Saturday, August 16, 2008
Del Mar Stable Notes 8/16/8
AWESOME GEM, McCANN'S MOJAVE IN FINAL P.C. WORKOUTS
Awesome Gem, 2007 Pacific Classic runner-up, put the final touches on his preparation for next Sunday's edition of Del Mar's Grade I, $1-million signature event with a 6-furlong move this morning on the main track.
The 5-year-old gelded son of Awesome Again worked in company with Bai and Bai and was clocked in 1:12.80 for the distance, with these splits: first quarter in 25.80 and 5 furlongs in 1:00.60. He galloped out 7 furlongs in 1:28.20. Exercise rider Mario Uribe was up for the work.
At Golden Gate Fields, McCann's Mojave did his final serious work for the Pacific Classic, going a mile in 1:38.80 on the Tapeta surface for trainer Steven Specht. Specht said he told rider Frank Alvarado to take it easy in the first three-eighths of a mile and then make sure he finished strongly. "I was elated," the trainer told owner Mike Willman. "It's just what I wanted." McCann's Mojave will be shipped to Del Mar on Monday.
Set to work Sunday at Del Mar is Hollywood Gold Cup winner Mast Track for Hall of Fame trainer Robert Frankel.
Here's the potential workout schedule for the rest of the field: Barcola, Sunday, ship Tuesday; Delosvientos, Wednesday; Go Between, Monday, ship Wednesday; Mostacolli Mort, Monday; Out of Control, Sunday, ship Wednesday; Student Council, Monday, ship Tuesday; Surf Cat, Tuesday; Well Armed, Tuesday; Zappa, Monday.
GINGER POP GETS NEW RIDER -- VALDIVIA -- FOR TODAY'S OAKS
Citing a bit of a communication problem, trainer Dan Hendricks said jockey Richard Migliore, named on Ginger Pop in today's Grade I, $350,000 Del Mar Oaks, has been replaced by Jose Valdivia Jr. for the 1 1/8-mile race on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course.
Hendricks said Migliore couldn't get away from a riding assignment at Saratoga in order to come west for the Ginger Pop engagement. "Jose is a great turf rider, so we're just fine," Hendricks said.
Ten 3-year-old fillies are set for the race.
2-YEAR-OLD COLT CLAIMED FOR $100,000 BY TRAINER BAFFERT
Hurley's Way, a 2-year-old Ohio-bred colt by Siphon, was claimed for $100,000 in Friday's eighth race by trainer Bob Baffert for owner Bernard Schiappa.
The juvenile, sent to the track by trainer Adam Kitchingman for owner Dan Northrup, finished sixth under jockey Michael Baze.
Hurley's Way joins a select list of 12 other six-figure claims at Del Mar. The list is headed by Smoocher, taken in 2005 for $125,000 by trainer Dan Hendricks for owners A. and J. Ernst. The list includes two other 2-year-olds taken for $100,000 -- African Treasure, a filly claimed by Bill Spawr for owners Darryl Rader and Roddy Valente in 2007, and Onetimeatbandcamp, a colt claimed by Eric Kruljac for A and R Stables and Class Racing in 2006.
EARLY COMMITMENTS MAKE PAT O'BRIEN LOOK LIKE BIG WINNER
At least nine speedsters are committed already to next Sunday's Grade II, $300,000 Pat O'Brien Handicap at 7 furlongs on the main track. It's a "Win and You're In" event, with the winner getting an automatic berth in the $2-million Breeders' Cup Sprint Saturday, October 25 at Santa Anita.
Leading the committed list are 2007 Bing Crosby Handicap winner In Summation, who was Crosby runner-up this year, Arson Squad, Barbecue Eddie, Bullsbay, Doppio, Five Star Thief, How's Your Halo, Hurry Up Austin and Johnny Eves.
And then there's 2007 Eclipse Award champion sprinter Midnight Lute, whom trainer Bob Baffert hasn't committed definitely to the race, although the
5-year-old has exhibited a liking for the main track. In a workout on August 7, Midnight Lute ran a lights-out 7 furlongs in a record-breaking 1:21.60. The time was not registered as a record because it came in a workout, not a race.
Midnight Lute clinched the Eclipse for sprinters with a commanding victory in the Breeders' Cup Sprint at Monmouth Park on a sloppy racetrack.
Others possible for the race include Global Hunter, fourth in the Grade I Triple Bend at Hollywood Park and sixth in Del Mar's Grade II San Diego Handicap July 19, and Thor's Echo, 2006 Eclipse Award sprinter and winner of the Breeders' Cup Sprint.
