DEL MAR CLOSING DAY STABLE NEWS

Madone | Benoit Photo

Flavien Prat aboard Madone © Benoit Photo

PRAT SECURES STAKES RECORD, BUT TITLE RACE IS DOWN TO THE WIRE

The victory aboard Madone in Sunday’s $75,000 Juvenile Fillies Turf was the 14th in a stakes this season for jockey Flavien Prat.

So the 28-year-old Frenchman now stands alone as the record holder for stakes victories in a meeting. Sunday’s win broke a tie with Rafael Bejarano, who won 13 in 2012 to go one better than five predecessors, three of whom – Laffit Pincay, Jr., Chris McCarron and Gary Stevens – are in the Hall of Fame.

“It’s great,” Prat said in the immediate aftermath of the win. “If you would have told me before the meet that I was going to win 14 stakes racing three days a week it would have been hard to believe. But we did it, so it’s great.”

Before the season started Prat’s agent, Derek Lawson, mentioned breaking the stakes record as a goal for Prat, who has won or shared the summer riding title in three of the last four years.

“I think it was more of a goal for Derek than it was for me,” Prat said with a grin. “But once we got really close to it, I really tried to get it, yeah.”

Prat had to work for the full 1:39.09 of the one mile race over the Jimmy Durante Turf Course for the record-setter. Madone stumbled and broke inwardly leaving the gate and settled at the back of the eight-horse field in the early going. Prat guided the Kentucky-bred granddaughter of Medaglia d’Oro, owned by Kaleem Shah and trained by Simon Callaghan, four wide into the stretch before finding a spot inside 20-1 Nimbostratus, who had taken the lead late under Ricardo Gonzalez.

Prat got his filly under the wire a half-length in front, to the delight of those who had made her the 5-2 betting favorite.

The stakes record secured, Prat’s mission to claim another riding title shifts to today’s season finale. And it, too, won’t be easy.

Prat enters the 11-race final program trailing first-year Del Mar sensation Umberto Rispoli 49-48. Rispoli, a 32-year-old native of Italy, had four wins to Prat’s two in Sunday’s penultimate program. Enough to reclaim a lead in the standings that has changed hands between France and Italy, so to speak, several times during the course of the meeting.

Two of Rispoli’s wins were in turf races, where he has 35 wins in 109 starts, a phenomenal 32 percent win rate. In Sunday’s sixth race, a 5-furlong turf sprint, Rispoli won aboard Blue Sky Baby at odds of 13-1. The $28.80 payoff had to have a lot of bettors asking themselves “How did I miss that one!” given Rispoli’s oft-proven turf mastery through the summer.

Rispoli capped his day with a victory on favored Pixelate, a Midwest invader from the barn of Michael Stidham, in the $200,000 Del Mar Derby at (naturally), 1 1/8 miles on turf.

The stakes win was the eighth of the meet for Rispoli and, he said, had some special significance.

“I’ve waited 16 years (his riding career) to wear these,” the rider said, pointing to royal blue silks of Godolphin, the racing arm of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum of Dubai.

Both are booked for 10 mounts on today’s 11race card. Rispoli sits out only the fourth race, Prat rides all but the eighth. If it comes down to the final race, Rispoli has the call on 3-1 favorite Shadow Sphinx, Prat on 9-2 third choice Klondike Creek.


MILLER SAVORS A SUMMER TITLE THAT PROVIDES PERFECT BALANCE

If there was a trophy for the summer training title, Peter Miller’s name could already be etched upon it. In fact, hyper engravers could have done so a week or two ago.

Miller, a resident of nearby Encinitas, enters the closing day program with 27 wins from 110 starters, an eight-win advantage over Phil D’Amato. Bob Baffert has saddled 14 winners and Doug O’Neill 13.

It’s the fourth summer title at Del Mar, which matches the number of fall Bing Crosby Meeting championships he has accomplished since that session was inaugurated in 2014.

“I’m thrilled and feel blessed to have such a great team to work with and this is a reflection of them all as well,” Miller said this morning. “From the hot walkers to the assistant trainers, they all give a 100 percent effort every day. And I have owners that allow me to run their horses where I think they should be and where they have a chance to win.”

