The 2022 Native Diver Stakes takes place on Sunday 27th November at Del Mar racetrack and this is the race named after the famous California-trained sprinter “Native Diver” who is one of the top-ranked horses ever to have run on the West Coast.
This will be the 44th running of the race which was switched to Del Mar after Hollywood Park closed back in 2013.
This year’s renewal looks to be an exciting race with six runners due to go to post at 7pm local time, and what we lack in quantity, we certainly make up for in quality.
The morning line chalk in the race is the Bob Baffert-trained Defunded who is strangely taking a step down the class ladder after going gate to wire and powering clear in the Grade 1 Awesome Again at Santa Anita last time. He won an Optional Claimer here in 2021 but has been beaten here in two recent Grade 2 events so the track has to be a question mark.
Azul Coast is the barn buddy of the favorite but his overall form does not look to be good enough and he is currently 6/1 on the morning line odds.
Newgrange is an interesting runner having won the Grade 3 Southwest and the Grade 3 Sham back in January. He produced his best-ever Beyer figure of 97 last time in an $80K Optional Claimer when clearing away to win by more than 5 lengths and he is one from two here at Del Mar.
The John Shirreffs trained Parnelli is two from his last three, but he struggled last time when taking a step up the class ladder to Grade 2. He gets a bit of class relief here, but this is not your normal Grade 3 and he may struggle against some of these foes.
Another with Grade 1 form is Tizamagician and it is interesting that trainer Richard Mandella gives this one a sharp cutback in distance today. He will surely be closing strongly late on and his record here at Del Mar reads 9-2-5-0
Of the others, then the longshot Go Joe Won could be interesting for exotics. He is two for two at Del Mar and will appreciate being back on the dirt and he’ll surely attempt to go gate to wire.
Native Diver Stakes Odds & Betting Predictions
|ODDS BY JAZZSPORTS
|John R. Velazquez
|Go Joe Won
|Jose Valdivia, Jr.
|Edwin A. Maldonado
With only six runners, it is a fascinating race, and clearly Defunded has to be one at the top of anyone’s list and should be right there as this field heads to the wire late on. He’ll surely be close to the speed, but his price at 6/5 and his recent record at Del Mar mean he is not our main selection.
The vote goes to TIZAMAGICIAN who has been in solid form and could well be able to close into a strong pace which we should see from Defunded and Go Joe Won.
Go Joe Won is a nice play for exotics, but the one who should be the main danger is Newgrange who is stepping up the class ladder, but still looks unexposed after just six races and a decent record here at Del Mar.
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