Thursday, August 28, 2008
Del Mar Stable Notes 8/27/8
11 ENTERED IN GRADE II PALOMAR HANDICAP ON SATURDAY
Multiple graded stakes winner Vacare will lead a field of fillies and mares in quest of Saturday's Grade II, $200,000 Palomar Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course.
The Christophe Clement-trained Vacare is high-weighted at 119 pounds, including jockey Garrett Gomez. The 5-year-old daughter of Lear Fan, owned by Rancho Santa Fe residents Jon and Sarah Kelly, was fourth in her most recent start, the Grade I Diana Handicap at Saratoga July 26.
Expected to offer plenty of competition are the Barry Abrams-trained duo of America's Friend, winner of Del Mar's Solana Beach Handicap, and Bel Air Sizzle, second in the Grade I Del Mar Oaks; and Zardana, winner of Del Mar's Osunitas Handicap July 19. America's Friend will be ridden again by Alex Solis, Bel Air Sizzle gets Clinton Potts back, and Aaron Gryder has the call on Zardana.
The rest of the field: Ainamaa, with Victor Espinoza; Forest Melody, Tyler Baze; Gotta Have Her, Richard Migliore; Gula Gold, Joel Rosario; Kris' Sis, Rafael Bejarano; Live Life, Jose Valdivia Jr.; Moujane, David Flores, and Ransom Captive, Michael Baze.
The field will be limited to 10.
SKY CAPE RETURNS TO LEAD FIELD OF NINE IN DEL MAR DERBY
La Jolla Handicap winner Sky Cape will be back to tackle a field of eight 3-year-old foes in Sunday's 64th running of the historic Grade II, $350,000 Del Mar Derby at 1 1/8 miles on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course.
The colt trained, bred and co-owned by Kristin Mulhall will have his work cut for him with the appearance in the race of Gio Ponti, winner of the Grade II Virginia Derby at Colonial Downs. The Christophe Clement-trained son of Tale of the Cat is on a two-race win streak, while Sky Cape has won three straight. Gio Ponti will have Garrett Gomez in the saddle, Joel Rosario will ride Sky Cape.
Three others entered in the Derby come in from the La Jolla: Tangled Tango, who was second for trainer Julio Canani; Madeo, who was fourth for trainer John Shirreffs, and the Richard Mandella-trained Tiz West, 10th. Tangled Tango gets Tyler Baze in the irons, Madeo has Mike Smith and Tiz West gets Victor Espinoza.
Kilderry was the winner of one division of the Oceanside Stakes for Mike Mitchell and retains Rafael Bejarano in the saddle.
The unknown factor in the race is Blue Chagall, making his first start in this country. The French-bred, trained by Canani, has run in four straight Group races in France, including the Group I Criterium International as a 2-year-old and the Group I French 2000 Guineas in his most recent outing May 11. He'll be ridden by French-born Brice Blanc.
The others are Captain Roy, with Michael Baze aboard for trainer Bob Hess Jr., and Spinning Sound with Alex Solis for trainer Patrick Gallagher.
STAKES WINNER, SHIPPER AND COMEBACKER HEAD EL CAJON FIELD
Leonides, winner of Hollywood Park's Captain Squire Handicap, leads a field of nine 3-year-olds in Friday's $100,000 El Cajon Handicap at one mile on the main track.
The Vladimir Cerin-trained Leonides has two wins and two seconds in four starts this year. In an abbreviated 2-year-old campaign, the son of Richter Scale had a win and a second in three outings.
Coming back to the races after an impressive 2-year-old season cut short by sickness is Slew's Tiznow, another well-meant son of super young stallion and two-time Breeders' Cup Classic winner Tiznow. After breaking his maiden at Saratoga and finishing second in Keeneland's Breeders Futurity, the colt fell sick at Monmouth Park preparing for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and has been off ever since. He comes to the race from six solid works over the Del Mar main track for trainer Doug O'Neill.
Shipping in this week to contend for honors in the El Cajon is Cherokee Artist, who drops out of three straight graded races to tackle the El Cajon field for trainer H. Graham Motion. He finished fourth in the Grade III West Virginia Derby, preceded by runner-up finishes in the Grade II Ohio Derby and Grade III Barbaro Stakes.