When asked before the meeting to assess his title chances, Miller was not wildly enthusiastic. “I’ve got half as many horses as (Richard) Baltas, (Bob) Baffert or Doug (O’Neill) and for me to win everything has to go close to perfect,” Miller said on the eve of the July 10 opener.

In retrospect, Miller said the projection may have been conservative.

“I tend to be a sandbagger,” Miller said with a laugh. “I set my expectations a little low and hope to exceed them. It’s really a numbers game and if you can win a good enough percentage things (like titles) happen for you.”

The 25 percent win rate, from the second-highest number of starters at the meeting going into the last day, was sufficient to win the title by a comfortable margin.

“In my mind, 20 percent is a good win percentage,” Miller said. “Anything over that exceeds my expectations. Our horses ran well throughout the meeting. We didn’t really have any bad slumps and that makes a big difference.

“I’d just like to thank the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club for putting on a pretty darn good show under the circumstances.”


DEL MAR NUMBERS & PEOPLE RECEIVE KUDOS FROM RACING SECRETARY

The average field size figure will not be certified until Tuesday at the earliest.

But Del Mar Thoroughbred Club racing secretary David Jerkens projects it will be 8.3. Meaning a slight bump over the 8.0 of 2019 while running only 15 fewer races overall.  Which, considering the circumstances of a COVID-19 affected meeting, is more than acceptable.

“My goal is always 8.5, but given the circumstances, we’re pretty happy with that,” Jerkens said. “I think 8.3 is a number that many tracks would like to have.”

The job of Jerkens, and DMTC executive vice president of racing Tom Robbins, got complicated when the scheduled second weekend of racing was cancelled due to a rash of positive COVID-19 tests in the jockey colony.

“The approach, which we needed more than ever this year, is to take things one day at a time,” Jerkens said. “The pause (three-day shutdown) created a conflict for me as far as rescheduling races and redoing cards and was frustrating for horsemen. We all had to adjust and adapt.

“I say it every year, but especially this year under difficult times. Del Mar continues to get enormous support from horsemen. We were thrilled that owners were able to attend the races after we got into the meet. That was something that was very important to us, knowing how important owners are to this game.

“At the end of the day, I think most people would say it went as well as we could expect. It has been relatively safe, I’ve been thrilled with the racing surfaces.

“My goal is to present opportunities for the horsemen and a product for our customers that is worth wagering on. I think we satisfied that goal. If you look around the country, you can see that our meet is just as good as anyone’s this summer. My thanks to my staff, the horsemen and our customers.”


CLOSERS – Thanks to all Stable Notes readers. We’ll be back for the Bing Crosby meeting, October 31-November 29.


Del Mar Statistics

Presented by Torrey Hollistics

 

Jockey Standings

(Current Through September 6, 2020 Inclusive)

Jockey Mts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% In-money% Money Won
Umberto Rispoli 193 49 27 29 25% 54% $2,296,722
Flavien Prat 206 48 44 23 23% 56% $2,796,058
Abel Cedillo 236 29 33 42 12% 44% $2,135,667
Juan Hernandez 205 27 30 28 13% 41% $1,429,934
Tiago Pereira 133 20 8 10 15% 29% $816,522
Drayden Van Dyke 124 16 20 13 13% 40% $1,162,642
Ricardo Gonzalez 122 14 14 15 11% 35% $758,840
Mario Gutierrez 98 13 12 12 13% 38% $735,150
Mike Smith 59 7 9 11 12% 46% $506,012
Ruben Fuentes 82 6 10 10 7% 32% $309,702

 

Trainer Standings

(Current through September 6, 2020 Inclusive)

Trainer Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% In-money% Money Won
Peter Miller 110 27 24 6 25% 52% $1,438,472
Philip D’Amato 78 19 13 10 24% 54% $997,690
Bob Baffert 58 14 14 9 24% 64% $1,336,462
Doug F. O’Neill 113 13 20 17 12% 44% $822,845
Richard Baltas 91 12 12 14 13% 42% $723,530
John W. Sadler 72 12 11 7 17% 42% $709,370
Simon Callaghan 32 11 3 2 34% 50% $461,240
Peter Eurton 48 8 6 6 17% 42% $316,040
William Spawr 28 8 2 2 29% 43% $147,620
Mark Glatt 70 7 13 12 10% 46% $682,932

