FOND MEMORIES LINGER FOR SOME AS DEL MAR’S CROSBY SEASON ENDS

Del Mar © Eclipse Sportswire

FOND MEMORIES LINGER FOR SOME AS DEL MAR’S CROSBY SEASON ENDS

Maybe it was the contented aftereffects of the Thanksgiving meal he’d had the night before, but Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella chose, unprompted, to reflect on the Bing Crosby Fall meeting Friday when there were still three days to go.

“I hate to see this ending, I love it down here this time of year,” Mandella said. “I love it period, but this time of year it’s about as close to perfect for racing as it can be. The weather’s so good, the town’s kind of quiet and easy to get around. I can’t say enough about it.”

The weather may have turned to more overcast, foggy and chilly than usual, but many horsemen and, hopefully fans, will take away good feelings and memories from the fourth autumn session “Where the Turf Meets the Surf.” The one in which Del Mar hosted the Breeders’ Cup for the first time.

Peter Miller certainly will.

“Everything has gone much better than I could have expected or even hoped for,” Miller said Sunday while supervising a string of workers to the track.

The Encinitas resident recorded the first two Breeders’ Cup victories of his career when Stormy Liberal and Richard’s Boy ran 1-2 in the $1 million Turf Sprint and, three races later, Roy H won the $1.5 million Sprint.

The Breeders’ Cup behind, Miller has dominated the trainer standings, notching 18 wins entering the final day of the meeting, more than double the totals of his nearest competitors and even edging, by one, the victories of meet-leading jockey Flavien Prat with nine races to go.

Miller will claim his third training title in the four Bing Crosby seasons. He won the inaugural in 2014 with 15 wins to runner-up Mike Puype’s 10. Miller tied for second in 2015, his 13 wins coming up two short of Doug O’Neill, then overpowered everyone a year ago, posting 16 wins to eight for his closest pursuers.

Gratifying though such success may be, Miller said he focuses on the day-to-day and doesn’t let things like his current 31 percent win and 56 percent in-the-money rate affect him.

“That (success) means an 0-for-20 is probably right around the corner,” Miller said. “This business is such a roller coaster that I try to maintain an even keel. That’s not easy to do, but I try to never get too high or too low. You’re never as good, or as bad as you think you are.”

Miller has three representatives on the closing day entries. Mesa Sky is the 3-1 favorite in the second race. Belvoir Bay is a 20-1 morning line long shot in the Matriarch Stakes, which goes as the seventh, and Alliana is at 5-2 in the eighth.


MATRIARCH FIELD REDUCED BY ONE WITH SCRATCH OF MRS McDOUGAL

The field for today’s Grade I $300,000 Matriarch Stakes was reduced to 11 by the late scratch of Mrs McDougal.

“She grabbed a quarter when she galloped this morning,” Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella said. “She came off the track and we knew we’d have to scratch.”

Mrs McDougal, a five-year-old Medaglia d’Oro mare, had made four starts for Mandella since being transferred from the East Coast stables of Chad Brown with the best result being a third in the Osunitas Stakes here on July 21. A winner of five of 15 career starts, Mrs McDougal drew the No. 1 post and was 15-1 on the morning line for the Matriarch.


ROMAN HAS LAST SHOT AT SHARE OR SOLO JOCKEY TITLE

Apprentice Evin Roman notched two wins on Saturday to move within three of meet-leading rider Flavien Prat (17-14) atop the jockey standings.

Roman, 19, continued a sensational streak started last spring by winning his fourth Southern California title of the year at the Santa Anita fall meeting in October. Numerically, he has a chance to extend it even further. Roman has mounts in six of nine races on the closing day card while Prat, limited by a suspension, is booked on only the three graded stakes on the program.

The rundown: Roman – Wild Edie (1st, 5-1), Native Treasure (2nd, 6-1), Sturdy One (5th, 15-1), Upperclassman (6th, 5-1), Uno Trouble Maker (8th, 12-1) and Golden Dragon (9th, 12-1); Prat – Hunt (3rd, Seabiscuit Handicap, 3-1), Lull (7th, Matriarch, 5-1) and Inscom (9th, Cecil B. DeMille, 7-2).


