Quality Racing Propells Strong Results at Del Mar

All sources handle in 2018 rose 6.8% to $13.44 million per day as Del Mar completed a highly successful summer season – its 79th – on Labor Day Monday.  The wagering increase follows a 5.1% gain in all-sources handle in 2017, which averaged $12.58 million.  The strength of the 2018 summer racing program and the increase in field size helped drive a 10.8% increase in wagering by out-of-state patrons and a 14.1% increase in betting by California ADW customers.

“Across the board, we’ve hit all our marks with a wonderful display of teamwork in a group effort,” said DMTC CEO Joe Harper. “Our owners, our trainers, our jockeys – everyone is pulling their oars in the same direction. It is amazing what positive things can happen when we all get on the same page to put on a first-rate show. The bar was set very high in 2017, but here we’ve gone and jumped far over it in a very gratifying summer.

Field size, which averaged 8.7 runners per race, rose again over the seven-week season, just as it had the year before.  Del Mar’s highly successful “Ship & Win” program drew 105 new runners to the track from out-of-state.  Since its inception in 2011, the “S & W” plan has lured more than 1,200 runners to Del Mar.

“The response from our horsemen and horsewomen to our program at Del Mar has been just terrific,” said executive vice president for racing Tom Robbins. “We have a wonderful partnership going right now and we’ll continue to work to make it even better.

“And our track crews – headed by Leif Dickinson on our turf course and Dennis Moore on our main track – have been nothing short of exceptional. Their superior work has allowed us to conduct highly competitive and safe racing throughout the summer and we all owe them a huge thank you. We dedicate significant off-season time and resources to preparing the surfaces for their best and it is heartening to see such positive results.”

Foremost among the exceptional racing that unfolded over the course of the summer was a dominant win by Hronis Racing’s Accelerate in the $1-million TVG Pacific Classic. The Hronis outfit and their trainer, John Sadler, also cut loose one of America’s rising stars in Catalina Cruiser, who pulled off a stakes double with impressive tallies in the San Diego and Pat O’Brien. Then there were a series of 2-year-old stars led by the Bob Baffert-trained and Gary and Mary West-owned Game Winner, victorious in the Grade I Futurity.  Bellafina, conditioned by Simon Callaghan for the silks of Kaleem Shah, was the meeting’s top juvenile filly, winning the Grade I Debutante.

“On behalf of the California horse owners, we couldn’t be more pleased with the results at Del Mar”, said Nick Alexander, Chairman of the Thoroughbred Owners of California.  “We congratulate the Del Mar management team and staff on a job well done. It was an outstanding summer and we look forward to returning later this fall.”

Del Mar’s spectacular presentation of the Breeders’ Cup in 2017 earned it a return performance of the championship event in 2021, an announcement that was made at the track in August. The track will now take a short respite before returning for its fifth fall race meeting between November 9 and December 2.

Game Winner Gives Baffert 14th Del Mar Futurity Victory

Game Winner © Benoit Photo

Gary and Mary West’s Game Winner provided trainer Bob Baffert with an amazing fourteenth success in the Grade I $300,000 Del Mar Futurity Monday with a length and one-half triumph in the traditional closing-day feature of Del Mar’s summer racing season.

Game Winner, the “other” horse representing Baffert who also sent out highly-regarded Roadster, the 3-5 favorite, moved in company with Roadster in pursuit of pacesetting Rowayton into the stretch. With Roadster unable to stay with his stablemate, Game Winner wore down Rowayton and moved out a convincing score in 1:23.18 for the seven furlongs.

Rowayton, ridden by Drayden Van Dyke, held on gamely for second, a half-length in front of Roadster and jockey Mike Smith who were eight and one-half lengths ahead of fourth-place in the field of six two-year-olds. Savagery was scratched from the original line-up.

Game Winner, a son of Candy Ride, broke his maiden first time out August 18. A solid second choice at 8-5, the colt paid $5.20, $3.20 and $2.10 while earning first money of $180,000 and recognition as the top two-year-old colt of the Del Mar meet.

Rowayton paid $5 and $2.40, while Roadster returned $2.10 to show.

Hall of Famer Baffert won his first of seven straight Del Mar Futurities, 1996-2002,  with Silver Charm who went on to win the Kentucky Derby and Preakness and narrowly miss the Triple Crown when he lost in the Belmont Stakes. Over the years, his Futurity winners have included Officer, Lookin at Lucky and ultimate Triple Crown winner American Pharoah.

In the $100,000 Del Mar Juvenile Fillies Turf, one of two supporting features on the closing-day program, Glen Hill Farm’s Summering ran to her 1-5 odds with a solid victory under Van Dyke.

The daughter of War Front was perfectly positioned stalking the pacesetter, moved to the lead in the stretch and held on to win by a length one-quarter over the rallying 17-1 longshot Lady Prancealot. Bizwhacks was third and Posh Holly fourth in the field of eleven fillies.

