Friday, September 4, 2015

DEL MAR NOTES



HOLLENDORFER, O’NEILL ARE TRIPLE THREATS IN DEBUTANTE
         
The depth of 2-year-old filly talent in the stables of Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer and Doug O’Neill will be on display Saturday when they saddle three horses each in the $300,000 Del Mar Debutante.
         
Hollendorfer has Songbird (5-2), Surfside Tiara (7-2), the second and third choices on the morning line behind 2-1 favorite Pretty N Cool, plus Stays In Vegas (15-1).
         
O’Neill has a longshot trio in Land Over Sea (15-1),  Gomo (15-1) and Mitzi Winks (30-1).
         
Multiple entries in graded stakes aren’t unusual for major stables. Having top finishes by two or more horses is rare, but happens (see Beholder, Catch a Flight, Richard Mandella, 2015 Pacific Classic).

Hollendorfer needs to look back only to the 2013 Native Diver Handicap, the  last running of the event at Hollywood Park, and saddling a  1-2-3 finish with Blueskiesnrainbows, Hear The Ghost and Rousing Sermon.
         
That was a Grade III for older, experienced horses with a field of seven. The Debutante is a Grade I with a field of 11, none with more than three lifetime starts. But, especially in the Hollendorfer camp, there’s reason for optimism.
         
“They’ve got great post positions and they’ve all been working well,” Hollendorfer assistant Dan Ward said Friday. Surfside Tiara, with leading rider Rafael Bejarano up, will break from the No. 5 post, just inside stablemate Stays in Vegas, who will have Flavien Prat up. Songbird, ridden by Mike Smith, has the outside No. 11.
         
Songbird, a daughter of Medaglia D’Oro who was a $400,000 purchase at the Fasig Tipton Sale in August of last year, was a 6 1/2 –length winner, breaking from post position No. 1, in her career debut here on July 26.
         
“She goes from the rail to the outside and it’s good to have the outside post in a race like this,” Ward said.
         
Surfside Tiara scored a maiden victory in her second career start, prevailing by    5 ¼ lengths here on August 9. Stays in Vegas ships in from Northern California with wins in stakes with purses of $58,000 and $56,000 by a combined 9 ¾ lengths.
         
Of the O’Neill threesome, Land Over Sea and Mitzi Winks come in off maiden wins here while Gomo was the runner-up to Pretty N Cool in the Grade II Sorrento Stakes.

`The field from the rail out: Right There (Kent Desormeaux, 20-1), Come to Mischief (Gary Stevens, 8-1), Pretty N Cool (Martin Garcia, 2-1), Land Over Sea (Mario Gutierrez, 15-1), Surfside Tiara (Rafael Bejarano, 7-2), Stays in Vegas (Flavien Prat, 15-1), One True Kiss (Joe Talamo, 15-1), My Dynamo (Fernando Perez, 20-1), Gomo (Alex Solis, 15-1), Mitzi Winks (Drayden Van Dyke, 30-1) and Songbird (Mike Smith, 5-2).
         
The Debutante will go as the ninth on an 11-race program with an approximate post time of 6:10 p.m.


CROSS ENTRIES CREATE INTRIGUE FOR  JUVENILE STAKES
         
Trainers Doug O’Neill and Peter Miller will have some interesting decisions to make soon regarding their respective 2-year-old standouts Gomo and Annie’s Candy.

On Wednesday, O’Neill entered Gomo in Saturday’s Grade I $300,000 Del Mar Debutante and Friday did the same for the 2-year-old daughter of Uncle Mo in Monday’s $100,000 Del Mar Juvenile Fillies Turf.

Similarly, Miller has entered Annie’s Candy in both Saturday’s $100,000 Del Mar Juvenile Turf and Monday’s Grade I $300,000 Del Mar Futurity.

In both cases the decision boils down to dirt or turf, Grade I or ungraded stakes?

Stay tuned.


EIGHT ENTERED FOR SEASON FINALE GRADE I DEL MAR FUTURITY
         
Nyquist, unbeaten in two career starts with the most recent being the Grade II Best Pal here on August 8, tops  eight 2-year-olds entered for Monday’s $300,000 Grade I Del Mar Futurity, the traditional Closing Day feature of the Summer Season.
         
