Del Mar Shifts Opening Day to July 10; Will Race on Friday – Sunday Summer Schedule

The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club announced today its intention to begin the 2020 summer race meet on July 10 and employ a three-day-a-week race schedule pending the approval of the California Horse Racing Board at its June 11 meeting.

Further, following guidelines issued by San Diego County public health officials, California state officials and in consultation with other public health experts, the track’s traditional summer meeting is preparing to operate without spectators, but will continue to work with state and local officials to adopt any changes as they happen. In all cases, Del Mar will follow similar COVID-19 protocols that have enabled racing to be conducted safely in California and throughout the country.

“We’re coming back and we’re going to put on the most unique show in Del Mar history,” said Del Mar’s CEO, Joe Harper. “It’s going to look different, it’s going to feel different, but it’s going to be first-class horse racing at Del Mar and in these unusual times that’s something to look forward to.”

Originally scheduled to open its 81st summer season on Saturday, July 18, Del Mar is planning a schedule change to start Friday, July 10 with racing on a Friday-Saturday-Sunday basis throughout the summer, closing with a four-day week on Labor Day Monday, September 7. The track will offer 10-race cards on Fridays and Sundays and 11-race cards on Saturdays. Opening Day will be an exception to the schedule with an 11-race program and Labor Day will offer 10 races.

The new schedule calls for 291 races over nine weeks. The track carded 297 races over its eight-week 2019 summer meeting.

“We want to begin the meet earlier and offer horsemen the same number of opportunities to run as we have for the last several summer seasons,” said Tom Robbins, DMTC’s executive vice president of racing. “We’ve had inquiries from new trainers from across the country who are interested in sending horses to Del Mar, which is encouraging.  And because the San Diego Fair was cancelled this year, our track maintenance team will be preparing our racing surfaces earlier and we’ll be able to have horses on-site sooner than in the past. It will be a little different, but we’re confident we can present the same high caliber racing that fans, owners and trainers have come to expect.”

Racing at Santa Anita is scheduled to conclude June 21. Los Alamitos will offer Thoroughbred racing from June 26 through July 5. Both tracks have been operating live racing without fans and with only essential personnel under strict protocols in response to COVID-19.

“Over the past several weeks Del Mar has joined with other racing industry leaders to develop extensive operating procedures to permit horse racing in a way that ensures the safety of all employees, stakeholders and our horses,” said Josh Rubinstein, DMTC’s president and COO. “A number of medical experts throughout the country have provided guidance and helped us develop a comprehensive plan. DMTC’s planning has benefitted from additional direction and aid from local experts such as Scripps Health’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Ghazala Sharieff, and her colleagues.”

Rubinstein praised local health and elected officials.

“San Diego County’s Health & Human Services Agency and its elected officials, working in concert with state officials, have done an incredible job ensuring San Diego stays safe during this difficult time,” he said. “We are grateful for their leadership, guidance and positive feedback as we implement our safety guidelines that follow the stringent protocols that have been successful at California’s other Thoroughbred racing facilities.”

Even without spectators, Del Mar’s racing season is important to the continued economic viability of California’s horse racing industry. The regular care and training of racehorses in the state supports thousands of jobs, housing and health care services for workers, as well as hundreds of local small businesses and family farms.

Wagering on Del Mar’s races will continue remotely via on-line platforms like TVG and at off-track betting locations around the world. In 2019, 90% of wagering on Del Mar’s races took place off-track and during the recent “Safer At Home” guidelines in many states Internet wagering has surged.

Del Mar will present its traditional stakes schedule with some minor modifications. The full stakes schedule will be released May 29.

The track’s broadcast partner – TVG – will provide enhanced Del Mar coverage throughout the summer.  NBC Sports is currently broadcasting TVG on its popular NBCSN channel.  Discussions are on-going for including Del Mar in these future national broadcasts.

First post daily throughout the summer will be at 2 p.m.

