Del Mar Stable News

FOR BAFFERT, THE 2-YEAR-OLD STAKES HITS JUST KEEP ON COMIN’

With the victory by Mucho Gusto in Saturday’s Grade III $100,000 Bob Hope Stakes, coming five days after the win by Chasing Yesterday in the counterpart-for-fillies $100,000 Desi Arnaz Stakes, Hall of Trainer Bob Baffert has two legs up on a sweep of the four stakes for 2-year-olds during fall racing at Del Mar.

But he’s not going to do it.

What’s that you say?  Baffert, who has hundreds of 2-year-olds, many of the highest quality, year after year. Baffert, who showed off three, if you count Saturday’s first-race winner Coliseum, potential show stoppers in the last three baby races he entered. Baffert, who saddled 11 maiden race winners among 13 victories during the summer meeting here and has, by his guess, 17 2-year-old wins this year.

That’s true. But whereas Baffert is an overpowering force in 2-year-old races on dirt, it’s not the same on turf. And the two remaining 2-year-old stakes are both grassy miles – the $100,000 Grade III Jimmy Durante for fillies next Saturday and the Grade III Cecil B. DeMille the following day.

Baffert has Der Lu, a first-out winner here last August, nominated for a grass debut in the Jimmy Durante. He doesn’t have any nominees for the Cecil B. DeMille.

So, while other trainers relish the thought of 2-year-old stakes without Baffert monsters to fight, he can savor the recent successes and plot for bigger ones down the road.

Chasing Yesterday is headed for the Starlet and Mucho Gusto the Futurity at Los Alamitos.

“My barn is all younger horses, and it’s nice when they’re running well,” Baffert said.  “Our clients get excited about these 2-year-old races and Derbies, but usually when they get older their value is at stud and they leave.

“There are challenges. Things can go wrong. But that’s what we do and it’s fun.”

Coliseum, a homebred son of Tapit for Godolphin LLC of Sheikh Mohammed al Maktoum of Dubai, wired the field in the 7-furlong opener Saturday piloted, as was Mucho Gusto, by Joe Talamo.

“(Coliseum) has been tough to work with, he wants to run off in his works and it’s been hard to get him to relax,” Baffert said. “Now we’ve got that race out of the way and we’ll stretch him out. I’m happy for Joe. He has put in a lot of time and work with him. He’s a good horseman and he gives me a lot of good feedback.”


PURSUERS AT HIS HEELS, LEADING RIDER FRANCO STAYS FOCUSED

Entering the Sunday program that marks the halfway point of fall racing at Del Mar, Geovanni Franco was atop the jockey standings, as he had been since he recorded two victories in each of the first two days of the meeting.

But the 27-year-old from Mexico City’s seven wins from 32 mounts were only one better than Drayden Van Dyke (6-for-28) and two ahead of Flavien Prat (5-for-34), the rising stars of the Southern California jockey colony who battled hard before Van Dyke pulled away late in the summer meeting.

“I had a pretty good start, and I’m hoping to finish strong,” Franco said Sunday morning outside the stable area racing office. “I know that (Van Dyke and Prat) are getting close. I wish them the best of luck, but I’m going to ride the hair off my horses.”

Franco and Prat each have six mounts booked on the eight-race Sunday card, Van Dyke four.

“We’ve been working hard and the horses have been running well, so we’ll just keep doing that and see what happens,” said Franco, who made his presence felt in the summer when he tied for sixth place with 17 wins.

Franco’s fall victories have come for trainers Robertino Deodoro, Vladimir Cerin and Craig Lewis. When asked for the most memorable, or best ride, he cited the one on Holland Road ($31.40) last Monday for Lewis. Holland Road went to the front approaching the half-mile pole and held on gamely the rest of the way for a half-length victory.

“That horse gave me every thing he had,” Franco said.

Franco will ride here through a week from Friday but head to Florida that evening for Saturday assignments in the Claiming Crown day of racing at Gulfstream Park. Franco will be back to Del Mar for closing day, December 2.

He is already scheduled to ride Big Score in the $200,000, Grade II Seabiscuit Handicap here on November 24 for trainer Tim Yakteen and Isotherm in the Grade III, $100,000 Native Diver on November 25 for trainer Phil D’Amato.

