5 Superfecta Keys For Del Mar on Saturday

5 Superfecta Keys For Del Mar on Saturday
Photo: Courtesy Del Mar

For me, one main attraction to superfectas is that a superfecta probable payout pool is not displayed – making this bet an unknown endeavor relative to an exacta.   However, if you observe the pool results over a long period of time, you will come to realize the favorites tend to be over bet in the pool and when outsiders come in especially in the top two positions, explosive payouts might result. 

This is why a 10 cent superfecta key is a great leveraged wager.  

The table below summarizes the reduction in your outlays for superfecta wagers when you key vs box your selections.




























There are books out there and it is common logic that the box wager makes no sense unless all horses are valued equally by the handicapper. Without getting too technical here, it is obvious if you have an opinion on a race, a box of any sort makes little sense.

The superfecta key requires you to ensure that your keyed horse must finish in one of the top four positions. To maximize return, I am looking for three situations to create potential for a high payoff.

The conditions are:

  • Betting interests of at least 9 entries but not more than 12 

  • The ability to confidently key a horse that is not an odds-on or a heavily bet favorite

  • Field that has runners seemingly ignored in the pool that would be at very high odds at post time but could be in the top four randomly

Saturday's card at Del Mar provides a good number of opportunities on both dirt and turf.

Race 1

A maiden event with a few first time starters, some horses who have displayed a lot of speed, and turf to dirt runners; additionally, two runners have faced the likes of Essential Quality and Tripoli!

An anticipated fast pace including first time starter speed running will set up No. 10 Star Sailor, trained by John Sadler to close in and certainly gain a placing in the top four, ideally at least second or third; key him at 6-1.

Mark Glatt sends out the speedy Grandconcourse Guy No. 7, who cut very fast fractions on the lead at 6.5 panels in his last out, looks like an overlay at 12-1.

Bob Baffert has two runners here: one a highly priced first time starter in No. 9 Sumo who has worked well and another who ran very fast in his debut in No. 3 Vetoed; the latter appears among the speediest of those who have run; both must be included.

No. 2 Cali Bay is coming off two turf sprints, should relax early and looks to move up on the dirt cutting into very fast fractions; he rounds out the superfecta at 10-1 and looks like another overlay here. 

The Play

$.10 Superfecta Key 10 with 2, 3, 7 and 9. Total wager: $9.60

Race 2

Most runners in this mile on the turf claiming race press just off or are very close to the pace and there do not appear to be any complete outsiders here.  Tactical speed could hang around a long time in this field.

Southern Horse No. 4 has run nearly as fast as anyone in the field; throw out his last, he should be lower than 10-1 on the morning line; this is your key horse who should run well here at this level coming on relatively late while not way out of it.

Barristan The Bold No. 3 grades out fastest on several measures, has run close in his U.S. debut to multiple stakes winner Mo Forza, and looks strong here, a must include.

Michael Maker send out No. 8 Irish Heatwave who looks every part of a contender here; can run on or near the lead or come from out of it, will vie for favoritism with No. 6 Fly To Mars trained by Peter Miller, another hard hitting older horse; both must be included.

The superfecta is completed by the longer of two horses recently claimed by Sergio Morfin in No. 5 Blameless at 8-1;  a horse who seems to run about the same every race, and should be along for a piece of the superfecta and a nice placing if others do not show up.

The Play

$.10 Superfecta Key 4 with 3, 5, 6 and 8. Total wager: $9.60.

Race 4

This mile event for maiden claimers has virtually no speed to speak of; not one runner has had the lead at the second call in the races shown.

K P Silver Bullet No. 5 comes out of the same race as Grand Coucourse Guy who is part of the mix in Race 1; stretches out, runs evenly with some potential closing punch and should be right there at the end; include him at 6-1 as your key runner; a strong threat to win.

Thomas Bell has a strong overall record including a small sample of good first time starter performances especially in maiden claiming races. There is not much to beat here: include No. 7 Primer Dimer at 10-1 first time out.

I expect Allaboutthemoney No. 6 to be part of the mix, but he looks like an underlay here at 7-2.

Trainer Phil D’Amato sends out a runner in No. 8 Cant Stop This Man, who has run third two separate times at seven furlongs and is reasonably fast for this level coming out of a mile event on the turf where he was right there at 6 furlongs; a strong contender on the dirt at 4-1.

The superfecta is rounded out with a turf to dirt runner for trainer Sean McCarthy in No. 10 Harbor Sky at 10-1 who ran against state bred maiden allowance runners three times to no avail with some minor trouble in each effort.

The Play

$.10 Superfecta Key 5 with 6, 7, 8 and 10. Total wager: $9.60

Race 5

This allowance/optional claiming race on the turf for three-year-old fillies at a mile and sixteenth has only one runner in for a tag and includes two first time turf runners, including one who last was seen running against Malathaat; none of these runners have met directly in the past.  Speed seems lacking except for the first time turf entrants; and it may hold up well. 

Can’thelpfallin No. 4 makes her second U.S. start for leading trainer Peter Miller. Throw out her last; she ran creditably against large fields in Europe; this is your superfecta key horse at 12-1.

Miss Bella Ciao No. 3 is bred to run all day and turns back from a turf marathon here; will be one of the betting favorites coming from off the pace late.

No. 6 Fi Fi Pharoah moves from dirt to turf and has run as fast as anyone in the field, albeit on dirt; a must include here.

Moraz No. 8 has not been seen since being buried by Malathaat in the Kentucky Oaks; has run exclusively on dirt but is still your likely post time favorite and a strong chance to win here on the front end all the way.

The inside horse, No. 1 Magical Thought is a huge overlay at 30-1.  She exits three consecutive turf sprints, one where she had trouble, will never be far out of it, projects to be very competitive here as part of the superfecta; include her for a game-changing payout in her third start for Doug O’Neill.

The Play

$.10 Superfecta Key 4 with 1, 3, 6 and 8. Total wager: $9.60

Race 7

A maiden race for fillies and mares that brings together a large field at a mile on the turf.  There is no clear-cut speed here with a lot of early and pressing types in the mix; a wide open event with a large field, stretch outs, and the strong potential for some random outcomes. 

High percentage trainer Mark Glatt sends out No. 11 Aventapp who is stretching out here. She projects to be right there at the end based upon two sprint efforts including her last against straight maidens and is a huge overlay; key her at 15-1, with a chance to win.

Buzz of New York No. 4 for trainer Phil D’Amato makes her second U.S. start and will be the likely favorite off her strong second in her U.S. debut.  Rhythm and Grace No. 7 has run well in all her turf starts and ran right behind Buzz of New York last out, a must include.

Cliff Sise does not send out many runners but No. 9 Floral Essence is 4/4 in the money on the turf and will be on pace the whole race; a strong contender here.

No. 3 Jubilee Lake is making only her second start for Neil Drysdale.  She showed little in her debut at 5 furlongs, and deserves another chance here at long odds of 30-1; will be moving late off the pace for a superfecta placing.

The Play(s)

$.10 Superfecta Key 11 with 3, 4, 7 and 9. Total wager: $9.60

Given the wide open nature of this race coupled with field size, including No. 1 Cliffs of Thunder at 20-1 who had trouble in her U.S. debut is not a risky proposition, she exits the same race as a few others in this race and should be given another chance to come on late.

$.10 Superfecta Key 11 with 1, 3, 4, 7 and 9. Total wager: $24.00

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