Friday, August 07 2009


Del Mar Stable Notes 8/6/09


NINE ENTERED TO TEST UNBEATEN CHAMPION MARE ZENYATTA

The chance to test the champion has drawn nine intrepid rivals versus the nation’s top older filly or mare, Zenyatta, in Sunday’s 39th edition of the Grade I, $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on the main track.

If all 10 go it will be the largest field in which the 2008 Eclipse Award winner has run since her maiden voyage in a field of 12 November 22, 2007 at Hollywood Park. In the interim, eight is the top number with whom she has lined up.





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Thursday, August 06 2009


Unusual Suspect Wins Cougar II Handicap


At the end of a mile and one-half marathon over Del Mar’s main track, it came down to a bob of the head with 24-1 longshot Unusual Suspect, ridden by Alonso Quinonez, nosing out Richard’s Kid and jockey Victor Espinoza, in Wednesday’s featured $150,000 Cougar II Handicap before 13,245 fans.

Unusual Suspect, another successful son of California stallion Unusual Heat from the barn of co-owner and trainer Barry Abrams, not only won first prize of $90,000. He also guaranteed himself a place in the Breeders’ Cup Marathon Division at Santa Anita in November because the Cougar II ’Cap is a “Win and You’re In” race.





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Del Mar Stable Notes 8/5/09


ZENSATIONAL LEADS FIELD OF SIX SPRINTERS IN CROSBY STAKES

The Bob Baffert-trained speedster Zensational, owned by Zayat Stables, heads a field of six, including the surprising supplemental entry of Grade I Eddie Read Stakes winner Global Hunter, for Saturday’s 64th running of the Grade I, $300,000 Bing Crosby Stakes at 6 furlongs on the main track.





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Tuesday, August 04 2009


Bob Baffert: from Nogales to Racing’s Hall of Fame


It’s been the proverbial road less traveled from the southern Arizona town of Nogales to racing’s Hall of Fame for Bob Baffert.

It’s a road that wound its way through dusty Southwestern towns, through flirtations with life as a jockey, success with racing quarter horses, first tender steps into the world of training and racing Thoroughbred horses and finally great success on the national stage.





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Sunday, August 02 2009


Del Mar Stable Notes 8/2/09


ZENYATTA SENDS A MESSAGE WITH 'PERFECT' 5-FURLONG DRILL

The undefeated reigning filly and mare champion Zenyatta sent a clear message to any prospective foe in next Sunday’s Grade I, $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes with a scintillating 5-furlong workout this morning in 1 minute flat.

The work was so smart it got a "breezing" rating from the Del Mar clocking crew.





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Del Mar Stable Notes 8/1/09


TRAINER VIENNA HAS INTERESTING PERSPECTIVE ON WELL ARMED

The question of the day: Can any horse in Sunday’s Grade II, $250,000 San Diego Handicap beat Well Armed, and, if so, how?

Trainers of three of Well Armed’s foes came forth with their best judgment, with Darrell Vienna having an especially insightful response: “The last time I saw Well Armed, he was behind me.” Actually, the last two times Vienna’s Magnum has run against the Dubai World Cup champion, he’s finished ahead of him.





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Saturday, August 01 2009


Del Mar Stable Notes 7/1/09



MACHOWSKY HOPING KELLY LEAK CAN MAKE HIS MARK

The last – and only – 3-year-old to win the Grade II, $250,000 San Diego Handicap was the filly Lovonsite in 1946.

Trainer Mike Machowsky is hopeful that his colt Kelly Leak can end that drought as he takes on Dubai World Cup winner Well Armed and seven other older horses in Sunday’s 68th running of the San Diego at 1 1/16 miles on the main track. A victory in the “Win and You’re In” race would give Kelly Leak an automatic spot in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile.





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Thursday, July 30 2009


Paul’s Hope Wins Del Mar Sprint


Paul's Hope, competitive in stakes company this summer at Hollywood Park, dropped into the allowance ranks Thursday to win the featured $70,000 Prudential Purse under jockey Joel Rosario.

Despite losing ground while racing on the outside turning into the stretch, Paul's Hope ran on gamely to score by 1 1/4 lengths over the fast-closing Big Bad Leroybrown, with Doppio third and Usurp fourth. Favored Silver Stetson Man was next-to-last in seventh at the wire.





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Del Mar Stable Notes 7/30/09


EIGHT TO TEST WORLD CUP CHAMP WELL ARMED IN SAN DIEGO

Eight equine athletes, including a filly, will put Dubai World Cup winner Well Armed to the test as he heads a field of nine in Sunday’s Grade II, $250,000 San Diego Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on the main track.

The start in the San Diego, in defense of his 2008 victory in the $1-million Pacific Classic prep, will be Well Armed's first since his 14-length victory in the World Cup March 28 at Nad al Sheba.





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Del Mar Stable Notes 7/29/09


ATTENDANCE, HANDLE UP ON TRACK AS MEET’S FIRST WEEK ENDS

Del Mar put its first week in the books Sunday and track officials found reason to smile when the numbers were tallied at both the wickets and the tote to start the 2009 racing season.

The average daily attendance of 22,674 for Week 1 vs. Week 1 of 2008 showed the seaside course up 14.9 percent. Similarly, handle for 2009’s first week of $2,732,147 was up 12.3 percent on track over 2008.





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Monday, July 27 2009


Life After The World Cup: Well Armed Ready To Flex Muscles


Many horses returning from competing in the Dubai World Cup never seem to recapture the form that got them there in the first place.

So do you chalk it up as a bad thing overall?





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SONG OF NAVARONE JOINS FIELD FOR SAN DIEGO HANDICAP


Song of Navarone, trained by Walther Solis, joined the “committed” list this morning for next Sunday’s 68th running of the Grade II, $250,000 San Diego Handicap, a “Win and You’re In” race for an automatic spot in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile.

Song of Navarone came to Solis in time to run in Hollywood Park’s Californian and Hollywood Gold Cup, where he finished fourth and 11th, respectively. He spent the early part of his career racing at New Mexico’s Zia Park and Sunland Park for trainer Henry Dominguez, whose brother, Cesar, is a longtime Southern California conditioner.





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