A pair of graded stakes on the lawn will take center stage on Sunday at Del Mar.
An excellent field of nine fillies and mares will go postward in a fine affair. I love the form run of #2 Maxim Rate (8-1) and will use her in most of my wagers. The gray daughter of Exchange Rate faces a tall task in a high-quality field, but she owns two wins on the course and has finished first or second in five straight races overall. Grade 2 queen will have Rispoli on board.
Breeders’ Cup winner #3 Sharing (5-1) is a top-three must-use for Graham Motion. The ultra-classy Speightstown sophomore faces her elders for the initial time, but she is too good to ignore at a nice number.
- $10 Win and Place: #2 Maxim Rate ($20)
- $1 Trifecta: 2,3 with 2,3 with all ($14)
- $1 Trifecta: 2,3 with all with 2,3 ($14)
Juveniles will travel one mile on the sod with 11 signed on for the event. I expect a swift early pace in the race, which will aid the late-running style of Peter Miller’s #1 Ebeko (6-1). The Irish import was outrun in the recent Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1), though he ran two big stakes races prior to that including a runner-up performance in the Del Mar Juvenile Turf S. Ricardo Gonzalez has the assignment.
#5 Commander Khai (15-1) offers too much value to ignore in the heat. Baltas trainee has never run a bad one on the turf, and the gray is bred to handle the trip in his first route attempt. Speedy sort will never be far back under Mario Gutierrez.
#11 Wootton Asset (9-2) has yet to catch a firm turf course since arriving in the States, and I am curious as to how he might perform on Sunday for Motion. Colt received a tough post on the outside, but he can be any kind beneath Manny Franco.
- $10 Win and Place: #1 Ebeko ($20)
- $3 Exacta Box: 1,5,11 ($18)
- $2 Trifecta Box: 1,5,11 ($12)