 

Winning Favorites Report
(Current through September 6, 2020 Inclusive)

Winning favorites — 93 out of 271 — 34.32%
Winning favorites on dirt — 54 out of 149 — 36.24%
Winning favorites on turf — 39 out of 122 — 31.97%
Winning odds-on favorites — 27 out of 48 — 56.25%
In-the-Money favorites — 178 out of 271 — 65.68%
In-the-Money odds-on favorites — 45 out of 48 — 93.75%

Big Fish Wins Del Mar Juvenile Turf

Big Fish | Benoit Photo

Big Fish © Benoit Photo

 

VICTOR ESPINOZA (Big Fish, winner) – “I had a good trip. The only problem I had was on the far turn when I dropped my hands just a bit and he took off. He almost ran up on the heels of the horse in front of us. But I checked him and wheeled him out. He swerved just a bit in the stretch, but nothing big. You know the kind he is; if they make the lead they get lonely out there and they want to wait for other ones to come and play.”

DAVID HOFMANS (Big Fish, winner) – “After his work the other day I was confident. I thought he was coming into this race peak perfect and we had planned for this race a long time ago. I absolutely thought he would do well on the turf. He’s bred for the turf and he showed in his last race he’s a different horse on the turf.”


FRACTIONS:  :24.00 :49.32  1:14.71  1:23.73  1:38.21

The stakes win was the second of the meet for rider Espinoza, but his first in the Del Mar Juvenile Turf. He now has 104 stakes wins at Del Mar, third most among all riders.

The stakes win was the first of the meet for trainer Hofmans and his first in the Del Mar Juvenile Turf. He now has 27 stakes wins at Del Mar.

The winning owner Legacy Ranch is Pete Parrella of Chino, CA.

DEL MAR – Maximum Security Voted Horse of the Meet for 2020

Maximum Security | Benoit Photo

Maximum Security © Benoit Photo

Gary and Mary West and partners’ Maximum Security was unanimously voted the Horse of the Meet for Del Mar’s 81st summer season in a poll of racing media.

Victories in the San Diego Handicap and the TVG Pacific Classic by the 4-year-old West Stables homebred son of New Year’s Day made the choice for Horse of the Meet and Top Older Horse easy for voters, some of whom casts ballots electronically since COVID-19 rules limited on-site attendance.

The first two starts for Maximum Security since being transferred to the care of Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert – also comeback efforts following a five-month layoff after a disputed victory in the inaugural $20 million Saudi Cup — were scintillating for racing aficionados.

In the San Diego on July 25, “Max,” as he’s known around the stable, had to dig deep into his competitive spirit to edge Midcourt by a nose. Given a month more of training under Baffert, Maximum Security produced a dominating wire-to-wire, 3-length victory in the $500,000 TVG Pacific Classic, the winner’s share of the purse putting him over $12 million in career earnings.

Maximum Security was not the only unanimous choice in the voting.

The West’s solely owned homebred Fighting Mad, a 4-year-old daughter of New Year’s Day trained by Baffert and, like Maximum Security, ridden by Abel Cedillo, was marked on every ballot for Top Older Filly/Mare as a result of her victory in the Clement L. Hirsch Stakes on August 2.

Unanimity was also expressed for the winners of the Grade I,  $250,000 stakes for 2-year-olds which highlight the final two days of the meeting. Princess Noor earned Top 2-Year-Old Filly honors off her win in the Del Mar Debutante and Dr. Schivel was Top 2-Year-Old via his victory in Monday’s Del Mar Futurity.

Other divisional honors went to Bing Crosby winner Collusion Illusion (Sprinter); Shared Belief Stakes champion Thousand Words (Top 3-Year-Old); Del Mar Oaks victor Red Lark (3-Year-Old Filly), and Red King, who took a close vote for Top Grass Horse via victory in the Del Mar Handicap.