Summering, owned by Glen Hill Farm and trained by Tom Proctor, scored her second victory in as many starts by stepping the mile over the infield grass circuit in 1:37.15 to earn first prize of $60,000. She returned $2.60, $2.60 and $2.20. Lady Prancealot, piloted by Joe Talamo in a promising American debut, paid $8.20 and $5.80, while Bizwhacks returned $5.20.

Miss Sunset, piloted by Smith, made it two in a row in the $75,000 C.E.R.F. Stakes Monday, leveling off in the final sixteenth to win by a length and one-half as the 3-5 favorite in a field of seven older fillies and mares.

Preserving her unbeaten record at Del Mar where she is five-for-five, Miss Sunset, a daughter of Into Mischief owned by Klein and Lebherz and trained by Jeff Bonde, ran the six furlongs in 1:10.48 and returned $3.20, $2.40 and $2.10 after her tenth win in 18 career starts. Runner-up Shoe It N Moe It paid $4.20 and $3.60, while third-place Dis Smart Cat returned $7.80 to show.


MARIO GUTIERREZ (Game Winner, winner) – “He (trainer Bob Baffert) told me ‘You know how to ride good horses; go ahead and ride him like you can.’  He said he wanted me to give him a little help out of the gate, then he said he thought he’d be strong for the finish. He was so right. I’m so happy for this opportunity; I’m so happy this worked out this way.”

DRAYDEN VAN DYKE (Rowayton, second) – “That was the plan – to just go for it. He did and he ran good. He fought me on changing leads once more; he fought me on the right (lead).  But he’ll learn; he’ll get better.”

MIKE SMITH (Roadster, third) – “I don’t know what to say; I’m at a loss for words. I thought he’d run a whole lot better.”

BOB BAFFERT (Game Winner, winner) – “Going down the backside that other horse (Rowayton) was way out there and sometimes if you get out there like that you can steal a race. I just hoped my guys knew they were in good spots. I knew they’d have to sprint home. I knew coming in that (Game Winner) was coming back a little quick, but he’s a big strong heavy horse and I knew he could handle it. I’d rather run him again than keep working him. I’m a little disappointed in (Roadster) but it was only his second outing and sometimes the second out when you break their maidens they can get a little flat on you.”

(On the “other Baffert” phenomena) “We’re an equal opportunity barn and sometimes I just throw them in there when they’re doing well and they even surprise me.”


FRACTIONS:  :22.53  :45.35  1:10.05  1:23.18

The stakes win was the second of the meet, but second (Nyquist, 2015) in the Del Mar Futurity at Del Mar for rider Gutierrez. He now has 15 stakes wins at Del Mar.

The stakes win was the second of the meet, but the (record) 14th in the Del Mar Futurity for trainer Baffert.  He now has a (Del Mar record) 126 stakes wins locally.

The winning owners are Gary and Mary West of Rancho Santa Fe, CA.

Ride a Comet Scores in Del Mar Derby

Ride a Comet © Benoit

Eastern invader Ride a Comet, third in the Hall of Fame Stakes at Saratoga a month ago, made an auspicious West Coast debut Sunday with an impressive come-from-behind victory in the featured Grade II $250,000 Del Mar Derby.

With leading rider Drayden Van Dyke in the saddle, Ride a Comet surged between horses entering the stretch, overhauled even-money favored River Boyne in the final furlong and pulled away convincingly to win by a length and one-half in 1:48.11 for the nine furlongs over the infield Jimmy Durante Turf Course.

Kazan, a 50-1 longshot, rallied belatedly to shade La Jolla Handicap winner River Boyne by a half-length for the runner-up spot. Majestic Eagle was fourth in the field of a dozen three-year-olds. In an unusual occurrence, Animosity was declared a non-starter by the board of stewards, ruling that the filly was impeded from breaking cleanly from the gate.

Ride a Comet, owned by John Oxley of Tulsa, Okla., and Leonard Riggio of New York City and trained by Mark Casse, is a son of Candy Ride bred in Kentucky. Going postward at 5-1, he returned $13.60, $7 and $4. It was his fifth win in ten outings and first money of $150,000 increased the colt’s earnings to $305,856.

Second-place Kazan paid $38.20 and $12.60, while River Boyne returned $2.40 to show.

In Sunday’s supporting feature, the$100,000 Del Mar Juvenile Turf for two-year-olds, 15-1 longshot King of Speed rallied from last place turning into the stretch to catch 2-1 favored Hartel in the final sixteenth and win by three-quarters of a length under Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens.

King of Speed, a son of Jimmy Creed, entered the race as a maiden after four races. However, he had shown significant improvement when he was shifted from the main dirt track to the grass, finishing third and second.

