Grade 2 Eddie Read Stakes

Compromise is the key to the Grade 2 Eddie Read Stakes on Saturday, the $250,000 highlight at Del Mar, for three-year-olds and up over nine furlongs on turf that, as we all know, meets the surf a little way north of San Diego.

Last year’s winner United (5-2) – also runner-up in the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Turf – is dropping back in distance and comes here off the back of possibly his worst ever performance, when last of four in a Grade 2 at Santa Anita in May. Trainer Richard Mandella thinks a minor hoof problem could have contributed to that lacklustre showing, but supporters are taking matters on trust today, especially against a rival as talented as the Michael McCarthy-trained Smooth Like Strait, the 9-5 morning-line choice.

He, too, has something to overcome, as he usually brings home the bacon at a mile or a mile-sixteenth. It was a mile on his most recent start, when he made all in the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile at Santa Anita, never being pressed by runner-up and third Say The Word (3-1) and Restrainedvengence (10-1), who both reoppose here but have something to find even on these revised weight terms.

Smooth Like Strait’s way of running looks fundamental to his chances now, as he could well find himself on an easy lead under Umberto Rispoli, and if he gets his way on or just behind the pace he will be hard to catch. It’s not like he can’t go the extra step – he has Grade 1-placed form at nine furlongs – and the shape of the race will suit his tactical speed and makes him the most likely winner.

HorseJockeyOdds courtesy of JazzSports
VINTAGE PRINTAdam Beschizza+2000
UNITEDFlavien Prat+250
SAY THE WORDMike E. Smith+300
COUNT AGAINJoe Bravo+500
AWARD WINNERJuan J. Hernandez+800
SMOOTH LIKE STRAITUmberto Rispoli+180

Grade 2 San Clemente Stakes at Del Mar

Two races later, Going Global bids to stretch her winning streak to six in the $200,000 Grade 2 San Clemente Stakes, for three-year-old fillies on turf at a mile, and at first glance, there seems nothing standing in her way.

The Irish import (4-5 favorite) won her final start back in the auld country and hit the ground running fast in California for trainer Phil D’Amato, sweeping up four stakes races on the weeds with the last of them a four-and-three-quarter-length cruise in the Grade 3 Honeymoon Stakes over nine furlongs.

But now she drops back to a mile and no-one is running scared of her, with ten fillies in opposition, so although Going Global is the one to beat her odds are on the skinny side for the task ahead, and a little interest in Tetragonal (8-1) in the place pool is the way to go.

Tetragonal is by the same sire – Mehmas – as Going Global and won her only start in Britain before shipping Stateside. Last time out she won a valuable optional claimer at this trip at Santa Anita, beating today’s rival Jibber Jabber (15-1) by half a length. Trainer Richard Baltas has won the San Clemente twice in the last five years.

Another with place/show claims is Nimbostratus (12-1), who was snapped up for a stunning $150,000 after winning an allowance optional claimer at Santa Anita two months ago, while Santa Anita Grade 3 Madone (4-1) is also worthy of attention against the favorite despite a heavy defeat on her most recent start.

HorseJockeyOdds courtesy of JazzSports
PIZZAZZKyle Frey+1200
GOING GLOBALFlavien Prat-125
FOUNDER’S DAYGeovanni Franco+3000
FREEDOM FLYERVictor Espinoza+3000
EQUILOVERicardo Gonzalez+2000
JIBBER JABBERUmberto Rispoli+1500
DRAMATIZEREdwin A. Maldonado+3000
MADONEJuan J. Hernandez+400
KARAKATSIEKent J. Desormeaux+1000
NIMBOSTRATUSAbel Cedillo+1200

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