Eddie Read Stakes Odds, Betting Pick & Preview

The usual suspects are rounded up for the G2 Eddie Read Stakes at Del Mar on Sunday, when trainer Phil D’Amato holds a very strong hand with four of the nine runners – G1 winners Gold Phoenix and Count Again, G2 scorer Masteroffoxhounds and G3 winner Balnikhov.

Eddie Read Stakes

G2, $250,000, 1m 1f turf, 3yo+, 6.09pm PT

The stagnation of the California turf division is illustrated by the Eddie Read Stakes, Del Mar’s Sunday standout. It is a race in which the same group of horses who have been taking each other on all year, sharing out victories seemingly at random, meet yet again in another tricky puzzle for bettors.

In the 2023 G2 Charles Whittingham over ten furlongs at Santa Anita in April, Dicey Mo Chara (6-1) tried to make all but was collared late and settled for the place, a length and a half ahead of Gold Phoenix (4-1) in fourth, who was a neck clear of Masteroffoxhounds (8-1). Dicey Mo Chara has won only one of his last 12 starts, so his reliability is open to question, although that is still a better record than Masteroffoxhounds, who has won one of his last 15 and was fifth in the Eddie Read 12 months ago.

Another key race is the 2023 G1 Frank E. Kilroe Mile in March, also at Santa Anita, won in buzzer-beating fashion by Gold Phoenix, who had a length to spare over Cabo Spirit (5-1) in third with Masteroffoxhounds sixth and Balnikhov (4-1) a distant seventh.

Next time out, Cabo Spirit turned the tables on Gold Phoenix when they ran five-seven in the 2023 G1 Shoemaker Mile at the same track, separated by a length and three-quarters with Balnikhov a no-show eighth. In between those heavy defeats, Balnikhov won the 2023 G3 San Francisco Mile at Golden Gate Fields as favourite, with Dicey Mo Chara fourth.

In a departure from this recent repetitive cycle of occasionally inexplicable form swings, Count Again (3-1) – barnmate of Gold Phoenix, Balnikhov and Masteroffoxhounds – has been off the scene since last May, when he completed a spring three-for-four blitz with a impressive score in the 2022 G1 Shoemaker Mile at Santa Anita, coasting by two and a quarter lengths with Masteroffoxhounds third.

If he is ready to do himself justice after such a long layoff, Count Again has to be a major player, but obviously there must be a doubt on that front.

Recent Los Alamitos mile allowance winner Handy Dandy (12-1) should move up for that first start in more than six months, and finished a half-length ahead of Cabo Spirit when they ran four-five in the 2022 G1 Hollywood Derby over course and distance.

Mackinnon (8-1) is on a long losing run going back to November 2021, although he probably needed the blowout when fourth in a mile-sixteenth allowance at Belmont Park four weeks ago, his first start for more than eight months. I’mgonnabesomebody (20-1) is extremely consistent but this is much tougher than his usual Golden Gate Fields beat, and even a career-best is not likely to be enough.

2023 Eddie Read Stakes Odds & Betting Pick

HorseJockeyHorse Racing Odds by Jazzsports
I’mgonnabesomebodyKyle Frey+2000
Gold Phoenix (IRE)Hector Isaac Berrios+400
Balnikhov (IRE)Antonio Fresu+400
MasteroffoxhoundsEdwin A. Maldonado+800
Dicey Mo Chara (GB)Juan J. Hernandez+600
Cabo SpiritJoe Bravo+500
Handy DandyRamon A. Vazquez+1200
MackinnonTiago Josue Pereira+800
Count AgainUmberto Rispoli+300

It may be worth risking the race-fitness of dual G1 winner COUNT AGAIN, whose form before his long layoff entitles him to maximum respect here.

Check out the recap 2023 Eddie Read Stakes: Gold Phoenix heads D’Amato superfecta

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