Third in the one mile race over the infield grass circuit, was Takeo Square, a half-length back of runner-up Hartel, with Forloveofcountry fourth in the field of ten. Go Daddy Go was withdrawn from the original line-up.

King of Speed, owned by Del Secco DCS Inc., and trained by Jeff Bonde, was timed in 1:36.77 and returned $32.20, $9.40 and $5.80 while earning first money of $60,000. Second-place Hartel paid $4.40 and $3.20, while Takeo Squared returned $6.80.

Ride a Comet was Van Dyke’s third winner of the afternoon as he opened a three-victory margin on Flavien Prat, 40-37, going into Monday’s 36th and final day of the 2018 Del Mar summer season. Prat had a double Sunday.

Van Dyke apparently escaped injury in a tenth-race mishap when his mount, Toshio, swerved badly in mid-stretch, unseating the rider. Van Dyke was examined at track first aid and released and reportedly will ride Monday.


DRAYDEN VAN DYKE (Ride a Comet, winner) – “They told me he was real classy and that he had a nice kick. That was all I knew (about him).  He warmed up real well and gave me confidence. During the race it all came up perfect. Good trip all the way. When I swung him out he gave me a big kick. I knew right then we were going to win it.

“This is stressful (his battle with rider Flavien Prat for the Del Mar jockey title). But I try not to pay too much attention to it. I just keep on riding the best I can.”

(The victory, his third of the day, gives him a 40 to 37 lead over his rival.)

MARTIN GARCIA (Kazan, second) – “We had a good trip, but there was nothing to run at for my horse. They were walking up front.  He needs something to go get. But he ran big.”

FLAVIEN PRAT (River Boyne, third) – “I was in a good spot with him, but this isn’t his kind of race – to be running that forwardly.  He wants to be back and have something to run at. He ran well, but it is what it is.”

RANDI MELTON, assistant to Mark Casse (Ride a Comet, winner) – “Mark gave the instructions to Drayden. ‘Good luck, safe trip’ was all he said. I thought there was enough pace up front and Drayden had him in a perfect position. He was sitting just off the pace, like you would hope, and turning for home he just took off and I started getting really excited. First time you go a mile and an eighth there’s always a question mark, but we were pretty confident.”


FRACTIONS:    :23.97  :48.26  1:12.68  1:36.32  1:48.11

The stakes win was the (meet-leading) 10th of the session, but first in the Del Mar Derby for rider Van Dyke.  He now has 21 stakes wins at Del Mar.

The stakes win was the first of the meet and first in the Del Mar Derby for trainer Casse. He now has seven stakes wins at Del Mar.

The winner is owned by John Oxley of Tulsa, OK, and Leonard Riggio of New York City, who races under the name of My Meadowview Farm

Del Mar Daily Results and Activity

Results

Sunday, September 2
Race# Race Type Purse
Race 1 Starter Optional Claiming – $50,000 $48,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 2 Claiming – $16,000 $26,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 3 Allowance Optional Claiming – $80,000 $62,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 4 Starter Allowance – $50,000 $35,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 5 Maiden Special Weight $60,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 6 Del Mar Juvenile Turf S. $100,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 7 Maiden Special Weight $60,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 8 Del Mar Derby $250,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 9 Claiming – $20,000 $30,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 10 Maiden Special Weight $60,000 Overnight Overnight



Final Entries

Monday, September 3
Race# Race Type Purse
Race 1 Maiden Special Weight $60,000
Race 2 Claiming – $8,000 $20,000
Race 3 Maiden Claiming – $20,000 $20,000
Race 4 Del Mar Juvenile Fillies Turf S. $100,000
Race 5 C.E.R.F. S. $75,000
Race 6 Claiming – $25,000 $34,000
Race 7 Allowance Optional Claiming – $40,000 $62,000
Race 8 Maiden Special Weight $60,000
Race 9 Del Mar Futurity $300,000
Race 10 Maiden Special Weight $60,000

Vasilika Upsets Cambodia in John C. Mabee Stakes

Vasilika © Benoit Photo

Claimed for $40,000 last winter at Santa Anita, Vasilika climaxed her rise from obscurity with an upset of 4-5 favored Cambodia in the featured Grade II $200,000 John C. Mabee Stakes for older fillies and mares Saturday at Del Mar.

Under a confident ride by jockey Flavien Prat, Vasilika outfinished Cambodia in the stretch drive to score by a length and one-half and extend her victory streak to six in a row for owners Mark Schlaich of Concord, Ca., Dan Gatto of Olivenhain, Ca and George Todaro, Seattle, Wash. Jerry Hollendorfer trains the four-year-old daughter of Skipshot. Third, a neck behind Cambodia, was Fahan Mura, the early pacesetter, with Meal Ticket fourth in the field of eleven.

Withdrawn from the race were Storm the Hill, Cordiality and Midnight Crossing.

