DEL MAR, CA – Hall of Famer Richard Mandella, known for making plenty of shrewd moves in his 40+ years of training, will put LNJ Foxwoods’ Astute on the dirt for the first time in Saturday’s $100,000 Desi Arnaz Stakes at Del Mar.

The Desi Arnaz is a 6 1/2-furlong dirt sprint restricted to 2-year-old fillies. This year’s edition is the penultimate event on a 9-race card and has a local post time of 4:00 PM.

( Content Continues Below Ad )

Here’s a look at the full field for the Desi Arnaz:

1. Plum Sexy 12/1 – She was a runaway winner on debut in a 5 1/2-furlong sprint over the Santa Anita Park lawn, airing by 3 1/2 lengths to spring a massive 20/1 surprise. Trainer Doug O’Neill has a 20% strike rate with horses switching surfaces from dirt to turf and will leg up jockey Heriberto Figueroa for the second straight race.

2. Private Mission 9/5 – She won her debut by 1 3/4 lengths over the Santa Anita Park main track last month, defeating several well-regarded maidens while covering this same distance. Purchased as a yearling for $750k, she carries high expectations but has the potential to be one of Hall of Famer Bob Baffert’s next big training stars.

3. Canoodling 12/1 – She gives dirt a try for the first time in this spot after making her first 3 career starts on turf, the latter 2 in stakes routes. She broke her maiden on debut in a 5-furlong local sprint before finishing fifth in both the Juvenile Fillies Turf and the Surfer Girl, each time behind Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) contender Madone.

4. Varda 6/1 – The second of three entries from Baffert, she was a clear winner on debut, taking a 6-furlong jaunt over this course by 3 1/4 lengths. She was no match in the Chandelier Stakes (G2) when attempting to route over 1 1/16 miles, but the winner (Princess Noor) was favored in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1), and she should be sharp as she cuts back to sprinting.

Check our Handicapping Products page to find out how we are playing this and every race on the card!

5. Queengol 4/1 – She won her debut by a hard-fought 1/2-length while going 5 1/2 furlongs over this course on Labor Day Weekend, earning a field-best 79 Beyer Speed Figure in the process. She failed to repeat that effort next time out in the 6-furlong Anoakia Stakes, but perhaps she’ll work out a cleaner trip under new jockey Juan Hernandez.

6. Miss Costa Rica 10/1 – She broke her maiden on debut in a 5-furlong local turf sprint after closely stalking the early pace but couldn’t replicate the same result in the Chandelier, finishing 17 1/2 lengths back in third. Flavien Prat – the 2020 summer meet riding champ – shows faith riding her again for trainer Richard Baltas, who started the fall meet with an 11-3-4-0 mark.

7. Astute 3/1 – She was a speedy gate-to-wire winner in a 5 1/2-furlong dash over the Santa Anita Park lawn in her career debut, not an easy accomplishment on a course that tended to favor stalkers and closers. Mandella didn’t miss the board during the fall meet’s opening weekend (7-3-1-3 record) and wins 17% with similar surface swaps.

8. Heels Up 8/1 – The third head of Baffert’s King Ghidorah monster finished second behind Varda in her debut, then outgamed the well-regarded Flash Magic to break her maiden by a nose in her second start. Each race garnered her 57 Beyer Speed Figures that put her at the bottom of this field, but at least she keeps Triple Crown-winning jockey Victor Espinoza aboard.

See the day’s full plays from Ricky’s Rockets!