View on the Web:

Got Stormy Prevails in Grade I Matriarch Stakes

Got Stormy © Benoit Photo

Gary Barber’s Got Stormy, the 7-5 favorite ridden by Tyler Gaffalione, strengthened her claim to year-end honors as the top female runner over grass in 2019 with an authoritative victory in the featured Grade I $300,000 Matriarch Stakes on Sunday, closing day of Del Mar’s fall Bing Crosby season.

Always well-positioned in mid-pack, Got Stormy moved powerfully into contention on the far turn, came to the outside in the stretch to assume command from Juliet Foxtrot and wasn’t seriously threatened by the fast-closing Daddy Is a Legend, winning by three-quarters of a length.

Got Stormy’s time of 1:34.24 was the fastest for the Matriarch Stakes since it was first run at Del Mar in 2014. The race previously was held at Hollywood Park.

Daddy Is a Legend, ridden by Manny Franco, was three-quarters of a length in front of third-place Juliet Foxtrot, with Toinette fourth in the field of eleven fillies and mares.

Got Stormy, a four-year-old daughter of Get Stormy trained by Mark Casse,  registered her eighth success in 18 starts and first prize of $180,000 pushed her earnings to $1,430,578. She came into the Matriarch from a second-place to Uni in the Breeders’ Cup Mile a month ago.

Got Stormy returned $4.80, $3.20 and $2.40. Daddy Is a Legend paid $5.60 and $3.60, while Juliet Foxtrot returned $3.60 to show.

TYLER GAFFALIONE (Got Stormy, winner) – “Funny. I told Mark (Casse, trainer) in the paddock: ‘I think this race might set up just like the Fourstardave (at Saratoga on August 10 where she came from well back to win easily). And if it does, we’ll win.’ Sure enough, it was exactly like that race. Perfect. She just sat back there nice and relaxed and then when it came time she was gone.”

MANUEL FRANCO (Daddy Is a Legend, second) – “I got squeezed at the start and I just clipped the heels of the 10 horse (Giza Goddess) just a bit. Then I was too far back and there was too much to do. It was unfortunate.”

FLORENT GEROUX (Juliet Foxtrot, third) – “She ran a good race. No excuses. The winner was best today.”

MARK CASSE (Got Stormy, winner) – “She’s amazing. Put her on a van, put her on a plane, she just goes wherever and runs. We kept hearing that she’d only won one Grade I, so we had to fix that. She’s been through a lot in the last month but she just keeps fighting. You don’t get a lot like her.  She’ll definitely stay in training next year.”

FRACTIONS:  :22.55  :45.55  1:10.18  1:22.30  1:34.24

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

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

The winning owner is Gary Barber of Los Angeles, CA.

The winning time (1:34.24) is the fastest running of the race since it has shifted to Del Mar.


Mark Casse © Benoit Photo


Got Stormy had her head out over the stall webbing Sunday morning, a braid in her forelock dangling down one side of her chestnut face.

Trainer Mark Casse smiled, stepped up to make a small adjustment, brushing the braid to the side, then addressed the question posed to him. What were the similarities and differences of the the 4-year-old filly, the 5-2 morning line favorite for Sunday’s Grade I $300,000 Matriarch Stakes, to recent standouts like Tepin, Lexie Lou and Wonder Gadot that he had conditioned?

“I think Got Stormy has proven herself to be pretty exceptional,” Casse said. “I think she did that at Saratoga this summer when she came back off seven days rest and won the Fourstar Dave against the boys and broke the track record by almost a second.

“That made her a Grade I winner and that puts her in a special category in my book.”

Being placed in the company of Tepin, female turf champion of 2015-16 and Wonder Gadot, the Canadian champion 2-year-old filly of 2017 who went on to win the first two legs of that country’s Triple Crown at 3, is high praise. But Casse sees some similarities.

“She’s probably a little more like Tepin than Wonder Gadot,” Casse said. “Tepin was able to make her own racing luck a lot of times because of her tactical speed. She didn’t do that when she was younger, but as she got older she did. And so has (Got Stormy).

