Camelot Kitten can claw past Hollywood Derby field

The Grade I, $300,000 Hollywood Derby highlights Del Mar’s closing Saturday card. Going as the seventh of nine races (estimated post time 6:30 p.m. EST), the Hollywood Derby features 12 three-year-olds going nine furlongs on turf. This is a great betting race, but be sure to play along in FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game too!

#2 CAMELOT KITTEN, one of three trained by Chad Brown, is the 7-2 favorite on the strength of his win in Belmont’s Hill Prince Stakes last time out. Despite some pedestrian paces he’s had to close into, CAMELOT KITTEN’s only missed the exacta twice in his 10-race career. It’s also worth noting he’s 3-2-1-0 at the nine-furlong distance. #1 BEACH PATROL, #5 FREE ROSE and #7 BLACKJACKCAT should be mixing it up early, and that could grant CAMELOT KITTEN and Irad Ortiz Jr. an ideal setup.

#5 FREE ROSE (5-1) should be forcing the issue early under Norberto Arroyo. He’s won his last two races over this course (The La Jolla Stakes and Del Mar Derby) and was a game runner-up behind #3 FRANK CONVERSATION in Santa Anita’s Twilight Derby last time out. He’s set fast paces and survived before, so there’s no reason he can’t do so again today.

#3 FRANK CONVERSATION (8-1) finally had things break his way and was able to pull off a massive upset in the Twilight Derby last time out. He’d need another perfect setup if he wants to win this one (and maybe some bad racing luck to befall CAMELOT KITTEN), but he’s got a realistic shot at making it two in a row under Mario Gutierrez. Look for him to drop to the back early and come rolling latest of all.

The lightly-raced #11 ANNALS OF TIME (6-1) could also make a late impact. He should get an honest pace to close into under Javier Castellano and progeny of Temple City usually fare well in California. He’s trained better than ever for this.

The play: $3 exacta box 2/5, $2 exacta 2,5/3,11 ($14)

DFJ analysis: Saturday could be perplexing with several east coast riders invading Del Mar mainly for stakes mounts, but locally-based Tyler Baze ($9,000) offers quality and quantity here. He’s got a favorite and two second-choices among his seven mounts on the day. And while Baze doesn’t have a mount in the Hollywood Derby, he does ride Desert Madam in the Bayakoa Stakes.

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