G1 Del Mar Oaks (08/22/20)

Del Mar, Race 9

With only a couple weeks left until Derby Day (with an *), top dirt sophomores are resting up so we'll turn to the grass and the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks to feature sophomore fillies on the lawn this week. We don't have any runners coming directly off one of our key Form Cycle Patterns, but do have some development in runners that put up those patterns in recent starts as well as our turf spread formula (Final minus 4F) to assess energy distribution over the form cycle. Note, for longer distance races, some players choose to use (Final minus 6F) as their preferred spread with success.

#2 California Kook 15/1

3 recent races kicked off with a PLOW resulted in turf spreads (Final minus 4F) going +10 to +8 to +6. I like to see that kind of incremental development (depending on the goal with that runner), but those pace figure lines for turf point to a runner ready to steal a race going shorter rather than trying this Grade 1 at 9F.

#4 Warren's Showtime 6/1

Popped the “combo” pattern of 61/71 PLOW into 67/71 REV on dirt into a 71/82 back on the turf last out. The strechout to 9 furlongs falls in line with the slight bump in turf spread from 10 to 11. Last race's trip was a little shy trying too hard to get position to save ground while #11 Guitty took the initiative and rolled on by outside. Could show better acceleration with the rider switch here going into a combo of positive patterns.

#5 Aqua Seaform Shame 12/1

Enters a big stretchout from 5F to 9F after a couple 81/76 performances sprinting. It's common to see a negative spread in short turf sprints as runners need position to compete and the -5 turf spread is decently compressed for that type of race. There's still a big question whether the runner wants to rate herself to the pace of a huge stretchout at 9F. Pedigree suggests she's better off sticking with sprinting. There are plenty of instances where sprinters take to the relaxed pace of a big stretchout, but the -5 spread is cutting it close. If we had closer to zero spread at 5F and better routing pedigree, I would consider.

#9 Parkour 15/1

“Steal the race” type enters with 2 straight turf route spreads (Final minus 4F) coming up negative which indicates lots of energy spent early. This isn't the type of style that fits the late acceleration dynamics of turf racing in general and the tactics seem hard-pressed to work stepping up into Grade 1 territory here.

#10 Laura's Light 3/1

Runner has made a living off being comfortable up front. The 62/74 TDL 2 back played more to her likes than it looks. A rank runaway pacesetter left her sitting a comfortable second in her own flight saving all the ground alone. The TDL for this type of “want the front” runner is a great pattern because it exhibits the runner's ability to relax and reserve energy for long turf races which fundamentally require late acceleration. The 78/83 coming off that big pattern was another comfortable forward-running performance. Although we're talking positives here, I find it tough to yield favoritism taking this running style stretching back out in distance considering there are late runners that can come after that 83 Final here with Form Cycle Patterns and Turf Spreads that benefit from the 9 furlong try as well as a pace scenario that figures to be hot for 9F.

#11 Guitty 8/1

After the 54/72 PLOW 2 back from a layoff, I pegged this one as an upset chance in the San Clemente Stakes where she took a rough trip but was much the fastest late to a 72/81 at 8F while missing at 19/1 to today's favorite, #10 Laura's Light. Unfortunately draws the outside again but with a better trip, +9 is the 2nd best turf spread we've seen from Del Mar performances in this field and she should be going again late.

#4, #10, #11 were also featured going into their last starts for the San Clemente Stakes here: http://predicteform.com/Featured-072520

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