Del Mar: The best way to bet the Bing Crosby
When entries were first drawn for Saturday’s Bing Crosby (G1) at Del Mar, the main storyline was whether four-time Grade 1 winner #4 McKinzie could cut back to 6 furlongs and prevail in the shortest race of his career.
But then on Wednesday, the Daily Racing Form reported McKinzie will scratch from the Bing Crosby to target the Aug. 29 Pat O’Brien (G2) instead, which leaves Saturday’s “Win and You’re In" qualifier for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) without anything resembling a clear favorite.
Some bettors will turn to #9 Collusion Illusion, a 3-year-old undefeated in four starts sprinting. Trained by Mark Glatt, the son of Twiling Candy went 2-for-2 at Del Mar last summer and enters the Bing Crosby off a decisive victory in the 6 1/2-furlong Lazaro Barrera (G3) at Santa Anita.
Others will favor the California-bred #6 Fashionably Fast, who won six straight races (including a quartet of stakes events) before he finished second behind McKinzie in the 7-furlong Triple Bend (G2). #8 Wildman Jack, an accomplished turf sprinter, is also worth considering in his first start on the main track.
But rather than accept a short price, I’m going to take a chance betting #3 Desert Law to spring an upset. The son of Desert Code was in fine form last summer, when he dominated Santa Anita’s 6-furlong Thor’s Echo S., then rallied to finish second in the Bing Crosby, beaten just a half-length while posting a career-best 102 Brisnet Speed rating.
Desert Law recently returned from a long layoff to finish third in the 2020 Thor’s Echo, when he gained ground late to finish just two lengths behind the winner. That effort produced a 99 Brisnet Speed rating, and Desert Law has trained sharply since. If he takes a step forward in his second start of the season, Desert Law can go one better than last year and visit the Bing Crosby winner’s circle.
$16 to win on #3 Desert Law
$2 exacta: 3 with 6,9 ($4)
$5 exacta: 6,9 with 3 ($10)