“I think one of the keys to Got Stormy getting better is her mind. When she was a 2 and 3-year-old she was a little on the nervous side and things bothered her. She’s gotten to be an old pro now.”

Got Stormy, owned by Gary Barber, followed the Fourstar Dave victory with runner-up finishes in the Woodbine Mile and Breeders’ Cup Mile, the latter on November 2 at Santa Anita. The Matriarch had long been under consideration and Casse said the long-range forecasts of rain at Del Mar, realized when three inches came down over a two-day period at midweek, weren’t a deterrent to Got Stormy making her first Del Mar appearance.

“It was a concern,” Casse said. “But if it (turf course) was a bog, we would have scratched and sent her back (east). Gary never puts pressure on us about things like that, he always wants to do what’s right. I thought the turf was pretty darn good (Saturday). I think she’ll be fine on it.”

Casse is always glad to come to Del Mar, a place he’s likened to heaven on earth for trainers based on experiences when he brought a string out for the entire 2014 season and ship-ins for major races since. Casse saddled four stakes winners in 2014, won the Del Mar Oaks (Dream Dancing) and Breeders’ Cup Mile (World Approval) in 2017 and took the Del Mar Derby with Ride a Comet in 2018.

His 2014 venture was to avail his stable of the final synthetic surface season before Del Mar and Santa Anita switched back to dirt surfaces. With a return to synthetics in California being a topic of discussion, Casse will be an interested observer from his bases in the east. He’s clear about his personal preference, however.

“I personally think the day of dirt racing should be history,” Casse said. “My hope would be that we could get California to go back to synthetics and maybe we can get New York to follow. Kentucky will be the hardest, they call them Kentucky hard boots for a reason.”


$100,000 Grade III Jimmy Durante. Paco Lopez, in from Florida, notched the first of his three stakes wins on the day aboard Alms for trainer Michael Stidham. Laura’s Light, trained by Peter Miller and ridden by Abel Cedillo, was second.

“I brought him out here and then he beats me in the Durante,” said Miller with a laugh later. “I love Paco. He’s a great rider and great person.”

Questions about how the turf course held up through days of rain were answered.

“The course was good,” Lopez said. “I’d heard about all the rain here, but the course was very good. Not soft; just right.”

$100,000 Grade III Red Carpet. Zuzanna, a 5-year-old mare claimed for $8,000 and nurtured through a throat problem that required surgery, got an ideal trip under Lopez and pulled off a $48 upset. Trainer Bob Hess, Jr. did the claiming for his longtime friend, TVG host Kurt Hoover, and other pals. Hess planned to send Zuzanna to Florida to race next week but opted for the Red Carpet at Hoover’s suggestion.

“It’s not about necessarily winning a stakes race, it’s about doing it with your friends and family,” Hess said. “And Zuzanna is part of our family.

“It’s wonderful that in our game the way it is right now, with all the issues we’ve had … This filly is getting up there in age, and she is pristine healthy from every possible aspect.”

$200,000 Grade II Seabiscuit. Next Shares, a 6-year-old Archarcharch gelding who had lost six straight since his 2019 debut in January at Santa Anita, pulled off a $56.40 upset under Jose Validivia, Jr., for trainer Richard Baltas.

It was the 12th stakes win at Del Mar overall but the first in seven years for Valdivia, who turns 45 on December 8.

Baltas said the rain-softened turf was definitely a factor in Next Shares’ favor – “For him it’s always good to have a little cut in the ground” – as was a good trip.

“I never gave up on him,” Baltas said. “He just had a couple of bad trips.”

$300,000 Grade I Hollywood Derby – Lopez capped his big day, this time to Miller’s benefit, guiding Mo Forza to a three-quarter length victory.

Said Lopez: “Here I am. Del Mar. Big horses. Good jockeys. And I get to win three stakes. You’ve got to be lucky. I was today.”


