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Re-Examining Del Mar

Posted by Briam Mulligan on 9/13/2010 3:59:57 PM

The best handicappers in the sport don’t just bet, complain, load up and bet again but they have a build-in rear view mirror to analyze what just happened with an eye to the future. Enter a re-examination of the recent Del Mar meet.

First off, some horses just didn’t take to the main surface at the beach and they have to be upgraded when they get over to the next stop where they have proven ability on a certain surface.

It’s been said by a few trainers that the synthetic brings horses together more and doesn’t really allow good horses to be great and that can be seen with all the close finishes this meet at Del Mar.

First the human element. Doug O’Neill saddled more horses than anyone, 136, and watched 31 get their picture taken but he also had a milkshake positive late in the meet and will have to deal with that.

A milkshake in regards to horse racing is a baking-soda solution that is fed through a horse’s nostril, directly to the stomach. It is some times combined with other substances, maybe sugar or another drug. What the combination does is neutralize the buildup of lactic acid, which is produced as horses run and exercise. So when the lactic acid is neutralized, the horse becomes less fatigued, less tired, and able to run faster and sometime further.

When looking to next season, expect those that had big meets this year to repeat. Eric Kruljac won with 7 of his 20 starters, Craig Dollase was 6 for 21 and Carla Gaines cashed with 10 of her 34 starters. All should have big meets next year too.

Dollase average winner paid over $22 and Kruljac’s average winner paid a fat 6-1. Nice.

The riding title came down to the final race that put Joel Rosario one ahead of Rafael Bejarano and those two should be near the top for years to come. The rider story of the meet was Pat Valenzuela, who finished third in the standings with 29 wins.

There were also some good value riders this year at the seaside. Alonso Quinonez won 13 races and his average winner paid over $36.

Alex Bisono was 3 for 20 but his average winner paid $38 and bug boy Johnny Gihua had a super meet cashing with 5 of 51 mounts but the average winner paid over $45.

A race can be won or lost in the racing office when the post positions are drawn and astute players should be aware of the post position facts of Del Mar this past meet.

It was difficult to win from the outside slots going 5 and a half furlongs as posts 9 though 12 combined were a dismal 5 for 71.

At 7 furlongs on the main track, the outside slots were potent as the 7 and 8 slots were tied at 25% this year. When going long on grass, the inside slots were potent. Post 2 and post 6 lead the league at 25% while you didn’t want to be outside routing on turf.

Slots 7 through 10 were a combined 4 for 40.

Stats are stats and they can be made to say what ever can be gleaned but if a runner was hung outside in those abbreviated sprints and now gets a better post at Hollywood, that runner deserves an extra glance.

It would then be logical to dismiss runners that were hung out in bad posts going long on the grass this past Del Mar meeting and if they get cozier slots next time, they figure to move up.

The best pay attention, gain information, and get better.



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