Sunday, August 31, 2008
Del Mar Stable Notes 8/30/8
ABRAMS' MENSA HEAT JOINS THE CROWD FOR DEL MAR FUTURITY
Maiden winner Mensa Heat becomes the 11th potential starter in Wednesday's Grade I, $250,000 Del Mar Futurity, the final stakes race of the 43-day meet where the turf meets the surf.
Jockey Joel Rosario has been chosen to ride if the 2-year-old son of Unusual Heat goes in the 7-furlong Futurity. Abrams has another option: The colt is entered in Monday's $100,000 I'm Smokin Stakes for 2-year-old Cal-breds at 6 furlongs on the main track. If Abrams exercises that option, Clinton Potts will ride.
Believe in Hope, owned by Jay Em Ess Stable and trained by Ron Ellis, had his final workout this morning, going an easy half-mile in 49.80. "I just told Jose [regular rider Jose Valdivia Jr.] to let him do things on his own," Ellis said. "He said after the work that the colt showed a lot of energy. We're hoping to get an outside post for his stalking style, but he did win from an inside post last time," referring to the maiden win August 2.
The others committed: the undefeated Canadian invader Southern Exchange, trained by Gregory de Gannes, to be ridden by Garrett Gomez; Arashi Cat, Jeff Mullins, Potts; Blazing Spirit, Mullins, no rider; Coronet of a Baron, Eoin Harty, Corey Nakatani; Kelly Leak, Mike Machowski, Victor Espinoza; Midshipman, Bob Baffert, Tyler Baze; Street Hero, Myung Kwan Cho, Alex Solis, and Wild Wild Posse, O'Neill, Michael Baze.
GIO PONTI COMING INTO DEL MAR DERBY FRESH AND READY
With a six-week break behind him, Gio Pont appears ready for a major effort as he goes into Sunday's Grade II, $350,000 Del Mar Derby, according to Nicholas Bachalard, assistant to trainer Christophe Clement in charge of the Southern California string.
Gio Ponti arrived at Del Mar Monday and has settled in well, Bachalard said. "It's a very competitive field," Bachalard said, "It's pretty wide open."
The trainer said the 3-year-old got a little extra time because his victory in the Virginia Derby at 1 1/4 miles turned out to be a hard race for him. "The Secretariat [at Arlington Park] was on his schedule, but it came up too quick after the Virginia race."
Turning back to 1 1/8 miles on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course could be a perfect distance. Garrett Gomez, the colt's pilot in the Virginia Derby, retains the mount.
Gio Ponti will face nine foes in the Derby: Tangled Tango, with Tyler Baze; Kilderry, Rafael Bejarano; Captain Roy, Michael Baze; Madeo, Mike Smith; Tiz West, Victor Espinoza; Nownownow, Julien Leparoux; Blue Chagall, Brice Blanc; Sky Cape, Joel Rosario, and Spinning Sound, Alex Solis.
TWO DEBUTANTE FILLIES GIVE TRAINER SADLER HIGH HOPES
Brimming with confidence, trainer John Sadler said of his two Del Mar Debutante prospects this morning, "We think we're tough with both of them."
Of course, he was speaking of Evita Argentina, the undefeated winner of Del Mar's Grade III Sorrento Stakes, and Emmy Darling, winner of Hollywood Park's Landaluce. Emmy Darling was fourth in the Sorrento before being moved up to third when Glitter City was disqualified for interference.
"Both of them are training really well and we're excited about starting them," the trainer said. "Evita Argentina has a very good turn of foot and the 7 furlongs is going to be even better for her.
"The other filly had a tough trip up the inside last time. Now she draws the 11, so we got a good draw for her." The running styles of the two are almost opposite. Evita Argentina drops back early and then comes with a huge late run, and Emmy Darling usually takes a stalking position just behind the first tier of runners.
