The Michael McCarthy trained Smooth Like Strait looks like a danger to wire in the field in Saturday’s $250,000 Eddie Read (G2) at Del Mar.
The four-year-old son of Midnight Lute has won seven of his 15 career starts and comes into the Eddie Read off a gate to wire score in the Shoemaker Mile (G1) at Santa Anita. Umberto Rispoli has the return call on the colt who is the 9-5 morning line favorite.
The Shoemaker was a Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) which will be held at Del Mar this November.
The Richard Mandella trained United is the second choice on the morning line at 5-2. The gelding tossed in a subpar effort last out when checking in fourth and last in the Charles Whittingham (G2) at Santa Anita. The gelding won the Eddie Read last year as the betting favorite.
The co-feature on Saturday’s card at Del Mar is the $200,000 San Clemente (G2), a one-mile test for three-year-old fillies that drew a field of 12.
The Phil D’Amato trained Going Global is the 4-5 morning line favorite. The filly has won five of her eight career starts and is perfect in her four starts since landing in the U.S. She won the Honeymoon (G3) at Santa Anita in May in her last outing.
The stakes at Saratoga on Saturday drew small fields. Just four will go in the $500,000 Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) led by 2-5 morning line favorite Malathaat. The Todd Pletcher trainee makes her first start since winning the Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs in May.
Smooth Like Strait Wins Shoemaker Mile
The $200,000 Caress (G3) is the supporting feature with a field of six fillies and mares going 5 ½ furlongs on the turf. The Bruce Brown trained Robin Sparkles is the 6-5 morning line favorite.
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Let’s head out to Del Mar for Saturday’s featured race of the day:
Del Mar Race 8 The Eddie Read G2 5:36 PT
6 Smooth Like Strait 9-5
4 Count Again 5-1
2 United 5-2
3 Say the Word 3-1
Smooth Like Strait
The McCarthy trainee took the field gate to wire to win the Shoemaker Mile (G1) last out earning a career top speed figure. The effort was flattered when the third-place finisher Restrainedvengence came back to win the American (G3) at Santa Anita on June 20. Two back at today’s 1 1/8-mile distance our top pick was beaten just a neck when third in the Old Forrester Turf Classic (G1) at Churchill Downs. His other two trips at nine furlongs were solid, a head loss in the Hollywood Derby (G1) here last November and a win in the Twilight Derby (G2) last October at Santa Anita. The colt catches a field here without much early zip signed up. He looks capable of stretching his speed out another furlong and taking this group gate to wire.
This gelding has managed to make just 11 starts in his career, not debuting until the summer of his four-year-old campaign. Since going from Gail Cox to Phil D’Amato he has stepped up his game. He won the Seabiscuit Handicap (G2) in his first start for the barn with a career top going 1 1/16 miles here last November. After a clunker in the San Gabriel (G2) he bounced back rallying for third in the Frank Kilroe (G1) and then made a mild late run in a paceless race in the Old Forrester to check in fourth, beaten 1 ¾ lengths. He looks like the best shot of breaking up a chalky exacta.
The Mandella trainee tossed in a bad one last out as the chalk in the Charles Whittingham (G1), checking in last of four. The gelding has worked well since that outing and Mandella said he discovered a minor hoof problem which might have contributed to his poor outing. He won the San Luis Rey (G3) two back in his first start of 2021. Last year he won four of his six starts including this race and the John Henry Turf Classic (G2). He may be better from 1 ¼ to 1 ½ miles but he has won both of his outings at today’s distance in his career. He figures to bounce back with a better effort but is going to be a light price.
WIN: Smooth Like Strait to win at 8-5 or better.
EXACTA: 6 / 2,3,4 and 4,6 / 2,4,6