“A couple wins in the stakes would be nice,” Franco said.


COUGAR II WINNER BEACH VIEW SET FOR RETURN IN TURF CUP

Trainer Leonard Powell had thoughts of running Beach View in the $1 million TVG Pacific Classic last August. But days before the race, the 5-year-old Maryland-bred son of Giant’s Causeway incurred some cuts on a front leg in a stall accident.

It’s nearly three months since the accident, and four since his upset victory over Hoppertunity in the Cougar II Handicap here, but now the Levy Racing colorbearer takes on another 1 ½ mile assignment in Friday’s Grade II $200,000 Hollywood Turf Cup.

The Cougar II was 1 ½ miles on the main track.

“It took some time to heal and get back to training, but I think that fitness-wise I have him back to what he was for the Cougar,” Powell said Sunday morning. “It’s never easy to come back from such a layoff, especially in a 1 ½-mile race, but we are going to try.”

Powell also has last summer’s Del Mar Oaks winner, Fatale Bere, nominated to both the Hollywood Derby, where she would take on 3-year-old males on December 1, and the  Matriarch, where she would go against older females on December 2. Both are Grade I, $300,000 events.

“She just had her first work back (since early October) and will work again next weekend,” Powell said. “It’s 50-50 if she will run, but we’ll see how she looks.”


CLOSERS — Jessie Black, the daughter of former Padres and current Colorado Rockies manager Bud Black, celebrated her birthday at Del Mar Saturday and presented flowers to the winner of the fifth race — Hitters Park. Coincidentally, Coors Field, where the Rockies play, is known as a hitter’s park for the way batted balls travel in the thin air at the mile high altitude.

Solid Wager Clicks Again in Cary Grant at Del Mar

Solid Wager © Benoit Photo

The veteran gelding Solid Wager scored a smashing victory in Sunday’s $100,690 Cary Grant Stakes at Del Mar, the third time he’s won the race in four tries. The other time he was second.

The 7-year-old by Birdonthewire was six and a quarter lengths clear under Drayden Van Dyke at the end of the seven-furlong stakes for California-breds, covering the distance in 1:22.47. He beat seven rivals and picked up $57,000 for doing it. The bay stretch runner is owned by Gary and Cecil Barber of Los Angeles in partnership with the Stanford Stable of Michael De Andra and Sandra Tsujihara, also of Los Angeles.

Finishing second in the extended dash was Hronis Racing’s Edwards Going Left and third, another half length back, was Brandothebartender, who races for Flawless Racing, Flanagan or Jarvis.

The durable Solid Wager, who now shows 10 victories in 47 lifetime starts and a career bankroll of $740,731, paid $11.40, $4.20 and $3.20 for $2 wagers. Favored Edwards Going Left returned $3.40 and $2.80 and Brandothebartender paid $4.80.

Solid Wager captured this same race in 2015 and 2016, then was second beaten a half length by Edwards Going Left last year.

There were 22 winning Pick Six tickets Sunday, each worth $4,433.  The track’s Pick Six Jackpot pool rose to $83,347. The Sunday crowd was 5,301.

Racing resumes at the seaside oval of Thanksgiving Thursday with an eight-race card and a special first post of 11 a.m.


DRAYDEN VAN DYKE (Solid Wager, winner) — “Oh, my. I was pleasantly surprised by that. He was running great and I had all the horses I was concerned about in my sights – and then he went right on by without me even asking him. He just ran away from them. It’s fun riding horses that run like that.”

TYLER BAZE (Edwards Going Left, second) – “My horse ran good, but the winner freaked. He went by me like I was tied to the eighth pole.”

JOE TALAMO (Brandothebartender, third) – “He ran great. Most of his form is on the grass, but he handled the dirt today fine. Ran a big race.”


PETER MILLER (Solid Wager, winner) – “Wow, he never wins like that. He’s always a Stormy Liberal nail biter, gets up in the last jump type. But today, he was on it. I know he loves this track; this is his favorite racetrack. And seven-eighths is his favorite distance. It looked like we got a good pace setup and Drayden kept him in the clear. Once he gets rolling, you don’t want to get him stopped. For a seven-year-old, he looked pretty spritely out there.”


