Thursday, July 24, 2008
Del Mar Stable Notes 7/23/8
FULL FIELD OF 10 OAKS PROSPECTS TO LINE UP FOR SAN CLEMENTE
Ten 3-year-old fillies with dreams of running in the Grade I, $400,000 Del Mar Oaks on Saturday, August 16, will head for the starting gate Saturday for the 41st edition of the Grade II, $150,000 San Clemente Handicap at a mile on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course.
Heading the field are a couple of unplaced runners -- Bel Air Sizzle and Missit -- from Hollywood Park's Grade I American Oaks, Honeymoon Handicap winner Misty Ocean and Hollywood Oaks third-place finisher Tasha's Miracle.
Here's how they'll line up from the rail, with weights and riders:
Missit, 117, Victor Espinoza; Storm Mesa, 116, Eddie Martin Jr.; Sensational Love, 113, David Flores; Bel Air Sizzle, 119, Alex Solis; Tasha's Miracle, 118, Mike Smith; Seattle Smooth, 116, Michael Baze; Mini Do, 113, Tyler Baze; Grace Anatomy, 115, Martin Garcia; Hopehopehope, 112, Joseph Talamo; Misty Ocean, 119, Joel Rosario.
On the also-eligible list is Comeback Queen, 110, Brice Blanc.
McANALLY, SPAWR REMEMBER CRAIG AS 'DREAM OWNER'
Trainer Bill Spawr called him "a dream owner" and for Hall of Fame conditioner Ron McAnally he was "one of the best owners anyone can have."
They were talking this morning about Sidney Craig, the founder of the Jenny Craig weight loss empire and longtime Thoroughbred owner who died Monday at his Del Mar home after a long bout with cancer.
Spawr was effusive as he lauded Craig as "a wonderful guy, a real loyal guy and really nice to be around. He was a dream owner." He also recalled Craig as a man with a "funny" sense of humor. "Sometimes it took me a while to catch on," Spawr said.
Topping the list of the many horses Spawr trained for Craig and his wife, Jenny, was Exchange, who was claimed for the Craigs for $50,000 and earned $1.1 million in purses in four racing seasons, most of that for the Craigs. Under Spawr's care, Exchange won Santa Anita's La Canada Stakes and El Encino Stakes and Del Mar's Chula Vista Handicap at age 4, Santa Anita's Santa Barbara and Santa Ana handicaps at 5 and Hollywood Park's Matriarch Stakes and Bayakoa Handicap at 6. Also at 6, she was second in the Chula Vista.
Exchange, with a race record of 28-14-7-3, died in 1997 after producing her only foal.
McNally's recollections cover some of the finest stakes horses the Craigs raced, including two-time Eclipse Award winner and 1992 Breeders' Cup Distaff champion Paseana, Dr Devious, who ran unsuccessfully in the Kentucky Derby but returned to England to win the Epsom Derby, and Candy Ride, winner of the 2003 Pacific Classic, the moment Craig, an almost-everyday-fan at Del Mar, considered his greatest in racing.
"He was the classiest guy you'd ever want to know," McAnally said this morning. "The best times my wife, Debbie, and I have had were those times with Sid and Jenny. I remember, especially, a trip to France where we bought a horse named Voyager's Quest, who went on to win the French Derby for Jenny."
Both McAnally and Spawr believe Jenny Craig will remain in the sport. "She does like the business and I would expect her to stay in," McAnally said. Spawr echoed that by saying, "She is as interested in the game as he was. I would be surprised if she got out."
SEVEN CAL-BRED 2-YEAR-OLD MALES VIE IN GRADUATION STAKES
Taking the feature spotlight on today's Del Mar card that opens the track's second week of action is the $125,000 Graduation Stakes for 2-year-old Cal-breds.
Seven are scheduled to go to the post, following the scratch of Glorious One from the original field of eight. Babs Moosa, owned by Halo Farms and trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, rules as the morning line favorite at odds of 5-2.
BARBER BROTHERS BURN UP TRACK DURING 6-FOR-7 OPENING WEEK
Gary and Cecil Barber have been frequent winners over the past few years but nothing they remember can match what went on during the first five days of the Del Mar meeting.
The brothers went to the winner's circle six times in seven opportunities to take a firm lead in the owner's standings by victories. The Barbers posted five wins in a row before succumbing to the loss column in Sunday's second race. They bounced back three races later to score their sixth victory.
After having their two horses on opening day scratched from action, the Barbers won a pair on July 17 with Goodday and Delaware Doe, both trained by Peter Miller, who kicked off a three-win day for the brothers on July 19 with Wild and Ready in the day's first race.
John Sadler picked up the beat with Super Strut in the next race and came back in the day's 10th and final event to send out Improvising Gal to dead heat for first with Dumaani's Gold. Sadler also saddled Wild Buddy Sunday to nail the sixth win of the week for the Barbers.
BEJARANO IN THE DRIVER'S SEAT IN JOCKEYS' RACE
Rafael Bejarano opens the second week of racing at Del Mar firmly ensconced in first place among the track's riders with 10 wins in the 43-day meet's first six days.
