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Oceanside Preview: Whatmakessammyrun Favored In Del Mar Opening Day Feature
Whatmakessammyrun (Credit: Benoit Photo)

Oceanside Preview: Whatmakessammyrun Favored In Del Mar Opening Day Feature

DEL MAR, CA – Trainer Mark Glatt’s Whatmakessammyrun, undefeated since arriving to California in the spring, is favored to win Friday’s $100,000 Oceanside Stakes, the feature event on Del Mar’s Opening Day for the 2021 meet.

The Oceanside, a 1-mile turf route restricted to 3-year-olds who have not won a stakes worth at least $50,000 at 1 mile or longer this year, is the penultimate event on a 10-race card and has a local post time of 6:00 PM.

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Here’s a look at the full field for the Oceanside:

1. Harbored Memories 8/1 – After finishing second in 3 straight to start his career, he took 2 months off before returning with a bang, winning 2 straight 6 1/2-furlong turf sprints at Santa Anita Park. He punched his ticket to the Oceanside with the latter and is bred to handle routing; he’s a half to Galilean, who won the 2020 California Dreamin’ Stakes at 1 1/16 miles over this same grass course.

2. Fighting Force 6/1 – The well-traveled Jeff Engler trainee ships to California for the first time after putting together a 10-2-2-1 record racing at Belmont Park, Keeneland, Gulfstream Park, and Sam Houston. He won the 1-mile Not Surprising Stakes over a yielding Gulfstream Park turf course last time out and broke his maiden over the same course and distance last December.

3. Crew Dragon 6/1 – He debuts for new trainer John Sadler and new owner Hronis Racing, who purchased him for $310k at the recent Keeneland April Horses of Racing Age Sale. He previously put together a 6-1-1-4 record with Hall of Fame conditioner Bill Mott, who saddled him to break his maiden in a 1 1/8-mile Gulfstream Park turf route and finish second in the 1-mile Columbia Stakes.

“He’s trained up really well,” said Sadler, who has had the horse in his barn since May. “He’s got a stakes placing on his record, so he’s a horse that fits well for the Oceanside. He’s got a good post and a good turf rider (Umberto Rispoli), so we’re very hopeful.”

4. Brutto 20/1 – For the first time in his career, he steps up to face winners, stretches out to try two turns, and swaps surfaces – all at once. The Bob Baffert barn wins at just 4% with first-timers on turf, 9% when going from dirt to turf, and is 0 for 18 in the past 5 years when surface-changers extended from sprinting to routing. He exits a 6 1/2-length maiden-breaker at 6 furlongs on the Santa Anita dirt.

5. Petruchio 12/1 – He returns from a 2 1/2-month break hoping to continue his turf success for trainer Richard Mandella, whose barn wins 32% with a $2.44 ROI with similarly returning runners. The Into Mischief gelding broke his maiden over this course and distance last October, finished second by a neck 1 race prior to that, and exits a 3/4-length runner-up loss in the 1-mile Singletary Stakes at Santa Anita.

6. Dream Shake 4/1 – He takes a major class drop and tries turf for the first time after compiling a 5-1-1-2 record against several of the nation’s best dirt runners in 4 graded stakes. Twirling Candy sires 13% winners making their grass debuts and is 16% overall on the surface, though his older sibling and dam were a combined 0-for-6 on turf. Trainer Peter Eurton wins 9% when going dirt to turf.

“We didn’t want to ship again, and Del Mar’s races (restricted to 3-year-olds) are all on grass until late in the meet,” Eurton said. “His sire won the Oceanside and then came back and won the Del Mar Derby. We thought the timing was good to run him now, and we’ll see if he likes it. You never know until you try.”

7. Jungle Cry 20/1 – He steps back up to stakes action after defeating optional claimers in a 1-mile Golden Gate Fields turf route as the 4/5 favorite. He finished third in the Alcatraz Stakes over that same course and distance 2 starts back but faces the toughest class test yet as he makes his Southern California racing circuit debut. Trainer Steve Specht repeats at 17% with last-out winners.

8. Flashiest 6/1 – He steps up to stakes action after compiling a 3-2-1-0 turf record (all routes) and cuts back from his last-out second going 1 1/8 miles against Santa Anita Park optional claimers. His only loss came to turf route stakes winner Hudson Ridge and his Beyer Speed Figures have improved with each start for trainer Leonard Powell, whose 12% turf success rate includes a healthy $2.11 ROI.

9. No Foolery Here 20/1 – He makes his stakes debut on the heels of a 1/2-length maiden-breaking effort going 1 1/8 miles at Santa Anita Park with Geovanni Franco in the saddle. He was second by a head 1 race prior, dead-heating with the aforementioned Hudson Ridge just before that rival’s turf route stakes win. Franco retains the mount for the third straight start and wins 27% for the Baltas barn.

10. Mucho Del Oro 20/1 – He rides a 3-race win streak into his stakes debut for trainer Bob Hess Jr., who claimed him for $30k out of the first of his successes. He won his turf route debut last time out going gate to wire against $50k starter allowance rivals in a 1-mile Santa Anita Park event and retains the riding services of aggressive gate jockey Edwin Maldonado for the fourth straight start.

11. None Above the Law 8/1 – Winner of the Alcatraz 2 starts back, he stretched out a furlong and finished a late-running second in the Snow Chief Stakes, missing by a neck as the even-money favorite. He’s shown tactical speed in the past but will likely end up in the back half of this large field in the early going. New jockey Juan Hernandez wins 18% for Peter Miller, last year’s meet-leading trainer.

12. Ingest 30/1 – He returns to turf after finishing third (beaten 18 lengths) in the 1 1/8-mile Los Alamitos Derby (G3). Though he owns only 1 victory on grass in 6 starts, he was only 3/4 of a length behind the winner while finishing fourth in the Snow Chief 2 starts back and should be forwardly-placed in a close stalking position under Hall of Fame jockey Victor Espinoza, aboard in the Snow Chief.

13. Whatmakessammyrun 7/2 – The tepid morning line favorite’s draw did him no favors as he stretches back out still looking for his first two-turn victory. He exits a pair of 6-furlong turf sprint scores at Santa Anita Park including the Desert Code, which he took by 3 3/4 lengths despite a rough trip. Those were his first 2 starts for trainer Mark Glatt after racing in Florida and New York (6-1-1-2 record).

14. Hockey Dad 20/1 – He returns to turf for the third time hoping to remain unbeaten over the surface. After breaking his maiden going 6 furlongs at Santa Anita Park in January, he stretched out to a mile and defeated optional claimers 2 starts later. Those successes came against California-breds, however, and the waters get much deeper against this salty field of open company runners.

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