FRACTIONS:  :22.46  :44.97  1:09.94  1:22.47


The stakes win was the second of the meet for rider Van Dyke, but first in the Cary Grant. He now has 24 stakes wins at Del Mar.

The stakes win was the first of the meet for trainer Miller, but his third in the Cary Grant (Solid Wager won the race in both 2015 and 2016). Miller now has 24 stakes wins at Del Mar.

The winning owners are brothers Gary and Cecil Barber of Los Angeles and the Stanford Stable of Michael De Anda and Sandra Tsujihara, also of Los Angeles.

Del Mar Daily Results and Activity

Results

Sunday, November 18
Race# Race Type Purse
Race 1 Waiver Maiden Claiming – $50,000 $30,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 2 Claiming – $8,000 $18,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 3 Maiden Special Weight $53,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 4 Maiden Claiming – $20,000 $18,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 5 Allowance Optional Claiming – $20,000 $54,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 6 Allowance Optional Claiming – $40,000 $54,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 7 Maiden Special Weight $53,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 8 Cary Grant S. $100,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 9 Maiden Special Weight $53,000 Overnight Overnight



Early Entries

Friday, November 23 Overnight
Race# Race Type Purse
Race 1 Maiden Claiming – $20,000 $18,000
Race 2 Allowance Optional Claiming – $62,500 $56,000
Race 3 Maiden Claiming – $50,000 $30,000
Race 4 Maiden Claiming – $50,000 $30,000
Race 5 Claiming – $16,000 $24,000
Race 6 Hollywood Turf Cup S. $200,000
Race 7 Maiden Claiming – $50,000 $30,000
Race 8 Maiden Special Weight $53,000

Two Canadian Owned go forward Thursday in the 1 3/8 Miles. Turf. 3-Year-Olds and Up. Fillies and Mares. RedCrptH (Grade 3). Purse: $100,000 at Del Mar

SIXTH RACE Probable Post 1:30 PST 
1 3/8 Miles. Turf. 3-Year-Olds and Up. Fillies and Mares. RedCrptH (Grade 3). Purse: $100,000

 PP   HORSE   PR. RIDER   WT.   COMMENTS   ML.ODDS 

 3   Vexatious   Bejarano R    123       7-2 
 9   Escape Clause   Fuentes R    121       4-1 
 2   Pantsonfire   Franco G    120       9-2 
 4   The Tulip   Van Dyke D    118       6-1 
 7   Lucy De   Desormeaux K J    120       6-1 
 6   Siberian Iris   Prat F    117       8-1 
 5   India Mantuana   Baze T C    117       10-1 
 8   So Hi Society   Pereira T J    114       10-1 
 1   Victress   Talamo J    118       15-1 

Del Mar Stable Notes

Escape Clause © Benoit Photo

ESCAPE CLAUSE GOES TO RED CARPET HOPING TO SCORE A 10

Escape Clause, the Canadian filly who extended her win streak to nine in the opening day Kathryn Crosby Stakes – albeit via disqualification – has booked a Del Mar return engagement in Thursday’s Grade III, $100,000 Red Carpet Stakes.

Owner/trainer Don Schnell nominated the 4-year-old daughter of Going Commando to both the Red Carpet and the Grade I $300,000 Matriarch on closing day, December 2, but confirmed Sunday that the Red Carpet is the race of choice.

“She came back so good (from the Kathryn Crosby) that I’m going to give her a shot in the Red Carpet,” Schnell said from his Phoenix base. “I looked at the Matriarch, but there’s too many bears in there.

“She showed she can compete with those (stakes level) horses there and can run on the turf. Now we’ll see if she can go the mile and three-eighths.”

Escape Clause brought an eight-race winning streak, forged mainly at tracks in Manitoba and Alberta, Canada, into the one-mile Kathryn Crosby and ran on turf for the first time in a 25-race career. Ridden by Ruben Fuentes, Escape Clause finished a half-length behind Excellent Sunset, but was moved up to first after stewards ruled a bumping incident in the stretch had cost her a placing.

So the filly that Schnell purchased for $3,200 at a sale in Manitoba extended the winning streak and increased her career earnings to $345,500.

