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|C Z ROCKET
|LAW ABIDIN CITIZEN
A winner of seven of his last nine races, C Z Rocket rates top billing in a field of nine male sprinters set to navigate the 6-furlong distance for Saturday’s Grade 1 Bing Crosby at Del Mar.
Runner-up in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Sprint, the Peter Miller trained veteran has been a new horse since joining the barn last year. After winning a high-level allowance race at Keeneland, C Z Rocket has collected four stakes wins, which include one over the track at Del Mar last summer and two in Arkansas this year.
His competition in the 6 furlong Bing Crosby runs deep and includes graded stakes winners Dr. Schivel, Collusion Illusion, and Brickyard Ride. The 3-year-old Dr Schivel earned a Grade 1 victory at Del Mar last year, while Collusion Illusion earned his Grade 1 victory in this race last year. Brickyard Ride has accounted for three stakes wins this year including last out in the Thor’s Echo.
Saturday’s $300,000 Bing Crosby is a “Win and You’re In” qualifying race for the November 6 Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Del Mar and should serve as a kep prep over this year’s host track.
$20 Exacta Part Wheel – C Z Rocket over Collusion Illusion and Dr. Schivel = $40
$5 Exacta Part Wheel – Collusion Illusion and Dr. Schivel over C Z Rocket = $10
If you’re playing only to win, go with my top pick C Z Rocket (9/5).
|Bing Crosby Race Information
|Bing Crosby Stakes (Grade 1)
|Saturday, July 31 — 9:30 pm Eastern time
|How to Watch
This 7-year-old son of City Zip has become one of the finest sprinters in the land since going to the barn of trainer Peter Miller last spring. A five-race winning streak last year included a rallying win in the Grade 2 Pat O’Brien at Del Mar. The winning streak was broken last November, but there is no shame in running second in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Sprint.
He’s picked up right where he left off this year, with two excellent wins at Oaklawn Park, before finishing second at a mile on an off-track at Lone Star Park. Returning to a preferable distance, and with plenty of speed to set the table, he looks like he has a great chance to add another win to his growing resume. He is the top pick.
One of only two 3-year-olds in the field, this one made a name for himself last year at Del Mar, winning both starts, including the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity. The Mark Glatt trained son of Violence has made only one start since that important win, but he should have gotten plenty out of the hard-earned victory in his first race in nine months. While many in the field want the lead, he has proven that he can pass horses. This is a tough field of older horses, but this youngster may be up to the challenge.
The defending champion of the Bing Crosby, he will be making his first start since finishing third behind Charlatan in the Grade 1 Malibu. While it is a tough spot in which to return, he looked like a budding sprint star last year, and has a perfect record at Del Mar in three career starts. He also has demonstrated the ability to come from behind, which should come in handy in this speed-laden field. He also returned a winner after a layoff last year. He looks like perhaps the biggest threat to C Z Rocket.
A speedy California-bred, this Craig Lewis trained colt has enjoyed a breakout season with four easy stakes victories. In each of those, he zoomed right out to the early lead and could not be touched. In his other two starts this year, he was pressured early and was unable to stick around late. As good as he looks while winning, this race looks to be one of those where he will find plenty of company in the first part of the race, and for that reason, I do not like his chances.
He may be one of the more talented horses in the race, but this will mark his first start of the year after making five starts in 2020 as a 3-year-old. He finished the season with three impressive wins overall, including a stakes race at Del Mar. With the eight months since his last race, he is likely to be fresh and ready to come running out of the gate, and with all the other speed in the race, it will make it very difficult for him on his return. I’ll look for more for him next time.
This talented son of Empire Maker became a Grade 1 winner two seasons ago as a juvenile, but sporadically raced since, he’s yet to come close to the winner’s circle in four subsequent starts. Most of that came against strong competition, but Saturday’s test is another difficult assignment. Add in the fact that he likes to be out there early in a race with plenty of speed, and I believe he will have to wait even longer before a return to the victory column.
This 7-year-old gelding has been around for a while and has plenty of solid performances over the years. A grade stakes winner of nearly $600,000, he ran two solid sprints at Del Mar last year when third in both this race, as well as the Grade 2 Pat O’Brien. Having said that, he is 0-for-7 lifetime at the seaside oval. His two starts this year are quite solid, but the stakes win last time came at a lower level than he will see on Saturday. Not out of it, but I prefer others.
More speed here, as the talented son of Tapizar has shot out to the lead in all six lifetime starts, while setting fast fractions consistently. One of two 3-year-olds in the field, he returned off a layoff to run second best in the Iowa Sprint four weeks ago. It was a good effort that should set him up nicely for his second start of the year, but with so much other quality speed in the race, I find it hard to like his chances in this Grade 1 event.
This gelded son of Competitive Edge is one of the few horses in the field who actually prefers to rally. After a layoff, he started the season poorly, but seemingly has woken up the last two, with an allowance win and a second-place finish in the Grade 2 Triple Bend. Both good efforts came going 7 furlongs at Santa Anita, so he’ll need to prove he can get it done going 6 furlongs at Del Mar, but all in all, he is an interesting long shot.
Taken to the races at a very young age, Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Professionally, his work has been published on several leading industry sites. Brian served as the Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, where he still writes a regular column and hosts the popular weekly webcast HorseCenter.
Email: [email protected]
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