Friday, July 25, 2008
Del Mar Stable Notes 7/24/8
COULD SAN CLEMENTE BRING SECOND COMING OF MEGAHERTZ?
Trainer Barry Abrams is hoping to put some real sizzle into Saturday's Grade II, $150,000 San Clemente Handicap for 3-year-old fillies at a mile on the Del Mar turf course.
The sizzle, he hopes, will come from Bel Air Sizzle, whom he will saddle for the San Clemente.
"My instructions to Alex [jockey Alex Solis] is to ride her just like he rode Megahertz," Abrams said. "He has to have the confidence that she can come from way back and catch the others at the finish line.
"She doesn't like to be close up with other horses. She likes to run free in the back of the pack with nobody around her. She has an unbelievable kick home. If she's up close early in the race with a lot of horses around her, she tries too hard to keep up with them and then she doesn't have that punch at the end."
Of the competition, Abrams points to Missit, whom he says is a very good horse at a mile and has a good post [rail] and the Jerry Hollendorfer-trained Misty Ocean, winner of three in a row who will break from the outside post.
He adds to that duo "the unknown horse that won the Iowa Oaks [Storm Mesa, trained by W. Bret Calhoun]. She's won four in a row and if she converts her form to turf, she could be the one to beat."
Tasha's Miracle, third behind another Abrams trainee, Lethal Heat, in the Hollywood Oaks in her last start and making her first start on turf, isn't considered especially dangerous by Abrams. "I'm afraid of horses that are winning, not horses that are losing," the trainer said.
Naturally, trainer John Sadler might take exception to that assessment, especially in light of how Tasha's Miracle has been training here. "She's worked twice on the grass here, and seems to like it fine," he said this morning. "On Sunday, she worked in company with [older graded stakes winner] Black Mamba and kept up with her the whole way." The pair went 6 furlongs in 1:13.60, the best of five for the distance.
"So far," Sadler said, "she's been doing fine, but since it's her first race on the grass, you never know until they race how they'll handle it."ï¿½
BING CROSBY 'CAP: DEFENDING CHAMP IN SUMMATION IN TOUGH
There's something for everyone in Sunday's 63rd running of the Grade I, $300,000 Bing Crosby Handicap at 6 furlongs on the main track.
There will be plenty of front-end speed, pressing speed and a dangerous closer with a hefty kick.
Barbecue Eddie and Johnny Eves, both notoriously fast, figure to be on the lead. Defending champion In Summation and Jungle Prince more than likely will be pressing the pace.
If that scenario takes form, the horse to watch may be Street Boss, who always seems to be flying at the finish. That finishing kick has resulted in four straight victories for the son of Street Cry trained by wily veteran Bruce Headley.
Headley says he's taking Street Boss on the same path he took with five-time Breeders' Cup Sprint runner and winner in 2000 Kona Gold -- from the Crosby to the Ancient Title at Oak Tree at Santa Anita to the Breeders' Cup Sprint, this year at Oak Tree.
As for the race, Headley said, "He'll be well off the pace. That's the way he likes to run and I don't try to change a horse's style. He has a great disposition and he has a big kick. A horse has to have a big kick if you want him to be in there with the big boys."
They don't come much bigger than In Summation, the defending champion, whose goal, also, is the Breeders' Cup Sprint, said Nicholas Bachalard, in charge of the Christophe Clement string at Del Mar. "The horse is doing very well here," Bachalard said. "He has trained well and he's breezed well over the track. We're looking for a good race out of him, but we know it's not easy to come back in a race like this, but you have to come back somewhere."
In Summation, who won last year's Bing Crosby by a nose over popular Southern California sprinter Greg's Gold, hasn't raced since April 26 when he was sixth in the Turf Sprint Handicap at Calder Race Course.
Here's how they'll start from the rail, with weights and riders: Street Boss, 121, David Flores; Barbecue Eddie, 116, Aaron Gryder; Jungle Prince, 115, Joel Rosario; In Summation, 121, Corey Nakatani; Silver Stetson Man, 113, Victor Espinoza; Winsome Charm, 108, Tyler Baze; Sailors Sunset, 114, Rafael Bejarano; Spot the Diplomat, 110, Michael Baze; Johnny Eves, 116, Garrett Gomez.