Vasilika was second choice in the betting at 4-1 and returned $10.40, $4.20 and $3.40 while earning $120,000 to increase her lifetime bankroll to $440,595. Cambodia, seeking to repeat her 2017 stakes double of the Yellow Ribbon Handicap and Mabee Stakes after taking the Yellow Ribbon July 20, paid $2.60 and $2.20, while Fahan Mura returned $4.80 to show.

Time for the nine furlongs over the infield Jimmy Durante Turf Course was 1:47.25.

Drayden Van Dyke and Prat each tripled on the 11-race program, with the former retaining a two-winner edge, 37-35, entering the final two days of the 36-day Del Mar summer season. Prat’s win on Vasilika was his second stakes success of the afternoon, having also won the Grade I $300,000 Del Mar Debutante earlier.

With a carryover of $54,880 from Friday and “new” money of $326,588 Saturday for a total Pick Six pool of $481,468, there were four perfect tickets and each returned $57,339.


FLAVIEN PRAT (Vasilika, winner) – “I had to bide my time on the turn, but when I saw a hole she gave me a great kick. Big race for her; big effort. Very impressive.”

DRAYDEN VAN DYKE (Cambodia, second) – “I wanted to be closer than usual, but it didn’t work out. Then on the turn I had traffic; but that’s turf racing. The traffic cost me. She gave me a good kick; she exploded. But I was behind the winner all the way.”

EDWIN MALDONADO (Fahan Mura, third) – “If it’s not broke, you don’t try to fix it. She’s a speed horse; that’s what she does. She went for it today, then she hung tough. She ran a good race.”

JERRY HOLLENDORFER (Vasilika, winner) – “We walked over with a lot of confidence. We respect Cambodia and Vladimir Cerin’s horse (Fahan Mura) but we thought we had a really good chance to win. She’s been training so well and doing so well.”


FRACTIONS:  :23.67  :47.25  1:11.92  1:35.44  1:47.25

The stakes win was the seventh of the meet, second of the day and second (Avenge, 2016) in the John C. Mabee Stakes for rider Prat. He now has 30 stakes wins at Del Mar.

The stakes win was the third of the meet and second (City to City, 2012) in the John C. Mabee Stakes for trainer Hollendorfer.  He now has 34 stakes wins at Del Mar.

The ownership group for Vasilika consists of Mark Schlaich of Concord, CA; Dan Gatto of Olivenhain, CA, and George Todaro of Seattle, WA.

Bellafina Triumphs in Grade I Del Mar Debutante

Bellafina © Benoit Photo

Clinching the two-year-old filly championship of the 2018 Del Mar summer racing season, Kaleem Shah’s Bellafina drew away in the stretch to win the Grade I $300,000 Del Mar Debutante in convincing fashion Saturday.

With jockey Flavien Prat in the saddle, Bellafina took the lead from the pacesetting Mother Mother going into the final turn en route to a daylight four and one-quarter length triumph in 1:25.51 for the seven furlongs. The early furlongs were quick, :21.93 for the first quarter and :44.68 for the half-mile time.

Mother Mother continued on gamely after relinquishing command and was three and one-quarter lengths in front of third-place Boujie Girl at the end. Brill, the 3-5 favorite, was a disappointment as she finished fourth, beating only 40-1 outsider Watch Me Burn.

Bellafina, an $800,000 purchase at a two-year-olds in training sale in Florida last March, went to the gate the second choice at 2-1 and paid $6.60, $3.20 and $3.20. First money of $180,000 increased her earnings to $308,000. On August 5, she won her first race in taking the Sorrento Stakes after finishing second in her career debut at Los Alamitos July 4.

Runner-up Mother Mother paid $4.20 and $3.60, while Boujie Girl returned $5.60 to show.


FLAVIEN PRAT (Bellafina, winner) – “No special instructions going in. She was more aggressive today.  I think that race the other day (when she broke her maiden August 5 here going six furlongs) got her in that mode. She was on it. Then when she made the lead, she just dropped the bit; she backed off. Can she go farther?  Well, I guess we’ll see.”

JOSEPH TALAMO (Mother Mother, second) – “My filly never got a breather. She had to run hard all the way.  The winner didn’t.”

GEOVANNI FRANCO (Boujie Girl, third) – “She ran hard. She ran well for third.”

DRAYDEN VAN DYKE (Brill, fourth) – “That wasn’t her today. She didn’t run her race. She wasn’t there for me.”

SIMON CALLAGHAN (Bellafina, winner) – “She broke sharp, she was into the bit today and she was always in good position. The race went pretty much as we thought it might and it was a really good performance. It was nice to see her really show her class at the end. I said to Kaleem (owner Kaleem Shah) that she’s the best filly I’ve trained.  She’s pretty special and I think she’s going to keep getting better.”


