Photo: Eclipse Sportswire
The Hollywood Derby features a full field of 14 runners, and the pace scenario is a bit muddled. Before choosing how to bet Saturday’s seventh race at Del Mar, let’s analyze the field:
#4 River Boyne (5-2) overcame a wide trip in his last start to secure the win as the favorite in the Twilight Derby. He runs well at Del Mar but does his best work at Santa Anita, where he’s 5-for-5. He drew a favorable post and is a solid contender under Flavien Prat.
Value Win Contenders
#1 Have At It (6-1) was my top choice in the Twilight Derby, and he sat the perfect ground-saving trip but could not hold off River Boyne in the late stages. Joel Rosario rode him last time, but opts for Raging Bull in this spot. David Cohen gets the call after he guided this one to victory in Belmont Park’s Hill Prince on Oct. 6. He runs well from the rail post and projects yet another ground saving stalking trip.
#6 Raging Bull (7-2) threw in a rare clunker as the heavy favorite in the Hill Prince. He fired exacta shots in his first five turf starts and could easily bounce back for Rosario and Chad Brown. He packs a strong stretch punch and should be tough contain in the sprint for home.
#2 Kazan (20-1) has definitely improved this year and finished in front of River Boyne in the Del Mar Derby at this course/distance Sept. 2. The late runner needs pace help and racing luck.
#7 Instilled Regard (12-1) tries turf for Brown and needs a reversal of form on the surface switch. The graded dirt route winner worked twice on turf at Belmont Park last month and will probably try to stalk the pace under Florent Geroux.
#13 Prince Earl (20-1) has upside but exits a disappointing fourth as the favorite in the Let It Ride. He removes blinkers in his fourth start and projects a forwardly placed trip.
#3 Risky Proposition (20-1) surprised lesser foes in the Let It Ride Stakes at 22-1. He will have to improve again to compete here.
#5 Fight On (20-1) was an OK fifth in the Let it Ride Stakes and will have to run much better to threaten these.
#8 Desert Stone (8-1) exits a good third at 37-1 in the Twilight Derby, and his odds figure to be much lower after that solid performance. In his two local turf tries, he was sixth in the Del Mar Derby and fourth in the Oceanside.
#9 Platinum Warrior (12-1) got going too late in both U. S. starts in the Secretariat and Twilight Derby. Drayden Van Dyke knows him now, and he will try to move forward in his second start for John Sadler.
#10 Way Early (30-1) is a New York-bred in a tough spot. He rallied for the place at 20-1 odds in the Penn Mile earlier this year but these are better.
#11 Carrick (8-1) seemingly hated soft turf versus solid oder foes in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at Belmont Sept. 29. He ran well in his first four turf starts including an upset victory in the Secretariat.
#12 Pubilius Syrus (30-1) faded to nintth place in the Twilight Derby and Del Mar Derby. He seems best up to one mile and probably needs softer company.
#14 Californiagoldrush (12-1) got a great ride from Flavien Prat in the Sands Point when last seen at Belmont Park on Sept. 15. She was up for the show in the Del Mar Oaks before that. She has talent and will try to work out a trip from a tough post under Rafael Bejarano.
#6 to win
Trifecta Key 6/1-2-4-7-13