Owned by Reddam Racing LLC, trained by Doug O’Neill and ridden by Mario Gutierrez, Nyquist has earned back $153,600 of his $400,000 purchase price at the Fasig Tipton sale in March.
         
The other Futurity entrants, in alphabetical order: Annie’s Candy, Archaeo, Blameitonthelaw, Mt Veeder, Nightly News, Nyquist, Rockin Bayou and Swipe.
         
Last year the Futurity was the starting point for American Pharoah’s run to eight straight stakes victories and the Triple Crown championship.


AMERICAN PHAROAH TODAY
         
The Triple Crown winner jogged the perimeter of the Del Mar track with exercise rider Manny Avila up and assistant trainer Jim Barnes alongside on a pony. It was American Pharoah’s first trip to the racetrack since his second-place finish to Keen Ice in the Travers Stakes at Saratoga last Saturday.


PROSPECT PARK (8-5) FAVORED OVER SIX DEL MAR DERBY RIVALS
         
Impressive La Jolla Handicap winner Prospect Park was tabbed the 8-5 favorite in a field of seven on oddsmaker Russ Hudak’s morning line for Sunday’s Grade II $250,000 Del Mar Derby, the final leg of the Summer Meeting’s stakes series on turf for 3-year-olds.
         
Bred and owned by Pam and Marty Wygod, trained by Cliff Sise and ridden by Kent Desormeaux, Prospect Park cruised to a 4 ¼-length victory over Derby rivals Om and Royal Albert Hall in the Grade III La Jolla on August 9. It was the first graded stakes win for the son of Tapit and his third win in 10 career starts, which have produced earnings of $396,570.
         
The field from the rail: Win the Space (Joe Talamo, 15-1), Prospect Park (Kent Desormeaux, 8-5), Soul Driver (Mike Smith, 7-2), Papacoolpapacool (Tiago Pereira, 8-1), Royal Albert Hall (Flavien Prat, 15-1), Om (Gary Stevens, 5-2) and Crittenden (Rafael Bejarano, 6-1).
         
The Del Mar Derby is the seventh on a 10-race card with an approximate post time of 5:10 p.m.


QUEEN OF THE SAND FAVORED IN YELLOW RIBBON

Derrick Fisher’s Queen of The Sand was made the 7-2 favorite in a field of 12 for Sunday’s co-featured Grade II $200,000 Yellow Ribbon Handicap for older fillies and mares.

Trained by Paddy Gallagher and to be ridden for the first time by James Graham, Queen of the Sand won the Katherine Crosby – the first stakes of the inaugural Bing Crosby season – here on November 7 of last year. Subsequently, the 5-year-old Irish-bred mare has runner-up efforts in the Matriarch on November 30 and the John C. Mabee on August 8 in races on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course.

The field from the rail: Customer Base (Drayden Van Dyke, 15-1), Alexis Tangier (Victor Espinoza, 12-1), Lady Pimpernel (Rafael Bejarano, 4-1),  Thegirlinthatsong (Martin Garcia, 12-1), Blingismything (Tyler Baze, 15-1), Prize Exhibit (Santiago Gonzalez, 9-2), Istanford (Joe Talamo, 8-1), Queen of The Sand (James Graham, 7-2), Notte d’Oro (Flavien Prat, 20-1), She’s Not Here (Mike Smith, 6-1), Stormy Lucy (Corey Nakatani, 12-1) and Famous Alice (Gary Stevens, 15-1).


WHAT’S IN A NAME – I’M SMOKIN STAKES

Today’s featured I’m Smokin Stakes is named for the California-bred sprinter who won the 1978 Graduation Stakes for owner Albert Levinson and trainer Tom Proctor. Champion Best Pal won the inaugural running in 1990.