FRACTIONS:  :21.93  :44.68  1:10.76  1:25.51

The stakes win was the sixth of the meet and second straight (Moonshine Memories, 2017) in the Del Mar Debutante for rider Prat. He now has 29 stakes wins at Del Mar.

The stakes win was the second of the meet and second straight (Moonshine Memories, 2017) in the Del Mar Debutante for trainer Callaghan.  He now has nine stakes wins at Del Mar.

The winning owner is Kaleem Shah of Vienna, VA and San Diego, CA.

Del Mar Daily Results and Activity

Results

Saturday, September 1
Race# Race Type Purse
Race 1 Allowance Optional Claiming – $40,000 $62,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 2 Claiming – $32,000 $39,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 3 Claiming – $40,000 $42,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 4 Del Mar Debutante S. $300,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 5 Maiden Special Weight $60,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 6 Allowance Optional Claiming – $40,000 $62,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 7 Claiming – $16,000 $20,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 8 Allowance Optional Claiming – $80,000 $62,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 9 Maiden Special Weight $60,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 10 John C. Mabee S. $200,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 11 Maiden Special Weight $60,000 Overnight Overnight



Early Entries

Monday, September 3 Overnight
Race# Race Type Purse
Race 1 Maiden Special Weight $60,000
Race 2 Claiming – $8,000 $20,000
Race 3 Maiden Claiming – $20,000 $20,000
Race 4 Del Mar Juvenile Fillies Turf S. $100,000
Race 5 C.E.R.F. S. $75,000
Race 6 Claiming – $25,000 $34,000
Race 7 Allowance Optional Claiming – $40,000 $62,000
Race 8 Maiden Special Weight $60,000
Race 9 Del Mar Futurity $300,000
Race 10 Maiden Special Weight $60,000

Final Entries

Sunday, September 2
Race# Race Type Purse
Race 1 Starter Optional Claiming – $50,000 $48,000
Race 2 Claiming – $16,000 $26,000
Race 3 Allowance Optional Claiming – $80,000 $62,000
Race 4 Starter Allowance – $50,000 $35,000
Race 5 Maiden Special Weight $60,000
Race 6 Del Mar Juvenile Turf S. $100,000
Race 7 Maiden Special Weight $60,000
Race 8 Del Mar Derby $250,000
Race 9 Claiming – $20,000 $30,000
Race 10 Maiden Special Weight $60,000

Listing Makes Strong Career Debut with I’m Smokin Win

Listing © Benoit Photo

Winning a stakes in his career debut, Listing scored a one and one-quarter length upset victory in the $100,690 I’m Smokin Stakes for California bred two-year-olds on Friday at Del Mar. The unexpected win provided a fourth straight victory for jockey Mario Gutierrez and the third in a row for owners Reddam Racing LLC.

Listing, a son of Square Eddie trained by Ben Cecil, inched away between foes midstretch and prevailed to win at 22-1 odds in a field of eight. Silken Prince, a homebred son of Kafwain trained by William Morey, was favored at 8-5 odds under Flavien Prat and was fourth behind second-place Policy and third-place Oliver.

Timed in 1:11.63 for six furlongs on the main track, Listing returned $46.40, $17.40 and $7.80 while earning $57,000 as first place finisher.

Policy returned $3.80 and $3, and Oliver returned $3.20 to show.

Gutierrez has 15 wins this meet, solidifying his place among the top 10 in the jockey standings heading into Del Mar’s closing weekend.  He won the final two races on Thursday’s card and kept up the momentum to win the first and second races Friday afternoon.


MARIO GUTIERREZ (Listing, winner) – “They said he’d been doing good. They said to stay back with him and let him get some experience. (This was the winner’s first start.) He responded perfectly. He relaxed and was running great. When I got to the quarter pole, I started to get excited. Then when we turned for home a hole opened and he went right through it. I thought he might run well, but this was a surprise. A very pleasant surprise.”

DRAYDEN VAN DYKE (Policy, second) – “My horse ran good. The winner got a hole inside and slipped right on through.”

JOSEPH TALAMO (Oliver, third) – “I had a perfect trip and my horse ran well. We made the lead, but the winner ran real well, too.”

FLAVIEN PRAT (Silken Prince, fourth) – “He always breaks slow. He just didn’t have any (real) pace to run at today.”

ED FREEMAN, deputizing for Ben Cecil (Listing, winner) – “I do know a bit about the horse because he was with us here at Del Mar after the (San Luis Rey) fire before he went to Ben. He’s always been really special and talented. I wasn’t surprised (a first-time starter winning a stakes). Mr. Reddam (owner J. Paul) is never shy about giving it a shot and that’s why you give it a shot – you sit in the barn you never win, that’s for sure. Listing was perfect; he was a bit green but he handled being in among horses and when Mario (Gutierrez) asked him he responded. That’s impressive.“


FRACTIONS:   :22.39 :46.02  :58.70  1:11.63

The stakes win was the first of the meet, but second in the I’m Smokin (Wake Up Nick, 2014) for rider Gutierrez. He now has 14 stakes wins at Del Mar.

