It’s a big day at Saratoga with the running of the Alabama Stakes and Saratoga Derby, but there is still a lot of action elsewhere in the country. Del Mar is one of those tracks that has a lot of races that are worth taking a look at. There is only one stakes race at Del Mar today. If that’s what you’re looking for then we have you covered at Saratoga. Woodbine also has a lot of big races worth checking out. The running of the $500,000 Woodbine Oaks will take place on Saturday afternoon. There is no shortage of racing to handicap today.
The marquee race on the west coast on Saturday is the $125,000 Solana Beach Stakes. A total of $555,000 is available at Del Mar today. We have three selections on the docket at Del Mar for this racecard. Head below for our free Del Mar picks for August 15, 2020.
Post Time: 2:13 p.m. PST
Distance: 6 ½ Furlongs
We’re off and running at Del Mar with Race 2. This is a six-horse field vying for a $55,000 purse. Midnight Mystery and Seiche, who are both Bob Baffert trainees, should run a strong race on Saturday. Baffert likely has the winner in this race, but is it going to be Midnight Mystery or Seiche?
Both have a viable chance of taking down Race 2. Midnight Mystery has registered in four races and finished 3rd, 4th, 3rd, 2nd. The biggest race he’s appeared in was the $100,000 Speakeasy Stakes (Black Type) on October 6, 2018 three races ago.
Since then, Midnight Mystery finished 3rd on July 19, 2019 and in his return on July 10, he placed 2nd in a $50,000 event. Midnight Mystery finished a length behind Rayray for the win. He was not regarded as a favorite in that race and raced a little above expectations.
In two 5-furlong workouts, Midnight Mystery completed the assignments in 1:01.80 and 1:00.20. This is a lightly raced gelding that Baffert has been selective with. His other participant in Race 2, Seiche, is making his debut on Saturday. Foaled in 2017, this isn’t Baffert’s next Kentucky Derby winner. However, Seiche should have a successful career.
Seiche was a $230,000 purchase in 2018 and finally ready to go. He has looked excellent in the morning leading up to today. Seiche completed four 5-furlong workouts with times of 59, 59.20, 58.60, and 59.80 seconds. He was also clocked at 36 seconds at 3 furlongs. If that effort translates to raceday, then Seiche likely won’t be caught.
Post Time: 5:42 p.m. PST
Distance:5 ½ Furlongs
Race 8 is our next stop at Del Mar on Saturday. Bob Baffert has two more horses signed up for a $55,000 event. Kalypso and Illumination are both Baffert horses who are expected to run well. Kalypso could get the win, but I have more confidence in him showing at least. Illumination is the second first-time runner for Baffert on Saturday. She’s expected to be a major player in his career and will finally get his opener today. Park Avenue can’t be ignored in this one as well. She is a rookie making her debut in Race 8 as well.
Park Avenue was a $450,000 purchase at auction last September. Baffert has been working Park Avenue out in the morning regularly and has been in solid form. She completed 5 furlongs with times of 1:02.40, 1:00.60, and 1:01.00. Park Avenue also completed 4 furlongs with times of 48.80 and 48.60 seconds. For $450,000, these are races that Park Avenue should be expected to win. She’s likely going to be looking at stakes races soon, but so is Illumination who is projected to be a Gr. 1 runner.
Illumination was purchased for $900,000 and the filly has a bright future in Baffert’s barn. She has been really fast in the morning and completed 4 furlongs with a time of 47.20 and 47.80 seconds in July. Illumination looked even better at a longer distance, as she recorded 59.60 and 59 seconds covering 5 furlongs on the dirt. She is expected to have quite the career and should start off with a bang in Race 8 at Del Mar on Saturday.
Race 9 – Solana Beach Stakes
Post Time: 6:12p.m. PST
The Solana Beach Stakes is worth $125,000 for a mile of racing on the dirt. There are a couple of horses featured in this event that should run strong races here. Cordiality and Mucho Unusual are the horses to watch in Race 9. Both have a solid chance of winning the Solana Beach Stakes. Cordiality is coming off a win in the $65,000 Osunitas Stakes (Black Type) on July 12. Three races ago, Cordiality won the $100,000 Fran’s Valentine Stakes (Black Type) on May 12, 2019 and then returned the following year to defend her title.
Cordiality didn’t win that one and finished 5th on June 6, though she responded on July 12 for an impressive 1 length wire-to-wire win. She completed two 5-furlong workouts with times of 1:01.40 and 1:00.80. Expect Cordiality to be close to the front in this one in the stretch, with a decent enough opportunity to win the race. The one horse with the potential to stop her is Mucho Unusual. Mucho Unusual is 4 for 14 in her career and has participated in some strong events. Her last five entries include finishes of 3rd, 9th, 2nd, 3rd, 3rd, 8th, three of which were Gr. 1 races.
Mucho Unusual is coming off a weak performance in the $350,000 Jenny Wiley Stakes (Gr. 1) for 8th, but is way down in class today. In her previous three Gr. 1 races, Mucho Unusual has finished 2nd, 3rd, 8th. She typically runs for purses in the $300,000 range and competes hard in those events, though a step up to $350,000 was just a bit too much. Mucho Unusual is well down in class today in the $125,000 Solana Beach Stakes. She appears to be the play in Race 9 at Del Mar on Saturday.