The Red Carpet comes up only 13 days after the Crosby and at a distance that’s a quarter-mile farther than she has raced before, but Schnell said he believes Escape Clause can be up to the task.

“I think so,” Schnell said, “she’s learned to relax and that’s really important at longer distances.”

Fuentes, who picked up the mount on Escape Clause just before the post position draw for the Kathryn Crosby, will be back in the saddle.

“Ruben is a good kid and a good rider,” Schnell said.

Despite the winning streak, Escape Clause was largely overlooked in the betting and returned $39.40 for a $2 win bet in the Kathryn Crosby. “I don’t think you’ll get that this time,” Schnell said.

The field from the rail: Victress (Joe Talamo), Pantsonfire (Geovanni Franco), Vexatious (Rafael Bejarano), The Tulip (Drayden Van Dyke), India Mantuana (Tyler Baze), Siberian Iris (Flavien Prat), Lucy De (Kent Desormeaux), So Hi Society (Tiago Pereira) and Escape Clause (Ruben Fuentes).

The Red Carpet will be the featured event, the sixth on an eight-race Thanksgiving Day card that will have an early first post of 11 a.m.


EDWARDS  GOING LEFT IS GOING TO BE TOUGH AGAIN IN CARY GRANT

Edwards Going Left is the horse to beat in Sunday’s $100,000 Cary Grant Stakes. And if you’re in need of reasons why that’s the case, trainer John Sadler has them.

“He won it last year. It’s a good distance for him. And he’s going against California-breds rather than open company,” Sadler said Saturday morning from Santa Anita. “He’s a legitimate favorite who has trained well for the race.”

A 4-year-old gelded son of Midnight Lute, Edwards Going Left prevailed by a half-length over Solid Wager in the 2017 running of the seven-furlong main track test for state breds. In six starts since then, the Hronis Racing Inc. colorbearer has one win and has been off the board only twice – fourth place efforts against world class sprinters Ransom the Moon in the Grade I Bing Crosby here July 28 and Breeders’ Cup Sprint champion Roy H in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship last month.

“He’s well spotted,” Sadler said. “There are some good horses, but no Roy H or Ransom the Moon.”

The field from the rail: Tough But Nice (Geovanni Franco, 12-1), Touching Rainbows (Flavien Prat, 5-2), Edwards Going Left (Tyler Baze, 2-1), Solid Wager (Drayden Van Dyke, 4-1), Brandothebartender (Joe Talamo, 20-1), Minoso (Gary Stevens, 30-1), Shades of Victory (Martin Pedroza, 12-1), Ann Arbor Eddie (Mario Gutierrez, 5-1) and Grecian Fire (Rafael Bejarano, 10-1).

The Red Carpet will be the featured event on an eight-race Thanksgiving Day card that will have an early first post of 11 a.m.

Sadler provided an update on his three divisional champions from the summer meeting – Horse of the Meeting Accelerate, top sprinter Catalina Cruiser and top grass horse Catapult:

Accelerate will begin light training and eventually breezing at Santa Anita in December for his final race, the $9 million Pegasus World Cup on January 26 at Gulfstream Park in Florida. Catapult will be on a similar schedule targeting the inaugural $7 million turf race on Pegasus World Cup Day.

Catalina Cruiser is being given time off for a planned return to racing in the spring. There is “an excellent chance” Sadler said that Catalina Cruiser and Catapult will race at Del Mar in the summer of  2019.


MILLER REACHES 1,000 MILESTONE, LOOKS TO START ON ROAD TO 2,000

Trainer Peter Miller notched win No. 1,000 in his 31-year career on Friday when Drayden Van Dyke guided Haydens Havoc to a 1 ½-length victory in the third race.

The victory touched off a winner’s circle celebration in which Miller was joined by his wife Lani and sons Jacob, 6, and Seth, 4, initially and later by Del Mar officials who  presented him with a sign commemorating the event.

“It’s a great accomplishment,” Miller said. “It took a lot of years to get there and a lot of hard work. I’ve got a great team behind me, from my family to the people who work for me in the stable, to the owners. I’m thankful to them all.

“Lets see if we can get another 1,000.”

To that end, Miller has five entered on the eight-race Saturday card.