The stakes win was the first of the meet and first in the I’m Smokin for trainer Cecil. He now has 15 stakes wins at Del Mar.

The winning horse is owned and was bred by Reddam Racing, the nom du course of J. Paul Reddam of Laguna Beach, CA.

The win was the fourth in a row (two to close out the Thursday card, the first two on Friday at Del Mar) for rider Gutierrez. It was the third straight for owner Reddam and the second straight for trainer Cecil.

Del Mar Daily Results and Activity

Results

Friday, August 31
Race# Race Type Purse
Race 1 Claiming – $40,000 $42,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 2 I’m Smokin S. $100,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 3 Maiden Claiming – $80,000 $36,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 4 Claiming – $8,000 $20,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 5 Maiden Special Weight $60,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 6 Maiden Claiming – $50,000 $30,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 7 Allowance Optional Claiming – $20,000 $62,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 8 Maiden Claiming – $20,000 $20,000 Overnight Overnight



Early Entries

Sunday, September 2 Overnight
Race# Race Type Purse
Race 1 Starter Optional Claiming – $50,000 $48,000
Race 2 Claiming – $16,000 $26,000
Race 3 Allowance Optional Claiming – $80,000 $62,000
Race 4 Starter Allowance – $50,000 $35,000
Race 5 Maiden Special Weight $60,000
Race 6 Del Mar Juvenile Turf S. $100,000
Race 7 Maiden Special Weight $60,000
Race 8 Del Mar Derby $250,000
Race 9 Claiming – $20,000 $30,000
Race 10 Maiden Special Weight $60,000
Monday, September 3 Overnight
Race# Race Type Purse
Race 1 Maiden Special Weight $60,000
Race 2 Claiming – $8,000 $20,000
Race 3 Maiden Claiming – $20,000 $20,000
Race 4 Del Mar Juvenile Fillies Turf S. $100,000
Race 5 C.E.R.F. S. $75,000
Race 6 Claiming – $25,000 $34,000
Race 7 Allowance Optional Claiming – $40,000 $62,000
Race 8 Maiden Special Weight $60,000
Race 9 Del Mar Futurity $300,000
Race 10 Maiden Special Weight $60,000

Final Entries

Saturday, September 1
Race# Race Type Purse
Race 1 Allowance Optional Claiming – $40,000 $62,000
Race 2 Claiming – $32,000 $39,000
Race 3 Claiming – $40,000 $42,000
Race 4 Del Mar Debutante S. $300,000
Race 5 Maiden Special Weight $60,000
Race 6 Allowance Optional Claiming – $40,000 $62,000
Race 7 Claiming – $16,000 $20,000
Race 8 Allowance Optional Claiming – $80,000 $62,000
Race 9 Maiden Special Weight $60,000
Race 10 John C. Mabee S. $200,000
Race 11 Maiden Special Weight $60,000

DEL MAR STABLE NOTES FOR FRIDAY

Brill © Del Mar Thoroughbred Club

DAY 32

BRILL NARROWLY FAVORED ON DEBUTANTE MORNING LINE

Brill drew the No. 2 post position in a field of five and was established as the 8-5 favorite over 9-5 Bellafina on oddsmaker Russ Hudak’s morning line for Saturday’s Grade I $300,000 Del Mar Debutante.

A $1 million purchase at the Fasig-Tipton July sale in 2017 by the O X O Equine LLC stable of Lawrence Best, the 2-year-old daughter of Medaglia d’Oro made her racing debut at Del Mar on opening day of the summer meeting, July 18, and overcame a bobble at the start to win by 1 ¼ lengths. A series of works here since for the Jerry Hollendorfer trainee culminated with a bullet five furlongs in :59.80 last Saturday that was the best of 50 at the distance.

Bellafina, trained by Simon Callaghan for Kaleem Shah, was a convincing 4 ¼-length victress in the Sorrento Stakes, the major Debutante prep, on August 5.

Of the Debutante quintet, only Val Brinkerhoff-trained Watch Me Burn, who broke her maiden here on July 19 and advanced her local record to 2-for-2 on August 10, was at double-figure odds on the morning line. Watch Me Burn was a $10,000 supplemental entry to the event.

“We’re just taking a shot, maybe we can get a Grade I stakes placing on her,” Brinkerhoff said. “We had her nominated for the (Juvenile Fillies Turf) but it didn’t look like we’d be able to get in the race, so we decided to put her in (the Debutante) and try it.

“She’s a long shot, but it has happened before. She’s getting better and better. She’ll have to be a lot better to win the race, but she might. You never know.”

