Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Del Mar Stable Notes 8/25/8
POSSIBLE FULL FIELD SHAPING UP FOR GRADE II DEL MAR DERBY
With seven potential starters already in the fold, a full field of 10 appears likely for Sunday's 64th running of the Grade II, $350,000 Del Mar Derby.
Leading lights of those committed at this point to the 1 1/8-mile race on the Jimmy Durante Turf are Sky Cape, winner of Del Mar's Grade II La Jolla Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on the turf August 9, and Gio Ponti, winner of the Grade II Virginia Derby at Colonial Downs July 19.
Gio Ponti is scheduled to arrive today from the Saratoga barn of Christophe Clement and will join the Clement string already on the grounds. Garrett Gomez has the call on the 3-year-old son of Tale of the Cat. Gomez has ridden the colt in his most recent two starts, both victories.
Tangled Tango, trained by Julio Canani and runner-up in the La Jolla, is among the committed, and Canani has indicated he might run the French-bred Blue Chagall, who has run in two Group I and one Group III race in France, missing the board in all three.
Deal Making, third in Saratoga's Grade II Hall of Fame after posting victories in his first three starts for trainer H. Graham Motion, is set to go in the Derby, as are Kilderry, winner of an Oceanside division; Tiz West, winner of Hollywood Park's Grade III Cinema Handicap; and Yankee Bravo, third in the Louisiana Derby and fourth in the Santa Anita Derby before finishing 10th in the Preakness Stakes.
Also possible for the race: EZ Dreamer, Madeo and Nownownow.
JUVENILE FILLIES, COLTS WORK FOR DEBUTANTE, FUTURITY DATES
Trainers John Sadler and Jeff Mullins sent out their juvenile stars this morning for what will be their final serious works for the upcoming Del Mar Debutante and Del Mar Futurity, both Grade I events that normally determine the juvenile champions of the meet.
Sadler's 1-3 finishers in the Grade III Sorento Stakes, Evita Argentina and Emmy Darling, worked together and posted identical 1:11.20 times for 6 furlongs on the main track.
For Mullins, Futurity prospects Blazing Spirit and Arashi Cat put up identical times of 59.60 for 5 furlongs on the main track, working in a threesome with Gato Go Win, who was clocked in 58.80.
Sadler won't be represented in the Futurity, but Mullins expects to send out a trio of fillies to tackle Sadler's duo. One Mullins filly -- Glitter City -- actually crossed the line third in the Sorrento but was dropped to fourth through disqualification, moving Emmy Darling up. Mullins intends also to start impressive maiden winners Candilejas, by 2003 Pacific Classic winner Candy Ride, and Empressive Lady, by hot young sire Empire Maker.
Expected to join the Sadler-Mullins quintet in the Debutante are Saucy Evening, who worked 49.40 this morning for trainer H. Graham Motion, and Sorrento runner-up Stardom Bound, still a maiden but impressive in two lifetime starts for trainer Christopher Paasch.
Mullins' pair of Futurity prospects are expected to draw Kelly Leak, who crossed the line first in the Grade II Best Pal Stakes August 10, but was disqualified to fourth for interference; Coronet of a Baron, moved up to second in the Best Pal, and impressive maiden winners Midshipman for Bob Baffert, and Believe in Hope for Ron Ellis.
Best Pal winner through disqualification, the Doug O'Neill-trained Azul Leon, will skip the Futurity and carry his unbeaten record into the Grade I Norfolk Stakes at Santa Anita Oak Tree Sunday, September 28, with an eye toward the $2-million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Saturday, October 25 at Santa Anita.
HARTY RODE AN EMOTIONAL ROLLER COASTER IN TRAVERS WIN
No. Maybe. Yesssss.
That's the sort of emotional ride trainer Eoin Harty took while waiting for the official announcement of the winner of Saturday's $1-million Travers Stakes. His trainee, Colonel John, hit the wire together with Mambo in Seattle.
When the "official" sign went up, so did Colonel John's number.
"Actually, I didn't think I won," Harty said Sunday afternoon on his return from The Spa. "I thought I got beat a head. But then I felt better when they played the rerun. But it was quite a roller coaster of emotions. I thought we were beat and then we found out we won it."
But he did know what to do next. "You go and get your picture taken."
Travers champion Colonel John is scheduled to return to the Harty barn at Del Mar today. The Grade I Goodwood Stakes Saturday, September 27 at Oak Tree at Santa Anita could be the next start for the 3-year-old son of Tiznow or he could be trained up to the $5-million Breeders' Cup Classic Saturday, October 25 at Santa Anita.
Harty wasn't quite as fortunate Sunday when another son of Tiznow, Well Armed, missed by a neck winning Del Mar's $1-million Pacific Classic, bowing to Go Between in the final strides of the seaside track's 1 1/4-mile signature race.