Who might Sadler be most concerned about? Sadler gave the nod to Empressive Lady, trained by Jeff Mullins. That's the filly Tyler Baze got off Evita Argentina to ride. "She won impressively and would be one of the contenders," the trainer said of Empressive Lady. "But I think with good luck, we're real tough in there."
Taking over in place of Baze on Evita Argentina is Alex Solis. David Flores retains the mount on Emmy Darling.
Empressive Lady is a daughter to impressive young stallion Empire Maker. She broke her maiden at Del Mar July 27 with a blow-away 5 1/2-length victory.
The others that could cause trouble for the Sadler pair include two more from the Mullins barn, Candilejas with Martin Garcia and Glitter City with Michael Baze; Palacio de Amor, trained by owner-breeder Myung Kwan Cho and ridden by Victor Espinoza; Will O Way, Vladimir Cerin, Joel Rosario; Stardom Bound, Christopher Paasch, Mike Smith; Saucey Evening, H. Graham Motion, Garrett Gomez; Trifecta King, Doug O'Neill, Alonso Quinonez; Montana Fields, Jerry Hollendorfer, Rafael Bejarano, and Turtle Creek Babe, Ron McAnally, Joe Talamo.
MULTIPLE GRADED WINNER VACARE RULES AS PALOMAR FAVORITE
Five-year-old Vacare, winner of multiple graded stakes, rules as the morning-line favorite for today's Grade II, $200,000 Palomar Handicap on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course at 1 1/16 miles.
The daughter of Lear Fan, who will be ridden by Corey Nakatani, has been made the 2-1 favorite by Del Mar line maker Jeff Tufts. Second favorite is Gotta Have Her at 7-2, and America's Friend, winner of Del Mar's Solana Beach Handicap, rates third choice at 4-1.
The rest: Kris' Sis, 8-1; Zardana and Ransom Captive, 10-1; Forest Melody, 12-1; Moujane and Ainamaa, 15-1, and Live Life, 30-1, with also-eligible Gula Gold at 30-1.
BARBERS SITTING ON A POSSIBLE WIN RECORD FOR OWNERS
For all practical purposes Gary and Barber have wrapped up the owners' title for this year's Del Mar meeting with more than $600,000 in earnings, surpassing the usual standard winning figure provided by a Pacific Classic victory.
The brothers, whose horses run for trainers Peter Miller and John Sadler, are one victory away from scoring the most ever by an owner during a Del Mar meeting. At the present, they are tied with Robert Bone for the all-time record at 13 wins. Bone's runners reached that plateau from 38 starts in 2005. The Barbers have sent out 39 starters so far.
The Barbers have one chance today to surpass the standard set by Bone when Miller sends out Wild and Ready with Martin Pedroza, who is three wins away from 3,000 career victories, in the first race. Sadler said this morning he expected to enter several for Wednesday's season final card.
1-2 FINISHERS IN EL CAJON STAKES REPORTED IN GOOD SHAPE
Slew's Tiznow, making his first start in nearly a year a winning one, came out of Friday's El Cajon Stakes for 3-year-olds at a mile in great shape, assistant trainer Leandro Mora said this morning. He was reported to be a bit tired, but doing well.
No definite plans are in the works yet, Mora said. Trainer Doug O'Neill and owner Joseph LaCombe are believed to be looking for a prep race that will prepare him for the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile if he can develop enough points to get in.
El Cajon runner-up Young Joe exited the race in good shape, also, and plans now are going forward for racing on Cal Cup Day at Oak Tree Sunday, October 5, with either the Sprint or Mile as options.