THE POSSIBILITIES ARE INTRIGUING FOR PENDING STAKES TSUNAMI

The wave of eight graded stakes over the final eight days of the meeting and while nominations aren’t commitments to run, even a glance at the ones scheduled next week triggers thoughts of intriguing possibilities.

Grade III $100,000 Red Carpet, Handicap, Thursday, November 22 – Escape Clause tries to extend her winning streak to 10.

Grade II $200,000 Hollywood Turf Cup,  Friday, November 23 – Beach View, last seen winning the 1 1/2 –mile Cougar II Handicap here on dirt in July, tries the distance on the turf.

Grade III $100,000 Jimmy Durante Stakes, Saturday, November 24 – Doug O’Neill has three nominated the most interesting, at least on paper, being Irish-bred Cedars of Lebanon, making her U.S. debut after wins in her native land in September and October.

Grade II $200,000 Seabiscuit Handicap, Saturday, November 24 – Hunt, recovered from a minor illness that kept him out of the Breeders’ Cup returns to battle invaders from the East and overseas.

Grade III $100,000 Cecil B. DeMille Stakes, Sunday, November 25 – Trainer Geoge Weaver and owners Jim and Susan Hill, who shipped in to win the Jimmy Durante last year with Daddy Is a Legend, try to do it again with maiden Noble Nebraskan.

Grade III $100,000 Native Diver, Sunday, November 25 – Battle of Midway. Enough said.

Odds-On Mucho Gusto Best in Del Mar’s Bob Hope Saturday

Mucho Gusto | Benoit Photo

Mucho Gusto © Benoit Photo

Heavily favored Mucho Gusto showed speed from the gate, repelled several challenges along the way and reported home a length and a half winner of the $100,000 Bob Hope Stakes for 2-year-olds Saturday at Del Mar.

The flashy chestnut colt by Mucho Macho Man, a $625,000 sale purchase who races out of the powerful barn of trainer Bob Baffert, had Joe Talamo up as he registered his second win in his second start.  He’s owned by Michael Lund Petersen of Reisterstown, MD.

The 4-5 favorite, Mucho Gusto paid $3.60, $3.00 and $2.10 across the board after covering the seven-furlong distance in 1:23.51.

Finishing second was Rockingham Ranch’s Savagery ($6.20, $3.20) and third, a head back, was Del Secco DCS Racing’s Sparky Ville ($2.20).

Mucho Gusto, a Kentucky-bred, picked up $60,000 for his Bob Hope tally and now sports a bankroll of $84,000. He is the first stakes winner for his sire, who won the Breeders’ Cup Classic in 2013 and has his first crop at the races this year.

Cajun rider Talamo also clicked on a sharp 2-year-old for Baffert earlier on the card when he steered the gray Tapit colt Coliseum to a six and three-quarter length victory in the homebred Godolphin runner’s racing debut.

The track’s Pick Six wager was correctly selected by 21 ticket holders Saturday and they each earned $7,698.  The Jackpot Pick Six carryover grew to $62,637.

Saturday’s crowd at the seaside oval was 6,325.


JOE TALAMO (Mucho Gusto, winner) – “I’ve been very excited to ride this horse. And after this race, I’d say I’m really impressed with him. We got sandwiched coming away from there, but he went on about his business. He ran well throughout; he was well within himself, with his ears up. When a horse would come to him, he’d pick it back up again. He’s trained well right from the start and he’s showing his stuff in the afternoons.”

RAFAEL BEJARANO (Savagery, second) – “He broke well, but I saw the winner go right to the front, so I just sat off him. When it came time, I asked my horse and he gave it a good try. He’s a good young horse and he’s still learning. He’ll be better for this.”

GARY STEVENS (Sparky Ville, third) – “He ran well. He got a bit too wound up in the post parade and that didn’t help. But he ran a good race.”


BOB BAFFERT (Mucho Gusto, winner) – “I lost time when he got sick and this was a good race for him. He’s a pretty cool horse; there’s nothing flashy about him but he gets the job done. They went fast early but when they came to him, he rebroke like the good ones do. I was with my assistant and I said ‘Here’s when you find out what they’re made of.’ ”


FRACTIONS:  :22.36  :45.36  1:10.32  1:23.51


The stakes win was the second of the meet for rider Talamo, but his first in the Bob Hope. He now has 52 stakes wins at Del Mar.