ALL-TIME STAKES-WIN LEADERS, JOCKEYS AND TRAINERS AT DEL MAR

Heading into the final day of Del Mar’s fall race meet, here’s the pecking order among the top dozen riders and trainers for most stakes wins at the seaside oval.

JOCKEYS – 1) Chris McCarron (134); 2) Corey Nakatani (108); 3) Gary Stevens (98); 4-5) Laffit Pincay, Jr. and Victor Espinoza (96); 6-7) Eddie Delahoussaye and Alex Solis (95); 8) Bill Shoemaker (94); 9) Kent Desormeaux (81); 10) Patrick Valenzuela (68); 11) Mike Smith (65), and 12) Rafael Bejarano (56)

TRAINERS – 1) Bob Baffert (124); 2) Ron McAnally (77); 3) Charlie Whittingham (74); 4) Robert Frankel (70); 5) Richard Mandella (62); 6) John Sadler (59); 7) D. Wayne Lukas (48); 8) Julio Canani (42); 9) Neil Drysdale (41); 10) Doug O’Neill (36); 11) A.T. (Tommy) Doyle (33), and 12) Jerry Hollendorfer (31).


RACING OFFICE PROJECTS SOLID AVERAGE FIELD SIZE NUMBER OF 8.5

The exact figure won’t be determined until after the last race is run, but Racing Secretary David Jerkens expects the average field size number, not counting the Breeders’ Cup cards, will be 8.5.

“That’s right at where we were last year, and we’re very pleased,” Jerkens said. “We’re pleased overall with the meetings in general and how we were able to carry the momentum over from the summer to the fall.

“I think the fall meeting (run for the past four years) is firmly entrenched with Southern California horsemen and they realize we’re here to stay. At first there were some questions about stabling and shipping, but we’ve seen a significant uptick in the numbers of horses stabled here.”

Jerkens said that there were around 300 runners stabled at Del Mar for the inaugural 2014 season and around 500 during the current meeting, not counting those who were here only for the Breeders’ Cup opening week.

The “Ship and Win” program, which offers bonuses for horses brought in from out of state, also saw significant increases. Thirty-one horses qualified for the program in the fall of 2016. This year the number was 58.


CLOSERS – Daddy Is a Legend, the 2-year-old filly whose burst from seventh turning into the stretch to a one-length victory in Saturday’s closing Jimmy Durante Stakes was one of the most impressive performances on the day, came out of the race in good shape and is headed to Santa Anita. “She lost a front right shoe somewhere in the race,” owner Jim Hill said Sunday morning. “We hope there will be something for her at Santa Anita, but they haven’t released their full stakes schedule yet.” … Thanks to all Stable Notes readers. Mark your calendars for Del Mar 2018. The summer meeting starts on Wednesday, July 18 and concludes on Labor Day, Monday, September 3, a total of 36 racing days. The fall meeting begins on Friday, November 9 and concludes on Sunday, December 2, a total of 15 racing days.


DEL MAR STATISTICS

Jockey Standings

(Current Through Saturday, November 25, 2017 Inclusive)

Jockey Mts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% In-money% Money Won
Flavien Prat 82 17 10 14 21% 50% $2,117,550
Evin Roman 82 14 6 12 17% 39% $468,753
Tyler Baze 78 10 8 6 13% 31% $482,185
Kent Desormeaux 51 10 5 4 20% 37% $1,496,435
Rafael Bejarano 59 9 10 9 15% 47% $508,365
Drayden Van Dyke 71 8 9 6 11% 32% $713,859
Mike Smith 28 6 3 3 21% 43% $1,919,695
John Velazquez 18 6 1 2 33% 50% $2,811,175
Corey Nakatani 43 5 7 5 12% 40% $659,952
Tiago Pereira 48 4 5 6 8% 31% $270,054

 

Trainer Standings

(Current Through Saturday, November 25, 2017 Inclusive)

Trainer Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% In-money% Money Won
Peter Miller 59 18 7 8 31% 56% $2,170,738
Jerry Hollendorfer 38 8 4 8 21% 53% $907,720
Doug F. O’Neill 53 8 1 7 15% 30% $393,654
Philip D’Amato 49 6 7 6 12% 39% $313,565
Vladimir Cerin 24 5 6 2 21% 54% $169,259
Richard Baltas 38 5 5 5 13% 39% $218,507
James M. Cassidy 22 4 4 5 18% 59% $236,233
Steven Miyadi 16 4 1 0 25% 31% $175,545
Dan Blacker 13 3 3 1 23% 54% $90,710
Patrick Gallagher 16 3 1 1 19% 31% $137,700

