Head to Head Analysis with Ed DeRosa 8/13

Ed DeRosa is Director of Marketing for Bloodstock Research Information Services (BRIS) and a lifelong Thoroughbred racing enthusiast and astute handicapper. Ed joined Churchill Downs Inc. following nine years as a writer and editor with Thoroughbred Times. Each week Ed will be providing a full breakdown/analysis for the brand new Del Mar Saturday Head-to-Head Wager.

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Silent Saga to make some noise

The bad news is that unless my choice to win this week's head to head matchup pays $6.60, I will not finish in the black for the wager on the Del Mar feature each Saturday of the meeting.

The good news is I plan to ride a two-race winning streak and positive momentum into next year after tabbing Calimonco to finish ahead of Victory Pete in the Del Mar Handicap, which he did by a head.

The interesting thing about that finish was that Calimonco was 12.4-to-1 in the win pool compared to 8.8-to-1 on Victory Pete, but both were 4-to-5 in the head to head wager. I said last week that 4-to-5 was the price I needed on Calimonco, and I got it, so I consider it a "win", but considering bettors gave him about a 25% less chance to win the race outright I kind of wish he had been a higher price in the head to head.

I don't think I'll have that problem this week, however, as I fully expect Emerald Gold to be favored over Silent Saga in the head to head wager. Both are just maiden winners, but Emerald Gold has sexier connections, a better pedigree, and defeated his foe the only other time they met.
Still, I think enough is here to back Silent Saga at anything better than even money. When Emerald Gold defeated Silent Saga, it was the winner's second career race while Silent Saga was making her debut, but she followed that third-place finish up with a victory. Both fillies are stretching out to seven furlongs, which I don't see as benefitting either of them more than the other.

What I like about Silent Saga in this spot is that it does not appear as if anyone else in the field can run with Coup de Coeur early. Silent Saga won't be on the lead, but she'll be ahead of Emerald Gold through soft fractions, and I don't think Silent Saga will let her head to head competitor get by her late.

Thanks for following along this Del Mar meeting. Keep tabs on the tops in fall racing and Breeders' Cup prep season over at Blog.TwinSpires.com!