The stakes win was second of the meet for trainer Baffert and his third in the Bob Hope (Toews On Ice, 2015; Mastery, 2016). He now has 128 stakes wins at Del Mar, far and away the most of any conditioner.

The winning owner is Michael Lund Petersen of Reisterstown, MD.

Del Mar Daily Results and Activity

Results

Saturday, November 17
Race# Race Type Purse
Race 1 Maiden Special Weight $53,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 2 Maiden Special Weight $53,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 3 Claiming – $16,000 $18,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 4 Claiming – $25,000 $32,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 5 Allowance Optional Claiming – $40,000 $54,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 6 Claiming – $16,000 $18,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 7 Maiden Special Weight $53,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 8 Bob Hope S. $100,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 9 Claiming – $8,000 $18,000 Overnight Overnight



Early Entries

Thursday, November 22 Overnight
Race# Race Type Purse
Race 1 Claiming – $50,000 $48,000
Race 2 Maiden Special Weight $53,000
Race 3 Maiden Claiming – $32,000 $22,000
Race 4 Allowance Optional Claiming – $62,500 $56,000
Race 5 Claiming – $16,000 $18,000
Race 6 Red Carpet H. $100,000
Race 7 Allowance Optional Claiming – $40,000 $54,000
Race 8 Allowance Optional Claiming – $40,000 $54,000

Final Entries

Sunday, November 18
Race# Race Type Purse
Race 1 Maiden Claiming – $50,000 $30,000
Race 2 Claiming – $8,000 $18,000
Race 3 Maiden Special Weight $53,000
Race 4 Maiden Claiming – $20,000 $18,000
Race 5 Allowance Optional Claiming – $20,000 $54,000
Race 6 Allowance Optional Claiming – $40,000 $54,000
Race 7 Maiden Special Weight $53,000
Race 8 Cary Grant S. $100,000
Race 9 Maiden Special Weight $53,000

DEL MAR Stable Notes

Instilled Regard | Benoit Photo 

Instilled Regard © Benoit Photo

EAST COAST INVADERS DOT NOMS LIST FOR GRADED TURF STAKES

Nominations for the eight graded stakes to be contested over the final two weeks of the meeting closed Thursday.

And Friday morning, looking over the lists, Racing Secretary David Jerkens was pleased with the response from major East Coast-based trainers with horses they deem in need of some sunshine and a graded stakes mark on their resume.

“It’s pretty much on a par with the response we’ve gotten the past couple years,” Jerkens said. “I’m definitely satisfied with the response from trainers, both out of state and locally.”

A nomination is not a commitment to run, only a statement of interest backed by a nominal fee. But successful shipping ventures like those made by trainers Chad Brown, James Toner, George Weaver and Anthony Dutrow last year give encouragement to try again.

Chad Brown, the nation’s leading trainer for earnings in 2018, took the Grade III Cecil B. DeMille with Analyze It and the Matriarch with Off Limits last year and has five nominated to the graded stakes. The Hollywood Derby and the Matriarch, both Grade I for $300,000 on the closing weekend, December 1-2, are the premier events of the meeting and Brown has nominated two for the Derby and three for Matriarch.

Brown’s Derby duo is Instilled Regard and Raging Bull. Instilled Regard would be trying the turf for the first time to end a 2018 campaign that included fourth-place finishes to Triple Crown champion Justify in both the Santa Anita Derby and Kentucky Derby. Raging Bull has made six starts, all on turf, with four wins and a second and earnings of $404,500.

In the Matriarch, Brown’s trio consists of foreign-breds Quidura (England), Rymska (France) and Uni (England).  All three have graded stakes wins since August and, combined, Rymska and Uni have seven wins in their last eight starts.

In addition to the Brown bunch in the Derby there are five notable potential shippers in the Derby for trainers Christophe Clemente (2), Thomas Morley, Graham Motion and Weaver, who won the Jimmy Durante last year with Daddy Is a Legend. Brown’s group in the Matriarch has potential out-of-state company from six fellow invaders, most notably Bellavais from Todd Pletcher, the aforementioned Daddy Is a Legend from Weaver and Starship Jubilee, a stakes winner in Canada for trainer Kevin Attard.