 

Champions of Del Mar 2020

Horse of the Meeting Maximum Security
Top Sprinter Collusion Illusion
Top Grass Horse Red King
Top Older Horse Maximum Security
Top Older Filly/Mare Fighting Mad
Top 3-Year-Old Thousand Words
Top 3-Year-Old Filly Red Lark
Top 2-Year-Old Filly Princess Noor
Top 2-Year-Old Dr. Schivel

DEL MAR CLOSING DAY RESULTS

Results

Monday, September 7
Race# Race Type Purse
Race 1 Claiming – $16,000 $19,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 2 Maiden Special Weight $55,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 3 Maiden Special Weight $55,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 4 Claiming – $10,000 $22,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 5 Allowance Optional Claiming – $20,000 $57,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 6 Maiden Special Weight $55,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 7 Maiden Special Weight $55,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 8 Allowance Optional Claiming – $40,000 $57,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 9 Del Mar Juvenile Turf S. $100,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 10 Runhappy Del Mar Futurity $250,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 11 Claiming – $25,000 $31,000 Overnight Overnight

 

CLOSING DAY TODAY AT DEL MAR

Rispoli Guides Favored Pixelate to Tally in Del Mar Derby

Pixelate | Benoit Photo

Pixelate © Benoit Photo

Godolphin’s Pixelate, benefitting from yet another perfectly timed ride on the turf by Del Mar’s leading rider, Umberto Rispoli, was along in time to score by a head in the 76th running of the $200,000 Del Mar Derby Sunday at the shore oval.

The invader from the east coast — trained by Michael Stidham — had a near perfect trip saving ground and laying third for most of the run, then put it in gear down the lane for the Italian journeyman who is riding like a star in his first season at Del Mar. It was the fourth winner on the afternoon for Rispoli giving him a one-win lead – 49 to 48 — over his ace counterpart, Flavien Prat, who had a pair of victories on the card, including a stakes score that was his 14th of the meet, a Del Mar riding record. The battle for supremacy between these two exceptional riders at this 81st summer stand will come down to the 27th and final day of the meet tomorrow.

Pixelate, a homebred City Zip colt and the 3-2 favorite, returned $5.00, $3.20 and $2.80 across the board after he covered the nine furlongs in 1:50.25.  He picked up a winner’s share of $120,000 and now has a record of three wins, five seconds and three thirds in 11 starts for winnings of $311,400.

Finishing second was Alfred Pais’ Margot’s Boy, while third was Paula Capestro’s Dominant Soul.

Earlier on the card, Kaleem Shah’s Madone split horses at the head of the stretch and went gamely through the stretch under Flavien Prat to capture the ninth running of the $75,000 Del Mar Juvenile Fillies Turf at a mile on the grass by a half length.

The victory gave rider Prat his 14th stakes win of the meeting, establishing a new mark for stakes scores in a single summer session. Previously, Rafael Bejarano held the record with 13 victories set in 2012.

Madone paid $5.20, $3.00 and $2.40 across the board as the race favorite and earned a check for $$48,300 for his second victory in two starts and now shows winnings of $81,300.

CYBT, Nentwig or Altamira Racing Stable’s Nimbostratus was second across the line, but moved back to third for interference in the stretch with LNJ Foxwoods’ Ivy League, who was moved up from third to second.

Final time for the 2-year-old filly stakes was 1:39.09.

Del Mar’s closing card will take place tomorrow on Labor Day with an 11-race program on tap. First post will be at 1 p.m.


UMBERTO RISPOLI (Pixelate, winner) – “I talked to Mike (trainer Michael Stidham) this morning and we both agreed that we had the best horse in the race. I said I wanted to ride him up closer than normal for him; I told him this is a smaller tighter course, not like Churchill (Downs). He said: ‘You ride him like you want to.’ I had a great trip and he fired when he had to. I’m very happy. And I’ve waited 16 years (his riding career) to wear these (pointing to the Godolphin royal blue silks).”