Drayden Van Dyke and Abel Cedillo notched one win each on the Saturday program to remain tied for the lead atop the jockey standings. Van Dyke has 12 wins from 50 mounts, Cedillo 12 from 61.

Flavien Prat and Rafael Bejarano, winless from a combined 13 mounts Saturday, are tied for third with eight wins and will need a daily win total approaching the track record to get a share or win outright.

Cedillo and Prat are scheduled to ride seven of the 10 races on the closing day card, Van Dyke and Bejarano six each.

Richard Baltas and Peter Miller saddled one winner each on Saturday, allowing Baltas to maintain a four-win advantage, 10-6 over Miller, and all-but-mathematically wrap up his second Del Mar training title. Baltas’ first was shared with Phil D’Amato in the summer of 2017. Barring a comeback, Miller will have a streak of three straight Bing Crosby training titles ended.

Baltas has three representatives on the final card, Miller five.

CLOSERS – Racing returns to Del Mar for the 81st summer season July 18 to September 7, 2020 and the seventh Bing Crosby season October 31 – November 29 … Thanks to all Stable Notes readers. Happy Holidays and good luck to all.

Del Mar Daily Results and Activity


Sunday, December 1
Race# Race Type Purse
Race 1 Allowance Optional Claiming – $40,000 $53,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 2 Maiden Special Weight $52,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 3 Cecil B. DeMille S. $100,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 4 Allowance Optional Claiming – $62,500 $55,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 5 Hollywood Turf Cup S. $200,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 6 Claiming – $12,500 $22,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 7 Matriarch S. $300,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 8 Maiden Special Weight $52,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 9 Allowance Optional Claiming – $40,000 $53,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 10 Maiden Special Weight $52,000 Overnight Overnight



Toinette © Benoit Photo


The odds delineate the situation for Neil Drysdale-trained Toinette in Sunday’s Grade I $300,000 Matriarch Stakes, the culmination of the seven-stakes “Turf Festival” that begins with four graded events Saturday.

Toinette, based at Del Mar or Santa Anita for an entire four-race 2019 campaign that began with an allowance win here in August, is the 7-2 third choice on Russ Hudak’s morning line. The first, second and fourth and fifth choices, – the only others in the field of 11 starting off at single-figure odds – are all invaders from the east.

They are: Got Stormy (5-2), Juliet Foxtrot (3-1), Significant Form (9-2) and Daddy Is a Legend (8-1).

But if Toinette, a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Scat Daddy who will be ridden by Flavien Prat, is cast in the role of local hope, that hope is very legitimate.

“She fits,” said Prat’s agent Derek Lawson. “She fits very well. The shippers are very good and they’ve got Grade I experience and Got Stormy has a Grade I win. But Toinette ran a huge race in the Goldikova and we think she’s going to be one of the best turf mares in the country next year.”

A $110,000 purchase at the Keeneland September sale in 2016, Toinette made her only start as a 2-year-old at the 2017 Del Mar fall meeting. A three-year-old campaign of four wins in five starts started and ended at Santa Anita with assignments in Kentucky and New York in between.

A racing break from October of 2018 to August of this year ended with a comeback win in an allowance at Del Mar which was followed by a third in the Grade II John C. Mabee here and wins in the ungraded Swingtime and Grade II Goldikova at Santa Anita. All except the Mabee have been at the one mile distance of the Matriarch.

Prat has been aboard for six of Toinette’s last eight starts, the times absent due to conflicting commitments on standout mare Vasilika.

“Toinette has always been a horse we’ve wanted to stay close to,” Lawson said. “This (Matriarch) is obviously is the biggest race of her career to this point, but we’re looking forward to it. She’s got an explosive turn of foot. When Flavien sets her down, she really responds.”

