A field of eight 2-year-old fillies will travel 6 1/2 panels on the Del Mar dirt in Saturday’s $100,000 Desi Arnaz S.

Desi Arnaz Analysis

Each of the eight fillies have a measure of early speed, but I think that #7 Astute will be the early leader on the turf-to-dirt move. #5 Varda and #2 Private Mission will chase from the second flight early on.

Desi Arnaz Contenders

#1 PLUM SEXY — Munnings filly rallied with a rush to win on the lawn going away on debut for O’Neill. April foal shows a trio of dirt drills in the interim, but she will have to prove to me that she can replicate her late kick on the main strip.

#2 PRIVATE MISSION — Top pick ran like a seasoned runner when winning at first asking at Santa Anita for Baffert. Well-bred daughter of Into Mischief smoked a bullet five panels in her most recent work, and while I think she will be even more dangerous when she stretches out, I still believe that the Kentucky-bred is ultra-talented and will be tough on Saturday. Van Dyke stays.

#3 CANOODLING — Wildcard daughter of Pioneerof the Nile has run three times this campaign, all on the turf, and she cuts back while moving to the main strip for the initial time. $180,000 yearling purchase will be a one-run closer on Saturday who can get a slice if the pace is fast and contested early on. Rispoli has the call.

#4 VARDA — $700,000 daughter of Distorted Humor was sharp on debut in victory prior to running a distant second in the Chandelier (G1) last time out. Bay New York-bred comes in fresh with a nice string of morning drills, and she will be a factor throughout beneath Cedillo.

#5 QUEENGOL — Anoakia S. runner-up was a smart first-out graduate on this oval prior to finishing a decent second in her stakes debut most recently. Gray Flashback filly has the speed to be in touch early on, and I expect her to be a lively top-three candidate in her return to Del Mar.

#6 MISS COSTA RICA — $200,000 daughter of Hit A Bomb was a turf debut winner preceding her third-place run in the Chandelier for Baltas. Kentucky-bred will prosper on the cut back in distance in the Desi Arnaz, and I consider her to be an exotics player at a fair number under Prat.

#7 ASTUTE — Fleet youngster from the Mandwella shedrow opened up a quick early edge and held on late to graduate on debut on the Santa Anita turf. Expensive Speightstown filly makes the move from the green to the dirt on Saturday, and she will challenge for the lead early on under Mike Smith.

#8 HEELS UP — Third from the Baffert barn graduated at second asking and has drawn outside for her stakes debut. Twirling Candy juvenile responded to the removal of blinkers last time, but she will need improvement to be in the mix late under Victor Espinoza.

Desi Arnaz Wagers

  • $20 Exacta: 2 with 5,6 ($40)
  • $10 Trifecta Key: 2 with 5,6 ($20)