Del Mar – © Benoit Photo

Need some tips for handicapping the anticipated juvenile races at Del Mar this summer? BetAmerica has you covered!

Betting on competitive races packed with unraced or lightly raced 2-year-old Thoroughbreds can be a challenging task, but it can also be a rewarding one. Who doesn’t want to be the first racing fan to uncover a future champion or Triple Crown winner?

Based on data from Statsmaster and Equibase.com, here are a few tips to increase your chances of winning in juvenile races at Del Mar.

  • Bob Baffert is king when it comes to training 2-year-olds at Del Mar. This is the meet he targets with his talented, well-bred youngsters, and his victories tend to come in bunches. Last year he won with a staggering 12 of his 19 2-year-old starters (generating a +41% ROI), and a few of his losers were defeated by their own stablemates. And Baffert has won 14 of the last 23 editions of the Del Mar Futurity (G1), including seven of the last 11. Play against him in the Futurity at your own risk.
  • Baffert isn’t the only trainer to enjoy strong success with juveniles at Del Mar in recent years. Simon Callaghan also boasts a noteworthy record. In 2018 his future champion Bellafina won the Sorrento Stakes (G2) and Del Mar Debutante (G1), but Callaghan fared even better in 2017, when he went 7-for-23 (30%) with his 2-year-olds, won the Debutante with Moonshine Memories and the Del Mar Juvenile Turf Stakes with Encumbered.
  • When playing juvenile grass races, don’t be afraid to back runners with uninspiring form on dirt. The quality of dirt racing in California is clearly superior to the turf racing, especially when it comes to 2-year-olds. It’s not uncommon to see young runners start their careers on dirt and then break their maidens switching to grass. Six of the 10 juvenile turf winners at Del Mar last summer debuted with one or more losing efforts on dirt.
  • If you’re looking for longshots, trainer Steve Miyadi is your man. He wins at a high rate with juveniles at Del Mar—31% in 2018 and 25% in 2017—but he’s particularly strong with youngsters starting at 8-1 or higher. He’s sent out five winners from 19 longshot runners over the last two years to generate a +221% ROI. Four of his five winners came in maiden claiming races. Three of his winners were first-time starters, while the other two prepped at Los Alamitos.

Enjoy the races!