The field from the rail: Storm the Hill (Rafael Bejarano, 20-1), Lakerball (Evin Roman, 30-1), Significant Form (John Velazquez, 9-2), Mucho Unusual (Abel Cedillo, 15-1), Toinette (Flavien Prat, 7-2), Simply Breathless (Drayden Van Dyke, 15-1), Got Stormy (Tyler Gaffalione, 5-2), Painting Corners (Paco Lopez, 30-1), Daddy Is A Legend (Manuel Franco, 8-1), Giza Goddess (Brice Blanc, 20-1) and Juliet Foxtrot (3-1).

The Matriarch goes as the seventh of 10 races on a Sunday program starting at noon.


The Jimmy Durante course will be listed as “good” for Saturday’s first four of seven graded stakes that constitute the Turf Festival on the final two days of the Bing Crosby fall meeting.

The grounds at Del Mar have been inundated with 4 ½ inches of rain over the past two weeks and turf racing was limited to preserve the surface for the stakes bonanza. Sunny and windy conditions Friday, when all races were contested on the main track, helped dry the course enough to merit the “good” rating that turf superintendent Leif Dickinson predicted in an interview with Tod Leonard of the San Diego Union-Tribune.

“It’s going to be on the softer side, but good,” Dickinson said.

It passed the eye test from horsemen sending out workers on the main track Saturday morning.

“It looks fine,” said Leandro Mora, assistant to trainer Doug O’Neill. “There was a lot of rain on it, and if this were a new turf course I might be worried. But it’s been here for a long time and it looks good to me.”

The four stakes races on the Saturday program will be run on the turf course but the 10th race, a maiden special mile, will be switched to the main track to preserve the grass for Sunday’s final three stakes. As a result of the change, scratches reduced the field from 14 to eight.

The main track, which was listed as “good” for the first seven races on Friday before being upgraded to “fast” for the final two, remains “fast.”


Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella will send out Goliad in the Grade III $100,000 Cecil B. DeMille Stakes for 2-year-olds and United in the Grade II $200,000 Hollywood Turf Cup Sunday.

“They’re two nice young colts that we’ve had a lot of hopes for,” Mandella said Saturday morning. “We hope those hopes will be fulfilled.”

Goliad, a Ramona Bass homebred son of War Front, debuted at Santa Anita on September 28 with a neck victory in a turf mile and was beaten a neck by DeMille rival Hariboux under similar conditions at Del Mar 16 days ago. The DeMille is also a mile on turf.

“He’s a big, growing, immature colt that hopefully will get better as he goes,” Mandella said.

United, a winner of three of 10 lifetime starts with earnings of $822,891 for owners LNJ Foxwoods, was edged in the final strides by Horse of the Year candidate Bricks and Mortar in the $4 million Breeders’ Cup  Turf on November 2 at Santa Anita.

“He has been training well since,” Mandella said. “The weather hasn’t affected us any more than anybody else. We missed one day of training, but that’s it.”

Mandella said he’ll leave assessing the competition and strategizing until race day.

“No sense losing any sleep before you have to,” Mandella said.


Drayden Van Dyke notched one win and Rafael Bejarano scored twice as racing resumed Friday. The win allowed Van Dyke to forge a tie for the lead in the jockey standings. The double moved Bejarano into strong contention for the riding championship entering the final two days of the meeting.

Van Dyke’s victory aboard Bold Endeavor ($38.00) in the seventh race moved him back into a tie for the lead with Abel Cedillo. Van Dyke has 11 wins from 43 mounts, Cedillo the same number from 54 rides.

Bejarano, who counts the 2015 Bing Crosby meeting among his six Del Mar jockey titles, won aboard Don’tteasethetiger (3rd, $13.40) and Winning Element (4th, $9.40) to move into a tie for third with Flavien Prat. Bejarano has eight wins from 42 mounts, Prat is 8-for-38.

Prat is booked to ride eight of the 10 races Saturday. Cedillo and Van Dyke each have seven mounts and Bejarano five.