 

Winning Favorites Report

(Current Through Saturday, November 25, 2017 Inclusive)

Winning favorites — 49 out of 133 — 36.84%

Winning favorites on dirt — 24 out of 73 — 32.88%

Winning favorites on turf — 25 out of 60 — 41.67%

Winning odds-on favorites — 2 out of 8 — 25.00%

In-the-Money favorites — 93 out of 133 — 69.92%

In-the-Money odds-on favorites — 6 out of 8 — 75.00%

Del Mar Springboards Off Breeders’ Cup to its Best Fall Season

The highly successful first Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar – which has drawn rave reviews from coast to coast – got the track’s fall meeting off to a rousing start and that momentum carried through the four-week season, which concluded Sunday. The track’s fall meet numbers were the strongest since it began autumn racing in 2014.

All sources average daily wagering – which does not include the two-day Breeders’ Cup November 3 and 4 – was up a robust 7.5% as compared to 2016. Out-of-state handle increased 10.3% and on-track betting rose by 4%. Noteworthy, too, was the fact that the 14-day meet final wagering figure of $153.1 million exceeded the 15-day total of $152.5 million from 2016.

“We are, of course, very pleased with the results from our fall season,” said Del Mar Thoroughbred Club president and general manager Joe Harper. “The Breeders’ Cup got us off to a good beginning, but our fall meet has grown into a winner all its own and now has become a staple in California. With the support of our horsemen and our bettors, Del Mar’s fall run has become the most prosperous November meet in the country.”

The two-day Breeders’ Cup extravaganza registered record betting numbers when $25,181,317 went through the tote on-track – best ever in the 34-year history of the championship event. It was an increase of more than 21% over the 2016 figures. The common pool handle over the two days was $166,077,486, the highest total since the 2010 Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs when there were two additional BC races held.

Del Mar’s $3.3-million fall stakes schedule – with its emphasis on turf racing – again proved highly popular to horsemen both locally and nationally. Twelve of the track’s 22 stakes were of the graded variety consisting of two Grade Is, four Grade IIs and six Grade IIIs. A pair of special horses had a national spotlight shine on them when they turned in sharp performances in the Grade I races – Mo Town shipping in from New York and mowing them down impressively on the lawn in the Hollywood Derby and the crack mare Off Limits also shipping in to clicking smartly in the Matriarch.

Del Mar’s racing office was delighted with the response from its horsemen and the numbers registered at the entry box. In the end, the track’s field size for the 14 days was 8.5 runners per race, equaling last fall’s average, which was the highest in the state and among the highest in the country. Additionally, the track’s thriving “Ship and Win” program took another jump forward during the fall run. Last year in 15 days Del Mar lured 31 “S & W” horses to race at the meet. This year that number skyrocketed up 87% to 58 out-of-towners during the 14 racing days.

“No doubt the Breeders’ Cup helped expose Del Mar and our fall racing season to new parties,” noted the track’s executive vice president for racing Tom Robbins. “And no doubt that exposure can – and likely will – have positive benefits going forward. But the ultimate success of fall racing at Del Mar is in the hands of our local horsemen and they have responded in a most emphatic fashion to what we’ve had to offer.”

Robbins also noted the exceptional work done by the track’s two superintendents – Leif Dickinson with its turf course and Dennis Moore with its main track.

“We did more turf racing than ever this year and Leif and his crew were simply outstanding with the course,” Robbins stated. “And Dennis coming on board for the first time this year and remaking our dirt track was a huge advantage to all concerned. We’ve had some of the safest racing in Del Mar history this past year and those two gentlemen were the foremost reason why.”

Del Mar’s fall attendance numbers did dip slightly from the 2016 digits, checking in at 77,218 for a daily average of 5,516, a decline of 5.3%.

The seaside track will resume racing in 2018 with its popular summer meet from July 18 to September 3.