SEVEN INDICATE EARLY INTEREST IN DEL MAR HANDICAP
Trainer Dan Hendricks has been waiting for the Del Mar Handicap since the beginning of the 43-day meeting as a 2008 debut race for his 9-year-old warrior Runaway Dancer, and that appears to be playing out, even though the horse is nominated to Wednesday's Harry Brubaker Handicap.
The distance-running Runaway Dancer was second to After Market in the 2007 edition of the 1 3/8-mile Del Mar Handicap on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course. Also, the race is a "Win and You're In" Breeders' Cup Challenge event, meaning the winner will be guaranteed a spot in the $3-million Breeders' Cup Turf at 1 1/2 miles at Santa Anita Saturday, October 25.
Figuring to line up against Runaway Dancer on Saturday, August 23 are Cedar Mountain, Church Service, Tissy Fit, Transduction Gold and Warning Zone. On the list of possible runners are Heroi do Bafra, Mr. Universo, Marsh Side, Spring House and American Imperium.
GET FUNKY: A CANDIDATE FOR TOP HONORS AMONG CLAIMERS
He may be more than $4 million short of perhaps the all-time top claimer, Lava Man, but the John Sadler-trained Get Funky has shown that he ranks as one of the sharpest claims in a long time in Southern California.
With his victory in the Green Flash Handicap Wednesday, Get Funky is approaching the half-million mark in career earnings. Not bad for a 4-year-old colt that was claimed for $62,500 by Sadler for owner Keith Abrahams out of a Santa Anita maiden race in April of 2006 as a 3-year-old.
Sadler ran him back a couple of months later at Hollywood Park and picked up a nice win in an allowance/optional claiming event. After third-place finishes in the Oceanside Stakes and the La Jolla Handicap at Del Mar, the son of the speedy Straight Man captured the Del Mar Derby.
Overall, Get Funky has won four times in 10 starts since coming to the Sadler barn, with nearly all of his career earnings of $473,402 coming during that period.
EX-CALIFORNIA TRAINER TAKES REINS AT RANCHO PASEANA
A familiar name in Southern California racing is back in the area plying his trade. But he's not on the racetrack.
Instead, Grant Hofmans has taken over as farm manager at Rancho Paseana, owned by Jenny Craig and the estate of her late husband, Sid. Hofmans replaces longtime farm manager Lev Fanning, who retired recently from the 200-acre facility not too many furlongs from Del Mar.
Hofmans, the son of trainer David Hofmans, has been on the job for nearly two weeks. He left Southern California four years ago to relocate and train in Kentucky with his wife, Christine, and children Cody, now 9, and Aspen, now 7. He expects to have his family join him as soon as their home in Kentucky sells.
While in Kentucky, Hofmans raced at Kentucky tracks and at Arlington Park. He dispersed all of his horses before coming to Rancho Paseana. He won't be short of horses, however. He said he has 60 in training at the facility and 150-175 layups. "I have plenty of good help," Hofmans said.
The 200-acre spread has a 6-furlong dirt training track that Hofmans said would be revitalized next month. The job isn't expected to take more than a couple of days, he said.
ROSARIO, GOMEZ DOUBLE, BUT DON'T GAIN ON LEADER BEJARANO
Jockeys Joel Rosario and Garrett Gomez each booted home two winners on Friday, but couldn't make up any ground on leader Rafael Bejarano, who won two races, also.
Bejarano's win total went to 29, with runner-up Rosario at 27 and fourth-place Gomez at 20. In the third spot is Tyler Baze with 23 wins.
In the trainer standings, two wins by Mike Mitchell edged him into a tie for second place with Jeff Mullins at 12 wins each, still quite a distance from John Sadler's leading 20 victories.
MAIN TRACK MAINTENANCE:
On Tuesday, the Polytrack surface was power-harrowed and rototilled to a depth of six (6") inches. The track was returned to training and racing depth of approximately two inches and consistency through Gallop Mastering and watering.
Saturday, there were three loads of water (by water truck) added to the racetrack between training and racing time. Additionally, there will be one load of water applied to the running lanes after the day's second race.
Barring notable weather changes, a similar watering pattern will be followed each racing day, with the exception of Fridays and its later start.
On Fridays, following training hours, the track will be power-harrowed to a depth of four (4") inches, then returned to training and racing depth and consistency through Gallop Mastering and watering. No additional water will be added to the track during the racing card Fridays.
