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2023 Eddie Read Stakes Preview & FREE Picks | Phil D’Amato Saddles 4 At Del Mar In Search Of 4th Race Win
Count Again (Benoit Photo)

2023 Eddie Read Stakes Preview & FREE Picks | Phil D’Amato Saddles 4 At Del Mar In Search Of 4th Race Win

Mike previews the 2023 Eddie Read Stakes (G2) from Del Mar, then gives his top picks & long shots. Top California turf trainer Phil D’Amato will saddle 4 of the 9 entries in search of his 4th career win in this race: Count Again, Gold Phoenix, Balnikhov, & Masteroffoxhounds.

Who wins Del Mar’s Sunday feature that’s also part of the track’s mandatory Pick 6 payout? Tell us YOUR thoughts in the Comments section!

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The press release:

The 50th running of the Eddie Read Stakes will take place at Del Mar Sunday, going as Race 9 on an 11-race card. The day also will offer a “mandatory” Pick Six pool payout that easily could rise into the millions.

Eddie Read was Del Mar’s very first publicist going back to the track’s opening in 1937. He was a mainstay at the track for more than three decades and this race was named in his honor after his passing with the first running going off in 1974.

The Read will have a post time of approximately 6 p.m. First post for the afternoon will be 2 p.m.

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This year’s renewal of the nine-furlong turf headliner has drawn nine older horses and the one to beat in the bunch might be the oldest of the bunch – the 8-year-old veteran Count Again, who comes into the $250,000, Grade II offering off a two and a quarter length tally in the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile at Santa Anita on May 30 – though that was 14 months ago.

The old pro by Awesome Again became a millionaire that day ($1,069,915) in registering his seventh victory, all on the green. He is owned by Agave Racing Stable or Sam-Son Farm and has been training forwardly for this comeback.

Del Mar’s morning line maker Jon White was impressed enough with his prior record and current training to make him the 3-1 favorite in the headliner.

Umberto Rispoli picks up the mount on the bay for trainer Phil D’Amato and will break from the outside gate for the run down the infield chute on Sunday.

The chief threats to the top one appear to reside on the shedrows near him in the D’Amato barn. The conditioner also will saddle Little Red Feather and Sterling Stable’s Gold Phoenix, Little Red Feather and Madaket Stable’s Balnikhov and Rockingham Ranch’s Masteroffoxhounds.

Here’s the full field for the Eddie Read from the rail out with riders and morning line odds:

  1. Auyeung, Crosby or Hauck, et al’s I’mgonnabesomebody (Kyle Frey, 20-1)
  2. Gold Phoenix (Hector Berrios, 4-1)
  3. Balnikhov (Antonio Fresu, 4-1)
  4. Masteroffoxhounds (Edwin Maldonado, 8-1)
  5. Red Baron’s Barn or Rancho Temescal’s Dicey Mo Chara (Juan Hernandez, 6-1)
  6. Kretz Racing’s Cabo Spirit (Joe Bravo, 5-1)
  7. CYBT, Lantzman or Nentwig, et al’s Handy Dandy (Ramon Vazquez, 12-1)
  8. ERJ Racing, Madaket Stables, et al’s Mackinnon (Tiago Pereira, 8-1)
  9. Count Again