Below is the Pick 4 ticket for August 6th at Del Mar. As always, the ticket is $20 or less.
Alaskan Son (#3, 7-2) was impressive in his U.S. debut, beating an extremely nice maiden named Langham in the process. I think Langham, who was making his debut that day, has stakes potential. If that holds true, then Alaskan Son should be able to step right up into this first level allowance and win. D’Amato may have another nice turf prospect on his hands in Alaskan Son.
Annie’s Candy (#7, 15-1) might have just wanted turf all along. The gelding, who was a head behind Nyquist last year, looked as if he was tailing off before his last start. He was put on the Del Mar turf course against older foes last time and responded with a fast closing third. If he repeats that turf effort against three-year-olds on the stretch-out, then he can take this race at a nice price.
Barton Lodge (#6, 12-1) could be a sneaky longshot in here. He was left at the gate in his U.S. debut before being trapped behind a wall of horses in a tougher allowance race at Keeneland last time. O’Neil has freshened this gelding and he returns home with a string of fast workouts in the morning. He appears to be feeling good and could surprise in his third start in the U.S.
Race 8 :
Straight Fire (#7, 8-5) only has to run back to his debut to win this race. Keith Desormeaux horses improve with experience and this colt showed great speed before tiring late against Chasing Aces, who managed to break the track record in winning that race. Straight Fire will be a low price, but is a single in this sequence.
Moonlight Drive (#3, 3-1) was visually impressive in his U.S. debut before looking a little short in his second American start in the Oceanside. He made the lead in the stretch, but was blown away by Monster Bea. Look for Moonlight Drive to be tighter this time around with Flavien Prat taking the call.
Ebadan (#9, 12-1) figured strongly in the Oceanside after two good performances against older foes. He did not run a step in the Oceanside, but he did have a nightmare trip behind horses throughout. He has the look of an upsetter if he can rebound to his prior form.
Monster Bea (#8, 5-2) is strictly the horse to beat after blitzing his foes in the Oceanside. He seems to be improving with every start and a repeat of that performance will make him very tough in here. The only negative is a short price in a race filled with viable contenders.
Burger and Fries (#7, 12-1) is an intriguing U.S. import for Paddy Gallagher, who can have a Euro cranked up too win first time. He ran well over a left-handed course at a top French track two starts back and is a fresh face in a competitive group. French imports used to do extremely well at Del Mar.
Lucky Bryan (#6, 9-2) has steadily improved in each and every start. He will need to take one more step forward to win the La Jolla, but he may be capable of that after winning from the 12 post in his last start.
Free Rose (#1, 12-1) was only a length and a quarter behind Monster Bea at Churchill Downs and was further from the pace then he prefers against tough older horses in his first start for Richard Baltas. He should be able to sit just off the leaders on the inside and if a hole opens up on the turn, he will get first jump in a wide-open race.
Alaskan Cruise (#9, 5-2) ran a strong second last time out against a class dropper. He has enough speed to make the lead in a race filled with horses who do not want to pass anybody. A repeat of his last effort should put this gelding in the Winner’s Circle to end the day.
Little Mustard (#4, 5-1) has proven to be a bit of a hanger, but leading jockey Flavien Prat is willing to give him one more chance, so I will as well. Prat jumps off of Yet Another Nate and Rideo to take the mount on Little Mustard. Little Mustard has run second three times, all with Prat aboard. He finally flees the rail and will be closing late at 7 furlongs.
$0.50 Pick 4 Ticket: 3,6,7 / 7 / 1,3,6,7,8,9 / 4,9 = $ 18