Daisycutter Handicap Headlines Friday Twilight Card at Del Mar
The Friday feature at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club is the $75,000 Daisycutter Handicap run at five furlongs over the Jimmy Durante Turf Course.This year’s rendition of the Daisycutter drew a competitive group of 9 led by 2-1-morning line favorite #6 Okinawa. The connections of this daughter of The Factor have had a lot of success bringing horses in from out of town, including a win in the 2016 Grade 3 La Jolla Handicap with Free Rose. This four-year-old filly won 2 of 6 for former trainer Chad Brown, including a wire-to-wire victory going six furlongs over the Aqueduct lawn in April. If she can handle the cutback to five panels she makes a ton of sense to run a big one for trainer Richard Baltas.
Trainer Wesley Ward and jockey Kent Desormeaux won this event last year with Shrinking Violet and on Friday they send out #8 Spellker. The four-year-old filly has yet to hit the board in two tries in 2018, but she has had plenty of success going one turn on the lawn notching 3 wins in 11 career starts. Her lack of early zip and the temporary rails being out 24 feet are legitimate concerns, but if they go too fast on the front end she could be rolling late.
#9 Out of The Flames is one half of a strong uncoupled entry for trainer . The daughter of Showcasing has not been seen since a pair of victories at further distances against three-year-olds only. Much like Spellker, the Qatar Racing Ltd gal lacks early speed and is drawn outside with the rails out, so she will have her work cut out for her in the Daisycutter. 5-2 is too short for me.
On the other hand, Out of The Flames stablemate #3 Desert Steel is solid value at 12-1 on oddsmaker Russell Hudak’s morning line. The daughter of Desert Code should relish her return to five-eighths of a mile at . She tried fellow Cal-breds at a mile in mid-May in the Fran’s Valentine and finished fourth while against the flow. She has thrived over this course with 3 wins in 6 starts and should get a nice mid-pack trip under jockey Tyler Baze. She merits major respect at a price on Friday evening.
#1 Symposium returns off the layoff for trainer Jeff Mullins and competes at a distance less than six furlongs for the initial time. The daughter of Exceed and Excel has just one win since arriving in the States, but ran a strong second down the hill at Santa Anita in mid-April. If jockey Tyler Conner can either get this mare to the lead from the rail or find a way to relax her comfortably just off the early pace she should be in the mix late.
#2 Phantom Proton has not been on the sod since a trip down the hillside course in Arcadia in early January, but she exits Grade 2 company where she finished third in the Great Lady M. at Los Alamitos. If she can avoid a slow start she could get the right trip. Her 0 for 3 record on the turf though makes her tough to have confidence in.
Suggested Wagers:$10 Win 3 = $10
$1 Trifecta Wheel
3+6 with 1+3+6+8 with 1+2+3+6+8+9 = $24