GRADUATION WINNER BABS MOOSSA RETURNS IN GOOD ORDER
Babs Moossa, winner by a nose in Wednesday's $125,000 Graduation Stakes for 2-year-old Cal-breds, was reported in good shape this morning by Dan Ward, assistant to trainer Jerry Hollendorfer.
"He came back super," Ward said. He also said the gelded son of Crowning Storm probably would be pointed toward the I'm Smokin Stakes for Cal-breds on Monday, September 1, or closing day's Del Mar Futurity on September 3. He ruled out the Best Pal Stakes Sunday, August 10, as being too soon. "He's had two races close together now," the soft-spoken Ward said.
Ted Aroney, a longtime partner in horses with the late Sid Craig, owns Babs Moossa as Halo Farms, and owned the sire with Craig. As a 2-year-old, Crowning Storm defeated eventual Kentucky Derby winner Charismatic while racing in Craig's colors.
On another level, trainer Hollendorfer is expected to return in good order, also, after undergoing hip-replacement surgery this week at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla.
Hollendorfer was scheduled for release today, Ward said. The new right hip went in on Monday, and the trainer is expected to spend the rest of the week in the Del Mar area, with the distinct possibility of being at the racetrack during the weekend.
DRRYSDALE'S BECRRUX RREAPS RREWARRDS WITH WICKERR
With two victories in the Wickerr already on his resume, Becrux goes for his third in a row Friday afternoon in the day's featured $85,000 Wickerr Handicap at a mile on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course.
"If we can win the race for the third straight time, we ought to be able to retire the trophy," trainer Neil Drysdale said.
"It's a tough race, but he's doing well," the trainer said of the 6-year-old Italian-bred owned by Team Valor International and Gary Barber.
Actually, Drysdale has two shots at winning the race, saddling Dark Islander, who arrived on Tuesday for his first race in the United States since 2006 when he won the Oak Tree Derby before finishing eighth in the Hollywood Derby November 26 of that year. The 5-year-old Irish-bred son of Singspiel has five wins in 20 starts and has banked $227,405 for owner Donald M. Kerr.
The Drysdale pair will have to overcome, among others, three runners from the barn of Julio Canani -- Porto Santo, Stoneside and All Man. Porto Santo is winless in his last seven starts and is 0 for 5 on the Del Mar turf. Stoneside comes to the race from a third in Hollywood Park's Grade III Ack Ack Handicap, and All Man will be making his first stakes start for Canani.
Among the others in the 10-horse field, Lang Field appears to be coming back to the form that gave him a third in last year's Wickerr after his recent win in Hollywood Park's Ferdinand Handicap.
One Union comes to the race from a third in the Kerlan Memorial Handicap, also at Hollywood. Trainer Richard Mandella believes his most recent two races (the El Segundo Stakes preceded the Kerlan) showed that he could be good at a mile.
The most intriguing horse in the race is Awesome Gem, runner-up to Student Council in the 2007 Pacific Classic and making his first start on grass since December 26, 2006 where he was second in Santa Anita's Grade III Sir Beaufort Handicap. That race was used, trainer Craig Dollase said, to prepare him for a winning effort in his next race, the San Fernando Breeders' Cup Handicap January 13, 2007.
Following his 2007 effort in the Pacific Classic, Awesome Gem finished third in the Breeders' Cup Classic behind Horse of the Year Curlin and the hard-knocking 3-year-old Hard Spun in the slop at Monmouth Park.
Of the Wickerr, Dollase said cryptically, "We'll use this race to prepare him for something."
