Tuesday, September 4, 2018

LOS ALAMITOS RACING STARTS THURSDAY



CYPRESS, Calif. ---The condition book for the upcoming Los Angeles County Fair meet is now online at losalamitos.com.  

           The 12-day season will begin Thursday, Sept. 6 and continue through Sunday, Sept. 23. Racing will be conducted on a Thursday-Sunday basis with post time 1 p.m.

           A new stakes race has also been added to the LACF stakes schedule. The addition is the $100,000-guaranteed Los Alamitos Special. The race is for 3-year-olds & up at 1 ¼ miles. It will be offered Sunday, Sept. 16.

          The holdovers on the schedule are the $75,000 Beverly J. Lewis for 3-year-old fillies at six furlongs (Saturday, Sept. 8), the $75,000 E.B. Johnston for 3-year-olds & up – bred or sired in California – at one mile (Saturday, Sept. 8), the $100,000 Barretts Debutante for 2-year-old fillies offered at any Barretts sale at 6 ½ furlongs (Saturday, Sept. 15) and the $100,000 Barretts Juvenile for 2-year-old colts & geldings offered at any Barretts sale at 6 ½ furlongs (Saturday, Sept. 22).

         




NOTES DEL MAR


Stable Notes
September 3, 2018


DAY 36

MILLER, DEL MAR SET TO WRAP UP AN EXCEPTIONAL SEASON

The question, frequently asked of horsemen and Del Mar Thoroughbred Club personnel at this time of year, was put to trainer Peter Miller.

Are you glad or sad to see the summer season coming to an end?

“A little of both,” Miller said Monday morning. “From one aspect, when you’re winning and doing well, you’d kind of like it to continue. But even then, it takes its toll, physically, mentally, socially, every way you can think of, and there comes a time when you need a break.”

Miller will send out representatives in two races on Monday’s final card of the 79th summer season. He’ll draw the curtain on what he’s described as a “dream” season and the best meeting of his 30 years as a trainer.

He enters the final day with 31 wins 16 seconds and 13 third-place finishes from 113 starters, a 27 percent win rate and 53 percent in-the-money figure. Miller, 51 and an Encinitas resident, long ago secured his third summer season training title – Doug O’Neill trails by 10 entering the final day. Miller will be seeking a third straight title at the Bing Crosby Fall meeting when racing returns to Del Mar on Friday, November 9.

“It has been incredible,” Miller said. “It’s not something I would have anticipated happening. I didn’t come into the meeting thinking I could be leading trainer, I was just hoping to have a solid meeting and win some races. But things just fell into place, the horses ran well and we had some luck, too.”

Miller’s 31 wins is one shy of the most in the 2000s (Bob Baffert, 2000) and tied for second with the victory totals of O’Neill in 2010 and John Sadler in 2008-09.

“It’s a team effort,” Miller said. “It’s my name on the program, but there are 40 people behind me that do the work. I have a great team of grooms, hot walkers, exercise riders at the stables. And I have great owners who let me put their horses in spots where I think they have the best chance to win.

“Racing is the ultimate team sport.”

DERBY AND JUVENILE TURF WINNERS COME OUT OF RACES WELL

Del Mar Derby winner Ride a Comet and Juvenile Turf winner King of Speed were both fit and happy following Sunday’s efforts, their handlers reported.

Trainer Mark Casse shipped Ride a Comet in from the east seeking the firm turf wasn’t always to be found at Saratoga or Woodbine, and was rewarded when the Candy Ride colt rallied under Drayden Van Dyke for a 1 ½-length victory in the Grade II $250,000 event.

“He looks good, happy and bright-eyed and he ate up well,” Casse assistant Randi Melton said of Ride a Comet on Monday morning. “Mark was ecstatic. He’s always been high on the horse since he bought him at the sale. He’s a multiple stakes winner now and you’ve got to be happy about that.”

Ride a Comet will be headed for Churchill Downs late Tuesday night, but Melton didn’t rule out the possibility of a return for the fall meet, a decision that Casse and the owners John C. Oxley and My Meadowview Farm will make.

Trainer Jeff Bonde said that King of Speed was in good shape Sunday morning.

“We’re excited, that was a very nice win,” Bonde said. The victory provides encouragement to consider the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf in November for the Kentucky-bred son of Jimmy Creed and that’s the plan, Bonde said.

The next step in that direction will be the Zuma Beach Stakes at Santa Anita on October 8.

Bonde has a chance to enhance an already successful closing weekend when he saddles 7-5 morning line favorite Miss Sunset in the $75,000 CERF Stakes for California bred fillies and mares, the fifth of 10 races on the closing day program.

Miss Sunset, a 4-year-old daughter of Into Mischief, is the defending race champion and has nine wins from 17 starts and more than $800,000 in career earnings.

“She’s coming off a (three-month) layoff and we’re expecting she’ll run a big race,” Bonde said. “She tries every time and we’re hoping to get her to $1 million in earnings.”

