HHR’s 2 Year Old Stakes Watch- Del Mar CTBA

Special Look At CTBA Stakes

Getting Ready for CTBA Stakes at Del MarIn this special edition of the HHR 2 year old stakes watch, we are taking a look at Friday’s $100k CTBA Stakes at Del Mar. Set for 2 year old fillies that are California bred or sired, the CTBA (California Thoroughbred Breeders Association) is set at 5 1/2 furlongs and there are 8 fillies in this field. I know that handicapping at Del Mar can be a bit tricky with the track’s location so close to the ocean, the humidity and weather changes and the polytrack to contend with, but I’m not scared. Let’s see what we can find!

Cinderella Hopefuls in CTBA

SproutsOf the 8 horse field, 3 of these fillies raced in the Cinderella Stakes at Hollywood. Sprouts was the winner of that race, winning by 3 1/2 lengths and should be the favorite in this race. Trained by Edward Freeman and ridden by Mario Gutierrez, this filly certainly has the experience for this race, but we’ll just have to see how she handles the track. Time for Angie ran 3rd in the Cinderella and Pay the Debt ran 6th and last. I believe both of these horses could be contenders in this race, and to be honest, I’m leaning towards Pay the Debt, despite her last outing. If her sire is any indication, I believe this daughter of Awesome Gambler could be dangerous at a very nice price. Here’s that Cinderella Stakes at Hollywood that these three competed in-

Smoove It & Evening News to Make Headlines

Swiss Yodeler, Sire to Evening NewsOutside of the Cinderella competitors, we have to look at Smoove It. She won her maiden race on June 29th at Hollywood and showed some nice speed in the process. Mario Guitierrez had been onboard this filly in her maiden win, but has opted for Sprouts in the CTBA. I understand Mario’s move, but I really like the fact that Kevin Krigger will take the reigns for Smoove It in this one. I’m also taking a close, hard look at Evening News. Her speed figures were average in her maiden win, but at Del Mar I believe this daughter of Swiss Yodeler should shine. Martin Pedroza will take the mount here and she’ll have trainer Sean McCarthy in her corner. She might not get up for first, but I do believe she will be in the money!

The rest of the 2 year old stakes watch will be posted on Friday and cover the weekend races so be sure to check back with us then! Good luck to all.


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Mike Jr, eldest son of Mike Lane Sr, is co-lead author at and was raised on thoroughbred horse racing and handicapping. Although father and son often butt heads on their selections, they both have much love and admiration for the sport. Mike Jr. brings a new, fresh perspective to horse racing and is often in search of new angles to try.

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