How to bet the 2022 San Diego Handicap

July 29th, 2022

An outstanding field of nine will go postward in the $300,000 San Diego H. (G2) at Del Mar on Saturday. The well-matched cast for the 1 1/16-mile contest attracted a classy group of contenders in what appears to be a fine betting affair.

2021 Kentucky Derby (G1) victor #3 Mandaloun (4-1) will look to bounce back following two unplaced efforts for conditioner Brad Cox, and I think that the four-year-old is in a very good place to return to his winning ways. By Into Mischief, the Juddmonte homebred will make his second attempt since returning from the desert and fits the profile of a horse that will thrive in his local debut.

Mandaloun faces a field with numerous contenders that prefer more distance, so as long as he breaks cleanly in his Del Mar bow, then the bay should enjoy an advantageous trip while never far from the early lead. He is 2-for-3 at the distance with a third, and I like the way that the $2 million earner has been training in advance of this tilt. Regular pilot Florent Geroux comes in to ride and will place the Kentucky-bred near the early tempo going into the first turn.

Gold Cup S. (G1) runner-up #2 Defunded (5-1) is the inside speed of the field and has been first or second in five straight dating back to last season. The gelded son of Dialed In has been something of a late developer who is in very sharp current form, and the chestnut was a dominant, 8 3/4-length allowance winner the last time that he raced on the oval, as well. Abel Cedillo will retain the mount atop the dangerous pacesetter.

#7 Tripoli (6-1) reached new heights last season when switched to the dirt by conditioner John Sadler. The Kitten’s Joy five-year-old finished a fine second in the race in 2021, prior to bagging the Pacific Classic (G1) on the strip, and he has to be given a big chance over an oval that he thrives on. The chestnut likely needs more ground to reach his peak, but his affinity for the locale makes him appealing to me.

I am leaving some accomplished performers off of the bulk of my tickets as I don’t love their chances at the distance.

San Diego Wagers

$20 win: #3 Mandaloun ($20)

$5 exacta key box: 3 with 2,7 ($20)

$1 trifecta: 3 with 2,7 with all ($14)