But something in his rear-view mirror might be causing him some concern. First of all, there's Tyler Baze and Joel Rosario in second place with seven victories, but farther back is the very dangerous Garrett Gomez, 2007's champion rider, who finally cracked the win column on Monday after 19 unsuccessful attempts. He won the fifth race aboard even-money favorite Lady Schnapps.
It's probably too early for Bejarano to start looking over his shoulder for Gomez, but Gomez does have a history of getting into a riding rhythm and winning races in bunches.
GRYDER, KORINER HOPING FOR BI-COASTAL BIG WEEKEND
Trainer Brian Koriner and jockey Aaron Gryder will be teaming up this weekend in hopes of taking down two major sprint events about 3,000 miles apart.
Koriner's Black Seventeen is scheduled to run Saturday in the $250,000 Alfred Vanderbilt Handicap at 6 furlongs at Saratoga Race Course in upstate New York and Barbecue Eddie is set for the Grade I, $400,000 Bing Crosby Handicap at the same distance Sunday at Del Mar. Gryder will be the rider in both races.
Though a win Saturday would be a special feather in their caps, they'll probably have to do most of their celebrating on the flight back to Southern California. The Saturday race will mark the first time Koriner saddles a horse at Saratoga, but Gryder, who rode for several years in New York before returning to California last year, has ridden there many times.
Koriner sent Black Seventeen back east a week ago with assistant trainer Colleen Hartford to get acclimated to the weather and the track.
SEASON'S FIRST 'DONUTS AT DEL MAR' SET FOR SATURDAY
Del Mar fans can have their morning coffee and donuts with a trio of human seaside stars as well as equine athletes in the track's first of two popular "Donuts at Del Mar" events Saturday from 8 to 10 on the Seaside Terrace near the head of the stretch.
Scheduled to appear as guests are up-and-coming jockey Joel Rosario, veteran "old school" trainer Bruce Headley and trainer-turned-steward Randy Winick.
Fans can watch horses during their morning workouts as well as participate in a question-and-answer session with the guests emceed by track announcer Trevor Denman.
SHORE LINES -- Jockey Michael Baze's return from injury was not triumphant Monday but the rider said, "It felt good to be back riding, although it did feel a little awkward to be in a race." Baze, who suffered a neck injury in a spill June 20 at Hollywood Park, finished fourth on Warren's Gold in the third race, his only ride Monday. He's named on one horse today and four Thursday ... Apprentice rider Michael Martinez, a 22-year-old native of Panama City, Panama, made some family history Monday by defeating his cousin, Alex Solis, in the first race. Martinez' mount, Nate 'N Ed, scored by 3 3/4 lengths over the Solis-ridden Drewthegentleman. The winning horse was trained (and owned) by Juan Garcia in his final day as trainer of record for his stable. He has turned over the stable reins to his son, Victor ... Leandro Mora, assistant trainer for Doug O'Neill, was all smiles Wednesday morning and accepting congratulations for becoming a United States citizen Monday in ceremonies at San Bernardino, near his home in Fontana. Mora's wife, Juana, became a citizen Friday, June 18.
TRAKUS FACTS -- Mon., 7/21 -- Peak Speed: Race 6 (Polytrack) -- Sandita -- 44.8 mph (first 1/8th); Race 7 (turf) -- Synnin and Grinnin -- 44.5 mph (first quarter); Fastest Late Stretch Run: Race 3 (Polytrack) -- Hawaiian Afleet -- 37.6 mph (final 16th); Race 7 (turf) -- Unusual Spirit -- 40.7 mph (final 16th).
DEL MAR COMBINED JOCKEY & TRAINER STATISTICS
(Current Through Monday, July 21, 2008)
Jockey Mts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% Money Won
Rafael Bejarano 32 10 8 5 31% $661,981
Tyler Baze 32 7 3 5 22% $273,910
Joel Rosario 32 7 2 4 22% $220,780
Victor Espinoza 28 4 3 3 14% $227,206
Aaron Gryder 12 3 0 1 25% $261,223
Joseph Talamo 18 3 0 1 17% $117,116
Martin Pedroza 22 2 4 4 9% $101,960
Michael Martinez 14 2 3 1 14% $52,280
Jose Campos 19 2 2 2 11% $53,660
Julio Garcia 11 2 1 4 18% $133,746
Trainer Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% Money Won
Mike R. Mitchell 15 5 2 2 33% $443,956
John W. Sadler 17 3 6 0 18% $222,674
Doug F. O'Neill 18 3 4 4 17% $153,269
Jerry Hollendorfer 10 3 1 4 30% $80,156
Peter Miller 8 3 1 1 38% $83,160
Gary Stute 6 2 2 1 33% $43,080
J. Eric Kruljac 4 2 1 1 50% $80,440
Ronald L. McAnally 8 2 1 0 25% $105,283
Juan J. Garcia 4 2 0 1 50% $37,720
Clifford W. Sise, Jr. 3 2 0 0 67% $62,200
Winning Favorites Report
(Current Through Monday, July 21, 2008)
Winning favorites -- 12 out of 52 -- 23.08%
Winning odds-on favorites -- 1 out of 4 -- 25.00%
In-the-Money favorites -- 35 out of 52 -- 67.31%
In-the-Money odds-on favorites -- 3 out of 4 -- 75.00%
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