EXTRA HOPE ON THE RISE FOR BOB HOPE STAKES DEBUT

It took three tries, two here and one at Santa Anita, for Extra Hope to notch his first victory.

But when he did, the 2-year-old son of Shanghai Bobby did it well, winning a 1 1/16-mile race at Santa Anita by 8 ¾ lengths on October 21. Now the colt, owned by Samantha Siegel’s Jay Em Ess Stable and trained by Hall of Famer Richard Mandella, is back where he finished second and third in his first two career starts in August and September, for Saturday’s Grade III $100,000 Bob Hope Stakes, a seven-furlong sprint for two-year-olds.

“We put blinkers on him at the suggestion of (jockey) Drayden Van Dyke and he won very nicely,” Mandella said. “We didn’t have an option for him anywhere else, even though I didn’t really want to back up with him to seven eighths, so we’re here.”

The field from the rail: : Extra Hope (Flavien Prat, 7-2), Mucho Gusto (Joe Talamo, 5-2), Savagery (Rafael Bejarano, 4-1), Owning (Mario Gutierrez, 15-1), Sparky Ville (Jeff Bonde, 3-1) and Sueno  (Kent Desormeaux, 15-1).


MILLER ON THE VERGE OF A MILESTONE; DESORMEAUX NINE AWAY

After saddling Mo See Cal ($3.60) to win Thursday’s third race, trainer Miller is one win away from 1,000 for his career.

Miller takes shots at the milestone with Haydens Havoc (3rd, 5-2), Kelly’s Humor (4th, 2-1) and Dominating Woman (4th, 7-2) on today’s card.

Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux, meanwhile, is on approach to  6,000 career wins. Desormeaux could add to the 5,991 he already has aboard Baby Frankie (7-2 in today’s first race.


IF IT’S THE CARY GRANT, SOLID WAGER IS IN IT TO WIN IT

Solid Wager missed the Cary Grant (formerly On Trust) Stakes in the initial fall racing season at Del Mar in 2014. But the seven-year-old gelded son of Birdonthewire has been a party to the last three, posting two wins and a second.

The victories in the seven-furlong sprint for older horses, were by a half-length from off the pace in 2015 and 2016. The runner-up result was by a half length to Edwards Going Left while displaying a strong closing kick last year.

Solid Wager will be back, as will Edwards Going Left, for Sunday’s running of the $100,000 event. It will be the 47th start for the Peter Miller trainee in a career which has produced nine victories and earnings of more than $680,000 for owners Gary and Cecil Barber.

“He’s doing well and he loves the seven-eighths distance and he’s good here at Del Mar,” Miller said Friday morning. “He fires every time, tries hard and even though he doesn’t win that often he’s been a great horse for us.”

The field from the rail: Tough But Nice (Geovanni Franco, 12-1), Touching Rainbows (Flavien Prat, 5-2), Edwards Going Left (Tyler Baze, 2-1), Solid Wager (Drayden Van Dyke, 4-1), Brandothebartender (Joe Talamo, 20-1), Minoso (Gary Stevens, 30-1), Shades of Victory (Martin Pedroza, 12-1), Ann Arbor Eddie (Mario Gutierrez, 5-1) and Grecian Fire (Rafael Bejarano, 10-1).


SECOND ANNUAL TOYS FOR TOTS DAY SET SUNDAY

For the second year in a row, Del Mar will host a “Toys for Tots” motorcycle ride and gift-gathering program as part of a highly successful U.S. Marine Corps-backed charity event that has been ongoing for more than 70 years.

The hometown Marines – many of whom will be onsite in their sharp dress blues — again will be backed in their “Toys for Tots” event by the El Cajon Harley Owners Group (HOG), which is sponsored by El Cajon Harley-Davidson. The HOG crew believes they will have as many as 600-plus riders on board – twice the number that came last year — for their approximately 28-mile bike run from El Cajon to Del Mar.

Previously, the “Toys for Tots” program in San Diego had its major local event with the San Diego Chargers football team. But when the team chose to move to Los Angeles last year, Del Mar stepped in and took on the role of host destination. The track’s fans, horsemen and staff personnel proved to be exceptionally generous and the Marines outdid the previous Charger events with over 2,500 toys collected and more than $8,600 in donations to the “Toys” program.

