River Boyne should roll to Del Mar Derby score

California’s three-year-old turf stars will be in the spotlight in Sunday’s Grade II, $250,000 Del Mar Derby. The 1 1/8-mile event attracted a field of 12. Post time for the Del Mar Derby, Race 8 of 10 on the penultimate summer program at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, is 8:35 p.m. EST. Remember to get involved in FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!

#3 RIVER BOYNE (5-2, morning-line favorite) has won five of his last six races, including three stakes, with his lone loss coming on a yielding turf course at Churchill Downs. His most visually-impressive victories have come at the Del Mar Derby distance, where he’s 2-for-2 lifetime. RIVER BOYNE is tactically versatile, as he’s won from both near the pace and far back, and he’ll have the masterful Flavien Prat aboard.

#8 RIDE A COMET (7-2) is an intriguing Mark Casse-trained invader. He reeled off two straight wins at Woodbine before taking third in a solid renewal of the Hall of Fame Stakes at Saratoga when last seen. RIDE A COMET has traveled well in the past, winning starts at the Fair Grounds in addition to Woodbine. Drayden Van Dyke sees fit to take over.

#9 TAKE THE ONE O ONE (8-1) steps up off two straight wins over state-breds. One of those was a 1 1/8-mile turf score in the Snow Chief Stakes at Santa Anita. This is a tough assignment but TAKE THE ONE O ONE is training well and is not far behind his foes in the speed figure department. Joe Talamo maintains the assignment.

The play: $5 exacta 3/8, $3 exacta 3/9, $2 exacta 8/3 ($10)

DFJ analysis: Flavien Prat rides in seven races, and his best win chances come in stakes events. He’ll be aboard favored Hartel in the Del Mar Juvenile Turf as well as favored RIVER BOYNE in the Del Mar Derby. Prat looks like a solid pickup as he tries to secure another SoCal riding title.

Follow me on Twitter: @itsgood2beking