Sunday is a football day, and if you’re a horse racing fan, a horse racing day as well. It’s always a horse racing day. Fortunately, there is something going on continually in the world of horse racing. Weekends always have the most races, which is going to be especially true next weekend for Breeders’ Cup weekend at Keeneland in Lexington. Finally the Breeders’ Cup Classic is going to be upon us shortly.
For the most part, this has been a quiet weekend without much in the way of big stakes events. Sunday is no exception, as the running of the $250,000 Coronation Futurity at Woodbine is the only stakes event in North America for a purse larger than $100,000. Belmont Park has a couple of $80,000 stakes races, but that’s about all. Del Mar returned this weekend for the start of their winter meet in California. There are a total of nine races on the card, with $404,000 in prize money available. Let’s see what we can do on Sunday at Del Mar. Head below for our free Del Mar picks for November 1, 2020.
Post Time: 12:30 p.m. PST
We will get going at Del Mar on Sunday afternoon with the first race of the day. Race 1 features a mile of racing on the main track. We might have a duel between Spielberg and Parnelli in the stretch run. Bob Baffert was feeling confident in Spielberg and entered her in two Grade 1 races prior to this event. She ran in the $250,000 Runhappy Del Mar Futurity (Gr. 1) on September 7, and the $300,000 American Pharoah Stakes (Gr. 1) on September 26.
Based on Spielberg’s expectations, neither race played out how Baffert was expecting. They were still solid runs, but he was a win. Spielberg was purchased for $1,000,000 at auction in September of 2019. For that price, you can see why Baffert had her running in Grade 1 events. In the Del Mar Futurity, Spielberg placed 2nd behind Dr. Schivel by 1 ¾ lengths, and then in the American Pharoah Stakes, Spielberg showed 3rd behind Get Her Number by 5 lengths.
Spielberg has looked really good in workouts leading up to this race. She has completed 5 furlongs in 59.60 seconds, 59.20 seconds, and 59.80 seconds. Anything under a minute is quite strong. We will have to see if it translates to raceday, but I feel confident in Spielberg turning in a solid performance today. Parnelli was purchased for $500,000 in the same month that Spielberg was bought.
Parnelli is expected to do big things in her career, too. She has placed 2nd so far in a $55,000 maiden special weight on September 6, losing to Superman Shaq by 3 ¾ lengths. In her second entry, Parnelli lost by a neck in another $55,000 assignment on October 2. She completed 5 furlongs in 1:02.60 and 1:01.40 in September and most recently October 26. I will side with Spielberg to get the win and allow Baffert to breathe a sigh of relief.
Post Time: 1:30 p.m. PST
Race 3 is a mile of racing on the main track at Del Mar. A purse of $23,000 is on the table for this event in California. Big Hoof Dynamite and Blame It On Kitty should present bold bids in Race 3. Blame It On Kitty has gone 3rd, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 4th with four top-3 finishes since June 12. Overall, Blame It On Kitty is a winner in 2 of 21 races. His most recent victory was on January 30 at Santa Anita Park, which was ten races ago.
Several top-3 finishes since then, but a win was unreachable. His form recently has been a bit disappointing. He’s gone 5th in a $41,000 event and 4th in a $22,000 event on October 9 at Santa Anita Park. The $41,000 performance was acceptable I suppose given the class. However, 4th in a $22,000 race was a major disappointment. However, if Blame It On Kitty can bounce back to form, then he should be close for a win.
Big Hoof Dynamite has been in the top-3 in seven of his previous nine outings. His latest win was on August 28, three races ago, at Del Mar in a $25,000 race by a neck over Alvaaro. He showed tremendous kick in the stretch and flew up from 6th at the ¾ pole to 1st. However, Big Hoof Dynamite wasn’t able to follow up, and finished 4th in his last entry on October 12 in a $31,000 race. Down in class for today, expect Big Hoof Dynamite to clean up with a win against this competition.
Post Time: 3:00 p.m. PST
We head to Race 6 for a 6-furlong event on the grass for a tidy purse of $57,000. Ivy League and Pizzazz are likely going to battle hard in the stretch in this race. Ivy League has placed 2nd in back-to-back races to get her career started. She placed 2nd behind Madone in a $55,000 event in her debut on July 31, and then 2nd behind Madone again by a half length and a nose.
Note that Ivy League actually finished 3rd in that race, but was moved up to place money following a DQ for Nimbostratus because of interference with Ivy League. That was in the $75,000 Del Mar Juvenile Fillies Stakes on October 4.
Pizzazz has raced in two races in her career as well. She has gone 2nd and 3rd in two races, placing out of the gate in her first event on August 28 by 1 ¼ lengths, and then followed up to show 3rd in the Surfer Girl Stakes on October 4. Madone was the winner again in that one, this time beating Pizzazz instead of Ivy League.
If Ivy League didn’t get interfered with in her last race, she may have very well won, though. Nimbostratus ran really wide and pushed Ivy League out of the picture. Despite that, she still nearly caught up to Madone for the win. This should be a close race, but I’m going to lean with Ivy League, who doesn’t have to run from the outside and gets a more favorable post position for Race 6.