DEL MAR OPENS WITH TRADITIONAL LIDLIFTER, THE OCEANSIDE STAKES

I love the Oceanside, but I don’t understand why. I don’t believe I’ve cashed a ticket since Twirling Candy in 2010. And in two of those subsequent years, the race was split in two divisions.

Actually, it’s the handicapping puzzle that I love: Usually a limit field of three-year-olds going a mile on that tight turf course makes for a lot of bad trips but only a mere handful of good ones. The good news is that value generally is available.

For starters Wednesday afternoon, Jasikan (9-5) will be very tough to beat. He was a good third in his U.S. debut, the Singletary at today’s trip, nearly overcoming the slow start in a race that produced at least two next out winners.

And avoiding the Sadler/Prat team on opening day does not automatically guarantee success. We’re not making any guarantees either but if we’re right, we should get paid in this spot.

King of Speed (6-1) has a number of things in his favor. Both lifetime wins have come at today’s trip and he has yet to finish off the board lifetime at DMR, boasting a slate of (3) 1-1-1.

Further, he should benefit from his last, the Cinema, when he was part of a mid-race duel going 9 furlongs and tired but today turns back to a mile, a better fit. He has worked purposefully since his last and gets a switch to Desormeaux, also a good fit in this scenario.

The price should be fair and, despite the competitive nature of this field–we left five horses open as possible winners–we’d be willing to accept 4-1 or more to win. If the crowd doesn’t go overboard on Jasikan, I likely will box the exacta.

For people exotically inclined, you may want to consider Gregorian Chant (7-2), and price shots City Rage (15-1) and Golden Birthday (20-1).

SUNDAY RESULTS: Our choice Break Even ran a huge race and won with authority . She is a top class sprinter; no telling how good at the moment. After two main contenders were program scratches, reducing the field to five, she returned $4.20. Under the circumstances, not bad.

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