The field from the rail: Boujie Girl (Geovanni Franco, 8-1), Brill (Drayden Van Dyke, 8-5), Watch Me Burn (Alonso Quinonez, 15-1), Mother Mother (Joe Talamo, 2-1) and Bellafina (Flavien Prat 9-5).

The Debutante, which determines the meeting champion in the juvenile filly division, goes as the fourth race on an 11-race program that starts at 2 p.m.


CAMBODIA 5-2 FAVORITE IN FULL FIELD FOR SATURDAY’S MABEE

Cambodia, seeking to complete a Yellow Ribbon/John C. Mabee Stakes double for the second year in a row, was made the 5-2 morning line favorite in a field of 12 for Saturday’s 61st running of the event that bears the name of one of the founding members of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.

Meet-leading rider Drayden Van Dyke will be aboard Cambodia, a 6-year-old daughter of War Front. Van Dyke entered the final week of the meeting with nine stakes victories. Tyler Baze, who booted home Creative Instinct in Wednesday’s Generous Portion Stakes to kick off the final week of the meeting, has seven stakes victories.

“Seven stakes wins and 24 overall wins, that’s a pretty good meet,” Baze’s agent, Craig O’Bryan, noted Thursday morning. “People are surprised, but if you look back he’s usually in the top three or four  most meetings.

“He’s just a very good rider, very solid. He works hard and he doesn’t make too many mistakes. I thought he’d have a good meet, but you still have to be lucky.”

Baze has the mount on Cordiality for the Mabee.

“She just came off a good win in the Cal-bred (Solana Beach) Stakes. I don’t know if anybody can beat Cambodia in the Mabee, but we’ll give it a try.”

The field in post position order: Meal Ticket (Joe Talamo, 20-1), Sophie P (Kent Desormeaux, 10-1), Midnight Crossing (Brice Blanc, 20-1), Storm the Hill (Rafael Bejarano, 15-1), Fahan Mura (Edwin Maldonado, 4-1), Cordiality (Tyler Baze, 12-1), Cambodia (Drayden Van Dyke, 5-2), Achira (Gary Stevens, 15-1), Vasilika (Flavien Prat, 7-2), The Tulip (Mario Gutierrez, 15-1), Madame Stripes (Geovanni Franco, 8-1) and Cheekaboo (Tyler Conner, 20-1). Also eligible: Vagabond Princess (Martin Garcia, 20-1).

The Mabee will be the 10th on an 11-race program.


RIVER BOYNE TOPS 12 ENTERED FOR SUNDAY’S DEL MAR DERBY

Irish-bred River Boyne will seek a sixth straight victory in California, the fourth at the stakes level, when he takes on eleven rivals in Sunday’s $250,000 Del Mar Derby at 1 1/8 miles on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course.

Trained by Jeff Mullins for Red Baron’s Barn LLC or Rancho Temescal LLC, River Boyne is fresh from a 1 ¼-length victory in the Grade III La Jolla Handicap here on August 5 and will retain the services of jockey Flavien Prat.

Two entered in the Derby will have competed in all three legs of Del Mar’s summer series for three-year-olds on turf. Restrainedvengence won the opening day Oceanside Stakes and was fifth of six in the La Jolla. Arawak was sixth of 14 in the Oceanside then ran second to River Boyne in the La Jolla.

Val Brinkerhoff trains Restrainedvengence.

“We found out a little something that was wrong in the last race (La Jolla) and we’ve fixed it. I know he’ll run better this time,” Brinkerhoff said.

Post positions were to be drawn later Thursday. The entries, in alphabetical order: Andesh (Geovanni Franco), Animosity (Tyler Conner), Arawak (Rafael Bejarano), Desert Stone (Tyler Gaffalione), Epical (Tyler Baze), Kazan (Martin Garcia), Majestic Eagle (Gary Stevens), Pubilius Syrus (Kent Desormeaux), Restrainedvengence (Evin Roman), Ride a Comet (Drayden Van Dyke), River Boyne (Flavien Prat) and Take the One O One (Joe Talamo).


JOCKEY TITLE RACE REMAINS CLOSE; TRAINER? NOT SO MUCH

Drayden Van Dyke won Wednesday’s first race and Flavien Prat answered with a victory in the second. That was it for winner’s circle visits by the top two in the jockey standings and Van Dyke retained a four-win lead over the defending summer season champion entering the final five days of the meeting.

Van Dyke has 34 wins from 130 mounts, Prat 30 from 113.

They were scheduled to ride the same five races on Thursday’s card and the head-to-head matchups are likely to occur in greater numbers down to the finish, especially with 11-race cards scheduled from Saturday through Monday.

“I think it’s a great thing,” said Derek Lawson, agent for Prat. “I think we’re going to tighten it up and we’re sure not going to roll over. He rides 11 races on Saturday, he’s never ridden 11 in his life, and he’ll ride close to that on Sunday and Monday.

“He’ll have time to recover when the meeting’s over.”