GARY STEVENS GETS STAKES WIN NO. 100 AND REMEMBERS NO. 1

The victory on King of Speed was No. 100 for jockey Gary Stevens at Del Mar.

“Oh wow,” trainer Jeff Bonde said when informed of the milestone after the race. “We talked it over and with the speed in the race, Gary said he was just going to take back, save all the ground and make one run. That’s just what he did.”

Stevens, 55, was a 22-year-old not long out of Idaho when he rode Tsunami Slew to victory in the 1985 Eddie Read Handicap.

“Tsunami Slew would get really nervous and wash out, but I got along really good with the horse in the mornngs,” Stevens recalled. “I warmed him up before the race and he started to get a little bit nervous so I walked him over to the outside fence, where there was a hedge in those days. He stuck his head in there and started eating the leaves.

“I just left him alone, but I was thinking Eddie Gregson is probably wondering what the hell I’m doing right now and I hope these things aren’t poisonous.

“He chilled out and walked to the gate and we went wire to wire. I remember the race like it was yesterday. He was a cool horse, but he was a little nutso. Sometimes the Seattle Slew came out in him.”

ADVANTAGE VAN DYKE AS JOCKEY RACE GOES TO CLOSING DAY

Drayden Van Dyke had three wins on Sunday to two for Flavien Prat. Van Dyke goes into the closing day program with a 40-37 lead over the defending champion in search of what would be the first major Southern California title for Van Dyke.

Van Dyke has six scheduled mounts and Prat eight, so mathematically, the race for the title is still on.

But Prat is more a realist than optimist knowing what he’s up against in momentum-driven Van Dyke.

“It’s over,” Prat said as he reported to ride workouts early Sunday morning. “It is what it is. I had a good meet: the wins and money are about the same as last year; I won two Grade I stakes (Bing Crosby, Del Mar Debutante) but the three-day suspension (over Pacific Classic weekend) killed me.”

The lineup for the day:

Van Dyke—Summering (4th, 6-5), Lake Time (5th, 8-1), Flagstaff (7th, 3-1), Rayana (8th, 7-2), Rowayton (9th, 3-1) and Nevermissesabeat (10th, 5-1).

Prat – Bank Walker (3rd, 7-2), Angel Alessandra (4th, 5-1), Classy Tune (5th, 3-1), Comes the Dream (6th, 4-1), King Cause (7th, 10-1), My Sweet Baboo (8th, 6-1), Spin Lightning (9th, 6-1), and The Hunted (10th, 6-1).

Also of interest is the race for the title of top apprentice rider. Assael Espinoza enters the day with 20 wins and six riding assignments, Heriberto Figueroa has 19 wins and four mounts.

A VERY GRATIFYING MEET FROM RACING OFFICE PERSPECTIVE

Racing Secretary David Jerkens had thanks Monday morning to the horsemen and his office staff for a meeting that was successful by any measure.

While the number won’t be finalized until after the last race is run, Jerkens projected average field size to be 8.7 or 8.8, up a tick from the 8.6 of the 2017 summer season.

“I believe we’ll be up around 50 starters from a year ago,” Jerkens said. “I’m pleased with that and with the racing product we’ve been able to put out there every day.

“It’s been a good meet in terms of safety. Credit to Dennis Moore (Director of Track Maintenance) and Leif Dickinson (Turf Course/Grounds Superintendant) the track surfaces have performed well, both turf and dirt.

“The owners and horsemen have supported Del Mar every day through the entry box and enabled us to put out the best program we can every day for the players and fans.

“In terms of quality and field size, the meet was pretty much everything you could ask for.”

CLOSERS – Selected works from 102 officially timed Monday morning: Skye Diamonds (3f, :37.00), Dabster (5f, 1:00.40), Roman Rosso (5f, 1:00.80 … David J. Beltran’s latest work, with co-author William A. Miller is  “Rex C. Ellsworth, Racing’s Cowboy King,” an unauthorized biography of the horseman whose homebreds like Swaps, Terrang,  Prove It, Candy Spots and Olden Times achieved some great things in the mid-20th century. Ellsworth was the leading owner at Del Mar in 1954. The self-published work is available for on-line purchase…In addition to being jockey Mario Gutierrez’s agent, Tom Knust is branching out into producing films. His current project, set in Vietnam during the war, is entitled “Ducks In A Tree” … Thanks to all Stable Notes readers. With luck, we’ll be back for the Bing Crosby Fall Meeting, which begins on Friday, November 9.






Van Dyke, Miller Ride Stellar Seasons to Meeting Titles






Drayden Van Dyke went from six behind in the rider standings to one in front with a Del Mar record-tying seven wins on Sunday, August 19, and tenaciously held on through the final 11 days of the meeting to secure his first major Southern California riding championship at the 79th Del Mar summer meeting.

The 23-year-old native of Louisville, Ky., overtook defending champion Flavien Prat, who was serving a three-day suspension at the time, to take a 26-25 lead and finished the meeting with 42 wins to 37 for Prat. It tied for the highest win total since 2014.

