The Grade I, $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch highlights the action at Del Mar this Sunday. A field of seven older fillies and mares has assembled for the 1 1/16th-mile heat. Post time for the Clement L. Hirsch, Race 7 on an eight-race program, is estimated for 8 p.m. ET.
#4 OLLIE’S CANDY (5-1) has just one start under her belt on dirt, but it was a win in the 2018 Grade II Summertime Oaks at Santa Anita going 1 1/16th-miles. She’s demonstrated an affinity for the dirt in the mornings too, drilling a bullet in preparation for the Clement L. Hirsch over this course. OLLIE’S CANDY makes her third start off a layoff for trainer John Sadler, who will give a leg-up to veteran jockey Kent Desormeaux.
#3 SECRET SPICE (2-1) should be involved in an honest early pace under Flavien Prat. She surprised both Marley’s Freedom and PARADISE WOODS (more on her later) with an emphatic victory in the Grade I Beholder Mile two starts back before taking second in the Grade I La Troienne at Churchill Downs last time out. SECRET SPICE has been running races fast enough to win the Clement L. Hirsch this year, but she’s just 4-0-1-0 all-time at Del Mar.
#5 PARADISE WOODS (8-5, morning-line favorite) has sandwiched one remarkable display in the Grade II Santa Margarita this year with three sub-par efforts in graded stakes company, including a runner-up result to the 3-for-25 LA FORCE in the Santa Maria last time out. The mare by Union Rags has a lacking 2-0-0-1 record at Del Mar. Believers in PARADISE WOODS will get Mike Smith aboard, but this price is hardly appealing.
#1 LA FORCE (3-1) can usually be counted on to land a share. Drayden Van Dyke has guided the mare by Power to five ITM finishes in her last six races.
The play: $10 win 4
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