None of the training leaders saddled a winner on Friday, leaving Richard Baltas with a 9-5 lead over Peter Miller and Mike Puype atop the standings. Baltas is 9-for-30 and Miller 5-for-25, while Puype has hit with half of his 10 starters.

Baltas is scheduled to saddle 10 representatives on Saturday, Miller will send out four and Puype two.

CLOSERS – The Pick Six carryover for Saturday’s card, after there were no tickets with six on Friday, is $125,176. The Pick Six begins with the fifth race … Joe Talamo, two wins shy of career No. 2,000, is booked to ride four on Saturday, among them Uncle Bull for Mark Casse in the Grade I Hollywood Derby.

Next Shares Upsets in Seabiscuit Handicap

Next Shares © Benoit Photo

Rallying on the rail into and through the stretch, 26-1 longshot Next Shares and jockey Jose Valdivia, Jr., won the Grade II $200,000 Seabiscuit Handicap Saturday.

When the leading horses drifted out turning into the stretch, Next Shares took advantage of the opportunity to surge to the lead and then had enough left to resist the late challenge of 3-2 favored Sacred Life and win by a half-length in 1:42.00 flat for the mile and one-sixteenth over the infield grass course.

River Boyne was third, a head back of the runner-up and a length and one-half in advance of fourth-place Majestic Eagle in the field of nine older runners. Cleopatra’s Strike was scratched.

Owned by Iavarone, McClanahan and Dunn and trained by Richard Baltas, Next Shares, a Kentucky-bred son of Archarcharch, scored his seventh victory in 29 starts. First money of $120,000 increased his career bankroll to $1,677,771.

Next Shares paid $56.40, $14.40 and $8. Sacred Life returned $3.40 and $2.60, while River Boyne returned $3.80 to show.

JOSE VALDIVIA, JR. (Next Shares, winner) – “I had to wait for room (on the turn). I was between Flavien (Prat on River Boyne) and Johnny (Velazquez on Ritzy A.P.). When Flavien went one way, I went the other.  The hole opened up for me and this horse was there. I knew I was on a lot of horse all the way. I just needed a spot to run.”

JAVIER CASTELLANO (Sacred Life, second) – “I had to check pretty good near the quarter. And it’s a short stretch here and I just didn’t have enough time to get there in the end.”

FLAVIEN PRAT (River Boyne, third) – “He ran a good race.”

RICHARD BALTAS (Next Shares, winner) – “I think f-or him it’s always good to have a little cut in the ground. He doesn’t like the firm turf, he likes it a little softer. It was very rewarding. I never gave up on him (1 for 7 in 2019); he just had a couple bad trips. I didn’t do any rain dances. I’m running seven or eight horses on the grass and those that like it will run well and those that don’t won’t. This horse was ready today and had a great trip.”

FRACTIONS:  :23.51  :47.96  1:12.11  1:35.97  1:42.00

The stakes win was the first of the meet and the first in the Seabiscuit for rider Valdivia.

He now has 12 stakes wins at Del Mar (the last coming in 2012).

The stakes win was second of the meet, but first in the Seabiscuit for trainer Baltas. He now has 13 stakes wins at Del Mar.

The winning owners are Michael Iavarone of Halesite, NY, and Jerry McClanahan and Chris Dunn.

Mo Forza, Lopez Win Grade I Hollywood Derby

Mo Forza © Benoit Photo

Providing jockey Paco Lopez with his third graded stakes victory of the afternoon, Mo Forza, the 5-2 betting choice, took advantage of a perfect trip to win the featured Grade I $300,000 Hollywood Derby at Del Mar Saturday.

Well-positioned from the start of the nine-furlong grass contest while saving ground, Mo Forza engaged pacesetting Neptune’s Storm at the top of the stretch and gradually wore down his rival in the final furlong, winning by three-quarters of a length in 1:48.57.

It was Mo Forza’s third straight win, having broken his maiden in late September at Santa Anita and then winning the Grade II Twilight Derby on Breeders’ Cup weekend at odds of 18-1.