Van Dyke had won titles at the brief Los Alamitos meetings during an Eclipse Award-winning apprentice campaign in 2014, but the championship was a first at Del Mar or Santa Anita in five years on the circuit.

Miller said he had no expectations of a third training title coming into the meeting. But the wins started piling up and Miller went from tied for the lead after two weeks to three wins in front after 15 days, to seven in front entering the fifth week. He maintained the advantage entering the next-to-last week of the meeting, boosted the lead to 12 entering the final week and coasted home.

Miller finished with 31 wins from 114 starters with 16 second and 13 third-place finishes, a 27 percent win rate and 53 percent in-the-money figure. Doug O’Neill was second with 21 wins.

Miller’s total was tied for second in the 21st Century at Del Mar, one short of 32 posted by Bob Baffert in 2000.

Van Dyke was also the top rider for stakes wins with nine. Prat and Tyler Baze had seven each. John Sadler had eight stakes victories, tying a personal record at Del Mar, highlighted by the victory by Accelerate in the $1 million TVG Pacific Classic.




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.





BAFFERT'S 14 TH WINNERS DEL MAR FUTURITY


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.






2018 Spinaway

Miss Sunset Wins the C.E.R.F. Stakes Race 5 at Del Mar 9/3/18

Game Winner Wins the Del Mar Futurity (Grade I) Race 9 at Del Mar 9/3/18

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Sneaking Out Wins Race 7 at Del Mar 9/2/18

King of Speed Wins the Del Mar Juvenile Turf Race 6 at Del Mar 9/2/18

DEL MAR DEBUTANTE





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.





JOHN C MABEE STAKES





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 Wins the Del Mar Debutante (Grade I) Race 4 at Del Mar 9/1/18

Bellafina Wins the Del Mar Debutante (Grade I) Race 4 at Del Mar 9/1/18

Vasilika Wins the John C. Mabee Stakes (Grade II) Race 10 at Del Mar 9/1/18

Thursday, August 30, 2018

THURSDAY







GENEROUS PORTION STAKES







Sent postward the 2-5 favorite under jockey Tyler Baze, Creative Instinct didn’t disappoint as she drew off in the stretch to win the featured $100,000 Generous Portion Stakes for California-bred two-year-old fillies Wednesday.

Creative Instinct, owned by Gary Barber and trained by Del Mar’s leading conditioner this summer, Peter Miller, shook loose from the first-time starting Mucho Unusual in upper stretch and went on to win by two and one-quarter lengths. Mucho Unusual, competing gamely in her career debut, held second by five and one-half lengths over Swing Thoughts, with Time for Suzzie fourth in the field of six fillies. Give Me a Hint was scratched.

Creative Instinct, a daughter of Creative Cause, ran the six furlongs in 1:12.24 and returned $2.80, $2.20 and $2.10 after notching her second win in as many starts. First money was $60,000. Mucho Unusual, who was ridden by Flavien Prat, paid $3 and $2.60, while Swing Thoughts returned $3.40.

`There were no perfect tickets in Wednesday’s Pick Six, so Thursday’s Pick Six will begin with a carryover of $39,053. Post time for the first race is 2 p.m.

TYLER BAZE (Creative Instinct, winner) – “She ran good. She’s a big filly; huge. With a long stride on her. She’s going to be so much better when they go two turns. Can’t wait for that. I’m having a heckuva summer. Best in a while. Working hard. So’s my agent (Craig O’Bryan). That’s how you get it done.”

FLAVIEN PRAT (Mucho Unusual, second) – “She ran an excellent race. First time. She really ran well.”

TYLER CONNER (Swing Thoughts, third) – “Good race for her. Good try.”

PETER MILLER  (Creative Instinct, winner) – “The first-time starter (Mucho Unusual) ran a huge race and gave us a real battle, but I think Creative Cause’s experience and fitness paid off the last eighth of a mile. We’ll keep her against Cal-bred company for as long as we can, but she’s a quality filly. Once she won (her August 1 debut), the plan was to go in this stakes and it’s nice when a plan comes to fruition.“

FRACTIONS:  :22.48  :46.03  :58.59  1:12.24

The stakes win was the seventh of the meet and second (Coastal Strike, 2004) in the Generous Portion for rider Baze. He now has 37 stakes wins at Del Mar. (Baze’s previous best season for stakes wins at Del Mar was 2004 when he also won seven.)

The stakes win was the fourth of the meet, but first in the Generous Portion for trainer Miller. He now has 23 stakes wins at Del Mar.

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









Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Creative Instinct Wins the Generous Portion Stakes Race 7 at Del Mar 8/2...

GENEROUS PORTION STAKES




Seven lightly-campaigned California-bred two-year-old fillies will tangle Wednesday in the featured $100,000 Generous Portion Stakes at Del Mar.

The six-furlong sprint attracted Be Lifted Up, Drayden Van Dyke; Time for Suzzie, Heriberto Figueroa; Give Me a Hint, Kent Desormeaux; Dichotomy, Mario Gutierrez; Mucho Unusual, Flavien Prat; Swing Thoughts, Tyler Conner, and Creative Instinct, Tyler Baze.

