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Cambodia and Sophie P Lead the Field for Yellow Ribbon Handicap at Del Mar

Horse Racing Del Mar Betting Picks

The feature race at Del Mar on Saturday is the Yellow Ribbon Handicap at a mile and a sixteenth on the turf. Last year’s winner, Cambodia is back to defend her title, but success has been fleeting for the horse lately, as she has finished out of the money in her last four races. She will face 11 other challengers in this $200,000 race at Del Mar on Saturday including Sophie P. Let’s look at the race and Yellow Ribbon Handicap picks.

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Yellow Ribbon Handicap

PP Horse Jockey Trainer Odds
1 Beau Recall Corey Nakatani Simon Callaghan 5-1
2 Sassy Little Lila Tyler Baze Richard Mandella 15-1
3 Midnight Crossing Tiago Josue Pereira Richard Baltas 20-1
4 Hallie Belle Joe Bravo Michael Stidham 10-1
5 Tisbutadream Tyler Conner Ben Cecil 20-1
6 Storm the Hill Rafael Bejarano Philip D’Amato 9-02
7 Madame Stripes Geovanni Franco Neil Drysdale 8-1
8 Sophie P Kent Desormeaux James Cassidy 8-1
9 Ancient Secret Mike Smith Philip D’Amato 8-1
10 Fahan Mura Edwin Maldonado Vladimir Cerin 5-1
11 Cambodia Drayden Van Dyke Thomas Proctor 7-2
12 Pantsonfire Alonso Quinonez Richard Baltas 20-1

Sophie P will carry the highest weight on Saturday at 122 pounds in the 65th running of the Grade 2 $200,000 Yellow Ribbon Handicap at Del Mar. Sophie P is coming off a disappointing 6th in the Wilshire. Horses who could challenge Sophie P are Fahan Mura, who won the Osunitas Stakes last month and eastern invader Hallie Belle.

The Yellow Ribbon Handicap is a Grade II turf race held at a mile and a sixteenth for fillies and mares, ages three and up. It previously was known as the Palomar Handicap. Cambodia will be trying to join two other horses who have won this race twice, Tranquility Lake in 2000 and 2001 and She’s Not Here in 2015 and 2016.

Cambodia finished a solid third in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Del Mar. The horse is ridden by Drayden Van Dyke who is having an excellent season at Del Mar. He had nine wins in the first ten days of racing, second behind Flavien Prat who had 10 wins. Van Dyke won the Eclipse Award as the outstanding apprentice in 2014. He rode Triple Crown winner Justify in the horse’s maiden win before Mike Smith took over. Van Dyke would like to win the rider’s title at the Del Mar summer meet but he would also like to have a chance at winning Grade 1 races.

“Shipping out of town for the important races, you have to do it,” Van Dyke said to the media. “Hopefully, you don’t miss too many winners. If you can win a Grade 1 or win a few maiden races, I’d rather have the Grade 1.”

Horse Racing Betting Picks

Yellow Ribbon Handicap Picks

This is a wide open feature race on Saturday with eight of the 12 horses listed at odds of 10-1 or less. The lukewarm morning line favorite is Cambodia at odds of 7-2. The problem with backing Cambodia at those odds is that the horse has not looked that great recently, finishing out of the money in her last three races. The second choice in the betting, Storm the Hill doesn’t inspire much confidence either. There could be a little bit of value on Fahan Mura at odds of 5-1. I am looking for even more value though, so I will go with Sophie P. I expect her to bounce back from poor effort in the Wilshire. Sophie P has shown ability in the past and it seems like she has one good race and then one bad one. She has alternated wins and sixth place finishes in each of her last four races. If that form continues she will be the winner on Saturday.

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