Del Mar Daily Results and Activity

Results

Sunday, November 26
Race# Race Type Purse
Race 1 Maiden Claiming – $32,000 $21,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 2 Claiming – $20,000 $24,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 3 Seabiscuit H. $200,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 4 Allowance Optional Claiming – $20,000 $53,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 5 Allowance Optional Claiming – $40,000 $53,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 6 Starter Allowance – $50,000 $28,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 7 Matriarch S. $300,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 8 Maiden Special Weight $52,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 9 Cecil B. DeMille S. $100,000 Overnight Overnight

 

Daddy Is a Legend Tallies in Jimmy Durante Stakes

Daddy Is a Legend © Benoit Photo

With an impressive burst of speed in the stretch, Daddy Is a Legend, the 5-2 favorite under jockey Joe Bravo, won the Grade III $100,000 Jimmy Durante Stakes for two-year-old fillies Saturday.

Outrun for most of the one-mile grass journey, Daddy Is a Legend was taken to the far outside by Bravo turning into the stretch, overhauled the leaders in the final sixteenth and won by a length in 1:36.06. Data Dependent, piloted by Javier Castellano, was second, three-quarters of a length in front of Raucous, with Lexington Grace fourth in the field of a dozen fillies. Withdrawn was One Fast Broad.

Daddy Is a Legend, a daughter of Scat Daddy owned by Jim and Susan Hill and trained by George Weaver, returned $7.40, $4.60 and $3.20 after her second success in four starts. She came into the Durante Stakes from an easy maiden win at Keeneland October 27. First prize of $60,000 increased her earnings to $107,910.

Runner-up Data Dependent, who ran well in defeat, paid $6.20 and $4.20, while Raucous returned $5 to show.

There were four perfect tickets in the Pick Six and each paid $128,201. With a two-day carryover of $148,562 and $631,444 bet into the pool Saturday, the total Pick Six pool was $780,006.


JOE BRAVO (Daddy Is a Legend, winner) – “She’s a big filly. She’s a special one, too. I was following Chad Brown’s horse (Data Dependent) around there and when she went I went right behind her. When we hit the stretch, I tipped her (Daddy Is a Legend) out and it was bye-bye. It was her race from there. She’s special.”

JAVIER CASTELLANO (Data Dependent, second) – “We had a good trip and she ran well. The winner was just much the best today.”

FLAVIEN PRAT (Raucous, third) – “She ran well. She just seemed to lose focus for a bit in the stretch when she was in front, but that really wasn’t going to affect her finish.”

AUSTIN TRITES, assistant to George Weaver (Daddy Is a Legend, winner) – “She gave us a couple of scares, but we’ll take it. For a split second, around the turn, I was very worried. But when he (Joe Bravo) tipped her out and she got in the clear, she came home very well.”


FRACTIONS: :23.80 :48.04 1:12.02 1:24.23 1:36.06

The stakes win was the first ever for rider Bravo at Del Mar.

The stakes win was the first ever for trainer Weaver at Del Mar.

The owners are Jim and Susan Hill of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Mo Town Rallies to Win Hollywood Derby

Mo Town © Benoit Photo

Magnier, Tabor and Smith’s Mo Town, making his West Coast debut, rallied from next-to-last under jockey John Velazquez to win the Grade I $300,000 Hollywood Derby Saturday.

Patiently handled by Velazquez after a slightly slow beginning, Mo Town swept by his embattled rivals in the final sixteenth to win by a length in the fast time of 1:46.36 for the nine furlongs on the infield Jimmy Durante Turf Course. The previous mark was 1:47.73 set a year ago by Annals of Time.

Mo Town, a son of Uncle Mo trained by Anthony Dutrow, was considered a prime prospect for the Kentucky Derby early this year after winning the Remsen Stakes as a two-year-old at Aqueduct. However, he was winless in four starts in 2017 until transferred to the grass at Belmont Park where he defeated older horses handily, by six and one-half lengths, October 12.

On the basis of that performance, Mo Town was a solid 2-1 second choice in the Hollywood Derby and returned $6.20, $4.60 and $3.60. Channel Maker nosed out Big Score for second, with the latter another nose ahead of the 7-5 favored Sharp Samurai, whose four-race victory streak came to an end. Channel Maker paid $7.80 and $4.60, while Big Score returned $3.60 to show.

Mo Town was recording his fourth triumph in nine starts and first money of $180,000 increased the colt’s earnings to $509,600.