With the exception of Mucho Unusual, making her career debut, all of the Generous Portion entrants are winners. Time for Suzzie and Dichotomy come into the race from stakes efforts. The former was a well-beaten fourth behind Naughty Tiger in the C.T.B.A. Stakes, while Dichotomy was eighth of ten behind the impressive Bellafina in the Sorrento Stakes.

Scoring victories in their most recent races were Be Lifted Up, claimed for $32,000 from a maiden event; Give Me a Hint, a nine and one-quarter length winner in $50,000 maiden claiming company, and Creative Instinct, successful in a Cal-bred maiden special weight race by three and three-quarter lengths.

Swing Thoughts won her next-to-last outing, while Mucho Unusual, a daughter of Mucho Macho Man trained by Tim Yakteen, will be competing for the first time.







Sunday, August 26, 2018

Friday, August 24, 2018

Shenandoah Queen Wins the Tranquility Lake Stakes Race 7 at Del Mar 8/24/18

NOTES FROM DEL MAR

DAY 28








PAT O’BRIEN FIELD IN FLUX WITH STAR SCRATCHES CONTEMPLATED

Reigning Breeders’ Cup Sprint champion Roy H and Ransom the Moon, winner of the 2017 and 2018 Bing Crosby Stakes, are potential scratches from Saturday’s Grade II $200,000 Pat O’Brien Stakes, their trainers said Friday morning.

If so – and notifications aren’t required until close to post time – the seven-furlong event will lose considerable star power from what gave it “race of the meeting” potential when entries were taken and post positions drawn on Wednesday.

Catalina Cruiser, the unbeaten (3-for-3) impressive winner of the San Diego Handicap, and defending Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile champion Battle of Midway, are still set to run. They will be heavily favored to reap the benefits of a “Win and You’re In” qualifier for the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile even though four other horses of lesser accomplishment are also entered.

Trainers Peter Miller and Phil D’Amato, who respectively map the campaigns of Roy H and Ransom the Moon, cited long-term goals for Breeders’ Cup races in November at Churchill Downs as the reasons for pulling out of the O’Brien.

“Ransom the Moon is not going to run,” D’Amato said. “We’re going to look at either the Santa Anita Sprint Championship (Saturday, October 6) or the DeFrancis Dash (mid-September at Laurel Park in Maryland). I really just want to run him in one (Breeders’ Cup) prep. If I run him now, it’s sitting on him for 10 weeks before the Breeders’ Cup and that’s a long time for the horse.

“The spacing is just so much better for those other races to have him ready to give 100 percent against the best horses in the world.”

Miller cited similar concerns regarding Roy H, runner-up to Ransom the Moon in the Bing Crosby and a career earner of more than $1.7 million. More than $1.2 million of that was produced in a 2017 campaign of five wins in six starts – a mark marred only by a second to Ransom the Moon in the Crosby – that culminated with a one-length victory in the $1.5 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint here last November.

“The horse is doing fine, I think he’d win the race,” Miller said. “But winnng (this) race is not the end game. If it’s going to cost me winning the Breeders’ Cup, that’s not a good trade off. So, I think we’re going to be prudent.

“I’m not afraid of any of those horses. We don’t duck anybody. But seven-eighths of a mile could knock him for a loop, and two months in front of the Breeders’ Cup, I don’t think that’s very smart.”

Via text later Friday morning, Miller said: “The only caveat to all of that is if the race fell apart and tons of scratches.”

The field, currently, from the rail out: Catalina Cruiser (Drayden Van Dyke, 8-5), Vorticity (Tiago Pereira, 20-1), Threefiveindia (Joe Talamo, 15-1), Roy H (Paco Lopez, 3-1), Ransom the Moon (Flavien Prat, 5-2), Horse Greedy (Stewart Elliott, 20-1), St. Joe Bay (Tyler Baze, 10-1) and Battle of Midway (Mario  Gutierrez, 8-1).

WORLD TRAVELER YULONG WARRIOR SET FOR U.S. DEBUT

Yulong Warrior, a Florida-bred son of Street Cry, returns to his home country for Saturday’s $100,000 Shared Belief Stakes and to resume a career that has thus far taken him to Ireland and the United Arab Emirates.

Purchased for $180,000 at the Keeneland September sale in 2016 by the China-based Yulong Stable, Yulong Warrior made four starts as a two-year-old in 2017 on

turf courses in Ireland and was second or third each time in fields that numbered from five to 13 runners.

Shipped to Dubai and switched to dirt for his three-year-old campaign, he won two of three starts from January to early March, both wins coming from front-running efforts. Entered in the $2 million UAE Derby, Yulong Warrior proved no match for Mendelssohn – neither did any of the seven other rivals in an 18 ½-length romp – and finished seventh of nine.

