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2023 Del Mar Derby Preview | Conclude Carries Big Chance For 2nd Turf Score This Meet
Conclude (Benoit Photo)

2023 Del Mar Derby Preview | Conclude Carries Big Chance For 2nd Turf Score This Meet

Nine 3-year-olds will match strides Sunday at Del Mar in the 78th edition of the Caesars Sportsbook Del Mar Derby, a Grade II feature that carried a $300,000 purse and meet championship honors among the sophomore set.

The nine-furlong turf test will go as Race 10 on the 11-race program. First post Sunday goes at 2 p.m.

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The horse to beat in the Derby is Little Red Feather Racing and Madaket Stable’s Conclude, winner of the Opening Day Oceanside Stakes in handy fashion. The son of Pacific Classic winner Collected had won a small stakes at Santa Anita in his start before that and his three-for-five record and bankroll of $179,600 is tops among the Derby participants.

As he did in the Oceanside, Hector Berrios will ride the colt for trainer Phil D’Amato and they’re listed as the 9/5 morning line favorite for the feature.

A pair of geldings appear to be the chief threats to Conclude in Red Baron’s Barn or Rancho Temescal’s Maltese Falcon and CYBT, McLean Racing Stables or Gevertz’s Almendares.

Both come into the test off winning races, the former in Del Mar’s La Jolla Handicap at a mile and a sixteenth on the lawn on August 6, while the latter was a handy winner of a turf allowance test at the shore on July 23 in his U.S. bow.

Here is the field in post position order with riders and morning line odds:

  1. Great Friends Stables or Davis’ Ah Jeez (Tiago Pereira, 15-1)
  2. Conclude
  3. Maltese Falcon (3-1)
  4. Cuyathy’s Reiquist (Ramon Vazquez, 15-1)
  5. Almendares (3-1)
  6. Hronis Racing’s Panic Alarm (Umberto Rispoli, 5-1)
  7. Al and Sandee Kirkwood’s Smart Code (Mike Smith, 12-1)
  8. Lamarock Stable’s Justin’s Legacy (Edwin Maldonado, 15-1)
  9. CYBT, Nentwig or Pell’s Kid Azteca (Joe Bravo, 30-1)