SHORE LINES -- Retired five-time millionaire Lava Man is getting some rest and relaxation at Magali Farm in Santa Ynez, California, before he takes on the next chapter in his life. The gelded son of Slew City Slew is likely to wind up at Kentucky Horse Park in Georgetown, Ky., or at Old Friends, a home for equine retirees, also in Georgetown. The latter, particularly, has been courting the California-bred star ... Jockey Aaron Gryder will be out of town Sunday to ride West Point Thoroughbreds' Tropic Storm for trainer Craig Dollase in the Longacres Mile at Emerald Downs in Auburn, Washington. Tropic Storm rules as the 5-2 morning-line favorite ... Working as an exercise rider for trainer Brian Koriner is a former jockey known in Southern California and in the East. It's Paul Toscano, who's been back in the area for about a year after riding mostly in New York for several years. He made the news in 2004 as the rider of Sinister G, who won the Kentucky Derby prep Lane's End Stakes at Turfway Park in Kentucky. Two of his brothers, Robert and John III, owned the horse and his father, John Toscano Jr., trained him. The family dream didn't go much farther because the horse ran poorly in the Wood Memorial and didn't go on to the Derby ... Trainer Ron McAnally, recuperating from a horse's kick to his left hip, was on his usual perch this morning overlooking the track from his "veranda" above his barn office.
TRAKUS FACTS -- Fri., 8/15 -- Peak Speed: Race 3 (Polytrack) -- Touch Luck -- 46.6 mph (first 7/16ths); Race 4 (Turf) -- Canonita -- 44.3 mph (first 3/16ths); Fastest Late Stretch Run: Race 3 (Polytrack) -- Good Shot Mally -- 36.8 mph (final 16th); Race 7 (Turf) -- Sweeter Still -- 40.7 mph (final 16th).
DEL MAR COMBINED JOCKEY & TRAINER STATISTICS
(Current Through Friday, August 15, 2008)
Jockey -- Mts -- 1st -- 2nd -- 3rd -- Win% -- Money Won
Rafael Bejarano -- 130 -- 29 -- 30 -- 26 -- 22% -- $1,592,600
Joel Rosario -- 146 -- 27 -- 14 -- 25 -- 18% -- $1,008,424
Tyler Baze -- 141 -- 23 -- 18 -- 19 -- 16% -- $1,111,823
Garrett Gomez -- 88 -- 20 -- 11 -- 12 -- 23% -- $1,249,123
Victor Espinoza -- 98 -- 11 -- 12 -- 11 -- 11% -- $653,430
Martin Garcia -- 82 -- 9 -- 12 -- 10 -- 11% -- $430,147
Joseph Talamo -- 83 -- 9 -- 12 -- 4 -- 11% -- $474,226
Alex Solis -- 75 -- 8 -- 17 -- 14 -- 11% -- $488,620
David Flores -- 77 -- 7 -- 11 -- 12 -- 9% -- $783,405
Michael Baze -- 72 -- 7 -- 10 -- 3 -- 10% -- $408,287
Trainer -- Sts -- 1st -- 2nd -- 3rd -- Win% -- Money Won
John W. Sadler -- 72 -- 20 -- 18 -- 4 -- 28% -- $1,284,317
Jeff Mullins -- 56 -- 12 -- 14 -- 7 -- 21% -- $450,275
Mike R. Mitchell -- 51 -- 12 -- 5 -- 11 -- 24% -- $716,290
Doug F. O'Neill -- 64 -- 11 -- 13 -- 9 -- 17% -- $544,767
Jerry Hollendorfer -- 36 -- 10 -- 3 -- 9 -- 28% -- $380,129
Peter Miller -- 28 -- 7 -- 5 -- 2 -- 25% -- $234,300
Clifford W. Sise, Jr. -- 22 -- 6 -- 4 -- 3 -- 27% -- $203,508
Barry Abrams -- 24 -- 6 -- 1 -- 5 -- 25% -- $311,107
Patrick Gallagher -- 23 -- 5 -- 4 -- 4 -- 22% -- $236,760
William Spawr -- 30 -- 5 -- 4 -- 2 -- 17% -- $191,536
Winning Favorites Report
(Current Through Friday, August 15, 2008)
Winning favorites -- 67 out of 229 -- 29.26%
Winning favorites on main track -- 49 out of 176 -- 27.84%
Winning favorites on turf -- 18 out of 53 -- 33.96%
Winning odds-on favorites -- 16 out of 29 -- 55.17%
In-the-Money favorites -- 159 out of 229 -- 69.43%
In-the-Money odds-on favorites -- 26 out of 29 -- 89.66%
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