GARY MANDELLA, deputizing for Michael Stidham, (Pixelate, winner) – “My dad (Richard Mandella) and Michael have been friends for a long time. Michael sends his horses here to my dad’s barn and dad sends his horses back east to Michael. I’m happy to help him win a big race. The horse arrived Thursday, galloped a couple days and he was ready to go. We didn’t do anything. My instruction to (jockey Umberto Rispoli) was ‘Did Mike call you? Yes? Then good luck.’”


FRACTIONS:  :24.63  :49.77  1:14.47  1:38.38  1:50.25

The stakes win was the eight stakes win of the meet for rider Rispoli in his first season at Del Mar.

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

The winner is owned by Godolphin, the racing arm of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum of Dubai.

 

Del Mar Daily Results and Activity

Results

Sunday, September 6
Race# Race Type Purse
Race 1 Claiming – $20,000 $27,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 2 Claiming – $25,000 $31,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 3 Allowance Optional Claiming – $62,500 $59,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 4 Maiden Special Weight $55,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 5 Maiden Claiming – $20,000 $19,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 6 Allowance Optional Claiming – $40,000 $57,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 7 Maiden Special Weight $55,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 8 Del Mar Juvenile Fillies Turf S. $75,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 9 Del Mar Debutante S. $250,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 10 Del Mar Derby $200,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 11 Maiden Special Weight $55,000 Overnight Overnight



Final Entries

Monday, September 7
Race# Race Type Purse
Race 1 Claiming – $16,000 $19,000
Race 2 Maiden Special Weight $55,000
Race 3 Maiden Special Weight $55,000
Race 4 Claiming – $10,000 $22,000
Race 5 Allowance Optional Claiming – $20,000 $57,000
Race 6 Maiden Special Weight $55,000
Race 7 Maiden Special Weight $55,000
Race 8 Allowance Optional Claiming – $40,000 $57,000
Race 9 Del Mar Juvenile Turf S. $100,000
Race 10 Runhappy Del Mar Futurity $250,000
Race 11 Claiming – $25,000 $31,000

Prat Caps Big Del Mar Day with Score in Mabee

Raymundos Secret | Benoit Photo

Raymundos Secret © Benoit Photo

Rider Flavien Prat rang the bell four times Saturday afternoon at Del Mar, the last time in the $150,000 John C. Mabee Stakes. In doing so, the 28-year-old Frenchman tied the Del Mar record for most stakes wins registered in a season by a jockey and forged ahead in his see-saw race for the 2020 riding title with Umberto Rispoli.

Prat’s winning ride in the Grade II Mabee came aboard Sierra Racing or Sterling Stables’ Raymundos Secret, who went wire-to-wire in the nine-furlong turf test to just hold off Rispoli aboard McClanahan, Iavarone or Parkland Thoroughbreds’ Lady Prancealot by a neck. Finishing third in the 63rd edition of the filly/mare stakes was Amerman Racing’s Catch the Eye.

Prat’s four-win day gave him 46 for the summer session in 25 days of racing. Rispoli, who was blanked on the afternoon, has 45.

Raymundos Secret is a 4-year-old filly by the British sire Treasure Beach who now has won five of her seven lifetime starts. This was her initial Graded stakes score. The $90,000 winner’s share of the purse pushed her bankroll up to $188,971.

Phil D’Amato trains Raymundos Secret, who paid $4.80, $2.40 and $2.40 across the board. She covered the nine furlongs in 1:48.60.

In the day’s Pick Six, a solo ticket took down the prize of $57,340.  The bettor played through the Amtote Maryland hub and invested a total of $6,454 in tickets.

Racing resumes at Del Mar tomorrow with an 11-race card and a 1 p.m. first post.


FLAVIEN PRAT (Raymundos Secret, winner) – “The plan wasn’t necessarily to go to the front; just to break her out of there and see what happens. She broke super sharp and we were on the lead. From there I just tried to get her to relax and to slow it down as best as I could. Then when we went for home, she gave me a good kick. She just had enough at the end.”

(On tying the jockey record of 13 stakes in a season.)

“It’s a good accomplishment. I’m glad for it. I’m hoping I’ve got one or two more before we’re done here, too.”


