The 20th Running of the G2 San Diego Handicap
Saturday, July 30, 2022
DMR Race #6 $300.000
3+ Handicap Weights 11/16
Track/Stakes Record-1:39.81 (Fab Four-2012)
The 20th G2 San Diego Handicap will run with a field of eight to DMR on Saturday. Hard Discretion is the 121-pound high weight and he will spot his seven rivals one-to-three pounds in the $300.000, 8.5 furlong contest over the DMR main track. Worthington Springs, the only 3yo in the field, was assigned 118-pounds, but he will need jockey J.E. Lopez to hit the sauna or risk running one-pound over. There were nine horses originally in the field, but Quality Art was withdrawn after being assigned post nine. This looks to be a competitive group so let’s take closer inspection of the runners for the G2 San Diego Handicap:
#1 Funny Cide (Iolaus Racing/A. Bocachica 119): 4yo colt didn’t start his ’22 campaign that strongly, but he’s run better the last two times we’ve seen him. Dips his hooves back into the stakes pool for this and gets in at a comfortable weight. Former listed stake winner seems better now and further progression could make him very dangerous here. Post position should benefit this one considering his early speed.
#2 Hard Discretion (TwinTowersRacing/J.R. Velazquez 121): Gelding returns to the scene of his biggest victory to date for the first time since that G3 score in November. Been a bit of a hit-and-miss type in ’22, but does own back-to-back ITM G3 finishes and is 3x graded-placed this season. Doesn’t have the early foot of the rail horse, but he should be able to secure the rail and save ground in hopes of making a rally.
#3 Bring The Pain (Spankys Barn/F. Prat 119): Undefeated in four starts (for three different barns) this season, 8yo is back in graded company for the first time since December. This year seems to be kinder to these older, battle-tested horses than what we’ve seen in the past, so it’s nice to see this guy in this spot. Last two have seen him on the front foot a little more and that should set him up well from this draw.
#4 Splash Mountain (John Henry/E. Jaramillo 120): Speaking of battle-tested, 7yo is a former BC Classic champion and is trying to reach his FIFTH BC race this year. Hasn’t won since last October’s G1 Woodward score, and hasn’t been especially competitive this season. Still, deserves our respect as a first ballot HOF’er and, if he’s right, he can still compete with the game’s elite. He’s drawn well for this and expect a more forward position in the early stages.
#5 Day Of Black (Night Rider Stables/P. Husbands 119): 5yo Gelding couldn’t best NY-bred stake foes in his first two starts this season, but has reeled-off consecutive wins (including $200.000 Commentator) in preparation for this. Former $4.000 claimer gets his second crack at graded foes and he could go forward or be allowed to settle in the two-path and save some ground from here.
#6 Ricki Tikki Tavi (La Canada Racehorses/A. Cedillo 119): 4yo snapped a five-race skid in his win at CD last out and runs the trip right back for this one. That allowance score was his first race in almost four months, so it’s a positive sign he comes back here. He was a BC Dirt Mile contestant last year so we know the quality is there, and we’ve covered enough of his races to know that he will leave it all on the track if he’s in contention coming down the lane.
#7 Worthington Springs (Kopites/J.E. Lopez 118): The lone sophomore in the field doesn’t get much help on the scales and he’s still looking for his first win against winners. Barn plopped-down $30.000 to get this one and must have seen something they liked to try this spot. He did run in a few stakes as a juvenile, so, maybe he’s getting back to that level.
#8 Higher Drift (Asgar/Ru. Silvera 118): 5yo passed six horses in the lane of the G1 Met Mile, but only managed to get within five lengths of the winner. Started his 5yo season with a stakes score in January but it’s been tough sledding since a good 3rd in GP G3. Draws wide again here so expect him to take his customary position well back before uncorking a run.
#9 Quality Art (Mb Stables/SCRATCHED)
Final Analysis: We’re a sucker for certain horses (maybe that’s clouding our judgement) and we’ll play a hefty 4-6 exacta box in the G2 San Diego Handicap. Good luck to everyone in all of their races on this massive weekend of BC preps!