JOHN VELAZQUEZ (Mo Town, winner) – “So I got to try something different with this horse today. I’ve been trying to get him to settle. He broke slow, so I didn’t panic with him. I let him settle and run right along. Then when I asked him he responded. He responded very well.”

JAVIER CASTELLANO (Channel Maker, second) – “I saved all the ground. Then I cut the corner and there was some room on the rail. He ran huge. The winner got the jump on me.”

FLAVIEN PRAT (Big Score, third) – “A good trip and a good try by this horse. He tries hard every time. You can’t want more than that from him.”

GARY STEVENS (Sharp Samurai, fourth) – “He’s had a great year. He ran another good one. No excuses or complaints from me.”

ANTHONY DUTROW (Mo Town, winner) – “My first trip to Del Mar and the people out here are so nice I can’t wait to get back some day. It was a Grade I race and our horse had a chance and I just felt like we had to be here. The race itself? I don’t know how this turf course plays, but I knew at the top of the stretch Mo Town had a lot of work to do and I’m glad he was up to it.”


FRACTIONS: :23.34 :47.67 1:11.19 1:34.57 1:46.36

(The final time is a stakes record for the four runnings of the race at Del Mar.)

The stakes win was the sixth of the meet for rider Velazquez, but his first in the Hollywood Derby. All six of his total stakes wins at Del Mar were during this meet, two of them in Breeders’ Cup races.

The stakes win was the first for trainer Dutrow with the first horse he ran at Del Mar.

The owners are Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith and Team D.

Del Mar Daily Results and Activity

Results

Saturday, November 25
Race# Race Type Purse
Race 1 Claiming – $12,500 $19,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 2 Maiden Special Weight $52,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 3 Claiming – $16,000 $21,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 4 Allowance Optional Claiming – $40,000 $53,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 5 Native Diver S. $100,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 6 Allowance Optional Claiming – $20,000 $53,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 7 Hollywood Derby $300,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 8 Maiden Special Weight $52,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 9 Jimmy Durante S. $100,000 Overnight Overnight



Final Entries

Sunday, November 26
Race# Race Type Purse
Race 1 Maiden Claiming – $32,000 $21,000
Race 2 Claiming – $20,000 $24,000
Race 3 Seabiscuit H. $200,000
Race 4 Allowance Optional Claiming – $20,000 $53,000
Race 5 Allowance Optional Claiming – $40,000 $53,000
Race 6 Starter Allowance – $50,000 $28,000
Race 7 Matriarch S. $300,000
Race 8 Maiden Special Weight $52,000
Race 9 Cecil B. DeMille S. $100,000

Manitoulin Wins Hollywood Turf Cup

Manitoulin © Benoit Photo

Darby Dan Farms’ Manitoulin, an invader from the East Coast trained by James Toner, withstood the late challenge of the fast-closing 7-5 favored Chicago Style to win the featured Grade II $200,000 Hollywood Turf Cup Friday at Del Mar.

Beautifully-rated in a stalking position by Hall of Famer Mike Smith from the start of the mile and one-half marathon over the infield grass course, Manitoulin went to the lead in the upper stretch and showed his gameness to score a neck victory over Chicago Style, who was piloted by Drayden Van Dyke.

Third in the field of seven older Thoroughbreds was Flamboyant, a length and three-quarters behind the runner-up and a length and one-quarter ahead of fourth-place Tequila Joe. Infobedad and Prime Attraction were withdrawn from the original line-up.

Manitoulin, a four-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Awesome Again, had campaigned exclusively in the East, most recently running seventh in the Sycamore Stakes at Keeneland race course Oct. 19.

Sent to the gate at 4-1, Manitoulin returned $10.40, $4.80 and $3.40 after his fifth victory in 17 starts. First money of $120,000 increased his earnings to $394,506. Chicago Style paid $3.40 and $2.40, while Flamboyant returned $3.60 to show.

Time for the distance was 2:30.16.

There were no perfect tickets in Friday’s Pick Six, so Saturday’s nine-race program will offer a carryover of $148,562. Post time for the first race is 12:30 p.m. on the next-to-last day of the 16-day Bing Crosby Fall Racing Season.


