Fresh from an undefeated season at Woodbine Race Course in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, comes Southern Exchange to contest the Grade I, $250,000 Del Mar Futurity on Wednesday, September 3.
The son of Exchange Rate will be supplemented to the field for $10,000 at Sunday's entry time.
Owned by Bill and Vicki Poston of Atlanta and trained by Gregory de Gannes, Southern Exchange has compiled a record of three victories, the most important of which came in Woodbine's Colin Stakes. De Gannes describes the Florida-bred as "very uncomplicated, a horse with speed who is a stalker in a race."
That move, with regular rider Jono Jones aboard, sent him to the finish line 3 1/4 lengths better than the runner-up. For the Futurity, Garrett Gomez will ride. "We're very fortunate that Garrett will be able to ride," de Gannes said. "Obviously, he's one of the top riders here."
Gomez worked the colt, who arrived Monday, an easy half-mile this morning in 49 seconds. "Garrett liked the way he went," de Gannes said.
The trainer, who has 21 horses at Woodbine, was leaving later today for home, but plans to return Saturday and saddle the colt on Wednesday.
The addition of Southern Exchange, residing in the barn of Kathy Walsh, runs the list of those committed to the Futurity to eight. At this point, the others expected include Arashi Cat with Clinton Potts and Blazing Spirit with Michael Baze from the Jeff Mullins barn; Believe in Hope with Jose Valdivia Jr. for Ron Ellis; Coronet of a Baron with Corey Nakatani for Eoin Harty; Escalon with Rafael Bejarano for Doug O'Neill; Kelly Leak with Victor Espinoza for Mike Machowsky, and Midshipman with Tyler Baze for Bob Baffert.
Kelly Leak crossed the finish line first in both of his career starts, but was disqualified to fourth for interference in the Grade II Best Pal Stakes August 10.
Choosing to skip the Futurity at this point is the undefeated Azul Leon, owned by Joseph LaCombe Stables and trained by O'Neill. LaCombe also owns Escalon. Azul Leon finished behind Kelly Leak in the Best Pal but was moved up to the win via the disqualification.
DOZEN 2-YEAR-OLD FILLIES SET FOR MONDAY'S DEBUTANTE STAKES
Twelve 2-year-old fillies, including three supplemental entries, are sitting on "go" for Monday's Grade I, $250,000 Del Mar Debutante Stakes at 7 furlongs on the main track.
Undefeated and winner of Del Mar's Grade III Sorrento Stakes Evita Argentina heads the field, with the three fillies that finished after her returning to duel with the daughter of Candy Ride.
Second in the Sorrento was Stardom Bound, still a maiden but impressive in two runner-up finishes at the seashore. Third-place finisher Glitter City, who was dropped to fourth for interference in the stretch, will test the top two finishers, as will Emmy Darling, who won Hollywood Park's Landaluce Stakes and was moved up from fourth in the Sorrento.
The supplemented trio: Saucey Evening, a close second in the C.T.B.A. Stakes July 18, Palacio de Amor, an impressive winner here August 16, and Will O Way, impressive winner at first asking at Calder Race Course and half-sister to 2005 Del Mar Horse of the Meeting Willow O Wisp. Willow O Wisp was trained by Vladimir Cerin as is the filly.
The rest in the race are maiden winners, either at Del Mar or Hollywood Park.
All will carry 123 pounds.
Here's the lineup from the rail: Palacio de Amor, Victor Espinoza; Will O Way, Joel Rosario; Evita Argentina, Alex Solis; Stardom Bound, Mike Smith; Saucey Evening, Garrett Gomez; Candilejas, Martin Garcia; Trifecta King, Alonso Quinonez; Glitter City, Michael Baze; Montana Fields, Rafael Bejarano; Turtle Creek Babe, Joe Talamo; Emmy Darling, David Flores; Empressive Lady, Tyler Baze.
CANANI BRINGS INTERNATIONAL FLAVOR TO DEL MAR DERBY
Trainer Julio Canani will saddle two horses for Sunday's Del Mar Derby and one offers a true international flavor to the race.
Blue Chagall not only is the unknown factor in the race as he makes his first start in the United States, but all the factors involved smack of a United Nations runner. The French-bred's sire, Testa Rossa, is an Australian-bred, his dam, Eloisey is Irish; his owner is Texan Jack Preston and his trainer is an Italian transplanted to Peru.
