The Grade II, $300,000 San Diego Handicap is “must-see TV” this Saturday, as the mighty ARROGATE makes his first start since his impressive victory in the Dubai World Cup. A field of five will go 1 1/16th-miles on Del Mar’s main oval at approximately 9:10 p.m. EST. The San Diego is the ninth of 10 races on the day. In addition to watching and wagering, be sure to take part in FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!
#3 ARROGATE (1-5, morning-line favorite) hasn’t lost in over a year (seven races) and has become more fearsome with each successive start. He and Mike Smith will spot eight to 11 pounds to the competition but looks head-and-shoulders best on paper. ARROGATE has shown he can overcome adversity, as he blew the break in Dubai but still won easily. He’ll likely make the pace on Saturday, but can win while chasing too. #2 EL HUERFANO, who breaks to his inside, will dictate Smith’s actions early. ARROGATE losing would be the shocker of the year.
#1 ACCELERATE (8-1) should enjoy getting back to Del Mar, where he’s two-for-two lifetime. His last effort was his worst in a while, as he was routed by Collected in the Precisionist and finished behind #5 CAT BURGLAR. He’s working well and lures Victor Espinoza, so perhaps he can put that race behind him.
EL HUERFANO (12-1) drew away in his last start, a high-level allowance/optional claiming. This is obviously a much taller order but he should be forwardly-placed under Evin Roman. His running style makes him a player underneath.
The play: $5 trifecta 3/1,2/1,2 ($10)
DFJ analysis: Mike Smith doesn’t look like a great investment, as ARROGATE is his only mount on Saturday. We’ll have to go outside the San Diego to find the jockey offering the best value at Del Mar.
Gary Stevens has just three mounts, but one is the next-likeliest winner on the card; Ashleyluvssugar in the Eddie Read. He also has 8-1 Bombilate in Race 8 and 7-2 Lucky Soul in the nightcap.
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