Miss Southern Miss a Logical Play in the Del Mar Debutante
Miss Southern Miss a Logical Play in the Del Mar Debutante by Jordan Sigmon: Often times you’ll hear handicappers use the term “trip horse” when making a selection for a race, if that’s an angle you like to use, Miss Southern Miss should be at the top of your list for the Del Mar Debutante at Del Mar on Saturday, Sept. 2.
After winning her debut impressively, Miss Southern Miss has strung together a pair of troubled second-place finishes in her two subsequent starts. Going back to her June 9 debut, the More Than Ready filly looked every bit of a good thing when relaxing off the leaders early and splitting rivals at the top of the stretch en route to a 3 ¼ length victory covering the 5 furlongs in :57 4/5. In her next two starts, the break has been the key issue for her, in both races she jumped out rather cleanly but was then squeezed back between two rivals. In the Landaluce, the start left her having to move virtually the entire race, while the winner, Theonewewaited for was able to sit a very comfortable trip and just had more in the tank. In the GII Sorrento, she became aggressive after being squeezed back and rushed up to the lead, ending up going far faster early than she would like to go.
While an outside post would be the best option, drawing the rail may turn out to be a blessing in disguise. Many seem to think she will be hustled out of the gate with the speed she’s shown in her last two, but with how much better she ran when relaxing off the pace it’s more likely that Kent Desormeaux will let her jump out of there as cleanly as possible, but then take her back behind all of the other speed; which there is plenty of. If Miss Southern Miss can sit a stalking trip similar to that she got in her debut win, she will be very tough to beat, and the extra distance should be right up her ally making her a good play at 8/1 morning line odds.
Of the two Baffert fillies, American Cleopatra will be more popular at the windows seeing as she is a full sister to American Pharoah, but on paper and sheer talent her stablemate Noted and Quoted looks the better of the two. The filly by the first-crop stallion The Factor broke terribly in her debut and gave up far more ground than you can when going 5 furlongs at Del Mar. She ran a sneaky good race, however, rallying on for 4th and continuing her run into the gallop out. In her next start, Noted and Quoted got away much cleaner and stalked the leaders early before drawing away to win as she pleased. Rafael Bejarano jumps off of this one to ride her stablemate, but you can’t go wrong with Mike Smith in the irons the way he’s been riding lately.
No disgrace to Pharoah’s little sister, but she’s not even the most intriguing horse to take out of her debut. The Shelbe Ruis trained Union Strike has yet to break her maiden, but she’s a filly with all the upside in the world and she;s drawn favorably on the outside The Union Rags filly spotted the field 2 or 3 lengths in that race and moved up smartly down the backstretch. She continued to make up ground through the stretch before flattening out a bit, likely due to the big middle move she made. The biggest draw factor was the way she galloped out right with American Cleopatra and eventually passed her.
Not soon to be forgotten is the winner of the Sorrento, Champagne Room. The Broken Vow filly was a very good second to fellow Debutante entrant Morganite on debut, a race that she likely needed. In the Sorrento she could not have asked for a better trip, far contrary to that of Miss Southern Miss. She could very well get that same trip again, but if Miss Southern Miss gets a good trip, it’s hard to see her being good enough to defeat that filly again. Holy Mosey rounds out the field, but it’s next to impossible to see her making any real impact here.
Del Mar Debutante Selections:
Win: #1 Miss Southern Miss
Place: #5 Noted and Quoted
Show: #4 Champagne Room
Fourth: #7 Union Strike