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 -- A carryover of $156,689 awaits Del Mar fans today. Tickets with five of six winner paid $5,165.60 ... Jockey Photo Day holds sway on Monday from noon to 1 in the Plaza de Mexico. Retired jockey Laffit Pincay Jr. will be among those available. Others: Leading rider Rafael Bejarano, Joel Rosario, Tyler Baze, Garrett Gomez, David Flores, Michael Baze, Martin Pedroza and Alex Solis ... The regular Del Mar closing-day feature, The Party in the Paddock, will feature a free concert by English Beat after the party gets started following the final race of the meet Wednesday, September 3 ... Workouts of interest this morning: 3 furlongs -- 2007 Futurity champ Georgie Boy, 34.60; sprinter Jungle Prince, 35.00; 5 furlongs -- John Mabee Handicap winner Black Mamba, 1:01.60; 2-year-old filly Cosmic Queen, 59.60, and 2-year-old filly Dash Dot Dash, 1:02.40.
TRAKUS FACTS -- Fri., 8/29 -- Peak Speed: Race 4 (Polytrack) -- Premier Yank -- 43.5 mph (first 3/16ths); Race 2 (Turf) -- Ashton Girl -- 44.4 mph (first quarter); Fastest Late Stretch Run: Race 7 (Polytrack) -- Slew's Tiznow -- 37.5 mph (final 16th); Race 2 (Turf) -- Royal Taat -- 40.5 mph (final 16th).
DEL MAR COMBINED JOCKEY & TRAINER STATISTICS
(Current Through Friday, August 29, 2008)
Jockey -- Mts -- 1st -- 2nd -- 3rd -- Win% -- Money Won
Rafael Bejarano -- 206 -- 41 -- 44 -- 41 -- 20% -- $2,405,394
Joel Rosario -- 223 -- 33 -- 31 -- 34 -- 15% -- $1,465,679
Tyler Baze -- 190 -- 31 -- 27 -- 25 -- 16% -- $1,511,450
Garrett Gomez -- 136 -- 30 -- 18 -- 21 -- 22% -- $2,423,343
Victor Espinoza -- 142 -- 14 -- 16 -- 13 -- 10% -- $818,542
Martin Pedroza -- 112 -- 14 -- 12 -- 12 -- 13% -- $528,073
Martin Garcia -- 120 -- 13 -- 17 -- 13 -- 11% -- $622,264
Michael Baze -- 121 -- 13 -- 14 -- 7 -- 11% -- $687,023
Alex Solis -- 118 -- 12 -- 21 -- 19 -- 10% -- $923,802
David Flores -- 113 -- 12 -- 15 -- 17 -- 11% -- $1,079,009
Trainer -- Sts -- 1st -- 2nd -- 3rd -- Win% -- Money Won
John W. Sadler -- 106 -- 27 -- 25 -- 9 -- 25% -- $1,918,771
Jeff Mullins -- 72 -- 17 -- 17 -- 8 -- 24% -- $594,735
Mike R. Mitchell -- 75 -- 17 -- 8 -- 14 -- 23% -- $960,670
Doug F. O'Neill -- 96 -- 15 -- 17 -- 16 -- 16% -- $820,938
Jerry Hollendorfer -- 49 -- 13 -- 5 -- 11 -- 27% -- $486,849
Jack Carava -- 41 -- 7 -- 7 -- 6 -- 17% -- $285,844
Peter Miller -- 35 -- 7 -- 7 -- 2 -- 20% -- $255,536
J. Eric Kruljac -- 21 -- 7 -- 5 -- 1 -- 33% -- $237,480
Julio C. Canani -- 46 -- 7 -- 4 -- 7 -- 15% -- $568,517
Barry Abrams -- 39 -- 7 -- 3 -- 6 -- 18% -- $528,205
Winning Favorites Report
(Current Through Friday, August 29, 2008)
Winning favorites -- 109 out of 331 -- 32.93%
Winning favorites on main track -- 75 out of 253 -- 29.64%
Winning favorites on turf -- 34 out of 78 -- 43.59%
Winning odds-on favorites -- 21 out of 41 -- 51.22%
In-the-Money favorites -- 240 out of 331 -- 72.51%
In-the-Money odds-on favorites -- 36 out of 41 -- 87.80%
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