|Gio Ponti S. – Race 5, $100,000 Added|
|Comely S. – Grade 3, Race 8, $100,000 Added|
|Forever Together S. – Race 9, $100,000 Added|
|Clark S. presented by Norton Healthcare – Grade 1, Race 10, $500,000 Guaranteed|
|Hollywood Turf Cup S. – Grade 2, Race 7, $200,000 Guaranteed|
|Treasure Chest S. – Race 8, $100,000 Guaranteed|
|Mahoning Valley Race Course
|Cardinal H. – Race 5, $75,000 Guaranteed|
|First Lady S. – Race 7, $75,000 Guaranteed|
|Discovery S. – Grade 3, Race 3, $100,000 Added|
|Central Park S. – Race 7, $100,000 Added|
|Aqueduct Turf Sprint Championship S. – Race 9, $100,000 Added|
|Long Island S. – Grade 3, Race 10, $100,000 Added|
|Golden Rod S. – Grade 2, Race 9, $200,000 Guaranteed|
|Kentucky Jockey Club S. – Grade 2, Race 11, $200,000 Guaranteed|
|Jimmy Durante S. – Grade 3, Race 5, $100,000 Guaranteed|
|Seabiscuit H. – Grade 2, Race 7, $200,000 Guaranteed|
|Hollywood Derby – Grade 1, Race 9, $300,000 Guaranteed|
|Delta Mile S. – Race 8, $100,000 Guaranteed|
|Eleanor Casey Memorial S. – Race 7, $50,000 Added|
|Primonetta S. – Race 3, $100,000 Guaranteed|
|Concern S. – Race 4, $100,000 Guaranteed|
|Safely Kept S. – Race 5, $100,000 Guaranteed|
|Frank Y. Whiteley S. – Race 6, $100,000 Guaranteed|
|Thirty Eight Go Go S. – Race 7, $100,000 Guaranteed|
|Richard W. Small S. – Race 8, $100,000 Guaranteed|
|Mahoning Valley Race Course
|Glacial Princess S. – Race 3, $75,000 Guaranteed|
|Ruff/Kirchberg Memorial H. – Race 6, $75,000 Guaranteed|
|Autumn Days S. – Race 7, $100,000 Added|
|Fall Highweight H. – Grade 3, Race 8, $100,000 Added|
|Tepin S. – Race 9, $100,000 Added|
|Cecil B. DeMille S. – Grade 3, Race 7, $100,000 Guaranteed|
|Matriarch S. – Grade 1, Race 9, $300,000 Guaranteed|
|Jean Lafitte S. – Race 7, $100,000 Guaranteed|
|My Trusty Cat S. – Race 8, $100,000 Guaranteed|
|Falls City S. – Grade 2, Race 10, $200,000 Guaranteed|
|Red Carpet H. – Grade 3, Race 6, $100,000 Guaranteed|
|Thanksgiving Classic S. – Race 8, $125,000 Guaranteed|
Benoit PhotoThe Del Mar meet has benefited from dry weather. Last year, two racing days were rained out.
Del Mar officials are projecting significant double-digit growth in all-sources handle for the current autumn meeting, which ends this Sunday.
Through last Sunday, the 11th day of the 15-day season, all-sources total handle showed an increase of 25 percent over the corresponding meeting in 2019, according to track chief financial officer Mike Ernst.
Several weeks of dry weather this month, more racing days this year, simulcasting of Breeders’ Cup races from Keeneland on Nov. 6-7, and an increase in average field size have contributed to the growth.
Last year, the autumn meeting lost two days of racing from a 15-day season because of excessive rain. Conditions have been dry this year and the forecast is favorable this weekend. In 2019, the Breeders’ Cup races were held at Santa Anita the week before the start of the Del Mar autumn meeting.
Through Sunday, fields have averaged 7.62 runners per race compared to 7.11 runners during a similar time last year. The complete 2019 meeting averaged 7.43 runners per race.
The increase in all-sources handle this year has largely been generated through account-wagering sources. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, Del Mar is not open to the public, but has hosted a small number of owners each day. Business at the California simulcast network of other racetracks and satellite locations has been curtailed because of the pandemic.
