Friday, Del Mar Race 6 — 6 pm post time

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden claiming $25,000, 5-1/2 furlongs, 3 yos and up

Possible overlays                         Morning line

#4 Night Justice                                    6/1
#5 Harlan’s Tune                                   6/1
#6 Salah Salah                                      9/2
#9 Syllabus                                           4/1

The likely favorite #7 Looking for Candy has been laid off since November 2009. Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, this colt followed a 69 Beyer Speed Figure with a 71 in his only two races, which were both against maiden special weight foes.

If Looking for Candy was healthy then his development from a 2-year-old to a 3-year-old would probably mean that he could run an 80 speed figure. And that number would make him competitive in $40,000 and higher maiden claiming races where the median Beyer Speed Figure is 81.

So, I am going to take the view that Looking for Candy still has some problems and this horse’s low price means no value.

However, in #6 Salah Salah’s two races he’s chased legitimate speedballs and is now dropping in class. Speed is king at 5-1/2 furlongs and Salah Salah should have enough early gas to make him a contender at what looks to be a decent price.

Brian Koriner trains #5 Harlan’s Tune, a first-time gelding who last raced in March. Records show that Koriner does well getting his older maiden sprinters to run well after being away from the races for a substantial amount of time. In August 2009, Harlan’s Tune led 9 rivals for a half mile before tiring while sprinting in an $85,000 claimer. Harlan’s Tune projects to have early speed equal to Salah Salah, so he also must be considered. 

Breaking just inside of Harlan’s Tune will be #4 Night Justice, who was bet to 9-2 during his August 1 debut. In that race, Night Justice was squeezed at the start then was boxed in until the top of the lane. Jockey Pat Valenzuela eased him in the stretch, but this gelding had a strong 5-furlong workout on Aug. 14 and trainer Peter Miller frequently wins with second timers.

Finally, trainer Clifford Sise has an excellent record with maiden claimers in their first lifetime starts. Sise, who sends out #9 Syllabus today, has a record of success with this move with both the owner, Martin Wygod, and jockey, Joel Rosario.

At odds of 3-1 or more, I will bet $500 on both #9 Syllabus and #6 Salah Salah.

If the odds on either Syllabus or Salah Salah are too low, then I will not bet that horse and instead substitute $300 to win on #5 Harlan’s Tune at 3-1 or more.


Results: Lost $1,000 by putting $500 each on #6 Salah Salah at 7-1 and #9 Syllabus at 4-1.


1 1 Single Shot (CA) Valdez F Bonde J 6.90 2
3 2 El Navigante (CA) Garcia M Soto A 58.20 9
4 3 Night Justice (CA) Valenzuela P Miller P 10.90 6
5 4 Harlan’s Tune (KY) Pedroza M Koriner B 15.60 4
6 5 Salah Salah (CA) Flores D Solis W 7.30 5
7 6 Looking for Candy (KY) Bejarano R Hollendorfer J 1.00 1
8 7 Minister Machine (CA) Medellin A Saavedra A 52.30 8
9 8 Syllabus (CA) Rosario J Sise, Jr. C 4.10 3
10 9 Sea Viper (CA) Gihua J Periban J 11.00 7
SCR Hostile Waters (CA) Velazquez J Waterman S
Pgm Win Place Show
7 $4.00 $3.00 $2.40
1 $5.80 $3.80
9 $3.60
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $10.30 (7-1)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $279.30 (6-9-7)
$1.00 Superfecta paid $249.30 (7-1-9-5)
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