Neptune’s Storm, game in defeat under jockey Abel Cedillo, was a half-length in front of third-place Standard Deviation, with Digital Age a rallying fourth in the field of a dozen three-year-olds. Kingly was scratched.

Mo Forza, a son of Uncle Mo, is owned and was bred in Kentucky by the Bardy Farm of Barry and Dyan Abrams. Co-owner is OG Boss, nom de course of Onofrio Pecoreio. The colt is trained by Peter Miller.

Earning a prize of $180,000 with his third success in eight starts, Mo Forza returned $7.60, $4.60 and $3.40. Neptune’s Storm paid $6.40 and $4.20, while Standard Deviation returned $5 to show.

Lopez’s previous stakes winners Saturday were Alms in the Jimmy Durante and Zuzanna in the Red Carpet.

PACO LOPEZ (Mo Forza, winner) – “You can look good when you’re riding the best horse in the race. You’ve just got to get lucky (and get on that horse). I was using my hands on him during the running. I took a bit of a hold on him.  I think he liked my hands. When we made the lead (in the stretch), he was waiting (on other horses). But we got busy. Today was a special day for me. (This was his third stakes win on the afternoon.) Here I am:  Del Mar. Big horses. Good jockeys. And I get to win three stakes. You’ve got to be lucky.  I was today.;”

ABEL CEDILLO (Neptune’s Storm, second) – “He broke good, and nobody seemed to want the lead so I took it. He was running easy and I thought we’d get there. He ran great. That was a hard one to lose.”

JOHN VELAZQUEZ (Standard Deviation, third) – “We ran out of racetrack. We just got a little too far back. I had a good trip otherwise.”

PETER  MILLER (Mo Forza, winner) – “Really nice horse and a super ride. He got banged pretty good coming out of the gate but he came back strong. I think it’s just maturity (for improvement in last two starts). I’d like to say it was some genius trainer move, but I’d be lying. I’ve always been high on this horse. He’s always shown a lot of ability but it has taken time for him to put it all together, but we knew he had it in him.”

FRACTIONS:  :23.90  :48.22  1:12.44  1:36.62  1:48.57

The stakes win was the third of the meet (and third of the afternoon), but first in the Hollywood Derby for rider Lopez. He now has three stakes wins at Del Mar.

The stakes win was the second of the meet, but first in the Hollywood Derby for trainer Miller. He now has 29 stakes wins at Del Mar.

The owners of Mo Forza are Bardy Farm of Barry and Dyan Abrams, along with OG Boss, which is the nom du course for Onofrio Pecoreio.

Del Mar Daily Results and Activity


Saturday, November 30
Race# Race Type Purse
Race 1 Maiden Claiming – $32,000 $22,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 2 Jimmy Durante S. $100,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 3 Allowance Optional Claiming – $80,000 $53,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 4 Red Carpet H. $100,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 5 Allowance Optional Claiming – $40,000 $53,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 6 Seabiscuit H. $200,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 7 Maiden Special Weight $52,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 8 Hollywood Derby $300,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 9 Claiming – $16,000 $17,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 10 Maiden Special Weight $52,000 Overnight Overnight

Final Entries

Sunday, December 1
Race# Race Type Purse
Race 1 Allowance Optional Claiming – $40,000 $53,000
Race 2 Maiden Special Weight $52,000
Race 3 Cecil B. DeMille S. $100,000
Race 4 Allowance Optional Claiming – $62,500 $55,000
Race 5 Hollywood Turf Cup S. $200,000
Race 6 Claiming – $12,500 $22,000
Race 7 Matriarch S. $300,000
Race 8 Maiden Special Weight $52,000
Race 9 Allowance Optional Claiming – $40,000 $53,000
Race 10 Maiden Special Weight $52,000