Add to that the fact his rider is Brice Blanc. Allez, Allez would be a normal call from the Frenchman as they turn into the stretch of the 1 1/8-mile race on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course.
The field of 10 includes Nownownow, winner of the 2007 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf.
Heading the field will be La Jolla Handicap winner Sky Cape, trained, bred and co-owned by Kristin Mulhall, with Steve Taub; La Jolla runner-up Tangled Tango, also trained by Canani, and Virginia Derby winner Gio Ponti, trained by Christophe Clement.
All will carry 122 pounds.
Here's the lineup from the rail, with riders: Tangled Tango, 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; Spinning Sound, Alex Solis; Gio Ponti, Garrett Gomez.
BRAZILIAN-BORN ZARDANA GETS MAJOR TEST IN PALOMAR 'CAP
Hall of Fame trainer Ron McAnally is hoping what he saw from 4-year-old Zardana in Del Mar's Osunitas Handicap is just the first sample of what he was expecting when he brought the Brazilian-bred to the United States for prime owner Arnold Zetcher.
She'll get her class test Saturday in the 1 1/16-mile Palomar Handicap, a Grade II, $200,000 race on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course.
The 4-year-old daughter of Crimson Tide was undefeated as a 3-year-old in Brazil, demolishing the fields in her three starts by no less than 10 1/2 lengths. But her Brazilian form had not translated to winning form in this country until the Osunitas when she stalked the pace and then won by a half-length over Bahama Mama.
"We've been disappointed until the Osunitas," McAnally said this morning, "but she's been training real well down here and we felt good about her last race. We hope she runs that well again."
Multiple graded stakes winner Vacare leads the field that also includes Solana Beach Handicap winner America's Friend and Del Mar Oaks runner-up Bel Air Sizzle, both from the Barry Abrams barn.
The field is limited to 10.
Here's how they'll line up from the rail, with weights and riders: Zardana, 115, Aaron Gryder; Live Life, 113, Jose Valdivia Jr.; Ransom Captive, 114, Michael Baze; Kris' Sis, 115, Rafael Bejarano; Vacare, 119, Corey Nakatani; Forest Melody, 114, Tyler Baze; Gotta Have Her, 115, Richard Migliore; Moujane, 114, David Flores; Ainamaa, 113, Victor Espinoza; America's Friend, 114, Alex Solis.
Gula Gold, 113, with Joel Rosario, is on the also-eligible list.
JOCKEY RACE TAKES BACK SEAT TO PEDROZA'S 3,000-WIN QUEST
With it looking more and more as if no rider can overtake Rafael Bejarano for the riders' title for the 43-day meeting, eyes now turn toward veteran jockey Martin Pedroza in his race to reach 3,000 career victories.
Two wins on Wednesday moved him to 2,997 and, with six racing days remaining, what looked like it was out of reach as recently as last week, now appears within striking distance.
The 43-year-old Panamanian won the third and fourth races aboard Blushing Bear Cat and Miss Lydia, respectively. Both winners were for trainer Jack Carava and owner La Canada Stables.
Pedroza has no rides today, but agent Richie Silverstein is working hard to get him lined up to hit the 3,000 mark before he leaves Del Mar. For Friday, Saturday and Sunday, here is his schedule of rides: Friday, fourth and sixth races; Saturday, first, second, fourth (also eligible), fifth (AE), seventh and 10th; Sunday, second, third, fourth, eighth and 10th.
The rider will be at Philadelphia Park Monday to ride Julio Canani's Two Step Salsa in the track's $1-million Pennsylvania Derby and will return to ride Wednesday at Del Mar.
In the meantime, Bejarano maintained his solid margin against the rest of the field with 38 victories. Runner-up Joel Rosario posted one win Wednesday to take over second place alone at 31 victories. Tyler Baze is next with 30 and Garrett Gomez has 29 for fourth place.
The training title has been well in hand for weeks, with John Sadler posting a runaway win total of 27, 11 ahead of runner-up Jeff Mullins, who took sole second place at 16 with one win Wednesday.
DEL MAR JOCKEYS, DMTC COMBINE FOR $5,900 TO MACBETH FUND
Multiple victories on racing days by jockeys translate to contributions from Del Mar Thoroughbred Club to the Don MacBeth Foundation to aid injured jockeys and exercise riders.
Through Monday, August 25, DMTC had donated $5,900 as a result of multiple-win days by local riders. Leading rider Rafael Bejarano has posted 12 days of multiple wins. Garrett Gomez has added 10 such days and Joel Rosario seven.
