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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


By Jim Charvat, Del Mar Press Staff — Every year barns come to Del Mar loaded with fresh 2-year-olds. Some make their debut at the seaside oval and reveal that they need more work or more seasoning. Others shine in their maiden races, prompting a change in plans or to simply stay the course mapped out before they came here. Those plans usually involve running on closing weekend of the Del Mar summer meet in one of the two big juvenile races, either the G1 Debutante or the G1 Futurity.

Saturday we’ll see the crop of 2-year old fillies who have weathered the scrutiny and passed the tests of the earlier weeks, earning a spot in the 73rd running of the G1 FanDuel Racing Del Mar Debutante. Fourteen will go postward led by the daughter of a Hall of Famer.

Tamara burst on the scene last month with a maiden win at Del Mar. It was an eye-catching performance, not only for the impressive way in which she came from off the pace to win the race but also her strikingly resemblance to her mother. The daughter of Beholder has done nothing but impress her trainer.

“She trains very forward, very smart,” Richard Mandella points out. “She’s gifted, she can run. So far just nothing but good things from her.”

She’ll have to bring her ‘A’ game to beat this group, which consists of the top two finishers in the G3 Sorrento earlier in the meet.

Dreamfyre took the lead that day and never looked back, winning by 3 ½ lengths over race favorite Benedetta. It was her second victory in as many career starts and her second stakes win. She took down the Everitt Nevin at Pleasanton in her debut in July.

“She’s talented,” trainer O. J. Jauregui says. “Whenever I ask her to do something, she does it really nice. The two races she ran, she ran really well. She’s been great.”

Jauregui doesn’t believe they have to send her right out of the gate for her to run her best race.

“She’s definitely got speed,” Jauregui says, “and she’s very wicked on the lead but I also believe she can rate. I will leave it up to the jock.”

She’ll have to contend with Benedetta again. The daughter of City of Light was 7 ½ lengths better than the rest of the field of seven that ran in the Sorrento.

A horse that might keep Dreamfyre company on the front end is the winner of the $125,000 CTBA Stakes at Del Mar last month. Pushiness beat a good group of Cal-breds that day, her second wire-to-wire score in as many career starts. The daughter of Kantharos hails from the Michael McCarthy barn. She broke her maiden by six lengths at Santa Anita in June.

“Obviously it’s a big step up in class but she’s been very good right from the start,” McCarthy notes. “She’s stretching out in trip from 5 ½ to seven eighths. We’ll see how she bounces out of there and see where she puts herself.”

The G1 Debutante is a 7-furlong test. It’s the 10th race on the Saturday card. Approximate post time is 6 p.m.

Tamara | Benoit Photo

Tamara © Benoit Photo

Here’s the field from the rail with the jockeys and morning odds: Julias Dream (Ricky Gonzalez, 5-1); Next Right Thing (Emily Ellingwood, 30-1); Pretty Layla (Drayden Van Dyke, 30-1); Benedetta (Victor Espinoza, 10-1); Hope Road (Tiago Pereira, 12-1); Chatalas (Juan Hernandez, 5-1); Dreamfyre (Hector Berrios, 4-1); Pushiness (Umberto Rispoli, 8-1); Tamara (Mike Smith, 7/2); Where’s My Ring (Joe Bravo, 15-1); Motet (Abdul Alsagoor, 50-1); Gate to Paradise (Kent Desormeaux, 20-1); Laurent (Edwin Maldonado, 6-1), and Cheeky Gal (Antonio Fresu, 30-1).

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