Here's the lineup from the rail, with weights and riders: Lukimbi, 117, Alex Solis; Waafi, 117, Mike Smith; Wind's Legacy, 117, Jon Court; Young Joe, 117, Joe Talamo; Spinning Sound, 117, Joel Rosario; National Holiday, 117, Jose Valdivia Jr.; Slew's Tiznow, 117, Rafael Bejarano; Cherokee Artist, 117, Garrett Gomez; Leonides, 119, Richard Migliore.
TRACK TO HONOR MEMORY OF BOB BENOIT IN SUNDAY CEREMONY
A memorial moment will be held Sunday after the third race for the late racetrack publicist and executive Bob Benoit in Del Mar's winner's circle. All members of the media are welcome to participate.
BRANDON O'BRYAN AND ALONSO QUINONEZ -- A GRADE I TEAM
Alonso Quinonez hasn't been a journeyman jockey for even a year yet, and he's won three Grade I races. Few riders can make that claim.
Brandon O'Bryan, his agent and a third-generation in the game, has been in the business about three years, and he shares that Grade I record with his rider. Not many young agents can say that, either.
For all practical purposes, O'Bryan, who celebrated his 21st birthday during this meet, has been in the agent business for most of his life, beginning with days at age 8 or 9 when he followed his father, Craig, around Southern California backstretches.
"Ever since I was a little guy, I would come out to the track," Brandon said. "My dad would go out and leave in the morning at 5:30, and if I woke up and he had left, I was upset that he had left me at home. I didn't get up, but I knew I wanted to be out there with him.
"When I was 8 or 9 I got my own condition book and I'd mark the same races he'd mark. That's the way I started to learn."
A question about what he might have learned from his grandfather, George, brought a chuckle from the young man. "They called him 'Black Heart,'" he said, without expanding. He did add, however, "It's a little different nowadays. If I did some of the things I've heard that he did, I probably wouldn't last as long as he did. Things were different then."
Brandon's plan for his post-high school days included a stint in college, but that went out the window during the summer of 2005. "I got a call from Octavio Vergara and I came to work for him the last week of Del Mar. We had some luck after that and won some races, and I was hooked. I've been an agent ever since."
Of Quinonez, Brandon says, "He's a really good finisher and he likes to work. He likes people, too. And that makes him a likeable guy."
And the fact, Quinonez has two older brothers in the sport, has been a big help, Brandon said. "His brothers told him not to start until he thinks he's ready. A lot of apprentices get excited about riding, but they really aren't ready.
"Alonso is 24 and he made sure he was ready before he started. That's been good for him. He lost his bug last November so he hasn't been a journeyman even a year yet and he's already won three Grade I races." All three have come while riding Intangaroo for trainer Gary Sherlock.
Brandon enjoys the competition of Thoroughbred racing and he believes one of his assets is an ability to watch races and have a clear understanding of which horses had trouble, which ran well and which will be better the next time. "I think that's one of my better qualities. I can watch a race really well."
NINE FILLIES HEAD FOR ONE-MILE TORREY PINES ON MAIN TRACK
The return of multiple graded stakes runner Golden Doc A headlines Sunday's $100,000 Torrey Pines Handicap for 3-year-old fillies at one mile on the main track.
It serves as a supporting stakes on the card headed by the Del Mar Derby.
Golden Doc A, the top runner in the loaded Barry Abrams barn, has had some time off after finishing fourth in the Kentucky Oaks and Acorn Stakes, both Grade I races. Prior to that she was second in the Grade II Santa Ynez Stakes, first in the Grade I Las Virgenes Stakes and second in the Grade I Santa Anita Oaks, all at Santa Anita, and second in the Grade II Beaumont Stakes at Keeneland just prior to the Kentucky Oaks.
Stepping up to take on Golden Doc A, who will be ridden by Rafael Bejarano, will be Briecat, with Jon Court aboard; Cry and Catch Me, winner of Santa Anita's Grade I Oak Leaf Stakes last year, with Mike Smith; Czechers, David Flores; Dawn Before Dawn, Garrett Gomez; Distant Victory, Victor Espinoza; Foxy Danseur, Tyler Baze; Miss Singhsix, Alex Solis, and Yasinisi, no rider named.
