R Sunday Surprise Tries Again on Saturday at Del Mar
R Sunday Surprise Tries Again on Saturday at Del Mar by Reinier Macatangay: Giving attention to a maiden with one career start feels strange, but in general fans enjoy reading about famous siblings. On Saturday at Del Mar Racetrack, the 2-year-old filly R Sunday Surprise attempts to break her maiden for the second time in Race 6, and eyes will be focused on her as a full sister to California Chrome.
Owned by a partnership including Silver State Racing, which has everyone’s favorite ranter Steve Coburn as a prominent member, R Sunday Surprise turned in a fine effort last month when picking up a third-place check at Santa Anita Park. Horses need time to develop and grow, so people cannot expect magic immediately.
To give a short recap, the famous sibling began slowly, and through the initial stages of the turn gave the impression she would not make an impact. After the turn, she rallied on the outside and did just enough to hit the board. R Sunday Surprise finished four lengths back, and more importantly earned valuable experience.
The Doug O’Neill-trained runner will probably benefit from more distance considering California Chrome’s accomplishments as a dirt router. Unfortunately, R Sunday Surprise does not get much more this weekend, as this state-bred maiden race is only 5 1/2 furlongs, while her debut was half a length shorter.
According to the past performances though, O’Neill does put the blinkers on, which indicates the connections are searching for more speed or hoping to help the horse remain focused. Plus, Rafael Bejarano stays on board.
Yes, R Sunday Surprise’s odds will be skewered by the rabid Chromies backing her. Regardless, in most normal maiden races, horses making their second career start deserve extra attention, and the same rule applies here.
Other contenders are present, and the lack of races on their form makes them difficult to handicap.
Ignore the rail filly My Pi Romancer, who makes her first start as a daughter of Unusual Heat and a Cryptoclearance mare, both of whom are known as routing influences rather than producers of effective sprinters.
Going down the list, Dreamy Gal is a sibling to two stakes winners, and BRIS notes the sire Ez Dreamer hitting at an 18% win rate. She may fire, although it is hard to tell by only reading the past performances.
In the next stall, Princess Roi will certainly attract attention because of the local bullet workout on July 22, where her five-furlong spin in 59.2 seconds ranked best out of 46 works. The popular Flavien Prat hops on board.
Down to the eighth post position, Adler’s dam Lethal Hunter is recognizable as a half-sister to the talented Lethal Heat, who was a gifted synthetic runner but unlucky to race during the Zenyatta era. As a daughter of Unusual Heat too, Adler may require more distance. Victor Espinoza picks up the mount.
On the far outside, Veiled Heat makes her second start, and as pointed out horses tend to move forward once they figure out how this game works.
Keep tabs on the two “also-eligible” entries Miss Sunset and L’il Grazen as well. Either horse can win if prepared and allowed into the race (another horse needs to scratch for an also-eligible horse to gain entry).
If pressed to make official selections though, the race likely comes down to R Sunday Surprise and Princess Roi, the two horses expected to vie for favoritism. This opinion is hard to establish confidence in, as no one can really formulate a strong opinion on maidens without watching them train in person, or buying a sheet of workout notes from somewhere.
Maiden races are a guess for the average handicapper, and the knowledge makes it easier to simply back R Sunday Surprise for fun and toss normal handicapping principles out the window.