SHORE LINES -- Jockey Alex Solis broke a 0 for 12 streak Wednesday with three victories to put himself into the top 10 in the jockeys' standings. Joining him there is Garrett Gomez, who had been 0 for 19 prior to his first win Monday and expanded to three by two wins on Wednesday. Rafael Bejarano continues to lead the standings with 11 victories ... Apprentice jockey Jose Campos will be aboard his lone mount today, Stomp Dance in the fourth race, after no serious injury was found following a one-horse spill in Wednesday's sixth race. "He was X-rayed at the hospital [Scripps La Jolla] and nothing was found," agent Roger Olguin said this morning ... Racing fans have three opportunities each weekend to learn or hone their handicapping skills in free seminars at the track's Seaside Terrace near the head of the stretch. On Friday, Daily Racing Form's Brad Free and Steve Andersen share their insights from 3-3:30. Jockey agent Tommy Ball is guest handicapper on Saturday and trainer Jack Carava will offer his handicapping tips and choices for the day. Those seminars are held from12:30 to 1:15 at the Seaside Terrace ... Friday night's concert in the Plaza de Mexico presents Super Diamond, beginning about 8, following the day's final race. First post for the Four O'Clock Friday twilight racing program is scheduled for 4 ... The popular Daybreak at Del Mar, where fans can watch morning workouts with their breakfast, will be held again Saturday and Sunday at 7:30-9:30 in the Clubhouse Terrace Restaurant ... Del Mar presents a free concert in the Infield Saturday featuring Gnarls Barkley during the track's annual Microbrew Festival. The concert is co-sponsored by Coors Light and 91X.
TRAKUS FACTS -- Wed., 7/23 -- Peak Speed: Race 2 (Polytrack) -- Epitome of a Lady -- 42.9 mph (first 1/8th); Race 3 (turf) -- Lady Olivia -- 40.3 mph (first quarter); Fastest Late Stretch Run: Race 7 (Polytrack) -- Babs Moossa -- 36.4 mph (final 16th); Race 3 (turf) -- Paloma's Flight -- 38.5 mph (final 16th).
DEL MAR COMBINED JOCKEY & TRAINER STATISTICS
(Current Through Wednesday, July 23, 2008)
Jockey - Mts - 1st - 2nd - 3rd - Win% - Money Won
Rafael Bejarano - 36 - 11 - 9 - 6 - 31% - $694,781
Tyler Baze - 34 - 7 - 3 - 5 - 21% - $277,790
Joel Rosario - 35 - 7 - 2 - 6 - 20% - $227,480
Victor Espinoza - 33 - 4 - 4 - 4 - 12% - $260,666
Alex Solis - 20 - 3 - 7 - 1 - 15% - $138,140
Garrett Gomez - 24 - 3 - 5 - 3 - 13% - $262,260
Martin Pedroza - 24 - 3 - 4 - 4 - 13% - $120,740
Joseph Talamo - 21 - 3 - 2 - 1 - 14% - $128,516
Aaron Gryder - 14 - 3 - 0 - 1 - 21% - $262,023
Michael Martinez - 16 - 2 - 3 - 1 - 13% - $53,080
Trainer - Sts - 1st - 2nd - 3rd - Win% - Money Won
Mike R. Mitchell - 18 - 5 - 2 - 2 - 28% - $452,916
John W. Sadler - 19 - 4 - 6 - 0 - 21% - $258,054
Jerry Hollendorfer - 13 - 4 - 1 - 5 - 31% - $166,476
Peter Miller - 9 - 4 - 1 - 1 - 44% - $100,560
Doug F. O'Neill - 20 - 3 - 5 - 4 - 15% - $158,269
J. Eric Kruljac - 5 - 2 - 2 - 1 - 40% - $107,640
Gary Stute - 6 - 2 - 2 - 1 - 33% - $43,080
Dan L. Hendricks - 7 - 2 - 1 - 0 - 29% - $33,960
Ronald L. McAnally - 9 - 2 - 1 - 0 - 22% - $108,763
Juan J. Garcia - 4 - 2 - 0 - 1 - 50% - $37,720
Winning Favorites Report
(Current Through Wednesday, July 23, 2008)
Winning favorites -- 14 out of 60 -- 23.33%
Winning odds-on favorites -- 2 out of 5 -- 40.00%
In-the-Money favorites -- 40 out of 60 -- 66.67%
In-the-Money odds-on favorites -- 4 out of 5 -- 80.00%
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