OTB Race Previews & Odds
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Las Vegas, NV - Del Mar Racetrack in Del Mar, California will be the scene of the Grade 2 Seabiscuit Handicap on Friday, November 28. Horses three years old and upward will be featured when they go 1 1/16 miles on Del Mar's turf track searching for the winner's share of the $250,000 purse.
A stellar field of 10 will take to the track in the Seabiscuit Handicap - race 7 on Del Mar's Black Friday card. Post time is 3:30 PM. Let's take a peek into the past performances of all 10 entries for this Grade 2 stakes.
Tom's Tribute - has three wins, a second and a third place finish this year and has won three of his last five - the Grade 2 Del Mar Mile August 24, the Grade 1 Eddie Read Stakes here in July and the minor Thunder Road Stakes in April. His other result over that span was a third behind Obviously in the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile. Tom's Tribute has two wins and two seconds in four career starts on this track (two straight wins) and looks to bounce back after a seventh in the Breeders' Cup Mile last time out with Mike Smith guiding the 123 pound highweight from gate 8.
Kaigun - Mark Casse trained gelding has finished second in three Grade 1 stakes this year - the Woodbine Mile in September, the Manhattan Stakes in June and the Maker's Mile in Keeneland. He also won the Grade 2 Play the King Stakes at Woodbine in August but has failed to place in his last two starts overall - a tenth last time out in the Breeders' Cup Mile and a fourth in the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile. Kaigun has 10 starts this year with two wins and three second place finishes - very competitive at times. He leaves from post 6 with Corey Nakatani guiding him.
Big Bane Theory - Carla Gaines trainee is coming off an OK fifth in the Breeders' Cup Mile after a terrific win in the Grade 2 City of Hope Mile Stakes October 4 and a second in the minor Harry F. Brubaker Stakes in August - his first start of the year. He ended 2013 with a fourth in the Grade 2 Citation Handicap, an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Santa Anita October 14 and a second in a similar race in August. He has 12 career starts with four wins, two seconds and a third place finish and will have Joe Talamo aboard from the outside post.
Za Approval - has only a win and a third place finish in five starts this year for trainer Christophe Clement - the win coming last time out in the minor Real Courage Stakes at Belmont Park September 7 and the third coming three back in the Grade 3 Poker Stakes. He finished second in last year's Breeders' Cup Mile, won last year's Grade 3 Knickerbocker Stakes, Grade 3 Red Bank Stakes and Grade 3 Appleton Stakes and had two good runner-up finishes in Grade 1 races last year as well - the Shoemaker Mile and the Woodbine Mile but hasn't been the same this year. Za Approval looks to return to his dominant ways Friday with Victor Espinoza in the saddle from post 2 but enters in just so-so form.
Mr. Commons - is coming off consecutive seconds - behind Big Bane Theory in the Grade 2 City of Hope Stakes at Santa Anita October 4 and in an Allowance in October on this track- his only two starts this year. He failed to place in his last three starts of 2013 - a seventh in the Grade 3 Knickerbocker Stakes in October, a fourth in the Grade 2 Fourstardave Handicap in July and a fifth in an Allowance Optional Claiming in July. Mr. Commons hasn't posted victory since February 2012 but has been close this year. Brice Blanc ride from post 4.
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Skyring - will race for the first time since a tenth in the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs May 3. Before that was a good win in the Grade 2 Mervin H. Muniz Jr. Handicap in March and a second in the Grade 3 Fair Grounds Handicap in February. He has placed in just two of his last nine starts overall but does have two graded stakes scores among his five victories in 29 starts. He will line up in post 7 with Tyler Baze getting the call.
Lil Bit O'Fun - raced in graded stakes company for the first time since 2011 September 26 and finished a decent third in the Grade 3 Eddie D Stakes after a tidy three race win streak - the minor Wickerr Stakes at 20-1 odds on this track July 23, an Allowance Optional Claiming in June and a Claiming score in October. Last time out was a bit of a stumble - an eighth in the minor Damascus Stakes at Santa Anita October 31. Lil Bit O' Fun has 34 career starts with seven wins, five seconds and two third place finishes and will be looking for a bounceback performance with Aaron Gryder aboard from the rail.
Boozer - has placed in all eight starts this year - four wins, two seconds and two third place finishes. He makes his graded stakes debut on a two race win streak including the minor California Flag Handicap last time out in his stakes debut. Boozer has won three of his last four starts overall and looks ready for his step up. Kent Desormeaux will get the call from post 3 Friday.
Pure Tactics - has 19 career starts with eight wins, two seconds and two third place finishes. He enters off a 6 1/2 length win in the minor Lure Stakes October 26 at Santa Anita after a fourth in the Grade 3 Eddie D Stakes in September, a seventh in the minor Jess Jackson Owners' Handicap in August and consecutive wins including an Allowance Optional Claiming on this track in July and the minor Siren Lure Stakes at Santa Anita in June. He has won three of his last five starts but looks to place in graded stakes company for the first time - from gate 5 with Rafael Bejarano aboard.
Avanzare - Tom Proctor pupil has five wins, three seconds and a third place finish in 10 career starts. He is coming off a third behind Big Bane Theory and Mr. Commons in the Grade 2 City of Hope Mile at Santa Anita October 4 and a win in the Grade 3 Washington Park Handicap in August. Before that was a fourth in the Grade 3 Arlington Handicap and consecutive Allowance Optional Claiming scores at Churchill Downs. Avanzare has steadily improved and will have the legendary Gary Stevens in the reins from post 9.
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