All 10 runners were reported in good shape this morning. The winner will ship back to his Churchill Downs base Tuesday and he and Well Armed might very well meet again in the Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita Oak Tree Saturday, October 25.
McCann's Mojave, who was scratched from the Pacific Classic because of a filling in his left foreleg, was reported this morning back in his home barn at Golden Gate Fields. He's expected to undergo another scan in a week to determine if there is damage to the leg, owner Mike Willman said this morning.
With Sunday's win, Go Between earned an automatic bid to the Classic as a part of the Breeders' Cup's "Win and You're In" program.
Here's where the other stakes winners in the day's "Win and You're In" races are headed with automatic bids: Dearest Trickski, the $1-million Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint Friday, October 24; Lewis Michael, the $2-million Breeders Cup Sprint, Saturday, October 25, and Whatsthescript, $2-million Breeders' Cup Mile, Saturday, October 25. After Dearest Trickski's win in the Rancho Bernardo, trainer John Sadler he expected her to be supplemented to the Breeders' Cup, but actually she is a nominee, so no supplement is necessary. Whatsthescript, on the other hand, will have to be supplemented to the Mile.
PEDROZA DOUBLE PUTS HIM FIVE AWAY FROM 3,000 VICTORIES
True to his style, Martin Pedroza keeps working and keeps winning.
The veteran rider booted home two winners on Sunday's championship day card, moving to within five in his quest to reach 3,000 career victories, raising his hopes to hit the mark during the Del Mar meeting.
The 43-year-old native of Panama captured the third and fourth races of the day aboard Don't Ya Lovett for trainer Jack Carava and the highly regarded 2-year-old Majormotionpicture for trainer Mike Machowsky.
Also turning in a pair of wins on the day, as well as finishing second twice and third once was young Michael Baze, who looks to be back on his game after losing time with a neck injury resulting from a spill at Hollywood Park. He opened the 11-race card by coming home first with Mr. Chairman for trainer Doug O'Neill and wrapped up the day's action with a solid win aboard Pictural for Gary Mandella.
BEJARANO STILL LEADS IN WINS, BUT GOMEZ SAILS PAST IN MONEY
With victories Sunday in the $400,000 Del Mar Mile on Whatsthescript and $1-million Pacific Classic on Go Between, Garrett Gomez gained only one victory on Rafael Bejarano in the race for the riding title, but he went zipping by the standings leader in purse money earned.
The winner's portion of $240,000 in the Mile and $600,000 in the Pacific Classic vaulted Gomez into the money lead at $2,349,335 to Bejarano's total of $2,184,694. Bejarano leads the standings with 36 victories, with Joel Rosario second with 30 and Gomez and Tyler Baze tied for third with 29 each.
Sunday's purse earnings, along with the winner's share of the $1-million Travers Stakes won by Colonel John, with Gomez aboard, ran the rider's leading total nationally to $14,916,402. Kent Desormeaux is second with $11,174,017 and Bejarano is third with $10,982,434.
In the trainer's race, John Sadler expanded his runaway margin to 27-15 over runner-up Jeff Mullins with his victories Sunday by Dearest Trickski in the Rancho Bernardo and Whatsthescript in the Mile. With his winner's share in the Rancho Bernardo and the Mile, plus fourth money of $60,000 for Zappa in the Pacific Classic, his purse money increased to $1,885,103, more than twice his nearest competitor, Mike Mitchell, who has posted earnings of $871,370.
Of Zappa's surprising showing, Sadler said, "Zappa didn't get enough credit for his race in the Pacific Classic. He had a lot of trouble and just missed third place." With his win in Del Mar's Cougar II Handicap July 30, Zappa nailed down a bid to the $500,000 Breeders' Cup Marathon Saturday, October 25 at Santa Anita.
STREAMIN HEAT HEADS 9-HORSE FIELD IN GENEROUS PORTION
Streamin Heat, winner of Del Mar's CTBA Stakes July 19, will be high weight and probable favorite for Wednesday's $100,000 Generous Portion Stakes for 2-year-old fillies bred in California going 6 furlongs on the main track.
The Wesley Ward-trained daughter of Bring the Heat out of a Lit de Justice mare, which translates into speed on speed, will carry 124 pounds, including jockey Julio Garcia and will spot her foes six to eight pounds.
The filly broke her maiden in her second career start at Hollywood Park and then parlayed that into the stakes victory at the seashore. Four of her foes in the stakes race -- Ten Churros, Laird's Lassie, Listisimo and Atka -- return to challenge in the Generous Portion. Laird's Lassie was third, Ten Churros fourth, Listisimo sixth and Atka seventh in the CTBA.
Laird's Lassie, a daughter of Unusual Heat trained by Mel Stute, remains a non-winner as she heads into her second career start, while the others in the nine-horse field have at least one win each.
