Chief Cicatriz an intriguing longshot in Bing Crosby

The Grade I, $300,000 Bing Crosby Stakes is the feature race at Del Mar this Saturday. A field of eight will contest this prestigious six-furlong event. Post time for the Bing Crosby, the eighth of nine races on the day, is approximately 8:30 p.m. ET.

#6 CHIEF CICATRIZ (12-1) is 10-for-15 lifetime, and though he usually competes in softer spots, he does have a Grade III win to his credit (2018 Aristides Stakes at Churchill). He was last seen taking the six-furlong Dark Star Cup with ease at Canterbury Park. CHIEF CICATRIZ figures to sit just off a fast pace under Ruben Fuentes before pouncing at the quarter pole. His career speed figures put him in the hunt at a healthy price.

#7 RECRUITING READY (2-1, morning-line favorite) lures Flavien Prat for his first west coast assignment. He’s 11-5-2-2 at the six-furlong distance all-time, including two stakes victories in the last eight months. RECRUITING READY ran into a couple of buzzsaws in his last two starts, namely Firenze Fire and Catalina Cruiser. He might be the class of the field and should get a good stalking trip. RECRUITING READY may just have to go a bit wider than the top choice, which could be his undoing.

#3 CISTRON (5-2) is most likely to survive a potential pace duel with #1 CALEXMAN (15-1). He was a runaway winner of the Grade II Kona Gold two starts ago before just missing in the Grade II, seven-furlong Triple Bend to #5 AIR STRIKE (4-1). CISTRON is certain to benefit from the cutback in distance in the Bing Crosby. He’ll be ridden by Victor Espinoza.

The play: $5 exacta box 6/7 ($10)

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