Soon thereafter, trainer Doug O’Neill got a call from bloodstock agent Mick Donohoe, asking if O’Neill had room for a good three-year-old in his stable. O’Neill said yes, and Yulong Warrior has put in a string of works, at Santa Anita and here, for the one-mile Shared Belief for three-year-olds on dirt.

“He’s a good-sized horse and he has some speed,” O’Neill said. “We just don’t know if it’s the kind of speed we’re used to over here. This was an opportunity to test him against his own age group, so we’ll see what happens.”

The field from the rail: Cool Bobby (Mario Gutierrez, 5-2), Afleet Ascent (Kent Desormeaux, 3-1), Yulong Warrior (Evin Roman, 6-1), Shivermetimbers (Drayden Van Dyke, 3-1) and Tatters to Riches (Tyler Baze, 2-1).

The Shared Belief will go as the third on a 10-race program.

JUST GRAZED ME FAVORED IN FIELD OF 11 FOR SUNDAY’S TORREY PINES

Undefeated (2-for-2) Just Grazed Me will break from post position No. 9 in a field of 11 and was established as the 5-2 favorite on oddsmaker Russ Hudak’s morning line for Sunday’s Grade III $100,000 Torrey Pines Stakes.

The daughter of Grazen, a homebred of owner Nick Alexander trained by Phil D’Amato, took command turning for home and prevailed by 3 ½ lengths in the seven furlong Fleet Treat Stakes on July 29 and will be stretching out to a mile on the main track against fellow three-year-olds.

“She came out of the (Fleet Treat) in really good shape and has been training super,” D’Amato said. Just Grazed Me has had two works since the Fleet Treat, the second, on Friday, August 17, was five furlongs in a minute flat, the best of 63 at the distance that morning.

“She’s gotten stronger and to me she’s got the demeanor of a filly that won’t be bothered going two turns,” D’Amato said. “I’m looking forward to running her on Sunday.”

The field from the rail: Royal Descendent (Tiago Pereira, 12-1), Thirteen Squared (Joe Talamo, 3-1), Spring Lily (Gary Stevens, 8-1), Lemoona (Flavien Prat, 7-2), Well Hello (Mike Smith, 10-1), Zusha (Stewart Elliott, 15-1), Aunt Lubie (Brice Blanc, 20-1), Wicked Storm (Geovanni Franco, 20-1), Just Grazed Me (Tyler Baze, 5-2), Broome (Evin Roman, 20-1) and True Royalty (Drayden Van Dyke, 10-1).

DEBUTANTE CANDIDATES PUT IN IMPRESSIVE WORKOUTS

With the Grade I $300,000 Del Mar Debutante only eight days away, three of the major candidates put in workouts Friday morning.

Trainer Bob Baffert, a seven-time Debutante winner, the last in 2012, had Chasing Yesterday, a half-sister to Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, and Der Lu, a $900,000 purchase at the Fasig-Tipton sale in March, work in company from the gate.

Both fillies, debut winners here in the past month, were timed in 1:13.00 for six furlongs. Baffert has four of nine prime candidates for the 2-year-old filly championship event of the meeting on a preliminary list by the Del Mar racing office.

Bellafina, winner of the Grade II $200,000 Sorrento Stakes on August 5, worked five furlongs in 1:00.40 with owner Kaleem Shah and trainer Simon Callaghan paying full attention from vantage points. The $800,000 purchase at the March Fasig-Tipton sale went the fastest of 61 timed at the distance.

AUTHOR BONNET TO SIGN HER BOOK SATURDAY AT DEL MAR

Author Celou Bonnet will be signing copies of her book --   “Listening to Horses” – at the entranceway to Del Mar’s Turf Club/Clubhouse Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m.

In her book, Bonnet, who grew up in France, tells stories about her interactions with Thoroughbreds from Provence in her native country to her years working as an exercise rider in California for the legendary trainer Charlie Whittingham.

The book sells for $30 (soft cover) or $40 (hard cover).

CLOSERS – Bob Baffert was in Louisville, Ky., earlier this week for his induction into the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame. Also among the inductees: Kentucky-born former USD basketball and NBA head coach Bernie Bickerstaff … Baffert will be at Saratoga, N.Y., for Travers Stakes Day. He saddles Abel Tasman in the Personal Ensign and Marley’s Freedom in the Ballerina on the Travers undercard. Both will be ridden by Mike Smith…Good Magic is the 2-1 morning line favorite for the Travers, which is race No. 11 of 13 on the program … McKinzie, Baffert’s top Triple Crown hope before Justify’s rocket took off, worked six furlongs in 1:13.40 toward a comeback from injury.









Duke of Fallbrook Wins Race 4 at Del Mar 8/24/18

Sheeza Milky Way Wins Race 7 at Del Mar 8/23/18

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

NOTES FROM DEL MAR






In the post-race press conference Saturday evening for the  $1 million TVG Pacific Classic, Accelerate trainer John Sadler was asked what it meant to win the signature event of the Del Mar summer meeting.

“A lot,” was Sadler’s no-nonsense answer. Then he went on to expand a little.

