Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Full Field Set For Del Mar’s Opening Day Oceanside Stakes

Del Mar begins its 70th season of racing Wednesday with the traditional opening-day feature, the $100,000 Oceanside Stakes, headlining the 10-race card.

A full field of 10 3-year-olds is set to go in the Oceanside, slated as the eighth race of the day. Four horses make up the also-eligible list, thereby assuring a full field for the one-mile race over the Jimmy Durante Turf Course. It marks the first time since 1988 that the race hasn’t been run in divisions.

The Oceanside is a prep for a possible run in the Grade II, $350,000 Del Mar Derby at 1 1/8 miles on the turf Sunday, September 6.

Post time for the first race of the day is 2 p.m.

Trainer Doug O’Neill, fresh from a runaway victory in Hollywood Park’s trainer standings, will try to get his seaside season off to a big start with three prospects in the Oceanside – Azul Leon, winner of last year’s Grade II Best Pal Stakes at Del Mar; Flashmans Papers, winner of Santa Anita’s Eddie Logan Stakes in December, and Mark S the Cooler, who was seventh in the Grade II Colonial Downs Turf Cup June 20.

Flashmans Papers and Mark S the Cooler will share top-weight billing at 121 pounds with Herr Mozart, Lesson in Deceit, Afleet Eagle and Meteore. They’ll spot the others in the field from two to four pounds.

In Friday’s running of the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association Stakes for 2-year-old fillies going 5 1/2 furlongs, Landaluce Stakes winner Repo leads a field of seven youngsters on the day’s nine-race card. Post time for Friday’s first race is 3 p.m., an hour earlier than the previous years’ starting time.

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