Racing fans who bring a new unwrapped toy to the track this Sunday earmarked for the event will receive free admission. Cash or check donations also will be accepted by uniformed Marines and sailors on hand manning the “Toy” collection boxes.


CLOSERS — Tyler Baze’s meeting turned strongly for the better when he took both halves of Thursday’s late double with King Abner ($8.20) in the seventh and Epical ($10.60) in the eighth. To that point, Baze had been winless, with three seconds and six thirds from 22 mounts. He’ll try to keep the momentum going with mounts in seven of the eight races on the Friday program … Jockey Martin Garcia will be out for 1-2 months due to a separated right shoulder, his agent, Thom Mitchell confirmed Thursday. Garcia was injured in a training accident at Santa Anita in late September but the immediate concern at that time was possible head trauma. There was no new recent incident, Mitchell said, but shoulder pain sent Garcia to his doctor where the separation was confirmed and he was advised to take a break from riding … Selected workouts from 59 officially timed at Santa Anita Friday morning: Dabster (3f, :48.20), Giant Expectations (4f, :49.20), Rayana (4f, :47.60) … Selected workout from 26 at Del Mar: Zippy Groom (3f, :34.80).

Kodiak West Scores in Del Mar Feature

Kodiak West © Benoit Photo

Gainesway Stable and Naify’s Irish-bred Kodiak West, a three-year-old filly trained by Hall of Famer Neil Drysdale and ridden by Drayden Van Dyke, proved strongest in the stretch Friday to score a decisive triumph in the feature at nine furlongs over the infield Jimmy Durante Turf Course.

Kodiak West, the 2-1 favorite in a field of eight fillies, won by a length over Stradella Road, with Don’t Blame Judy third and Retro fourth.

Kodiak West, a daughter of Kodiac, accomplished the distance in 1:48.51 and returned $6.40, $4.20 and $3.40 after recording her second win in eleven career starts. She made her United States debut last summer at Del Mar, finishing seventh versus allowance company. Previously, she had campaigned mainly in France.

Runner-up Stradella Road, sent off at 6-1 under Gary Stevens, paid $7.20 and $5.20, while Don’t Blame Judy returned $8.40 to show.

Kodiak West provided Van Dyke with his second victory Friday, the rider also having won the third race aboard Haydens Havoc, who provided trainer Peter Miller with a milestone 1,000th win of his career.

With no perfect tickets in the Pick Six Friday, Saturday’s nine-race program will have a carryover of $41,905. Post time for the first race is 12:30 p.m.

Del Mar Daily Results and Activity

Results

Friday, November 16
Race# Race Type Purse
Race 1 Starter Optional Claiming – $50,000 $32,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 2 Claiming – $16,000 $24,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 3 Maiden Special Weight $53,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 4 Allowance Optional Claiming – $62,500 $56,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 5 Maiden Claiming – $50,000 $30,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 6 Claiming – $32,000 $34,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 7 Allowance Optional Claiming – $80,000 $54,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 8 Maiden Claiming – $20,000 $18,000 Overnight Overnight



Early Entries

Sunday, November 18 Overnight
Race# Race Type Purse
Race 1 Maiden Claiming – $50,000 $30,000
Race 2 Claiming – $8,000 $18,000
Race 3 Maiden Special Weight $53,000
Race 4 Maiden Claiming – $20,000 $18,000
Race 5 Allowance Optional Claiming – $20,000 $54,000
Race 6 Allowance Optional Claiming – $40,000 $54,000
Race 7 Maiden Special Weight $53,000
Race 8 Cary Grant S. $100,000
Race 9 Maiden Special Weight $53,000

Final Entries

Saturday, November 17
Race# Race Type Purse
Race 1 Maiden Special Weight $53,000
Race 2 Maiden Special Weight $53,000
Race 3 Claiming – $16,000 $18,000
Race 4 Claiming – $25,000 $32,000
Race 5 Allowance Optional Claiming – $40,000 $54,000
Race 6 Claiming – $16,000 $18,000
Race 7 Maiden Special Weight $53,000
Race 8 Bob Hope S. $100,000
Race 9 Claiming – $8,000 $18,000