Bella Sofia to test Gamine
Race 4 19:05 Del Mar Filly and Mare Sprint - Bella Sophia
Bella Sofia should run well at a fair price in this fascinating sprint.
This smart filly put in a huge effort when winning the Test Stakes at the Spa in August. She swept to the front inside the final furlong and powered home to win easily. She backed up that effort with a victory in the Gallant Bloom in September. I think she has more to offer, and could upset warm favourite Gamine who had to work hard to win the Ballerina. She is fairly priced at 4.3100/30 on the Sportsbook.
Lieutenant Dan the boss
Race 5 19:40 Del Mar Turf Sprint - Lieutenant Dan
This is one of the toughest races on the card but I think Lieutenant Dan should go well.
This talented gelding is unbeaten at the distance in three starts and is a dual course winner. He has blistering early speed and could be tough to peg back. SP is recommended for small stakes.
Life Is Good tough to oppose
Race 6 20:19 Del Mar Dirt Mile - Life Is Good
Life Is Good is one of my best bets of the meeting. This lightly raced colt was narrowly beaten by Jackie's Warrior in the H Allen Jerkins at the Spa in August. He took the lead at the entrance to the straight, and was just denied near the line. The form of that race is rock solid and I will be surprised if he is beaten. He won the Kelso in a canter at the end of September and looks ready. The 1.84/5 on offer is more than fair.
Goddess ready for War
Race 7 20:59 Del Mar Filly and Mare Turf - War Like Goddess
War Like Goddess can repel her European rivals in this intriguing contest.
This filly has established herself as the best middle distance turf horse in the country. She won the Flower Bowl in great style at the Spa and comes in to this race riding a four race winning streak. She is unbeaten at the distance and loves fast ground. Her current Sportsbook price of 4.3100/30 is about right.
Jackie's Warrior for Sprint glory
Race 8 21:38 Del Mar Sprint- Jackie's Warrior
Jackie's Warrior cannot be opposed in this Grade 1 sprint.
This smart performer has done me plenty of favours in the past couple of years and is the clear form pick. He beat Life Is Good at the Spa in August, and never came off the bridle in the Gallant Bob at Parx. He has developed tactical speed, and is able to sit off horses or make the running. He is the complete package and I will be backing him accordingly. The 2.111/10 on offer is more than fair.
Pearls Galore upset minded
Race 9 22:20 Del Mar Mile - Pearls Galore
Pearls Galore is worth an Each-Way bet at 15.014/1 on the Sportsbook.
She has a bit to find with favourite Space Blues but will appreciate the expected fast ground. This is a tricky renewal but is lightly raced and should have more to offer.
Malathaat to foil Letruska
Race 10 23:00 Del Mar Distaff - Malathaat
This is one of my favourite races and it promises to be a classic.
The race revolves around Letruska who has won six Graded Stakes this year including the Grade 1 Personal Ensign at the Spa in August. She is a deserving favourite, but has been on the go since January and would rather back Malathaat at 6.05/1 on the Sportsbook. She was a brilliant winner of the Kentucky Oaks and has only tasted defeat once. She has been working well and will give Letruska all she can handle.
Yibir to deliver for Godolphin
Race 11 23:40 Del Mar Turf - Yibir
Yibir should give a good account of himself in this interesting contest.
This gelding put in a much improved effort when winning the Great Voltigeur at York in August. He swept to the front a furlong from home and pulled clear to win easily. He followed up with another brilliant performance at Belmont Park beating Soldier Rising with the minimum of fuss. He has a devastating turn of foot, and is attractively priced at 7.06/1 on the Sportsbook.
Essential Quality to take down Classic
Race 12 00:40 Del Mar Classic - Essential Quality
Essential Quality is my best bet of the meeting.
This colt has only tasted defeat once when not getting the run of the race in the Kentucky Derby. Since then he has won the Belmont, Jim Dandy and the Travers at the Spa. He has tactical speed and a beautiful long stride that is poetry in motion. There is a lot of speed in the race, and should be able to sit in behind the leaders before making his move. Favourite Knicks Go will not get an easy lead and looks vulnerable. The 4.03/1 on the Sportsbook is fair.