Wide-open Debutante anchors strong Saturday card at Del Mar

A field of eight will line up for the Grade I, $300,000 Del Mar Debutante this Saturday. The two-year-old fillies will go seven furlongs on the main course. The Del Mar Debutante is Race 7 of 11 on a stacked card, and estimated post is 8:10 p.m. EST. In addition to watching and wagering, feel free to play FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!

#4 GAS STATION SUSHI (7-2) won first-time out for Richard Baltas, which usually doesn’t happen. Even more noteworthy was that she won from post 10 going 6.5 furlongs. GAS STATION SUSHI draws much better today and should move forward in her second career start. She’ll only be asked to go an extra 1/16th, while most of her other rivals will be stretching out further. Corey Nakatani remains in the saddle.

#3 SPECTATOR (5-2, morning-line favorite) is the one to beat off her open-length score in the Grade II Sorrento. However, she’s just one of two fillies returning from that race, the other being runner-up DANCING BELLE, a four-start maiden. It’s possible that SPECTATOR hasn’t faced anyone that good yet and could be handed an upset on Saturday. Nevertheless, she’s a must-use in this race. Jamie Theriot stays aboard.

#8 POETIC (4-1) interestingly lures Mike Smith away from #2 MOONSHINE MEMORIES. The $220k daughter of Violence began well in her debut but dropped to seventh before rallying three-wide and drawing away. She beat next-out winner True Royalty in the process. If POETIC can get the extra 3/16ths she could be very dangerous in her second career start.

#5 JUST A SMIDGE (3-1) steps up for Bob Baffert off a five-furlong maiden score from opening week. Her last two works going six panels were sensational, and Rafael Bejarano keeps the mount.

MOONSHINE MEMORIES (6-1) did nothing wrong in her debut, graduating at the six furlong distance. However, Smith jumped off (though landing Flavien Prat is not a downgrade) and she’ll probably have to improve significantly to win this.

The play: $2 exacta 4/2,3,5,8 $2 exacta box 3/4 ($12)

DFJ analysis: Flavien Prat has eight quality mounts for Saturday’s 11-race program at Del Mar. He rides five morning-line favorites and is listed in both the Debutante and the John C. Mabee Stakes (MOONSHINE MEMORIES and Mrs McDougal).

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