“Fortunately, the wagering has held up,” Ernst said. “Overall, it’s been strong.”
Before the start of the meeting on Oct. 31, overnight purses were raised approximately 10 percent compared to the 2019 autumn meeting.
Ernst said an increase in all-sources handle was part of pre-meet projections.
“We fully expected we were going to beat that,” he said. “We didn’t expect to beat that by 25 percent.”
Fair Grounds Lover is 5-for-6 Locally
New Orleans (November 24, 2020) – Autumn Hill Farms Racing Stables Inc.’s Bobby’s Wicked One will look to rediscover his best form and try to repeat in the $125,000 Thanksgiving Classic when he starts as the one to catch in Fair Grounds’ Opening Day stakes. The 6-furlong dash is the first of 51 stakes worth $7.055 million at the 76-day meet, which will be run for the 149th time, and this year’s renewal is as deep and competitive as any in recent memory.
Bobby’s Wicked One (post four, 4-1 ML, Miguel Mena to ride), a 5-year-old son of Speightstown trained by All Stall, Jr., figures to welcome a return to a Fair Grounds main track that he’s 5-for-6 over lifetime. Last in both the Count Fleet (G3) behind subsequent Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Whitmore at Oaklawn Park in April and Volatile in the Aristides at Churchill Downs June 6, Bobby’s Wicked One will race fresh on Thursday. Stall opted for a planned summer freshening after the Aristides, with an eye towards Fair Grounds and a winter campaign, and Bobby’s Wicked One, who is 6-for-17 lifetime, including a win in the Commonwealth (G3) at Keeneland in April 2019, has responded well.
“He just hasn’t been a summer horse, so it’s normal for us to give him some off time. He ran those two bad races but physically there was nothing wrong,” Stall said. “He usually wilts a bit in the heat and has proven to be a winter horse, so we’re looking forward to leading him over for another go Thursday.”
Bobby’s Wicked One put in his final piece of work with a sharp 5-furlong move in 1:00 over the local main track, the second-fastest of 45 drills at the distance. While he does enter off a five-month layoff, Stall is eagerly looking towards a title defense.
“Physically, and moving-wise, he’s come back better than ever this fall. He’s gotten that last bit of maturity in him and you’re going to see a very thick, strong horse in the paddock,” Stall said. “We weren’t able to get a prep off the bench but he’s a fresh, sharp horse, so hopefully he breaks running and we can get over to the rail. For whatever reason, he’s a very confident horse when he can get to the rail, from what Miguel has told me.”
Susan Moulton’s Manny Wah (post 5, 3-1, James Graham) may be winless in seven starts this year for trainer Wayne Catalano but you could argue he enters with the best recent form of any of his seven rivals. He comes in off a close and troubled fifth-place in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Keeneland on November 7. The 4-year-old son of Will Take Charge was third in both the Count Fleet and Aristides and is 3-for-21 lifetime. He hasn’t missed a beat since his Keeneland run, which may have surprised everyone but his trainer.
“We thought he was live as a firecracker that day and with the layout of the race we thought we were a winner, but he gave up the spot to the 7 (Whitmore) and that was it,” Catalano said. “I think we’ll be in the catbird seat (Thursday) off the speed, pull the trigger, and go baby, go.”
ERJ Racing LLC, Madaket Stables LLC, and Dave Kenney’s Landeskog (post six, 4-1, Colby Hernandez) will look to get untracked after a disappointing sixth at odds-on in Pimlico’s Oct. 3 Frank J. DeFrancis Memorial Dash (G3). The 4-year-old son of Munnings returned from a 10-month layoff and posted a decisive win in an optional-claimer at Ellis Park in August while making his first start for trainer Brad Cox but seemed to regress at Pimlico. Landeskog is 3-for-7 lifetime, and figures to be pressing Bobby’s Wicked One the entire way.
Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC and Stonestreet Stables LLC’s Nitrous (post two, 7-2, Adam Beschizza) was third, beaten just a head, in the DeFrancis for trainer Steve Asmussen and will look to break a nine-race losing streak. The 4-year-old son of Tapit is 3-for-17 lifetime and has faced some of the best in the sprint division since winning the Bachelor at Oaklawn in April 2019.
