Valedictorian can wire the field in Yellow Ribbon

The Grade II, $200,000 Yellow Ribbon Handicap is the Saturday feature at Del Mar. The 1 1/16th-mile turf heat for fillies and mares drew a talented and well-traveled field of nine. Post time for the Yellow Ribbon, Race 8 of 10 at Del Mar, is approximately 8:30 p.m. ET.

#6 VALEDICTORIAN (6-1) is an intriguing “Ship and Win” candidate in the Yellow Ribbon. She was last seen demolishing her foes in the Grade III Eatontown Stakes at Monmouth. That boosted her 2019 record to an impressive 6-3-1-1. Her only off-the-board effort occurred in the Distaff Turf Mile at Churchill. VALEDICTORIAN has speed figures that put her in the hunt and she may be the only horse that wants the lead in the Yellow Ribbon. If Carlos Hernandez places her properly, VALEDICTORIAN could spring a minor upset.

#4 VASILIKA (7-5, morning-line favorite) has started the year 4-for-4 (all graded stakes) after compiling an astonishing 11-9-1-0 record in 2018. She’s earned her reputation as the top turf horse in California, but it’s somewhat disconcerting that Flavien Prat isn’t aboard. He’s at Saratoga to ride Bellafina in the Test Stakes. VASILIKA will have one of the more respected turf riders in the country in Julien Leparoux aboard instead. She is the horse to beat but is worth taking a small shot against today.

#1 BEAU RECALL (7-2) should be a factor in the Yellow Ribbon despite her 3-0-1-0 record at Del Mar. Since shifting to the Brad Cox barn in December she’s 5-3-2-0 with a win in the aforementioned Distaff Turf Mile. BEAU RECALL switches to jockey Drayden Van Dyke today. Look for her to be rolling late.

#7 CAUSEFORCOMMOTION (20-1) could sneak into the exotics at a big price. She faltered in her last two starts, the Grade I Gamely and 1 3/4-mile San Juan Capistrano, but she seems to fit better in this spot. Prior to those two flops CAUSEFORCOMMOTION hit the board in seven straight starts. Norberto Arroyo Jr. rides.

The play: $2 exacta box 1/4/6, $1 exacta 1,4,6/7, $5 win 6 ($20)

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