Here's how they'll line up from the rail, with weights and riders: Spanish Ice, 116, Alonso Quinonez; Warren's Lady Slew, 116, Garrett Gomez; Atka, 118, Jon Court; Trash Master, 116, Tyler Baze; Streamin Heat; Listisimo, 118, Michael Baze; Laird's Lassie, 116, Victor Espinoza; Ten Churros, 116, Clinton Potts; Tammy's Luck, 118, Isaias Enriquez.
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.
Monday, 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 -- Three main track [synthetic surface] records were set during Sunday's championship day of racing. Dearest Trickski's 1:15.17 broke the mark of 1:15.85 set in 2007 by River's Prayer. The 1:21.17 finish by Lewis Michael broke the record of 1:21.95 set by Lethal Heat in this year's Real Good Deal Stakes, and Go Between's time of 2:01.18 took down last year's record of 2:07.29 set by Student Council ... Trainer Gary Sherlock and jockey Alonso Quinonez teamed up Sunday to score their third Grade I victory of the year for Intangaroo as the 4-year-old daughter of Orientate captured the Ballerina Stakes at Saratoga Race Course. Previously, the filly, with Quinonez aboard, won Santa Anita's Santa Monica Handicap and the Humana Distaff at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby day, May 3 ... La Boom, the press box's favorite ice hockey team these days, won its adult league title Sunday night 7-3 at the UTC ice arena. Press box steward Nigel Schroeder scored a goal for the winners ... Among this morning's workers: full younger brother to Travers Stakes winner Colonel John turned in a bullet 3-furlong work in 35 second flat. His name? Mr. Hot Stuff.
TRAKUS FACTS -- Sun., 8/24 -- Peak Speed: Race 5 (Polytrack) -- McMurtry -- 43.3 mph (first 3/16ths); Race 9 (Turf) -- Storm Military -- 42.1 mph (first eighth); Fastest Late Stretch Run: Race 11 (Polytrack) -- Pictural -- 39.3 mph (final 16th); Race 9 (Turf) -- Whatsthescript -- 40.0 mph (final 16th).
DEL MAR COMBINED JOCKEY & TRAINER STATISTICS
(Current Through Sunday, August 24, 2008)
Jockey -- Mts -- 1st -- 2nd -- 3rd -- Win% -- Money Won
Rafael Bejarano -- 180 -- 36 -- 39 -- 37 -- 20% -- $2,184,694
Joel Rosario -- 199 -- 30 -- 26 -- 32 -- 15% -- $1,346,059
Tyler Baze -- 175 -- 29 -- 23 -- 22 -- 17% -- $1,375,246
Garrett Gomez -- 120 -- 29 -- 15 -- 17 -- 24% -- $2,349,335
Victor Espinoza -- 129 -- 13 -- 16 -- 12 -- 10% -- $773,922
Martin Pedroza -- 105 -- 12 -- 12 -- 11 -- 11% -- $500,257
Alex Solis -- 105 -- 11 -- 19 -- 18 -- 10% -- $862,640
David Flores -- 103 -- 11 -- 14 -- 17 -- 11% -- $1,018,041
Michael Baze -- 101 -- 11 -- 13 -- 5 -- 11% -- $607,687
Martin Garcia -- 107 -- 10 -- 16 -- 13 -- 9% -- $522,544
Trainer -- Sts -- 1st -- 2nd -- 3rd -- Win% -- Money Won
John W. Sadler -- 97 -- 27 -- 23 -- 7 -- 28% -- $1,885,103
Jeff Mullins -- 69 -- 15 -- 17 -- 8 -- 22% -- $550,535
Doug F. O'Neill -- 90 -- 14 -- 15 -- 14 -- 16% -- $728,318
Mike R. Mitchell -- 69 -- 14 -- 8 -- 14 -- 20% -- $871,370
Jerry Hollendorfer -- 43 -- 12 -- 3 -- 11 -- 28% -- $448,129
Peter Miller -- 33 -- 7 -- 7 -- 2 -- 21% -- $252,580
Barry Abrams -- 37 -- 7 -- 3 -- 6 -- 19% -- $527,405
J. Eric Kruljac -- 18 -- 7 -- 3 -- 1 -- 39% -- $226,680
Brian J. Koriner -- 37 -- 7 -- 2 -- 2 -- 19% -- $246,700
Patrick Gallagher -- 31 -- 6 -- 5 -- 6 -- 19% -- $473,560
Winning Favorites Report
(Current Through Sunday, August 24, 2008)
Winning favorites -- 100 out of 299 -- 33.44%
Winning favorites on main track -- 69 out of 226 -- 30.53%
Winning favorites on turf -- 31 out of 73 -- 42.47%
Winning odds-on favorites -- 20 out of 37 -- 54.05%
In-the-Money favorites -- 214 out of 299 -- 71.57%
In-the-Money odds-on favorites -- 32 out of 37 -- 86.49%
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