by Jerry Shottenkirk
November 17, 2018
The Grade 3 Bob Hope Stakes makes the Del Mar late Pick 4 attractive, and the seven-furlong sprint for 2-year-olds could be preview of the quality of runners southern California will roll out early next year in the races leading up to the top events.
The Bob Hope is the eighth race on the nine-race card is the third leg of the Pick 4. Only six runners remain after Metropol was scratched Friday. Four entrants are 4-1 or lower on the morning line and the favorite – the Bob Baffert-trained Mucho Gusto – is 5-2. Metropol is also a Baffert trainee and it was decided that he would step aside for this one.
Mucho Gusto came to the track with a good reputation from his morning activities and he responded with a four-length score over Vantastic in 1:10 (6f) at Los Alamitos.
Others have more experience, and at least two others are worthy of being used on the suggested Pick 4 tickets. Extra Hope comes off a smashing maiden score at Santa Anita in his fourth start. The Richard Mandella trainee won by nearly nine length and after consecutive two-turn races will have to get rolling earlier.
Sparky Ville, trained by Jeff Bonde, comes off a win in the restricted Sunny Slope and tried the G2 Best Pal and G1 Del Mar Futurity. He was 2nd, beaten 10 lengths by Instagrand in the Best Pal and was sixth behind eventual Breeders’ Cup Juvenile champ Game Winner in the Del Mar Futurity.
The Pick 4 ticket is a 3 x 4 x 3 x 3 proposition for $54. In the 6th race, June Two Four, From the Distance and Jump the Tracks are the top contenders in the ‘non-winners of two’ claiming sprint. An even more competitive heat follows in the 7th, a maiden distance turf race for California-breds. Into Rissa, Weather Market, Absolutely Perfect and Paprika all have shown some ability and warrant attention. After the Bob Hope, $8,000 sprint claimers ended the day, and Matriculate, Vending Machine and Louden’s Gray are worthy of inclusion on the ticket.
Here’s the suggested ticket for the late Pick 4 at Del Mar:
Race 6) #1 June Two Four, #2 From the Distance, #6 Jump the Tracks.
Race 7) #2 Into Rissa, #6 Weather Market, #7 Absolutely Perfect, #8 Paprika.
Race 8) #2 Extra Hope, #3 Mucho Gusto, #6 Sparky Ville.
Race 9) #1 Matriculate, #3 Vending Machine, #6 Louden’s Gray,
Total Ticket Cost: 1-2-6 with 2-6-7-8 with 2-3-6 with 1-3-6 ($54).