Hirsch Winner Earns Ticket to Breeders’ Cup Distaff


A field of six line up at Del Mar in Sunday’s $250,000 Clement L. Hirsch (G1) (Photo credit: DMTC).

A field of six fillies and mares line up in Sunday’s $250,000 Clement L. Hirsch (G1) with the winner earning a starting spot in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1).

The top three finishers from the Santa Maria (G2) square off again. The race was won by Fighting Mad who took the field gate to wire over a speed friendly racing strip at 10-1.

Ce Ce was the beaten favorite in that outing, settling for third. The Mike McCarthy trainee won her three previous starts including the Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) at Oaklawn Park.

Hard Not to Like rallied to finish in the runner up spot in the Santa Maria. She may have the best shot of turning the tables this afternoon. The John Shirreffs trainee has Hall of Fame rider Mike Smith aboard and is the 2-1 morning line favorite.

Santa Maria Replay

The race is a “Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Distaff, which will be held in November at Keeneland.

The division saw a major upset yesterday when heavy favorite Midnight Bisou had to settle for the runner up spot in the Personal Ensign (G1) at Saratoga. Vexatious pulled of the upset and returned $21.00.

My Best Plays Report for Sunday includes my nine strongest plays form Del Mar and Saratoga.

Let’s head out to Del Mar for Sunday’s featured race of the day:

Del Mar Race 10 The Clement L Hirsch G1 (6:30 PT)

3 Hard Not to Love   2-1

2 Ce Ce   3-1

5 Ollie’s Candy   5-2

6 Fighting Mad   4-1

Hard Not to Love

The Shirreffs trainee bobbled coming out of the gate and was way last in the field of five in the Santa Maria (G2). She stalked the early pace and made a mild late rally to finish in the runner up spot, unable to get to the gate to wire winner Fighting Mad, who was taking full advantage of a racing strip that was kind to speed. It was her first start since a second to Ce Ce in the Beholder Mile (G1) two back which was her first trip going two turns. She earned triple digit Beyers three and four back in back to back wins at seven furlongs including the La Brea (G1). The race flow may shift as there may be more pace here which could set things up for the Shirreffs trainee to turn the tables here.

Ce Ce

This filly exits the Santa Monica where she was sent off as the chalk. She tracked the early pace in fourth and flattened out in a third-place finish. She won her three previous starts including a pair of Grade 1 wins. She ran big in the Beholder Mile which was her first start going two turns and then made a good late rally to get up late and win the Apple Blossom ‘Cap (G1) at Oaklawn Park. Looks for this talented filly to bounce back with a better effort in this spot.

Ollie’s Candy

She was third and second behind Ce Ce and then shipped to New York for the Ogden Phipps (G1). She prompted the early pace, took over the lead and opened up heading for home but got run down at the wire and had to settle for third, beaten a nose and a neck by a couple of nice fillies in She’s a Julie and Point of Honor, the latter running third in the Personal Ensign (G1) yesterday at Saratoga. She had a clear lead in the Apple Blossom and got run down. She won this race last year and seldom runs a bad one, landing in the money in 11 of her 13 a career outings.

NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll

No. Horse Points
1 Flightline 351
2 Life Is Good 306
3 Olympiad 292
4 Jackie's Warrior 282
5 Clairiere 142
5 Country Grammer 142
7 Epicenter 121
8 Regal Glory 89
9 Nest 87
10 Hot Rod Charlie 48
As of August 1, 2022

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