FRACTIONS:  :24.87  :48.60  1:12.52  1:36.16  1:48.60

The stakes win was the 13th of the meeting for rider Prat, tying him with Rafael Bejarano (2012) for most stakes wins by a rider in one season at Del Mar. It was his fourth victory in the Mabee, including the last two. He now has 57 stakes wins at Del Mar.

The stakes win was the second of the meet for trainer D’Amato, but his first in the Mabee. He now has 28 stakes wins at Del Mar.

The winning owners are Sierra Racing (Sean Feld of Kentucky) and Sterling Stables (Kevin Bogart of Tustin, CA).

Del Mar Daily Results and Activity

Results

Saturday, September 5
Race# Race Type Purse
Race 1 Maiden Special Weight $55,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 2 Allowance Optional Claiming – $62,500 $59,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 3 Maiden Special Weight $55,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 4 Allowance Optional Claiming – $20,000 $57,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 5 Maiden Claiming – $50,000 $28,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 6 Allowance Optional Claiming – $20,000 $57,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 7 Claiming – $16,000 $19,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 8 Allowance Optional Claiming – $50,000 $57,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 9 Claiming – $20,000 $22,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 10 John C. Mabee S. $150,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 11 Allowance Optional Claiming – $40,000 $57,000 Overnight Overnight



Early Entries

Monday, September 7 Overnight
Race# Race Type Purse
Race 1 Claiming – $16,000 $19,000
Race 2 Maiden Special Weight $55,000
Race 3 Maiden Special Weight $55,000
Race 4 Claiming – $10,000 $22,000
Race 5 Allowance Optional Claiming – $20,000 $57,000
Race 6 Maiden Special Weight $55,000
Race 7 Maiden Special Weight $55,000
Race 8 Allowance Optional Claiming – $40,000 $57,000
Race 9 Del Mar Juvenile Turf S. $100,000
Race 10 Runhappy Del Mar Futurity $250,000
Race 11 Claiming – $25,000 $31,000

Final Entries

Sunday, September 6
Race# Race Type Purse
Race 1 Claiming – $20,000 $27,000
Race 2 Claiming – $25,000 $31,000
Race 3 Allowance Optional Claiming – $62,500 $59,000
Race 4 Maiden Special Weight $55,000
Race 5 Maiden Claiming – $20,000 $19,000
Race 6 Allowance Optional Claiming – $40,000 $57,000
Race 7 Maiden Special Weight $55,000
Race 8 Del Mar Juvenile Fillies Turf S. $75,000
Race 9 Del Mar Debutante S. $250,000
Race 10 Del Mar Derby $200,000
Race 11 Maiden Special Weight $55,000

Trio of Fillies Take On The Boys in Del Mar Derby

California Kook | Benoit Photo

California Kook © Benoit Photo

Over the 76 years the race has been run, no more than a handful of fillies have stepped up to take on the boys in the Grade II, $200,000 Del Mar Derby. That was until 2020 – the year that has turned everything and everyone sideways.

This year’s edition of the “Derby” will have not one, not two, but three femmes ready to rock ‘n roll with the guys. The mile and one-eighth out of the track’s diagonal turf chute looks more like a European heat, where the girls take on the boys all the time. It also adds a delicious dimension to a test that is the conclusion of the track’s three-race grass series for sophs, led off by the RunHappy Oceanside Stakes and followed up by the La Jolla Handicap.

Sunday’s three fillies – all with serious shots to win the race – are Barber or Wachtel Stable’s California Kook, Benowitz Family Trust and Madaket Stables’ Guitty and Ben and Sally Warren’s Warren’s Showtime.

The possible favorite in the race, though, appears to be the shipper Pixelate, a colt by City Zip who is in from the east coast to tackle the west coasters and making an appearance at his seventh racetrack in what will be his 11th lifetime start. Pixelate is owned by the powerhouse outfit Godolphin and is trained by the veteran Michael Stidham. He’s run in seven straight grass stakes and has finished in the top three in all of them. Having leading rider Umberto Rispoli in the boot Sunday won’t hurt his chances.