Gary Broad’s Tringale (post one, 12-1, Mitchell Murrill), second to Bobby’s Wicked One in last year’s renewal, has been working bullets in the morning for his first start since April; Brittlyn Stable Inc.’s Chublicious (post three, 20-1, Angel Suarez), fifth in the 2018 renewal; Winning Stables Inc.’s He’s Smokin Now (post seven, 20-1, Marcelino Pedroza), a restricted stakes winner at Canterbury Park earlier this year; and Erma Cobb’s Mr Money Bags (post eight, 9-2, Carlos Marquez), who won the Stonerside Sprint at Sam Houston in January, are also entered for the Thanksgiving Classic.
The Thanksgiving Classic is the eighth race on a strong 10-race Opening Day card, with a scheduled post of 3:35 p.m. CT. Weather permitting, the will be four turf races (R3,R5,R7, R9), along with an MSW for 2-year-olds (R6) that could have a direct impact on the “Road to the Derby” series, which culminates March 20, with the 108th running of the $1 million Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby (G2).
The meet kicks off at 12:00 p.m. CT and will mark the return of a traditional early and late Pick 5, which will encompass the first and last five races of the card, with the latter replacing the Black Gold 5 jackpot bet. In addition, there will be a daily early Pick 4 (R2-5), and late Pick 4 on the last four races of the day, as well as a middle Pick 4 when there are 10 or more races. A pocket schedule, along with a complete list of the stakes schedule, can be found here: https://www.fairgroundsracecourse.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/2020-2021-THOROUGHBRED-RACING-AND-STAKES-CALENDAR.pdf
Oscar Dominguez © Benoit Photo
A wide-open edition of the $200,000 Hollywood Turf Cup – a handicapping delight for those who like the challenge of a well-matched and highly competitive field – will be the day-after treat this Friday at Del Mar as a dozen turfers will ramble a mile and one-half in the seventh local running of the Grade II offering.
The marathon will go as Race 7 on the nine-race Thanksgiving Friday card. Though 14 horses have been named to run, only 12 will go due to safety considerations. The two also-eligibles will get a chance if there is a scratch in the main body of the field.
A trio of out-of-towners add special spice to the handicapping stew – Donegal Racing, Bulger and Coneway’s Arklow, Manfred Ostermann’s Laccario and Agave Racing Stable or Sam-Son Farm’s Say the Word. They’ll all be making their Del Mar debuts.
The race also has drawn its defending champion – Messineo or Sands’ Oscar Dominguez, who rallied through the lane to win by a neck over turf star United in last year’s running. It additionally has lured back a pair of runners who have been there before – Mr. & Mrs. Larry Williams’ Ward ‘n Jerry, third in the Turf Cup last year, and Little Red Feather and Tavares’ Marckie’s Water, fourth in the 2018 edition of the race.
Here’s the lineup for the feature from the rail out with riders and morning line odds: Messino and Sands’ North County Guy (Mario Gutierrez, 15-1); Oscar Dominguez (Irad Ortiz, Jr., 15-1); Little Red Feather, Jacobsen or Belmonte’s Red King (Umberto Rispoli, 5-1); Say the Word (Flavien Prat, 5-1); Arklow (Joel Rosario, 5/2); Old Bones Racing Stable, Slam Dunk Racing or Nentwig’s Gregorian Chant (Ricky Gonzalez, 20-1); The Ellwood Johnston Trust, Timmy Time Racing or Tevelde’s Acclimate (Tyler Baze, 12-1); Laccario (Manny Franco, 3-1); Ward ‘n Jerry (Jose Valdiva, Jr., 20-1); Benowitz Family Trust, Madaket Stables or Mathiesen’s Proud Pedro (Juan Hernandez, 20-1); Marckie’s Water (Tiago Pereira, 30-1), and Team Block’s Another Mystery (Mike Smith, 10-1). The two also-eligibles are Red Baron’s Barn or Rancho Temescal’s Tartini (Baze on a second call, 30-1) and CYBT, Nentwig or Weiner’s Fivestar Lynch (Abel Cedillo, 30-1).