CLOSERS --- A field  of 12 was entered for Monday’s $100,000  Del Mar Juvenile Fillies Turf … Rancho Bernardo runner-up Baruta, trained by Richard Mandella and ridden by Flavien Prat, is the 5-2 morning line favorite in a field of eight for Sunday’s $80,000 C.E.R.F. Stakes … Selected works from 82 officially timed Friday morning: Masochistic (5f, 1:00.80), Buckleberry Grey (5f, :58.80), Catch a Flight (4f, :53.80) … Flavien Prat won four races on Thursday to move into third place in the jockey standings. Rafael Bejarano leads by a comfortable 10-win margin over Joe Talamo entering the final four days of the meeting…Jerry Hollendorfer has a five-win margin over Peter Miller and has four horses entered Friday to three for Miller.


DEL MAR STATISTICS

Jockey Standings
(Current Through Thursday, September 3, 2015 Inclusive)
Jockey Mts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% Money Won
Rafael Bejarano 193 36 40 24 19% $2,305,504
Joseph Talamo 171 26 14 14 15% $1,496,118
Flavien Prat 166 25 26 25 15% $1,908,124
Tyler Baze 190 24 26 29 13% $1,489,120
Santiago Gonzalez 160 23 15 22 14% $1,282,046
Mario Gutierrez 123 23 14 10 19% $1,238,736
Martin Garcia 129 18 13 15 14% $1,195,400
Corey Nakatani 82 16 10 4 20% $741,776
Kent Desormeaux 90 15 10 12 17% $785,404
James Graham 123 11 20 14 9% $926,994

Trainer Standings
(Current Through Thursday, September 3, 2015 Inclusive)
Trainer Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% Money Won
Jerry Hollendorfer 83 21 9 10 25% $1,246,872
Peter Miller 121 16 21 17 13% $1,178,630
Doug F. O'Neill 95 14 19 11 15% $1,101,940
Richard Baltas 68 14 6 13 21% $713,658
Philip D'Amato 77 12 10 11 16% $918,932
Mike Puype 69 12 4 8 17% $653,860
Bob Baffert 57 11 10 8 19% $899,820
John W. Sadler 52 11 4 5 21% $587,334
Robert B. Hess, Jr. 54 10 2 8 19% $319,362
Mark Glatt 58 8 6 7 14% $413,540

Winning Favorites Report
(Current Through Thursday, September 3, 2015 Inclusive)
Winning favorites 95 316 30.06%
Wining favorites on dirt 70 216 32.41%
Wining favorites on turf 25 100 25.00%
Winning odds-on favorites 19 37 51.35%
In-the-Money favorites 183 316 57.91%
In-the-Money odds-on favorites 33 37 89.19%

FRIDAY'S SPOT PLAYS





RACE 4

Take the speed horse looks like the true speed after sprinting and bred to relish the added distance
Single in Pick 4........BET $20 to win


            1.  Dreamologist



RACE 6


          1. Caminetto  
          2. Ferocious
          3. Set Of J's



RACE 7


          1. Clearly See
          2. Resistanceisfutile
          3. Blue Ratio

DEL MAR NOTES





SUPPLEMENTAL ENTRIES SEEKING DEBUTANTE GOLD

Pretty N Cool has looked extremely impressive in her two career starts here, winning a maiden event and then the Grade II $200,000 Sorrento Stakes by a combined 7 ¼ lengths.

And what those performances earned the daughter of Scat Daddy, trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, is an opportunity to prove herself once again in Saturday’s Grade I $300,000 Del Mar Debutante. Pretty N Cool, the 2-1 favorite on oddsmaker Russ Hudak’s morning line, will face 10 rivals, the connections for two of whom paid $10,000 for the chance to run in the seven-furlong race that determines the 2-year-old filly championship of the meeting.

The supplementals are East Coast shipper Come to Mischief and Del Mar based Right There.

Come to Mischief, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Into Mischief, was privately purchased by Ron Paolucci’s Loooch Racing Stable Inc following an impressive six-length debut victory on June 28 in the $125,000 My Dear Stakes on Polytrack at Woodbine and placed in the care of trainer Peter Walder in Florida. She had been training at Gulfstream Park through August 22 before shipping west last week and recording a four-furlong work on Sunday here in  :51.60.

