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Exacta Bet of the Day for Saturday, August 17 at Del Mar

By Noel Michaels

This Saturday at Del Mar is the biggest day of the meet – Pacific Classic Day.

Del Mar’s Saturday program features an 11-race card headlined by two Breeders’ Cup “Win & You’re In” races – the Pacific Classic (G1) and Del Mar Handicap (G2) – as well as other stakes and a slew of good races throughout the day.

The Pacific Classic is an obvious feeder into the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), and the Del Mar Handicap, while lacking any realistic threat to finish anything but last in the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1), will make up for its lack of quality by being an excellent betting race offering handicappers an opportunity to beat the favorite(s).

The Del Mar Handicap will be run at 1 3/8 miles on the turf and drew a field of nine in what goes as Del Mar’s 7TH Race on Saturday. Among the favorites will be Itsinthepost (#7) (7-2), but he sports a career 0-for-11 record at Del Mar and has yet to find his best form so far in 2019. Acclimate (#9) (12-1) did his best against lesser rivals at 1 3/4 miles in the San Juan Capistrano (G3), a race which often takes a toll on horses in their subsequent races (this also pertains to Oscar Dominguez [#1] [12-1] in this spot). Therefore, this seems like a race that can be narrowed down to four prime exotics contenders.

Here are four horses to use in all of your Del Mar Handicap exotics.

DEL MAR RACE 7 DEL MAR HANDICAP EXOTICS PICKS:

RITZY A. P. (#2) (12-1) outran 30-1 odds to run third last out in the Eddie Read (G2) here at Del Mar, finishing just a head behind Marckie’s Water, so if you like that horse you’ve also gotta look at this guy too. Was allowed to set the pace last time and probably will do so again as the speediest of the pace horses entered in this race. In career-best form. Should get to the lead and can hold on for a spot in the exotics.

MARCKIE’S WATER (#4) (7-2) exits a solid second in the Eddie Read (G2) at Del Mar last out, and won Santa Anita’s Charlie Whittingham (G2) two races ago, finishing ahead of today’s challengers Ritzy A. P. and United in one race or the other. Has won at this distance on the Del Mar turf course, and his late-running stalking style seems perfectly suited to success at this 1 3/8-mile distance. Consistently high recent BRIS Speed figures all stack-up favorably against this competition.

UNITED (#5) (3-1) made his Del Mar debut a winning one last out and now jumps back into stakes company after having finishing second behind Marckie’s Water two races ago in the Charlie Whittingham (G2) at Santa Anita Park in a race where he clipped heels and suffered a tougher trip but was beaten less that a length. Has since handled this course with flying colors, gets 31% jockey Flavien Prat aboard, and has a suitable late-running/stalking style. Major win candidate and tough to leave off your ticket.

THE GREAT DAY (#6) (5-2) exits a second-place finish in the Arlington Handicap (G3) behind Bandua in a track record-setting 1 3/16-mile race at Arlington, and then Bandua flattered him when returning to run third in last weekend’s Arlington Million (G1). John Velazquez evidently sees the potential this horse showed at Arlington and picks up the mount for high-percentage trainer Arnaud Delacour, who ships in seeking an easy Breeders’ Cup “Win & You’re In” spot.

Bet Ritzy A.P. (#2), Marckie’s Water (#4), United (#5) and The Great Day (#6) in the exotics, and you will have the potential for a solid trifecta. Best of luck!

DEL MAR (FOUR-HORSE) EXOTICS WAGERS:

$1 Trifecta box 2, 4, 5, 6 = $24

PHOTO: Marckie’s Water © BENOIT PHOTO

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