Edited Del Mar Staff Release — The summer meet at Del Mar comes to an end next weekend but not before the 2-year-olds have their say both on the dirt and on the grass.
Six stakes are on tap for next weekend starting Friday with the $125,000 I’m Smokin, a six-furlong test for Cal-bred 2-year-olds. Five of the eight runners in the Graduation Stakes, run at Del Mar last month, are entered in the I’m Smokin, including the top three finishers who were only separated by three-quarters of a length. Lord Prancealot wired them that day but Last Call London’s final bid came up a head short and Mici’s Express was right behind him.
Saturday, three stakes are on the docket, including the G1 FanDuel Racing Del Mar Debutante. Ten are possible for the race including the top three finishers in the G3 Sorrento and the winner of the CTBA, both run earlier in the meet. Dreamfyre, trained by O J Jauregui, put on a clinic in the Sorrento, going wire-to-wire to win by 3 ½ lengths over race favorite Benedetta. The Bob Baffert-trained Dua was next, another 7 ¼ lengths behind the frontrunners.
Pushiness, an undefeated Cal-bred, also may get in the mix. She won her stakes debut in front-running fashion and is expected to give Dreamfyre a tussle.
Tamara, the daughter of Beholder who won her career debut, is also a possible for the seven-furlong race on the main track.
On the Debutante undercard is the Juvenile Fillies Turf, a one-mile journey. Nineteen fillies have been nominated for the race. Most are coming out of maiden races.
Grass races for juveniles are tough to come by this time of year, let alone around two turns. That being said, trainer Doug O’Neill’s Angiolleta, Peter Eurton’s Flattery and Michael McCarthy’s Sushi Sticks are all coming off one-mile maiden special weight turf races.
Trainer Phil D’Amato, always dangerous on the turf, has nominated Loterie, runner up to Angiolleta in July.
The G2 John C. Mabee is also on the Debutante undercard. Eleven fillies and mares have been nominated for the mile and an eighth grass race including Closing Remarks, winner of the G2 Yellow Ribbon Handicap at Del Mar last month, and Macadamia, winner of the G1 Gamely at Santa Anita on Memorial Day.
Turning to Sunday, two stakes are scheduled for the closing-day card at Del Mar, beginning with the G3 Del Mar Juvenile Turf. Twenty 2-year-old colts and geldings have been nominated for the one mile race. Like its filly counterpart, a few of the nominees have won on the turf at the one mile distance, including McCarthy’s Endlessly and Blue Eyed George, who did it at Ellis Park. Richard Mandella’s Boltage won by five lengths in a maiden special weight at the distance at Del Mar last month.
D’Amato’s lone entry, Poor Dompter, is making his first start in the U.S.
The stakes schedule closes out with the G1 Runhappy Del Mar Futurity, headed by Baffert’s Prince of Monaco and Muth, the top two finishers in last month’s G3 Best Pal. Prince of Monaco won by 4 ¼ lengths for his second open length win. The son of Speightstown broke his maiden by eight lengths.
O’Neill’s Raging Torrent, who finished third behind the Baffert pair in the Best Pal, is also possible for the Futurity.