MIKE SMITH (Manitoulin, winner) – “I’ve got some history here. I rode his mother (Soaring Softly) and I rode the sire (Awesome Again), too. It was just like J.J. (trainer James J. Toner, whom Smith spoke to by phone about an hour before the race) told me. He said ‘He can get a little lazy on you.’ He said if I dropped my hands he’d back right out of there. He said warm him up good; get his blood pumping. Make him think he’s running a half-mile instead of a mile and a half. It worked out just right.”

DRAYDEN VAN DYKE (Chicago Style, second) – “I saved all the ground I could. Saved it all. He came running; just not enough.”

BRICE BLANC (Flamboyant, third) – “I think maybe a mile and a half is just a bit too far for him. He struggles that last eighth. Sometimes if it sets up just right, he can do it, but it didn’t work that way today. Not a lot of pace. But no excuses for me. We got outrun late.”

TIFFANY WEBB, assistant to James Toner (Manitoulin, winner) – “I was a little surprised Mike (Smith) had him up so far, but Mike told me in the paddock that there wasn’t a lot of speed and he wanted to put him in the race. Which was brilliant. I was a little afraid at the top of the lane when Mike wasn’t asking him and I saw Chicago Style getting geared up. But I told Mike in the paddock that I know this horse and he’s always going to stick his nose out in front. I know he’s a fighter and I knew that if somebody came to him he’d fight on.”


FRACTIONS: :25.30 :51.36 1:17.08 1:43.00 2:07.38 2:30.16

The stakes win was the third of the meet for rider Smith and his second (The Pizza Man, 2015) in the Hollywood Turf Cup. He now has 65 stakes wins at Del Mar, 11th best all time.

The stakes win was the first ever for trainer Toner at Del Mar.

The owner is Darby Dan Farm Racing of Lexington, KY, one of America’s foremost breeding and racing enterprises going back to legendary names like Col. E.R. Bradley and John Galbreath. The farm is responsible for six Kentucky Derby winners and hundreds on top sires and runners.

Del Mar Daily Results and Activity

Results

Friday, November 24
Race# Race Type Purse
Race 1 Maiden Special Weight $52,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 2 Claiming – $20,000 $24,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 3 Allowance Optional Claiming – $80,000 $53,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 4 Maiden Special Weight $52,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 5 Maiden Special Weight $52,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 6 Allowance Optional Claiming – $40,000 $53,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 7 Hollywood Turf Cup S. $200,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 8 Maiden Claiming – $20,000 $17,000 Overnight Overnight



Early Entries

Sunday, November 26 Overnight
Race# Race Type Purse
Race 1 Maiden Claiming – $32,000 $21,000
Race 2 Claiming – $20,000 $24,000
Race 3 Seabiscuit H. $200,000
Race 4 Allowance Optional Claiming – $20,000 $53,000
Race 5 Allowance Optional Claiming – $40,000 $53,000
Race 6 Starter Allowance – $50,000 $28,000
Race 7 Matriarch S. $300,000
Race 8 Maiden Special Weight $52,000
Race 9 Cecil B. DeMille S. $100,000

Final Entries

Saturday, November 25
Race# Race Type Purse
Race 1 Claiming – $12,500 $19,000
Race 2 Maiden Special Weight $52,000
Race 3 Claiming – $16,000 $21,000
Race 4 Allowance Optional Claiming – $40,000 $53,000
Race 5 Native Diver S. $100,000
Race 6 Allowance Optional Claiming – $20,000 $53,000
Race 7 Hollywood Derby $300,000
Race 8 Maiden Special Weight $52,000
Race 9 Jimmy Durante S. $100,000

How Unusual Scores Upset in Red Carpet Handicap

How Unusual © Benoit Photo

Masterfully-ridden by jockey Corey Nakatani, longshot How Unusual spurted between horses at the top of the stretch to enter contention and outfinished 2-1 favored Responsibleforlove in the final sixteenth to win the featured Grade III $100,000 Red Carpet Handicap on Thanksgiving holiday Thursday at Del Mar.

How Unusual, sent to the gate at 9-1 for the mile and three-eighths grass marathon, was outrun in the early stages, but showed an impressive turn of foot when cut loose by Nakatani to score by a half-length in 2:14.92 for the distance.

Responsibleforlove, with Joe Talamo in the saddle, was runner-up, a half-length in front of Laseen, with La Manta Gris fourth in the field of 12 older fillies and mares. Galileo’s Song and Lottie were withdrawn from the original field.

