A field of 14, led by RIVER BOYNE, will contest Saturday’s Grade I, $300,000 Hollywood Derby at Del Mar. The 1 1/8-mile turf event goes as the seventh of nine races, with post time estimated at 6:30 p.m. EST. Don’t forget to take part in FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!
#4 RIVER BOYNE (5-2, morning-line favorite) is an eye-catching 5-for-7 this year, with four stakes victories to his credit. The 1 1/8-mile trip has proved to be his favorite, as he’s 4-3-0-1 over it, including a strike in the Twilight Derby last time out. There may not be an incredibly fast pace for RIVER BOYNE to close into, but he’s proven to be handy under Flavien Prat in the past. He can lie close if need be or sit a few lengths back before springing in the lane.
#1 HAVE AT IT (6-1) was beaten just a half-length by the top pick in the Twilight Derby last time out, but he enjoyed a much better trip than the five-wide RIVER BOYNE. The Belmont-based runner makes another trip out west for Christophe Clement, who ships David Cohen in for the call. HAVE AT IT, the winner of the Hill Prince two-back, is certainly classy enough and fast enough to compete here.
#7 INSTILLED REGARD (12-1) is the uncoupled stablemate of the inconsistent (and pace-dependent) second-choice #6 RAGING BULL (7-2). The former Triple Crown contender misfired in his first start for Chad Brown, finishing last in the Pennsylvania Derby. However, he intrigues trying the turf based on pedigree. INSTILLED REGARD gets grass influence from both sides, being by Arch out of a Forestry mare. He drilled on turf twice in preparation for this and performed adequately. Florent Geroux sees fit to pick up the assignment.
The play: $4 exacta 4/1,7, $1 trifecta 4/1,7/1,7 ($10)
DFJ analysis: As usual, Flavien Prat is tough to leave out this Saturday. He rides in seven races at Del Mar, with his highest-priced mount listed at 9-2. Prat will be aboard four morning-line favorites, including RIVER BOYNE in the Hollywood Derby.
Follow me on Twitter: @itsgood2beking