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Wide Open Field in Hollywood Derby at Del Mar

Hollywood Derby
A field of 11 go in the $400,000 Hollywood Derby at Del Mar. (Photo credit: Del mar Thoroughbred Club).

A field of 11 three-year-olds line up in the feature race at Del Mar on Saturday, the $400,000 Hollywood Derby (G1).

Trainer Graham Motion sends in three runners—Script (8-1), Evan Harlan (20-1) and Speaking Scout (6-1).

The Todd Pletcher trained Wit is the 7-2 morning line favorite. The colt was beaten a neck in the Bryan Station (G3) at Keeneland in his last outing.

The Hollywood Derby is one of three stakes on the Saturday afternoon card. The supporting features are the $100,000 Jimmy Durante (G3) and the $100,000 Stormy Liberal.

Sunday is closing day of the Del Mar meeting. The feature is the $400,000 Matriarch (G1) at one mile on turf.

Enter our free Trifecta Contest on the Hollywood Derby. Select the exact order and win up to $100.

Let’s head out to Del Mar for Saturday’s featured race of the day:

Del Mar Bing Crosby

Del Mar Race 9 The Hollywood Derby (G1) Post 4:30 PT

8 War At Sea   6-1

9 Wit   7-2

3 Celestial City   4-1

1 Cabo Spirit   5-1

War At Sea

The Ron Ellis trainee came off a three month break last out and after stumbling at the start tracked the early pace and finished up well for a third-place finish, beaten a length. The winner Slow Down Andy came back to run third in the Awesome Again (G1) and Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1). The fourth-place finisher Balnikhov came back to win the Bryan Station (G3) at Keeneland and the fifth-place finisher Cabo Sprit won the Twilight Derby (G2) in his next start. Two back our top pick won the Cinema at Santa Anita in his stakes debut. It took this guy a while to figure things out, breaking his maiden in his sixth start. He looks capable of moving forward off his last effort and this guy should end up a decent price.


This colt has taken to turf and last out came up just a neck short of winning the Bryan Station (G3) last out at a mile as the beaten favorite. The colt stalked the early pace midpack, came with a good rally to get in front and could not hold off the winner late. The colt was a solid second in the Hall of Fame (G2) three back at the Spa, then winning the restricted Better Talk Now two back. I like the jock switch from Ortiz to Prat with the main question mark the extra furlong. He is out of a Medaglia d’Oro mare that has dropped three other winners including G3 winner Barkley, who won at a mile and lost a stake at nine furlongs on the main track in a photo.

Celestial City

This colt is coming off  a victory in the Hill Prince (G2) at nine furlongs at Aqueduct. The colt stumbled coming out of the gate leaving him near the back of the pack and overcame a slow pace, saving ground much of the trip and finish up well to win by 2 ¼ lengths. This guy has faced some top quality foes in his recent starts including a runner up finish to Annapolis three back, that colt winning the Turf Mile (G1) at Keeneland in his next start. A logical threat but he may end up shorter than his 4-1 morning line.


WIN: War At Sea to win at 4-1 or better.

EXACTA: 8,9 / 3,8,9 and 8 / 1,3,9

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