Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 2 San Diego Handicap comes our way this Saturday, July 28th from Del Mar Race Track in beautiful Southern California. Horses three years old and upward will race 1 1/16 miles on Del Mar's synthetic track in search of their portion of the $200,000 purse.
The San Diego Handicap has drawn a strong field of seven for an event that acts as a "win and you're in" qualifier for the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile. The San Diego Handicap also acts as a prep for the Grade 1 Pacific Handicap here later this summer. It is race 8 on Del Mar's Saturday card with a post time of 5:30 PM. Here is a look at the seven impressive entries and their performances ahead of this most important Grade 2 race.
2012 San Diego Handicap Race Favorites
Prayer for Relief - Bob Baffert entry who is coming off a decent second to Morning Line in the Mervyn Leroy and a third last time out in the Grade 3 Californian Stakes. Before that was a very disappointing 12th in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap, an OK third in the Strub Stakes and a third in the San Fernando Stakes at Santa Anita. He did have four consecutive wins last year including the Grade 3 Iowa Derby, the Grade 2 West Virginia Derby and the Grade 2 Super Derby but he has failed to win in seven starts. Still, it would seem that Prayer For Relief is due for a score on Saturday.
Kettle Corn - has placed in his last seven starts including his graded stakes debut in the Grade 3 Native Diver on December 3rd, a third to Morning Line and Prayer for Relief in the Mervyn Leroy in May, a close second to Game on Dude in the Californian Stakes in June and a third last time out in the Grade 1 Hollywood Gold Cup behind... you guessed it - Game on Dude and Richard's Kid. With Game On Dude not racing, Kettle Corn hopes to break through with his first win this year and is unquestionably a contender in this race.
San Diego Handicap 2012 | Remaining Field Entries
Tres Borrachos - hasn't had a win since the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap last July and is unplaced in his last three starts. Recently he followed up a pair of OK seconds in the Grade 2 Native Diver and the Grade 2 San Pasqual Stakes with a fourth in the Grade 3 Mineshaft Handicap. He was a disappointing seventh in the Grade 2 Charles Town Classic Stakes in April and last time out was fourth in the Grade 1 Triple Bend at Hollywood Park on June 30th. Tres Borrachos has shown form in the past but doesn't appear to be on point ahead of the San Diego.
Take Control - Bob Baffert's other entry has just two career starts due to a rash of injuries but he does have two wins in those starts - an Allowance Optional Claiming last time out at Hollywood Park and a Maiden Special Weight in December at Santa Anita. Take Control is the first foal of former Horse of the Year Azeri so we all know he has the pedigree.
San Diego Handicap betting at Del Mar with OffTrackBetting.com
Rail Trip - seven year old gelding that has had some success - wins in the Hollywood Gold Cup, the Grade 1 Pacific Classic and the Grade 1 Californian - but that was back in 2009 and 2010. The last year has been dedicated to mostly minor stakes races - a seventh in last year's Whitney Invitational and a fourth in the Grade 3 Los Angeles Handicap in May are his only big races of late. Last time out was a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Hollywood Park on June 28th. Rail Trip does not appear to be a contender at this point of his career.
Mobilized - placed fifth in the Grade 2 American Handicap and followed it with a decent third in the Grade 1 Triple Bend at Hollywood on June 30th. Before that was a win in the Tiznow Stakes on April 28th and an Allowance score at Santa Anita on March 30th.
John Scott - has four wins and two fourth place finishes in six career starts - one of those fourths was in his only graded stakes action - the Grade 1 Norfolk at Santa Anita way back in 2009. He does have two wins in three starts since a 2 1/2 year layoff but is taking a huge step up in competition on Saturday.