Between the Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga and the Eddie Read at Del Mar, I don’t think anyone would argue the Eddie Read is not the better betting race.
The Coaching Club drew just four entrants, with a 2-5 morning line favorite, most disappointing. The Eddie Read is a very competitive race over a mile and an eighth on the grass. That race only drew 7, but 7 is better than 4, and it is a competitive bunch. Let’s look at how it shapes up.
Vintage Print ships in from Kentucky and looks to take advantage of the ship and win program. He has one big obstacle in his way. He probably has closer to 6 obstacles in his way. He adds blinkers but looks overmatched based on anything we have seen him do to date.
United is very much the one to beat here, in my opinion. This classy gelding loves Del Mar, has Prat up, and cuts back from 5 straight marathons. The cut-back may help that little bit of waiting on horses habit he has. He was flat at a short price last time, but I see that as helping the price this time. He is just starting to crank up for a late-season campaign, and he has an excellent work coming into this which screams ready.
Say the Word is another classy guy who has been around. He was finishing very good last time and gets another furlong to work with here. I think United will get the jump on him, and that just might make the difference in what could be a toss-up.
Count Again is sneaky dangerous, but he is going to have to prove he really belongs with these by winning one of these races. He has finished fast a few times against this type but hasn’t sealed the deal. This might be his best chance to do it as he is one for one at Del Mar. He gets capable Joe Bravo but was ridden in his last two by Luis Saez and Juan Hernandez, two very strong finishers who could not get him up. That is a knock in my book. I bet him at a big price two back and he was flying late while wide and lost a heartbreaker for me.
Award Winner comes off a nice win and looks to be part of the pace. With Smooth Like Strait to contend with, I think he is at a disadvantage.
Smooth Like Strait is another Del Mar lover and has speed. He does not need the lead but should keep everyone honest. He carries some weight here, and with the other speed, will need his best, but he is still improving and has Rispoli up who can work magic, especially on the grass.
Restrainedvengence should be close to the pace prompting the leaders. He likes to win, has a chance, but I think he is a cut below the better ones in here when they are at their best.
I lean to United in what I see as a very competitive race. This could be a good one, with a few having a chance in the last furlong.