The first of seven Grade 1 races to be contested at Del Mar this summer is on tap on Saturday, with a field of seven lining up in the $400,000 Eddie Read at nine furlongs on turf. Midnight Storm is the 8-5 morning line favorite.
The Phil D’Amato trainee has won three of his four career starts on turf, the lone loss a runner up finish last out in the Shoemaker Mile (G1) where he was beaten a half-length for the top spot.
Tyler Baze has the return call on the son of Pioneerof the Nile and will tote 119 pounds breaking from the three post.
Finnegans Wake is the second choice on the morning line at 2-1. Trained by Peter Miller, the son of Grade 1 turf winner Powerscourt was fourth last out in the Gold Cup at Santa Anita (G1) and returns to turf. All seven of his career wins have come on the lawn including last year’s running of the Hollywood Turf Cup (G2), which was contested at Del Mar at their fall meeting.
The Eddie Read goes off as the fourth race on the 10-race card. Later on the card state bred fillies and mares will do battle in the $80,000 Osunitas at 1 1/16 miles on turf.
The race drew a full field of a dozen along with a pair of also-eligibles. The John Sadler trained Elektum is the 7-2 morning line favorite. The four-year-old filly ran a good fourth in the Gamely (G1) in her last outing. Victor Espinoza will rider the filly for the first time as she makes her fifth start in the U.S. after shipping in from France.
I will have selections for the Osunitas along with my strongest plays from Del Mar and Belmont Park in Saturday’s Best Plays Report.
Let’s head out to Del Mar for Saturday’s featured race of the day:
Del Mar Race 4 The Eddie Read (G1) Post time 3:42 PT
3 Midnight Storm 8-5
4 Power Red 8-1
7 Finnegans Wake 3-1
2 Gabriel Charles 5-1
Midnight Storm had a three race winning streak snapped last out when he ran a game second to Talca in the Shoemaker Mile (G1) at Santa Anita, beaten a half-length for the top spot. His winning streak included a win in the Del Mar Derby (G2) here last August in his lone start at nine furlongs.
The colt makes his third start off the layoff here for the Phillip D’Amato barn. He has landed in the exacta in seven of his nine career starts and owns the edge in early and mid pace numbers. He will be tough to catch in this spot.
Power Red made a good late rally to finish to third behind Finnegans Wake in the San Marcos and was placed second via a disqualification. The Neil Drysdale trainee won the Fitzsimmons two back at Turf paradise at a mile.
His last three efforts have been his best speed fig wise and if Big Cazanova can give our top pick a battle early this guy may benefit. Worth tossing in the mix if he goes off near his 8-1 morning line.
Finnegans Wake is back on his preferred surface after checking in fourth in the Gold Cup at Santa Anita (G1) last out on dirt. He won the Woodward Reserve Turf Classic (G1) three back at Churchill Downs. His lone trip over the grass here was a win in the Hollywood Turf Cup (G2) when it was run here for the first time last November. He reunites with Victor Espinoza, who was aboard for his last five victories.
WIN: Midnight Storm to win at 8-5 or better.
EXACTA: 3,4 / 2,3,4,7
TRIFECTA: 3,4 / 2,3,4,7 / 1,2,3,4,7
Get Michael’s Best Plays Report each Saturday and Sunday including all of the U.S. based Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” races from now to Oct. 8 and Michael Dempsey’s 2-Day Breeders’ Cup Report. Michael’s two day Breeders’ Cup Report includes his selections, analysis, fair odds line, and wagering recommendations for every race on the two-day championship event from Keeneland on Oct. 30-31.