How to bet the Rancho Bernardo Handicap

August 25th, 2023

A total of eight fillies and mares will travel 6 1/2 furlongs on the Del Mar dirt in Sunday’s $125,000 Rancho Bernardo H. (G3). The well-matched field lacks a sure standout, and it appears to be an affair where the mutuels can come back in a healthy way.

Las Flores S. (G3) heroine #3 Lady T was a game allowance winner on this surface off the layoff last time out for conditioner John Shirreffs, and I believe that the daughter of Into Mischief was using that dash as a prep for today. The Kentucky-bred filly spent a good part of 2022 running in route races, with a pair of those coming on the lawn, but she has found her niche in one-turn contests as of late.

Lady T has run quite well in her last two tries at Del Mar, where she dons a 4-1-2-0 overall mark, and I fully expect her to move forward in her second run off the bench after firing a half-mile bullet on the oval on Wednesday. Mike Smith will take the reins and have the four-year-old coming from off the pace in a field with a good amount of speed in the mix.

Bob Baffert has two in the field, led by Grade 1 victress #8 Eda, who received an outside draw for the fray. By Munnings, the hard-trying filly has won six races in succession dating back to her juvenile season, and she has proven to be more than capable of firing her best shot off the layoff, as well. The speedy Kentucky-bred has won sprinting and routing, she owns a win on the local strip, and the bay looks to be training in fine fashion in advance of Sunday, too. Top pilot Juan Hernandez will be in the irons.
John Sadler’s #1 Kirstenbosch gave a decent account of herself when beaten by 5 3/4 lengths in the Clement Hirsch (G1) going two turns most recently and will cut back in distance, as well as having blinkers added, in this heat. The Grade 3 winner came home a solid allowance vixen on the oval in September in her previous try at Del Mar, and her versatile running style makes her attractive from the rail at a likely square price. If the Midnight Lute filly can keep in touch early on, then she will be dangerous turning for home with Hector Berrios up.
Course specialist #2 Home Cooking and Tom Proctor’s #5 Muted will also be used in the vertical exotics.

Rancho Bernardo Wagers

$10 win and place: #3 Lady T ($20)
$2 superfecta: 3,8 with 3,8 with 1 with all ($20)
$2 superfecta: 3,8 with 3,8 with all with 1 ($20)
50-cent superfecta: 3 with 1,8 with 1,2,5,8 with all ($15)