Park to Del Mar is the most important “changeover”
on the major Southern California circuit!
that in mind, let’s pretend that we’re a competent
trainer who enjoys a reasonably good winning meet at Del Mar each
and every year. Trainers who would fall into that category
would include names like Frankel, Drysdale, Mandella, Baffert, Hess,
Ellis, McAnally, Mitchell, Julio Canani and Wally Dollase just to name
so you’re a month away from the best meet of your
calendar year where each and every one of your
owners are letting you know in no uncertain terms how they can’t
wait to go to the seaside oval, be seen in the
ultra-prestigious walking ring with the other owners, and hopefully
end up in the winner’s circle for picture taking in the post-race.
do you do?
you’re in a “win-win” situation!
are under no pressure to run at Hollywood Park for the
next month and you can “rest” your entire barn
as much as possible and/or ship them to Del Mar a bit early to allow
these well-intended seaside invaders to purge their lungs of the Los
Angeles basin’s polluted air. They replace it with the pristine
ocean breezes of Del Mar, where the salt water is less than
500 yards from the backside. Talk about “fresh” air!
who stop running their better horses early in June at Hollywood Park
are surely thinking along these lines. Get the barn as healthy as possible,
ship a 100 miles south to “Paradise” and run for purses that are much
higher at every level.
you give it even more thought, it’s really a win-win-win
situation! The horse wins (he goes on a working vacation at the seashore),
the trainer wins (money and prestige every time one of his runners notch
a win at Del Mar), and the owners win (they rub elbows with fellow wealthy
owners in their never ending quest to keep up with the Rockerfeller’s
situation also repeats itself back East as Belmont winds down and Saratoga
looms large in the immediate future. The reasoning is exactly the same.
“Black Ink” won at Saratoga or Del Mar is worth
much more in the breeding shed (with very
understood, if you are one of those winning trainers, you are looking
over last year’s condition books in anticipation of what will occur
this summer. You know exactly
where horses under your shed row will “fit” and what you
should be doing right now as far as morning workouts
go for any upcoming races early in the new meet.
that in mind, how do we as handicappers know who will be “ready”
for opening day/week and who won’t?
start off with recurrent winning Del Mar (Saratoga) trainers
who “appear” dead at the moment.
first one to come to mind is Bob Hess who just won his first
race in the 9th week of this long 13 week Hollywood meet and is now
incredibly only 1 for 34!
Bob Hess suddenly become brain-dead?
In fact, he was overheard in the paddock after his first win saying
“why run your good horses at this meet for half the purse money”?
gets no argument from me! I know he’s been holding
back-------he does every year at this specific
Hollywood meet, but not quite so dramatically as 1 for 34 after
45 days of racing!!!
have a good “gut” feeling that his horses will
all suddenly “wake up” at Del Mar and ring the register
at “top” dollar, with 4 digit payoffs the “norm” until
the public and the “hot dog lady” catch on! This would hardly
be the 1st time the Hess barn suddenly got “chilly”
in the months of April, May and June only to ignite like a California
wildfire at the seashore oval!
other words, Bob Hess is about to do a “180”! (If you
are playing Belmont at this moment, is there a
Bob Hess “counterpart” lurking in the shadows someplace ready to explode
who else on the Southern California circuit looks “ready”?
about Darrell Vienna? He has only started
a dozen horses at Hollywood but still has a nice win percentage thru
the 1st week of June (9 weeks). If Vienna is true to form,
he’ll start that many runners within 3 weeks at Del Mar!
McAnally is “eerily quiet” at the moment and has been for a
while. When he gets back on target, he’ll once again be winning at
a 20 % plus clip---and where better to begin his
comeback than at Del Mar 2001?
matter what circuit you play, whenever one meet is ending and another
right behind, you as a handicapper should be thinking ahead
looking for a betting “edge” of any kind. Seeing who is “hot” at the
moment and who isn’t will be surely helps your chances of ending up
in the “black” for the meet if you properly interpret what is before
the other side of the coin, the Jack Carava barn is in
a 3-way battle for the training title at Hollywood Park. Simply put,
by the time Del Mar rolls around, this barn will have most likely already
“fired” their best shots in search of that training
title and fleeting notoriety. Unless Carava “platoons” his stock in
the next 4 weeks, he’ll be hurting at Del Mar!
Sise is also doing well at Hollywood with his small stable. That success
can’t go on forever and most likely turns around in the negative come
opening week at Del Mar.
could go on and on, but the purpose of this writing wasn’t to clue you
in on Del Mar 2001, but rather to show you EXACTLY
what you should be looking at from meet to meet on any continuous