Two wins by a rider nets the foundation $100 and three wins brings $250. Those jockeys who have finished first three times in a day are Bejarano and Rosario twice and Gomez, Aaron Gryder, Alex Solis and Tyler Baze once each.
Over the years, DMTC and jockeys have teamed up to put a total of more than $150,000 into the foundation.
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.
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.
Thursday, 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 couple of events for the fans highlight the weekend's action at Del Mar, with Devo in a free concert for racegoers in the infield Saturday as part of the track's Microbrew Festival. On Labor Day Monday fans have a chance to have their pictures taken with jockeys from 12 to 1 p.m. in the Plaza de Mexico ... The Saturday and Sunday treat known as Daybreak at Del Mar will be in full swing from 7:30 to 9:30 each day. Those attending can enjoy breakfast at the Clubhouse Terrace Restaurant while watching morning workouts by the horses. Trackside announcer Jeff Bloom will answer questions and identify horses in the program presented by West Point Thoroughbreds ... Starting off the weekend's activity will be the final Four O'Clock Friday concert, this week featuring Steel Pulse. First post for the final Friday is 3:30 p.m.
TRAKUS FACTS -- Wed., 8/27 -- Peak Speed: Race 7 (Polytrack) -- Streamin Heat -- 44.4 mph (first 3/16ths); Race 6 (Turf) -- Royal Vision -- 40.8 mph (first 3/16ths); Fastest Late Stretch Run: Race 2 (Polytrack) -- Gobbler's Knob -- 37.0 mph (final 16th); Race 6 (Turf) -- General Dan -- 37.9 mph (final 16th).
DEL MAR COMBINED JOCKEY & TRAINER STATISTICS
(Current Through Wednesday, August 27, 2008)
Jockey -- Mts -- 1st -- 2nd -- 3rd -- Win% -- Money Won
Rafael Bejarano -- 194 -- 38 -- 42 -- 40 -- 20% -- $2,263,914
Joel Rosario -- 210 -- 31 -- 28 -- 34 -- 15% -- $1,379,079
Tyler Baze -- 183 -- 30 -- 25 -- 23 -- 16% -- $1,437,890
Garrett Gomez -- 125 -- 29 -- 16 -- 17 -- 23% -- $2,358,099
Victor Espinoza -- 138 -- 14 -- 16 -- 13 -- 10% -- $817,342
Martin Pedroza -- 110 -- 14 -- 12 -- 12 -- 13% -- $526,473
Michael Baze -- 111 -- 12 -- 14 -- 5 -- 11% -- $650,487
Alex Solis -- 111 -- 11 -- 20 -- 19 -- 10% -- $886,400
David Flores -- 107 -- 11 -- 14 -- 17 -- 10% -- $1,026,949
Joseph Talamo -- 127 -- 11 -- 13 -- 10 -- 9% -- $596,775
Trainer -- Sts -- 1st -- 2nd -- 3rd -- Win% -- Money Won
John W. Sadler -- 102 -- 27 -- 24 -- 8 -- 26% -- $1,906,451
Jeff Mullins -- 70 -- 16 -- 17 -- 8 -- 23% -- $584,135
Mike R. Mitchell -- 71 -- 15 -- 8 -- 14 -- 21% -- $905,450
Doug F. O'Neill -- 92 -- 14 -- 16 -- 15 -- 15% -- $734,878
Jerry Hollendorfer -- 45 -- 13 -- 4 -- 11 -- 29% -- $473,729
Jack Carava -- 41 -- 7 -- 7 -- 6 -- 17% -- $285,844
Peter Miller -- 34 -- 7 -- 7 -- 2 -- 21% -- $254,036
Barry Abrams -- 39 -- 7 -- 3 -- 6 -- 18% -- $528,205
J. Eric Kruljac -- 18 -- 7 -- 3 -- 1 -- 39% -- $226,680
Brian J. Koriner -- 38 -- 7 -- 2 -- 2 -- 18% -- $247,100
Winning Favorites Report
(Current Through Wednesday, August 27, 2008)
Winning favorites -- 105 out of 315 -- 33.33%
Winning favorites on main track -- 72 out of 240 -- 30.00%
Winning favorites on turf -- 33 out of 75 -- 44.00%
Winning odds-on favorites -- 21 out of 39 -- 53.85%
In-the-Money favorites -- 226 out of 315 -- 71.75%
In-the-Money odds-on favorites -- 34 out of 39 -- 87.18%