Del Mar Daily Results and Activity


Friday, November 29
Race# Race Type Purse
Race 1 Maiden Special Weight $52,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 2 Maiden Claiming – $40,000 $28,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 3 Claiming – $16,000 $20,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 4 Claiming – $32,000 $33,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 5 Maiden Claiming – $50,000 $29,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 6 Maiden Claiming – $32,000 $22,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 7 Starter Allowance – $50,000 $30,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 8 Allowance Optional Claiming – $40,000 $53,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 9 Maiden Claiming – $32,000 $22,000 Overnight Overnight

Early Entries

Sunday, December 1 Overnight
Race# Race Type Purse
Race 1 Allowance Optional Claiming – $40,000 $53,000
Race 2 Maiden Special Weight $52,000
Race 3 Cecil B. DeMille S. $100,000
Race 4 Allowance Optional Claiming – $62,500 $55,000
Race 5 Hollywood Turf Cup S. $200,000
Race 6 Claiming – $12,500 $22,000
Race 7 Matriarch S. $300,000
Race 8 Maiden Special Weight $52,000
Race 9 Allowance Optional Claiming – $40,000 $53,000
Race 10 Maiden Special Weight $52,000

Final Entries

Saturday, November 30
Race# Race Type Purse
Race 1 Maiden Claiming – $32,000 $22,000
Race 2 Jimmy Durante S. $100,000
Race 3 Allowance Optional Claiming – $80,000 $53,000
Race 4 Red Carpet H. $100,000
Race 5 Allowance Optional Claiming – $40,000 $53,000
Race 6 Seabiscuit H. $200,000
Race 7 Maiden Special Weight $52,000
Race 8 Hollywood Derby $300,000
Race 9 Claiming – $16,000 $17,000
Race 10 Maiden Special Weight $52,000

Grade I Hollywood Derby Headlines Stakes Bonanza at Del Mar

Mo Forza © Benoti Photo

Featuring the Grade I $300,000 Hollywood Derby as the headliner of a ten-race program Saturday, Del Mar will present a bonanza of stakes events on the final weekend of the 2019 fall Bing Crosby season.

In addition to the Hollywood Derby which attracted 13 three-year-olds competing at nine furlongs on the infield grass course, three other stakes will be run, also on turf – the Grade III $100,000 Jimmy Durante Stakes for two-year-old fillies at one mile; the Grade III $100,000 Red Carpet Handicap at a mile and three-eighths for older fillies and mares, and the Grade II $200,000 Seabiscuit Handicap for older Thoroughbreds at a mile and one-sixteenth.

Post time for the first race Saturday will be half-an-hour earlier than usual, at 12 noon. The meeting is scheduled to conclude Sunday, the closing-day card topped by the Grade I $300,000 Matriarch Stakes for older fillies and mares. Post time Sunday also will be 12 noon for the first of ten races.

The Hollywood Derby lured a quartet of highly-regarded invaders from the East Coast to take on the locally-based sophomores – the Chad Brown-trained duo of Irish-bred Digital Age and Standard Deviation, plus the Mark Casse-conditioned Uncle Bull and Mr Dumas from the barn of trainer John Ortiz.

Much-improved Mo Forza, an 18-1 upset winner of the Twilight Derby a month ago at Santa Anita, will be seeking to prove that triumph was no fluke. Six sophomores who chased him home that afternoon are also entered Saturday – Succeedandsurpass, second; Neptune’s Storm, third; Henley’s Joy, fourth; Kingly, fifth; Originaire, seventh and Nolde, eleventh. Completing the Derby line-up are Proud Pedro and Moody Jim.

Morning line-maker Russ Hudak made Neptune’s Storm the lukewarm 9-2 favorite in a wide-open Hollywood Derby, followed by Mo Forza at 5-1.

In the Jimmy Durante Stakes, Hudak pegged Princess Caroline as the early choice at 7-2, while Siberian Iris is 5-2 on the Red Carpet line and Sacred Life is also at 5-2 as the favorite in the Seabiscuit Handicap.