If you look in the money-won column, it is “no contest” in this one with the 6-year-old Arch horse Arklow the biggest of the big dogs. The bay named for an Irish seaside town about 35 miles south of Dublin has banked $2,546,116 in his stellar career so far and shows seven wins and seven seconds from 30 starts. Twenty-four of those starts have been in stakes races, including outings in the last three runnings of the Breeders’ Cup Turf. This will be the 12th different racetrack where the stretch runner has performed and the 11th time he’s run a mile and one half. He’s trained by Brad Cox, currently the second-leading trainer in the country with more than $17 million in purses this year.
Say the Word, a 5-year-old Canadian-bred gelding by More Than Ready, comes into the race off a smart win in the Grade I Northern Dancer Stakes at Woodbine on October 18. A winner of five races and $445,292 in purses, the stretch runner has been shifted to the barn of trainer Phil D’Amato for his West Coast debut.
Say the Word is one of four horses D’Amato has entered in the marathon. The others are Red King, winner of the Del Mar Handicap here on August 22; Gregorian Chant, a 4-year-old gelding looking for his first stakes win, and Acclimate, a 6-year-old gelding making his first start since running in the Breeders’ Cup Turf in 2019 at Santa Anita.
Loccario is a German-bred 4-year-old colt who ran in his homeland up until an allowance start at Belmont Park on October 3. He was a Group I winner overseas and now takes his training from H. Graham Motion.
First post for the Friday card is 12:30 p.m.
Harold Lerner LLC, Magdalena Racing and Nehoc Stables’ $350,000 Alcibiades (Grade I) winner Simply Ravishing will lead a field of 10 promising juvenile fillies that were entered in Saturday’s $200,000 Golden Rod (GII) at Churchill Downs.
The Golden Rod has helped launch several fillies on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks including eventual Oaks winners Monomoy Girl, Rachel Alexandra and Silverbulletday. The 1 1/16-mile race is carded as Race 9 with a post time of 4:57 p.m. The race shares the spotlight on Saturday’s 12-race program with the $200,000 Kentucky Jockey Club (GII). First post is 1 p.m.
Simply Ravishing, trained by Kenny McPeek, was a dominant 6 ¼-length winner of the Oct. 2 Alcibiades at Keeneland. The Laoban filly finished fourth in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (GI) on Nov. 6 behind Vequist, Dayoutoftheoffice and Girl Daddy.
The three-time winner will be ridden by 2020 Preakness Stakes (GI) winning jockey Robby Albarado from post No. 8.
Among the other rivals to Simply Ravishing in the Golden Rod is Kueber Racing’s undefeated $98,000 Rags to Riches winner Coach. Trained by Brad Cox, Coach is a perfect 3-for-3 in her young career. She’ll be joined in the starting gate by stablemate Travel Column. Owned by OXO Equine, Travel Column dazzled on debut by 4 ¼ lengths and returned with a third-place effort behind Simply Ravishing in the Alcibiades.
Joe Talamo will have the call aboard Coach from post 3 while Florent Geroux will ride Travel Column from post 5.
The Golden Rod field also includes WinStar Farm, Blazing Meadows Farm and Michael Lewis’ three-time Ohio-bred stakes winner Alexandria and Six Column Stables, Randy Bloch, Jim Gladden and Riverview Racing’s New York-bred stakes winner No Mo’ Spending.
The complete field from the rail out (with jockey and trainer): Lady Lilly (Tyler Gaffalione, Steve Asmussen); No Mo Spending (Chris Landeros, Ian Wilkes); Coach (Talamo, Cox); Farsighted (Julien Leparoux, Rusty Arnold II); Travel Column (Geroux, Cox); Clairiere (Ricardo Santana Jr., Asmussen); Lady Traveler (Corey Lanerie, Dale Romans); Simply Ravishing (Albarado, McPeek); Princess Theorem (John Velazquez, Brendan Walsh); Alexandria (Gerardo Corrales, Tim Hamm).
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