“I’ve been training in Southern California my whole career and to win this, the big race of the summer down here is a exciting,” Sadler said.  “We’ve been second and third a few times, so it’s fun to get the win today.”

Sadler, 62, took out his training license in 1978 and won his first race in 1979. He’d won million-dollar races ($2 million Golden Shaheen, $1 million Sunshine Millions Classic) and lots of other stakes – 62 at Del Mar -- before Saturday. But when it came to the Pacific Classic, Sadler was 0-for-11 with two seconds and two thirds.

Then Accelerate changed everything. The 5-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Lookin at Lucky showed his heels to six rivals rounding the far turn and the closest view that runner-up Pavel had was from 12 ½ lengths away as Accelerate and jockey Joel Rosario crossed under the wire. The margin of victory was a Classic record, bettering the 8 ½ of Game On Dude in 2013.

“Wow,” Sadler said when informed at the press conference. “I knew it was a lot, but I hadn’t heard the official.”

The Pacific Classic is a “Win and You’re In” qualifier for the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs in November, the goal for Accelerate and every other horse of accomplishment in the handicap division. Sadler said the plan would be one prep race at Santa Anita and then on to Kentucky.

In a 20-start career, which has now produced earnings of more than $2 million, Accelerate has only raced once outside of California. In it, he was second to City of Light in the Oaklawn Handicap in Arkansas.

Not a worry to Sadler.

“Southern California horses have done well at Churchill Downs,” Sadler said. “And the thing we’re going to feel good about with this horse is that he won the Santa Anita Handicap on a muddy track. You go back to Kentucky in the fall and there’s about a 50-50 chance you're going to get weather and some kind of off track.”

All the Pacific Classic horses appeared to come out of the race in good shape. Trainer Doug O’Neill may have spoken for all when he commented on the effort of runner-up Pavel.

“He ran an excellent race, but he was up against a freak,” O’Neill said. “Accelerate was super.”

CATALINA CRUISER TARGETED FOR SATURDAY’S PAT O’BRIEN

San Diego Handicap winner Catalina Cruiser will be entered in Saturday’s   Grade II $200,000 Pat O’Brien Stakes, trainer John Sadler announced Sunday morning. The decision for a second race here, over options out of state, gives the O’Brien “race of the meeting” potential if enough of the stars nominated make the starting gate.

Among the nominees are defending Breeders’ Cup Sprint champion Roy H, 2017-18 Bing Crosby Stakes winner Ransom the Moon and Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile champion Battle of Midway in addition to Catalina Cruiser, who made the San Diego Handicap his third win in as many starts by combined margins of 11 ¼ lengths.

The Pat O’Brien is a “Win and You’re In” qualifier for the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile. Entries will close and post positions drawn on Wednesday.

D’AMATO WILL EXPLORE OPTIONS WITH ‘CUP BOUND FASHION BUSINESS

Saturday’s $250,000 Grade II Del Mar Handicap was a “Win and You’re In” qualifier for the $4 million Breeders’ Cup Turf in November at Churchill Downs.

And the victory by Fashion Business, as part of a 1-2 finish with stablemate Ya Gotta Wanna, put trainer Phil D’Amato in a comfortable place regarding the 4-year-old English-bred’s next start.

“He came back in really good order,” D’Amato said Sunday morning.  “We’ve got the Breeders’ Cup Turf ticket already, so we’re just going to work backwards from there. Maybe give him one more prep, maybe not.

“Our probabilities of running would be in the John Henry at Santa Anita and the Breeders’ Cup or just go straight to the Breeders’ Cup.

“When we go (to Churchill Downs) would depend on the weather. We’ll look at the long-term forecast and see which place has the best weather and then go accordingly.”

FATALE BERE QUIETLY SAVORS VICTORY IN GRADE I DEL MAR OAKS

Sunday morning, the French-bred filly Fatale Bere looked to a casual observer like a horse that had given an all-out performance a day earlier – which she had in a neck victory in the Grade I $250,000 Del Mar Oaks.

Her head was out over the webbing of her stall, her eyes almost closed, and she was still as a statue.

“She’s always like that,” trainer Leonard Powell said. “She’s very quiet in the stall. She saves it (energy) for when she’s on the track. She’s very different when she goes to the track. She’s quite tough to train there, but in the barn she is very mellow.”

Ridden by Kent Desormeaux, the filly Powell scouted and privately purchased a year ago in France rebounded from a pair of off-the-board efforts in stakes on opposite coasts and rallied from eighth in a field of 12 with three-eighths of a mile to go to edged favored Ollie’s Candy.

“This (Oaks) was the goal for the summer,” Powell said. “Mission accomplished. There’s a race at Santa Anita against older horses, the Rodeo Drive. The other option would be to go to Keeneland for the Queen Elizabeth II against 3-year-old fillies in October and later on there’s the American Oaks at Santa Anita.

“We’ll give her plenty of time between races and do what’s best for her.”

