Del Mar signs off its current meet with some high quality racing this weekend including two grade 1s and a grade 2. Let’s look at the races in turn.
Saturday 3rd December
Race 6, The Bayakoa Handicap, Grade 2 for fillies and mares over 1 1/16 miles, Value $200,000
8 runners face the starter in this valuable handicap for the distaff side. Vale Dori is the 7/5 Morning Line favourite and it is not hard to see why. She has consistently recorded high Beyer figures, in excess of most of the opposition. She has run well against the cream of the female crop and deliberately sidestepped the Breeders’ Cup with this race in mind.
Amongst the opposition, Gloryzapper already has a decision over Vale Dori but the favourite has improved since then while Gloryzapper has to put a bad run in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff behind her. In addition, Gloryzapper’s over this trip round two turns not inspiring. Wild at Heart also has some decent form to her name but, once again, there are concerns about the trip.
Race 7, Hollywood Derby, Grade 1 for three year olds over 1 1/8 miles (turf), Value $300,000
A field of 12 has been declared for this fascinatingly competitive race where the Morning Line has them at 7/2 the field. This is a fine race with an enticing mix of proven graded stakes winners and those who are loaded with potential.
One of the most exciting lightly raced horses in this race is Hayabusa One. He won his maiden in France with ease and his first run in the USA resulted in another good win (93 Beyer) despite running green. He looks a fascinating prospect and very interestingly priced at 6/1. Other runners with solid credentials include Free Rose, Camelot Kitten and Beach Patrol.
Sunday 4th December
Race 7, The Matriarch Stakes, Grade 1 for fillies and mares over 1 mile (Turf), Value $300,000
We have a field of 12 for the Sunday feature, The Matriarch Stakes. Drawn outside them all is the Morning Line favourite, Miss Temple City (3/1) and she is my idea of the winner. She is admirably consistent at the highest level, recording Beyers of 97, 106 and 104 in her last three races and a mile on turf suits her down to the ground.