How to bet the Del Mar Debutante

September 7th, 2023

A massive field with 14 juvenile fillies on board will contest the $300,000 Del Mar Debutante (G1) on Saturday. The seven-furlong dirt dash features numerous fine prospects and is a very attractive betting opportunity. While I fear that Richard Mandella’s #9 Tamara might be overbet due to her pedigree, I still like her chances to have a major say in the outcome of the feature.

Del Mar Debutante Wagers

  • $25 win: #9 Tamara ($25)
  • $6 exacta key box: 9 with 4,12 ($24)
  • $.50-cent trifecta 9 with 4,7,8,12 with all ($24)

By Bolt d’Oro out of the otherworldly Beholder, the February foal overcame a good amount of adversity in her debut run and still was a winner in going-away fashion, and I expect her to improve second time out. The bay filly stumbled early from a tricky rail post at first asking but overcame that hiccup to stride clear late while coming home in swift fashion. The Spendthrift homebred will appreciate the distance on Saturday, and I love that she posted a three-furlong bullet on the oval in preparation for her stakes bow. Mike Smith will guide the well-bred filly.

In a race where I expect the early pace to be hot and contested, closing types are of focus to me. The John Shirreffs-trained #12 Gate to Paradise ran evenly at first asking, but runners from this barn are much more dangerous second time out, and with increases in distance, too. The $950,000 juvenile purchase was not aided by a poor break in her debut run, but the gray has posted four solid morning drills in the interim and figures to be a big number in the affair. She will be rallying late under Kent Desormeaux.

#4 Benedetta, a clear runner-up in the Sorrento S. (G3) in her second lifetime assignment, will run with the blinkers off for the initial time. The Simon Callaghan pupil, who fetched a bid of $750,000 at OBS in March, put in a swift five-furlong drill last Saturday and will sit a very good stalking trip to get first run on the deeper closing ones at the top of the lane. The City of Light bay retains the services of pilot Victor Espinoza.

Sorrento S. heroine #7 Dreamfyre and stakes winner #8 Pushiness both possess a world of early gas, but I envision that duo going at it from the opening bell. I fear that one, or both, will be vulnerable inside the final furlong of the heat.