ACCELERATE GIVES HRONIS RACING CLEAR LEAD IN OWNER STANDINGS

With Accelerate’s Pacific Classic victory delivering the second of a 1-2 punch –following Catalina Cruiser’s San Diego Handicap score in July -- Hronis Racing LLC of brothers Kosta and Pete Hronis is well positioned for a fourth owner title in the last six summer meetings.

Through Saturday’s 24th day of the 36-day meeting, Hronis Racing LLC had seven wins from 32 starts and earnings of $985,524. Reddam Racing LLC of owner J. Paul Reddam was second for earnings with $532,715.

The Hronis brothers were the leading owners here in 2013, ’14 and ’17. Reddam prevailed in 2015.

Money was not primary in the thoughts of the Hronis Brothers on Saturday evening right after Accelerate’s victory that completed a sweep of the three biggest handicap division events in California – the Santa Anita Handicap, Gold Cup and Pacific Classic.

“That’s such an honor,” Kosta Hronis said of the sweep.  “For him to be in a position to attempt to do that was wonderful. That he actually pulled it off is great.”

Accelerate joined Lava Man (2006) and Game On Dude (2013) to accomplish the feat in the same year.

“We don’t get to see a lot of 5-year-old horses anymore. So this was great that he was able to stay on the track for another year and really mature and get better, and that’s what he has done,” Hronis said.

“ I’m so happy for John Sadler. This is his first Pacific Classic win and for this horse to be a part of it is such an honor. We’re happy for us, of course, but we’re so happy for John. He’s done so much and he’s meant so much to us. He’s more than a trainer. He’s trained the horses and he’s trained us. We had no idea about the horse racing business when we got involved in 2010. We thought we knew something. We knew nothing.”

One thing they’ve obviously learned is the benefits of Golden State racing.

“We love California,” Hronis said. “Santa Anita and Del Mar. We have opportunities to race out of town, but if there’s a race here, we’re going to be here.”

ROSARIO HAS A BIG IMPACT ON DAY ONE OF HIS DEL MAR RETURN

Jockey Joel Rosario won Del Mar riding titles from 2009-11 before moving to New York, becoming a force there, and making only occasional returns here for stakes assignments.

Saturday, the 33-year-old native of the Dominican Republic had four wins and a second in eight mounts on the Pacific Classic Day program and won the $1 million TVG Pacific Classic on Accelerate for trainer John Sadler.

Rosario won the first with Splashy Kisses ($16.20), the fourth with Secretary At War ($7.20), the ninth with Game Winner ($5.80) and the Pacific Classic with the shortest-priced favorite ($2.80) in the 28-year history of the race.

“The break was fine. He took a little time, but then I was in a good spot right away. “ Rosario said of Accelerate in the Classic. “I thought we would be second or third and he was very comfortable there. I asked him a little bit and he just ran right away from the leaders. He’s the kind of horse that once he gets going you have to ride him a little bit to make sure he keeps his momentum.”

Rosario was actually a replacement on Accelerate for injured Hall of Fame rider Victor Espinoza.

“Since I’ve known John (Sadler) he has given me a lot of opportunities,” Rosario said. “He called me and asked if I would ride him. Coming back here is like coming home for me.”

Rosario has four scheduled mounts on Sunday’s card.

UNIQUE BELLA ‘DOING FINE’ AFTER INJURY FORCES RETIREMENT

Clement L. Hirsch winner Unique Bella was in her outdoor pen at Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer’s stable area Sunday morning. And all seemed normal, except for the cast-like bandage on her right front foot.

Following a workout Saturday morning,  a “chip” was discovered in her sesamoid bone and the career winner of nine victories in 12 starts with earnings of more than $1.2 million was retired.

“She’s doing fine,” Hollendorfer said. “She couldn’t have done any better than what she did as far as the barn is concerned and we enjoyed training her every minute that she was here.”

Arrangements for Unique Bella to be moved from Del Mar are still in the offing, according to Hollendorfer.

CLOSERS – Selected works from 190 on dirt and 26 on turf officially timed Sunday morning: Dirt – Giant Expectations (3f, :36.80), Abel Tasman (5f, 1:01.00), Fahan Mura (5f, 1:02.80), Vale Dori (5f, 1:01.00), Marley’s Freedom (6f, 1:13.00); Turf – Cambodia (4f, :49.00), River Boyne (4f, :50.80) and Blended Citizen (5f, 1:03.00) … A one-day Del Mar record (excluding the Breeders’ Cup) handle of $25,969,128 was established on Pacific Classic Day’s 11-race program, eclipsing the $25,126,232 on Pacific Classic Day in 2016 .. Kevin McFarland of Solana Beach earned $20,000 in prizes as winner of the $50,000 Pacific Classic Betting Challenge. David Snyder of Mission Viejo was second and Tyler Hoffman from San Gabriel third … Carlsbad resident and retired Hall of Fame jockey Julie Krone is in Saratoga, N.Y., today among those featured in the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame’s Women in Racing Symposium.





