot better than she has in her last two to be competitive in the Solana Beach.
9-6 = $10
$2 Trifecta Wheel
9 with 6 with 3+4+7+8 = $8
$2 Trifecta Wheel
9 with 3+4+7+8 with 6 = $8