Here’s the full field for the Del Mar Derby from the rail out with riders and morning line odds:  BKB Stables or Sherman’s American Farmer (Ricky Gonzalez, 20-1); California Kook (Flavien Prat, 5-1); Guitty (Evan Flores, 8-1); Pixelate (3-1); Todd or Shawn Hansen’s No Slo Mo (Giovanni Franco, 30-1); Wertheimer & Frere’s Kanderel (Juan Hernandez, 12-1); Warren’s Showtime (Jose Velez, 6-1); John Sondereker’s Kiss Today Goodbye (Drayden Van Dyke, 8-1); Paula Capestro’s Dominant Soul (Edwin Maldonado, 20-1); Hronis Racing’s Heywoods Beach (Jose Valdivis, Jr., 12-1); Alfred Pais’ Margot’s Boy (Tiago Pereira, 12-1), and Karl Pergola’s K P All Systems Go (Abel Cedillo, 6-1).

California Kook, a daughter of Boisterous, most recently ran second in the Grade I Del Mar Oaks locally on August 22. She’s been first or second in five of her eight starts for trainer Peter Miller.

Guitty, a French-bred, was a close-up second in the San Clemente on the grass earlier in the meet. The late-running miss works under the watchful eye of the French trainer Leonard Powell.

Warren’s Showtime, bred by his owners, has won five of 12 starts and has banked more than $460,000. She’s a daughter of Clubhouse Ride, who was trained by Craig Lewis, the man who now trains Warren’s Showtime.

The Del Mar Derby will be race No. 10 on the 11-race Sunday program and one of three stakes on the afternoon. First post Sunday is at 1 p.m.

Good With People Hangs On to Capture I’m Smokin Stakes

Good With People | Benoit Photo

Good With People © Benoit Photo

J. Kirk and Judy Robison’s homebred Good With People adjusted nicely to an equipment change and got the money in the 31st running of the I’m Smokin Stakes for California-bred 2-year-olds Friday at Del Mar.

The son of the Curlin sire Curlin to Mischief had blinkers taken off today for his third start and it settled him enough to where rider Abel Cedillo was able to save his energy early and come away with a half-length victory in the six-furlong stakes. The colt took down the $57,000 winner’s share from the total purse of $94,000 after running the six panels in 1:10.37.

Finishing second in the dash was Brown, Jr., Klein and Lebherz’s Touchdown Brown and running third was Litt or Solis II’s Tacoflarovedkisses. There were six scratches from the original field of 10 runners, so only four horses went.

Good With People paid $3.80 and $2.40.  There was no show betting.

Peter Miller trains the winner and it was his sixth stakes victory of the Del Mar meeting. It was also rider Cedillo’s sixth stakes tally of the session.

The riding star of the afternoon was the track’s leading rider, Umberto Rispoli, who scored three times, all on turf. He now has 45 first after 24 racing dates and leads Flavien Prat by three winners. Trainer Richard Baltas had a good afternoon with three victories, bringing his total for the session to 11, fourth best among all trainers.

There are three racing days left in the 81st summer season at the seaside oval and all three will start with an early post of 1 p.m. All three will have 11-race cards with six stakes races still to be run over the weekend.


ABEL CEDILLO (Good With People, winner) – “The last time I rode him (Graduation Stakes August 2), we had an easy lead and he got real tired. I suggested to Peter (trainer Miller) that we take the blinkers off to help him relax. That’s just how it worked today. We went to the front, but he did it easily. He had enough late this time to get the job done.”

PETER MILLER (Good With People, winner) – “We took the blinkers off and I think that made the big difference. He was a little too aggressive last time with the blinkers and he couldn’t see the horses coming at the end. We worked him without the blinkers and he did really well. And Abel (Cedillo) did a good job. It got a little close at the end. He looked like a winner last time, too, at the eighth pole and the 16th pole, so I wasn’t counting my eggs before they were hatched.”


FRACTIONS:  :22.48  :45.59  :57.51  1:10.37

The victory was the sixth stakes wins of the meeting for rider Cedillo, but his first in the I’m Smokin. He now has eight stakes wins at Del Mar.

The stakes win was the sixth of the meet for trainer Miller, but his first in the I’m Smokin. He now has 35 stakes wins at Del Mar.

The winning owners and breeders, J. Kirk and Judy Robison, are from El Paso, TX.