How to bet the 2023 Oceanside Stakes
A full field of 14 three-year-olds will travel one mile on the turf at Del Mar in the opening-day feature, Friday’s $100,000 Oceanside S. The wide-open betting event features numerous legitimate contenders, and I feel compelled to search for a good measure of value with my selections.
Mark Glatt’s #7 Agency (15-1) was precocious in 2022 when winning in a dirt sprint on debut, which preceded a clear second in the Best Pal S. (G3) on the main oval at Del Mar. The dark bay colt concluded his juvenile campaign with an unplaced showing in the Del Mar Futurity (G1).
Agency was put on the lawn for his sophomore bow and closed with a nice rush to defeat a talented foe when going 6 1/2 furlongs down the hill at Santa Anita. Purchased for $400,000 last spring, the Kentucky-bred showed a lot of promise on the green in his latest offering and I expect him to handle the move out to a route of ground for the initial time. Abel Cedillo picks up the mount and will have the top pick stalking the pace before being asked for his best in the stretch.
Of the trio of D’Amato trainees in the field, I have the most interest in #12 Ever A Rebel (20-1) despite his wide post slot. Stakes placed in his lone turf endeavor to date, the son of Bolt d’Oro shows solid dirt form but might like the grass more with experience on the surface. The dark bay colt has good tactical speed and a nice foundation with two recent route tries on the dirt under him, and is also bred to thrive on the weeds. If the Kentucky-bred can endure a sensible voyage while being forwardly placed, then I like his chances to be in the thick of it late with Drayden Van Dyke taking the reins atop the longshot.
Michael McCarthy’s #10 Escape Artist (7-2) was last seen dominating allowance foes on the sod at Santa Anita and seems poised to give a nice account of himself while making his black-type debut. This Good Magic three-year-old has been consistently solid leading up to Friday and possesses the gate presence to avoid being left behind in the bulky field early on. Kent Desormeaux will pilot the obvious top-three contender.