DEL MAR MILE






Providing red-hot jockey Drayden Van Dyke with his fifth of seven victories during the afternoon, Catapult, longshot winner of the Eddie Read Stakes a month ago, proved that triumph was no fluke with a come-from-behind triumph in the featured Grade II $200,000 Del Mar Mile Sunday.

Van Dyke, who had eight mounts, tied  Hall of Famer Victor Espinoza for the most wins on a single day in Del Mar history.

Outrun and blocked turning into the stretch, Catapult was guided between horses for running room, responded generously to Van Dyke to overhaul Fly to Mars in the final strides and win by a half-length in a fast 1:33.40 for the distance.

Fly to Mars, who set a course record in capturing the California Dreamin Stakes July 28, was a length and one-half in front of Sharp Samurai at the wire, with Big Score fourth in the field of 13 grass runners. Tyler Gaffalione was aboard Fly to Mars, while Gary Stevens piloted Sharp Samurai.

However, after viewing videotape of the stretch run, the stewards disqualified Fly to Mars from second to third for causing interference to Sharp Samurai in the final furlong, Sharp Samurai being elevated to the runner-up position.

Catapult, who was a 21-1 longshot in winning the Eddie Read Stakes July 22, was sent postward at 5-1 Sunday and paid $12.20, $6 and $3.60 after his sixth success in 15 starts. First money of $120,000 increased his lifetime earnings to $723,384. The five-year-old son of Kitten’s Joy is owned by Woodford Racing, nom de course of W.S. Farish, Jr., and trained by John Sadler who sent out Accelerate to win the Grade I $1 million TVG Pacific Classic Saturday.

Sharp Samurai, second choice at 7-2, paid $4.60 and $3.40, while Fly to Mars returned $5.60 to show. Bowies Hero, the 3-1 favorite, was a non-threatening eleventh.

Van Dyke, 23-year-old native of Louisville, Kentucky, began his afternoon going four for his first four mounts, sweeping the second through fifth races. He won the second aboard Neighborhood Bully at $12.80, the third on Quebec at $8, the fourth astride Triple Shot in a $26.20 upset and the fifth on Tantara at $6.20. He was second in the sixth race on Allaboutaction, his only loss on the program.  

After his win aboard Catapult, he took the ninth race on favored Policy at $3.80 for his sixth victory. Going for a seventh win in the tenth and final race, he climaxed his record-tying day on Ohio for a $9.60 payoff.

Espinoza set the mark Sept. 4, 2006, eclipsing the great Bill Shoemaker and Laffit Pincay, Jr. and Rudy Rosales, all of whom won six races in a single afternoon at Del Mar, Pincay accomplishing the feat twice.

Van Dyke’s seven-bagger moved him ahead of Flavien Prat for the top spot in the jockey standings, 27-26.

DRAYDEN VAN DYKE (Catapult, winner) – “So special. I had a day up at Santa Anita recently where I won the first four races, including a Grade I, and that was the best. But I think today (five wins) goes past it. I had a good trip and the right horse. It was a little hairy there turning for home; I had to wait for room. But then he got out and just went. Nice horse. I’ve got a couple more, too, so it may get better yet.”

(Van Dyke subsequently won the following two races for his sixth and seventh winners on the day. He thus ties Del Mar’s record, set by Victor Espinoza on September 4, 2006.)

GARY STEVENS (Sharp Samurai, finished third, placed second on a DQ) – “That (interference by #9, Fly to Mars) not only clost me the place, it cost me the win. I don’t think Drayden (Van Dyke on Catapult) is going to get by me if I don’t get stopped. My horse was really coming.”

TYLER GAFFALIONE (Fly to Mars, finished second, DQed to third) – “You can see it all on the replay.”

RAFAEL BEJARANO (Big Score, fourth) – “My horse ran good. He closed, but those horses up front never came back to me.”

JOHN SADLER, (Catapult, winner) – “I’m having a dream meet. We’re winning these big races and getting good trips and I can’t ask for anything more. What’s really nice is all the horses are running well. Everything is working out. I’m very happy with Catapult. He ran a good race in the Eddie Read and I wasn’t sure I was going to bring him back here. But I figured that since he’s so good on this turf course I wanted to run him twice here. We’re hoping he’ll end up in the Breeders’ Cup Mile.”

FRACTIONS:  :23.25  :46.71  1:10.09  1:21.69  1:33.40

The stakes win was the seventh (most by any rider at the session) of the meet, but first in the Del Mar Mile for rider Van Dyke. He now has 18 stakes wins at Del Mar.

The stakes win was the fifth of the meet, but third in the Del Mar Mile for trainer Sadler.  He now has 64 stakes wins at Del Mar, fifth most of all time.

 Owner Woodford Racing is W. S. Farrish, Jr. of Versailles, KY.

 DRAYDEN VAN DYKE (After 7th Win) – “I believed I had a lot of live mounts for the day, but I never expected anything like this – winning seven. After the race, all the guys were congratulating me – Rosario, Stevens, Desormeaux.”

Asked about how it was going to be for him in the jockeys’ room, he said, “I’m just going to tippy toe in there.”








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