How Unusual, owned by the partnership of Fetkin, Sill and St. Hilaire and trained by Mike Pender, scored her fifth victory in 19 outings and returned $21.80, $7.60 and $5 while earning first money of $60,000. The four-year-old filly now has a total bankroll of $302,367.

Responsibleforlove paid $3.20 and $3.20, while Laseen returned $6.40 to show.

There were no perfect tickets in Thursday’s Pick Six, so Friday’s card will have a carryover of $49,099.

Friday’s program features the Grade II $200,000 Hollywood Turf Cup for older horses at a mile and one-half on the grass. Post time for the first of eight races is 12:30 p.m.


COREY NAKATANI (How Unusual, winner) – “Mike (trainer Mike Pender) and I talked and we both agreed that there was only one way to go with her: to take her back, get her to settle and into a nice rhythm and then make that late run. I thought sure she’d handle the distance and she did. She’s a nice filly.”

JOE TALAMO (Responsibleforlove, second) – “Really good trip. She fired. Unfortunately, we didn’t win.”

TIAGO PEREIRA (Laseen, third) – “I had nowhere to run around the turn; I had to wait. Then she came late. If I can get out and get a place, I think we win.”

MIKE PENDER (How Unusual, winner) – “She’s coming around, this filly. Every race gets a little bit better than the one before. We bought her for a ham sandwich at the end of last summer (2016). We bought her for $80,000 privately from Madeline (Auerbach). We’re really happy with this filly and that was a great ride by Corey (Nakatani).”


FRACTIONS: :23.69 :48.39 1:13.57 1:38.59 2:03.05 2:14.92

The stakes win was the second of the meet for rider Nakatani and his first in the Red Carpet. He now has 108 stakes wins at Del Mar, second most all time.

The stakes win was the first of the meet for trainer Pender and his first in the Red Carpet. He now has three stakes wins at Del Mar.

The winner is owned by Hunter Sill from Cardiff, CA; Bob Fetkin from St. Petersburg Beach, FL; Christopher St. Hilaire from Newport Beach, CA, and Pender Racing of trainer Mike Pender from Arcadia, CA.

Del Mar Daily Results and Activity

Results

Thursday, November 23
Race# Race Type Purse
Race 1 Allowance Optional Claiming – $40,000 $53,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 2 Maiden Claiming – $50,000 $28,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 3 Allowance Optional Claiming – $62,500 $55,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 4 Maiden Claiming – $50,000 $28,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 5 Maiden Special Weight $52,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 6 Red Carpet H. $100,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 7 Starter Optional Claiming – $50,000 $28,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 8 Maiden Special Weight $52,000 Overnight Overnight



Early Entries

Saturday, November 25 Overnight
Race# Race Type Purse
Race 1 Claiming – $12,500 $19,000
Race 2 Maiden Special Weight $52,000
Race 3 Claiming – $16,000 $21,000
Race 4 Allowance Optional Claiming – $40,000 $53,000
Race 5 Native Diver S. $100,000
Race 6 Allowance Optional Claiming – $20,000 $53,000
Race 7 Hollywood Derby $300,000
Race 8 Maiden Special Weight $52,000
Race 9 Jimmy Durante S. $100,000
Sunday, November 26 Overnight
Race# Race Type Purse
Race 1 Maiden Claiming – $32,000 $21,000
Race 2 Claiming – $20,000 $24,000
Race 3 Seabiscuit H. $200,000
Race 4 Allowance Optional Claiming – $20,000 $53,000
Race 5 Allowance Optional Claiming – $40,000 $53,000
Race 6 Starter Allowance – $50,000 $28,000
Race 7 Matriarch S. $300,000
Race 8 Maiden Special Weight $52,000
Race 9 Cecil B. DeMille S. $100,000

Final Entries

Friday, November 24
Race# Race Type Purse
Race 1 Maiden Special Weight $52,000
Race 2 Claiming – $20,000 $24,000
Race 3 Allowance Optional Claiming – $80,000 $53,000
Race 4 Maiden Special Weight $52,000
Race 5 Maiden Special Weight $52,000
Race 6 Allowance Optional Claiming – $40,000 $53,000
Race 7 Hollywood Turf Cup S. $200,000
Race 8 Maiden Claiming – $20,000 $17,000