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Del Mar Oaks Headlines Loaded Card at Del Mar

Del Mar Oaks Headlines Loaded Card: The 2015 Del Mar Oaks is set for this Saturday, August 15, 2015 and kicks off a great weekend at the balmy Del Mar Racetrack once again for some Saturday fun. This race is for 3 year-old fillies running 1 1/8 miles on the grass for a purse of $300,000.

Del Mar Oaks 2015

Trainer Doug O’Neill’s Sharla Rae will break from post position number four in the Del Mar Oaks on Saturday, August 15, 2015. Photo: Vassar Photos

This first running of the Del Mar Oaks was on the dirt in 1957 at the distance of one mile and remained that way until 1964. It was run in two divisions in 1966 and 1970 on the turf at the current distance. It became a Grade one race in 1994. The speed record is held by Anorama set in 2004 at the distance of 1 1/8 miles in 1:46.26. Last year the lovely Personal Diary for trainer Victoria Oliver won it in the time of 1:47:56.

If you plan on going to Del Mar this weekend bring your appetite for some of the tastiest food on wheels as we have the 5th annual Gourmet Food Truck rolling into town. There are at least 50 food trucks expected and you know that means, there will be quite the plethora of wonderful eats from all over SoCal lined up. You can add an ice-cold beer on tap as well from the beer garden.

There will be Free admission to the Food Truck area with paid racetrack admission. What a bargain for $6.00 for adults and children under 18 are free, but must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Sounds like a perfect day to take in some yummy food, the ocean view, and fantastic horseracing all in one venue.

The Del Mar Oaks is the 8th race of the day on a card of 10 with a start time of 5:40 pm, PST. This a loaded card of racing with some nice full fields so get the wallet out.

We have a field of eight 3 year-old fillies lined up for a Grade one win with Sunset Glow being the only Grade one winner of the field. This is a pickle of a race for me and I had a heck of a time trying to pick one winner. I have three I’ll be using in a pick 3 and possible Daily Double. I would not be remotely surprised to see Prize Exhibit garner her first Grade one win, but I’m going to be playing against her, mostly because of the distance and price.

There are four coming straight out of the Grade two San Clemente which was run on July 19th. We have the winner of that race, the aforementioned above Prize Exhibit, Sunset Glow who finished up second, Paulina’s Love who came out in the stretch to finish up well for third and Her Emmynency, who had never been off the board and weakened in the stretch for 6th.

I’m going with two from the San Clemente Sunset Glow & Her Emmynency as well as Sharla Rae & Majestic Heat.

Call me crazy but my top filly is going to be the Doug O’Neill trained Sharla Rae. The daughter of Afleet Alex is the class of the field and gets respect from me. Her last race was in the Belmont Oaks (GI) where she finished up 7th at 1 ¼ way behind Lady Eli. Prior she was 5th to Spanish Queen in the American Oaks at Santa Anita (GI) at 1 ¼. She cuts back here, has one of the higher turf speed ratings in in the field plus O’Neill is hot as hades right now at Del Mar. She has a nice work in .47 and change August 7th. I like that O’Neill is giving jockey James Graham a chance here and she should have some nice odds and I like where she’s sitting in post #4.

My sentimental favorite in this race is Sunset Glow. This daughter of Exchange Rate will stretch out further than she’s run before but hey, it’s racing right? Trainer Wesley Ward is 28% as the beaten favorite and she could turn the tables on Prize Exhibit, whom she ran second to last out. She has tried to win gate-to-wire as well as stalked the pace. Her last win was last summer in the (GII) Sorrento Stakes and the (GI) Del Mar Debutante, back-to-back and at shorter distances. Coming from post #8 with Gary Stevens up she could show some early speed and warrants a look from me. I would be tickled pink if she won this race. My biggest question for her is the added distance. She has never been off the board in one race and I don’t see that happening Saturday.

I can’t give up on Her Emmynency yet. I was puzzled she ran 6th last out after winning her first race off the 8 month layoff. They are stretching her out her after winning at the mile distance twice prior. In last year’s Del Mar Debutante she finished up a neck behind Sunset Glow. Can trainer Michael Stidham get her to stretch out and win here? Bejarano stays up on her which is a plus as well as barnmate the speedy Zipessa to run with.

I find Majestic Heat a little interesting here. She is lightly raced and coming in off a victory in an allowance race last weekend. This will be her fourth race in a month which I question a little however. This may be a lot to ask to step up in this kind of company as well as too much in a short time. She is running like a monster though and Nakatani, the master on the grass, stays up from the same post she had last weekend #1. Majestic Heat is the lone California bred entered and has 2 wins out of four starts. She is definitely firing fresh and keeps improving every race. I’d hesitate to leave her off a ticket if playing an exacta or trifecta.

Stidham also sends in his lightly raced daughter of City Zip, *Zipessa, who has two wins in two lifetime races. She won first out at Arlington Park on the synthetic at 6 furlongs by 6 ¾ lengths then followed that up in an allowance win here at Del Mar going a mile quite impressively on the turf finishing up in 1:35.3 and winning by 2 ¾ lengths. Bejarano rode her in that race and jumps on Her Emmynency here. Flavian Prat gets the call who has been riding pretty hot at this meet.

*Zipessa interests me here and will be my alternate if there is a scratch.

I’ll be playing a p3 with races 6-8 using 4,5,8 *(7) and possibly some rolling Daily Doubles. I will post my plays Saturday afternoon. Best of luck to everyone!

Del Mar Oaks 2015 Post Positions & Odds
Race 8 5:40 PM PT
1 Majestic Heat 15-1 C.Nakatani/B.Abrams
2 Paulina’s Love 12-1 T.Baze/R.Baltas
3 Rattataptap 12-1 M.Smith/P.D’Amato
4 Sharla Rae 6-1 J.Graham/D.O’Neill
5 Her Emmynency 4-1 R.Bejarano/M.Stidham
6 Prize Exhibit 5-2 S.Gonzalez/J.Cassidy
7 Zipessa 4-1 F.Prat/M.Stidham
8 Sunset Glow 3-1 G.Stevens/W.Ward