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.
Wednesday, 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 -- Del Mar enters the day with a Pick Six carryover of $111,821 from Monday's pool, when 18 tickets with five winners paid $2,662.40 each ... Jockey Aaron Gryder has been excused from his mounts today, after experiencing dizzy spells as a result of being thrown from a horse he was exercising Monday. He's due back Saturday ... Former sportscaster and racing show host Gil Stratton is at home recovering from a recent heart attack ... Ten older fillies and mares will run Thursday in the $80,000 Adoration Stakes at a mile on the main track. The field: Placid Lake, Joel Rosario; Lavender Sky, Alex Solis; Lemon Chiffon, Mike Smith; Super Freaky, Martin Garcia; Moon Catcher, Rafael Bejarano; Silver Swallow, David Flores; Wake Up Maggie, Tyler Baze; Model, Michael Baze; Unspoken Word, Garrett Gomez; Petite Cherie, Victor Espinoza. On the also-eligible list is Dona Amelia, Alonso Quinonez.
TRAKUS FACTS -- Mon., 8/25 -- Peak Speed: Race 2 (Polytrack) -- Steam Iron -- 45.3 mph (first 3/8ths); Race 6 (Turf) -- Jinx -- 41.4 mph (first 3/16ths); Fastest Late Stretch Run: Race 4 (Polytrack) -- Souvenir Slew -- 38.0 mph (final 16th); Race 6 (Turf) -- Trip the Light -- 35.6 mph (final 16th).
DEL MAR COMBINED JOCKEY & TRAINER STATISTICS
(Current Through Monday, August 25, 2008)
Jockey -- Mts -- 1st -- 2nd -- 3rd -- Win% -- Money Won
Rafael Bejarano -- 187 -- 38 -- 40 -- 37 -- 20% -- $2,232,774
Joel Rosario -- 204 -- 30 -- 27 -- 34 -- 15% -- $1,363,439
Tyler Baze -- 179 -- 30 -- 23 -- 22 -- 17% -- $1,408,846
Garrett Gomez -- 123 -- 29 -- 16 -- 17 -- 24% -- $2,355,535
Victor Espinoza -- 133 -- 13 -- 16 -- 13 -- 10% -- $778,142
Martin Pedroza -- 107 -- 12 -- 12 -- 12 -- 11% -- $504,017
Alex Solis -- 108 -- 11 -- 19 -- 19 -- 10% -- $871,800
David Flores -- 105 -- 11 -- 14 -- 17 -- 10% -- $1,022,181
Michael Baze -- 105 -- 11 -- 14 -- 5 -- 10% -- $615,287
Joseph Talamo -- 123 -- 11 -- 13 -- 10 -- 9% -- $595,175
Trainer -- Sts -- 1st -- 2nd -- 3rd -- Win% -- Money Won
John W. Sadler -- 99 -- 27 -- 24 -- 7 -- 27% -- $1,890,903
Jeff Mullins -- 69 -- 15 -- 17 -- 8 -- 22% -- $550,535
Mike R. Mitchell -- 71 -- 15 -- 8 -- 14 -- 21% -- $905,450
Doug F. O'Neill -- 90 -- 14 -- 15 -- 14 -- 16% -- $728,318
Jerry Hollendorfer -- 45 -- 13 -- 4 -- 11 -- 29% -- $473,729
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 -- 35 -- 6 -- 6 -- 6 -- 17% -- $485,960
Winning Favorites Report (Current Through Monday, August 25, 2008)
Winning favorites -- 102 out of 307 -- 33.22%
Winning favorites main track -- 70 out of 233 -- 30.04%
Winning favorites on turf -- 32 out of 74 -- 43.24%
Winning odds-on favorites -- 21 out of 39 -- 53.85%
In-the-Money favorites -- 221 out of 307 -- 71.99%
In-the-Money odds-on favorites -- 34 out of 39 -- 87.18%
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