The numbers reflect Peter Miller’s dominance of the trainer race. The Encinitas resident has 30 wins from 90 starters and a 13-win margin over second place Doug O’Neill.

Miller needs three wins to top  Bob Baffert’s 32 in 2000 for the most victories in a title season this century. Farrell Jones’ 35 wins in 1963 looks to be catchable for Miller, but all-time leader Red McDaniel’s 47 in 1954 might be a stretch.

Not that Miller won’t be trying. He has entered horses in the first nine races on Saturday’s card.


THIS YEAR, I’M SMOKIN COULD BE SHOWCASE FOR RUIS 2-YEAR-OLD

Ruis Racing LLC pulled off a major upset in the 2016 Del Mar Debutante when Union Strike ($17.40) trained by Shelbe Ruis, defeated American Cleopatra, a full sister to Triple Crown champion American Pharoah.

Last year Bolt d’Oro, ($9.80) trained by stable patriarch Mick Ruis, Sr., was a somewhat less surprising winner of the Del Mar Futurity.

With no Debutante or Futurity representatives in the coming weekend, it will be up to Eighty Proof in Friday’s $100,000 I’m Smokin Stakes for California-breds to extend the heavily San Diego-connected stable’s string of juvenile stakes victories to cap its Del Mar summer season.

A homebred gelded son of Coil, Eighty Proof lived up to 5-2 favoritism with a 3 ½-length victory under Martin Garcia in his 5 ½-furlong racing debut on July 26. The I’m Smokin is at six furlongs.

“He’s been doing really well since the race,” Shelbe Ruis said. “There are a couple in there that have already gone six furlongs, so the question will be if he’s comfortable at six furlongs in his second start.”

The field from the rail: Listing (Mario Gutierrez, 10-1), Bea’s Boy (Heriberto Figueroa, 15-1), Oliver (Joe Talamo, 4-1), Hey Sal (Geovanni Franco, 10-1), Irish Heatwave (Kent Desormeaux, 6-1), Silken Prince (Flavien Prat, 5-2), Eighty Proof (Martin Garcia, 5-1), and Policy (Drayden Van Dyke, 3-1).


“THE ART OF OLD FRIENDS” BOOK SIGNING SATURDAY

Artist Dagmar Galleithner-Steiner and writer Jay Hovdey will be signing copies of their new book – “The Art of Old Friends” – Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m. in the entranceway to the Turf Club/Clubhouse near the fountain.

One hundred percent of the proceeds from the book will support the retired Thoroughbreds at Old Friends Farm in Kentucky, including such luminaries of the turf as Kentucky Derby/Preakness winners Silver Charm and War Emblem, Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Alphabet Soup, Santa Anita Handicap/Hollywood Gold Cup/TVG Pacific Classic winner Game On Dude and Barbaro’s full brother, Nicanor.

Joining the artist and writer for the signing will be Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert and his wife Jill, as well as Hall of Fame rider Mike Smith.

Crafted over more than seven years, The Art of Old Friends showcases 47 stunning pastel paintings and pencil works by the renowned Galleithner-Steiner of horses both past and present, including racing heroes Charismatic, Black Tie Affair, Tinners Way, Sunshine Forever and Hidden Lake. Text in the book comes from Daily Racing Form executive columnist Hovdey and Michael Blowen, the founder of Old Friends.

Copies of The Art of Old Friends sell for $39.99.

Old Friends, a non-profit in Georgetown, KY, cares for more than 200 retired racehorses. It is open to the public daily and more information can be obtained on their website at www.oldfriendsequine.org


BONUS HANDICAPPING SEMINAR FOR CLOSING WEEKEND

There will be an extra handicapping seminar on Monday, closing day of the meeting, to go with the usual Saturday and Sunday offerings.

Rich Lochner of Today’s Racing Digest will provide the expert opinions and selections to kick things off on Saturday. Handicapper CC Rogers will do the honors as Frank Scatoni’s guest on Sunday. On Monday, John Bucalo, longtime man-about-racing who now represents Barona Casino, will handle the final day duties.

The seminars are held from 12:45-1:30 p.m. at the Seaside Terrace near the top of the stretch.


CLOSERS – Selected works from 98 on dirt and 12 on turf officially timed Thursday morning. Dirt – Royal Creed (4f, :47.60), Rubilinda (5f,  1:00.00), McKinzie (7f, 1:25.60); Turf – Fashion Business (4f, :51.40), Hunt (4f, :49.40), Majestic Eagle (4f, :51.60), Vexatious (5f, 1:02.60) …Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith has been voted the Mr. Fitz Award for typifying the spirit of racing by the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters Association. Other award winners are: Donna Barton Brothers (Jim McKay Award for Excellence in Broadcasting), Jim Gluckson (Joe Palmer Award for meritorious service to racing) and Marty McGee (Walter Haight Award for career excellence in turf writing).