The Grade II, $150,000 Yellow Ribbon Handicap is the Saturday feature at Del Mar. The 1 1/16th-mile turf event drew a well-matched field of eight, including last year’s victress #7 BEAU RECALL. Post time for the Yellow Ribbon, the ninth of 11 races on the program, is 9:10 p.m. ET.
#7 BEAU RECALL (3-1) is 0-for-3 since winning the Yellow Ribbon last August but has compiled legitimate excuses. She found 1 1/4-miles too far in the Rodeo Drive three-back before hitting the shelf. BEAU RECALL had nowhere to go late in the Grade III Mint Julep following her freshening, then had no pace to chase in the Grade I Just A Game. Even still, she mustered two runner-up finishes in that span. With a clean trip under Umberto Rispoli, BEAU RECALL can re-discover her winning form.
#8 JOLIE OLIMPICA (5-2, morning-line favorite) figures to be part of the pace with #5 HARMLESS and perhaps #1 SUMMERING. She’s done her best work sprinting, taking both the Las Cienegas and Monrovia at Santa Anita this year, but has held her own going long. JOLIE OLIMPICA was beaten only a half-length by KEEPER OFTHE STARS in the Gamely before running second to the peerless Rushing Fall in the Jenny Wiley last time out. Trainer Richard Mandella has been cold at the Del Mar meet (1-for-22), but Mike Smith sees fit to ride.
#6 KEEPER OFTHE STARS (7-2) looks like a bet-against in this situation. She followed her upset in the Grade I Gamely with a total clunker in the Grade III Wilshire, where she finished last of five. Additionally, KEEPER OFTHE STARS has never hit the board in three career starts at Del Mar. Abel Cedillo has the call once more.
The play: $5 exacta box 7/8 ($10)
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