How to bet the 2022 Del Mar Handicap

September 2nd, 2022

A total of 11 turf stayers will run 1 3/8 miles on the lawn in Saturday’s $300,000 Del Mar H. (G2). The race lacks a clear standout, and I will spread my wagers around with a trio of my top selections in the excellent betting race.

The Mike McCarthy-trained #9 Master Piece (3-1) was a fantastic winner of the Eddie Read S. (G2) on the oval last time out and looms large right back on this day. The gray son of Mastercraftsman earned his signature win most recently when streaking clear late to post a 3 1/4-length victory, making it two straight fine performances at Del Mar from as many tries.

Master Piece, who was a late-running second in the race in 2021, has a powerful turn of foot and has proven more than capable of enduring the 1 3/8-mile voyage in the past. I expect the pace to be an honest one at the very least, which will aid the Chilean-bred inside the final furlong. We won’t get 16-1 again, but a decent price is expected with Abel Cedillo back in the stirrups.

Conditioner Phil D’Amato has four contenders in the marathon, including the lightly raced #2 Gold Phoenix (6-1). By Belardo, the gelding has registered a pair of nice runs off the layoff and seems poised to break through with his best on the stretch out in distance on Saturday. The chestnut four-year-old was a good third in the Charles Whittingham S. (G2) at 10 furlongs in April, and he had a very good prep for this in the allowance ranks last time out, as well. Flavien Prat riding is a major bonus.

#10 Masteroffoxhounds (6-1), also for D’Amato, can be a bit quirky but will be a major presence if he fires his best shot third time out for this excellent conditioner. The War Front five-year-old has the running style to get the jump on the late runners, and I expect him to be in the mix inside the final furlong with Juan Hernandez riding. The bay is a key exotics piece in the field.

Del Mar Handicap Wagers

  • $20 win: #9 Master Piece ($20)
  • $3 exacta box: 2,9,10 ($18)
  • $.50-cent trifecta: 2,9 with 2,9,10 with all ($18)