The action is on the weeds at Del Mar on Saturday with the G1 Hollywood Derby top of the bill, in which the G2 Twilight Derby 1-2-3-4, led by Seal Team and British raider Silver Knott, reoppose against the Chad Brown-trained Program Trading and Redistricting. The highlight of the undercard is the G3 Jimmy Durante, with maiden winner Lady De Berry and G1-placed Go With Gusto to the fore in a competitive heat. Check the 2023 Hollywood Derby Odds & Jimmy Durante Stakes Odds here.
G1 – purse $300,000 – 1m 1f – turf – 3yo – 3.30pm PT
There are lots of Derbys and this one – the Hollywood Derby, the showcase race at Del Mar on Saturday – is a remake of another one, with the first four horses coming back for more. The big question for bettors is whether the outcome will be the same four weeks later or entirely different.
What we have is this. The 2023 G2 Twilight Derby at Santa Anita over a mile-eighth was won by Seal Team, who rallied hard through the stretch to get the money in a blanket finish by a half-length from British raider Silver Knott. The favoured Webslinger closed from even further back than the winner to take the show, beaten a nose, boxcar longshot Reiquist was another nose away in fourth, Watsonville a half-length back in sixth and Maltese Falcon a never-noticed 11th of 13.
Same again? With such narrow margins involved it is impossible to be dogmatic, but Seal Team was taking a big step forward on his stakes debut and, with only five runs behind him, there could be plenty more ahead of him.
Silver Knott, on the other hand, looked regressive earlier this year, swapping his fine two-year-old form – runner-up in the 2022 G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf – for a losing streak that stands at six. However, that Santa Anita run was a sharp improvement and he could be ready to move back up.
Then there is Webslinger, who finished four lengths ahead of Silver Knott when they ran four-five in the 2023 G1 Belmont Derby over ten furlongs. The cutback rates a positive – he was a longshot winner of the 2023 G2 American Turf over a mile-sixteenth at Churchill Downs in May – but he does tend to get a long way back in his races and rally too late.
Reiquist will not be a 73-1 poke this time and that was a career-best after showing nothing very special beforehand. And this race is not as simple as 1-2-3-4, as Watsonville – on his stakes debut – was close up in defeat and has a two-for-two count at Del Mar.
New blood comes from Chad Brown, three times a winner of this race, who puts two inexperienced types in the gate. On his stakes debut Program Trading re-rallied to win the 2023 G1 Saratoga Derby over a mile and three-sixteenths by a head from Webslinger, who uncharacteristically got to the front too soon and coughed it up.
Last time out Program Trading chased home the potential star Integration in the 2023 G3 New Kent County Virginia Derby at Colonial Downs over a mile-eighth – there was no disgrace in losing to that rival and he was comfortably clear of the third horse. His barnmate Redistricting was seventh in the Belmont Derby behind Webslinger and Silver Knott on just his second start, and rebounded with an allowance win, but he appears a clear second-string.
Santorini was 37-1 when beaten a head and a nose in the 2023 G3 Bryan Station over a mile at Keeneland. He put up a good fight and may relish stretching out a little further, although class is the question he has to answer.
2023 Hollywood Derby Odds
Seal Team is on the up-and-up but so is the inexperienced PROGRAM TRADING, who was beaten by a top-notcher latest and that form stands out here.
|Horse Betting Odds by JazzSports
Jimmy Durante Stakes
G3 – purse $100,000 – 1m – turf – 2yo fillies – 2.30pm PT
There is not much stakes form on display in the Jimmy Durante, with the way clear for a maiden winner to step up and stake her claim – but which one?
Chad Brown has won this twice in the last three years and sends Lady De Berry cross-country with a similar profile to last year’s winner Liguria.
Lady De Berry was in the ruck behind Breeders’ Cup winner Just FYI on debut, and showed the benefit of that experience when doing all her best work late to break her maiden at Keeneland over a mile-sixteenth. She beat a big field there and will certainly move up for that.
Third time was the charm for She Is Romantic, who got it done over a mile at Santa Anita with debutante Circle Of Trust a length and a quarter back in fourth and Blue Oasis three-quarters of a length away in fifth.
That form was boosted by the subsequent performance of the beaten horses and She Is Romantic could move up again. Indeed, it would only be fair to consider Circle Of Trust as a maiden winner too – she later crossed the line in front at Santa Anita over a mile, beating Blue Oasis by a length and a quarter, but had her number taken down for interference on the far turn, a harsh call.
Circle Of Trust’s barnmate Zona Verde – an Irish import – broke her maiden first time up Stateside with a game score here over a mile, although it was a slow time and she made no show when sixth in the 2023 G3 Surfer Girl at Santa Anita next time. Phil D’Amato also runs Ms Brightside fresh off the plane from Ireland; her easy debut victory over six furlongs at Fairyhouse on fast ground is impossible to compare with US form, although she clearly has ability.
Antifona is also making her Stateside debut, but was at her best on soft ground in France and already has seven races on her record, limiting her potential for sudden improvement.
There was only a neck between Go With Gusto and Mo Fox Givin when they ran two-three in a mile stakes at Santa Anita, although the winner was away and clear. Go With Gusto had previously hit the show in the 2023 G1 Summer at Woodbine, but is still a three-race maiden and that Canadian form is not strong.
2023 Jimmy Durante Stakes Odds
SHE IS ROMANTIC beat a subsequent ‘winner’ when getting off the mark and with improvement likely she has good claims at rewarding odds.
|Odds by JazzSports
|Circle Of Trust
|She Is Romantic
|Mo Fox Givin
|Lady De Berry
|Go With Gusto