“She freaked in her first (and only) start,” Walder said by phone Thursday morning. “You look at the tape and go ‘My God, holy cow, this is scary.’ It took her a little bit of time for her settling in because of the heat in Florida, but once she did, she’s been fine.”

The Del Mar Debutante wasn’t atop the list of target races immediately after the purchase, Walder said. But it was decided that Del Mar’s dirt might be closer to the Woodbine’s surface than some East Coast tracks. The supplemental fee was not a deterrent.

“When you purchase a horse you think to be of that caliber you expect you’re going to have to pay to compete at the higher levels,” Walder said.

Walder lived in Los Angeles for seven years in his youth, but succumbed to the lure of Santa Anita in Arcadia. “I used to ditch school and make three different bus connections to get there,” Walder said. “My mom would come home and say, ‘How was school?’ and I’d say, ‘Good, I hit the daily double.’”

He’d never been to Del Mar, however, until last weekend. “I have to say (Racing Secretary) David Jerkens and everybody out there have been absolutely fantastic,” he said. “They really rolled out the red carpet and made me feel special.”

Come to Mischief drew the No. 2 post position and will be ridden by Gary Stevens. “I’m not crazy about the two hole, but I’m sure glad I’ve got a Hall of Fame rider to work it out,” Walder said,

Right There, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Eskendereya owned by Big Chief Racing LLC and trained by J. Keith Desormeaux, won the Landaluce Stakes at Santa Anita on June 21 in her second career start and was fourth to Pretty N Cool, beaten 9 ¼ lengths, in the 6 ½-furlong Sorrento.

“She got a little tired, I think she needed a little more work and a little more distance,” Desormeaux assistant Joasin Diego said Thursday.

The field from the rail out: Right There (Kent Desormeaux, 20-1), Come to Mischief (Gary Stevens, 8-1), Pretty N Cool (Martin Garcia, 2-1), Land Over Sea (Mario Gutierrez, 15-1), Surfside Tiara (Rafael Bejarano, 7-2), Stays in Vegas (Flavien Prat, 15-1), One True Kiss (Joe Talamo, 15-1), My Dynamo (Fernando Perez, 20-1), Gomo (Alex Solis, 15-1), Mitzi Winks (Drayden Van Dyke, 30-1) and Songbird (Mike Smith, 5-2).

The Debutante will go as the ninth on an 11-race program with an approximate post time of 6:10 p.m.


CONNECTIONS FOR FOUND MONEY LOOK FOR REBOUND IN I’M SMOKIN

Found Money opened his career with a pair of wins at Santa Anita in May and June, the second in the $125,000 Santa Anita Juvenile.

But the 2-year-old California-bred son of Square Eddie owned by Paul Reddam
was outrun by stablemate Nyquist and four others when fifth of six, beaten 11 ½ lengths, in the Grade II Best Pal Stakes on August 8 here.

“He came out of the race with a little mucus, which is kind of typical for babies, so we’re drawing a line through it,” trainer Doug O’Neill said. “He’s fine now and doing well.”

Found Money is the 2-1 second choice in a field of six for the featured $150,000 I’m Smokin in tomorrow’s final 4 O’Clock Friday program of the Summer Meeting.

The field from the rail:  Carlos Dangerous (Rafael Bejarano, 5-1), Viviendo El Sueno (Martin Garcia, 5-1), Xingontothebone (Felipe Valdez, 10-1), Smokey Image (Juan Hernandez, 8-5), Found Money (Mario Gutierrez, 2-1) and Quorum of Joy (Corey Nakatani, 8-1).


I’MALREADYTHERE FAVORED FOR DEL MAR  JUVENILE TURF

I’malreadythere, a gelded son of Crown of Thorns being saddled for the first time by Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, was made the 7-2 morning line favorite by oddsmaker Russ Hudak for Saturday’s $100,000 Del Mar Juvenile Turf Stakes.

I’malreadythere was a two-length winner of a maiden race on turf at Gulfstream Park in Florida on August 8 when trained by Michael Yates before shipping west. Hollendorfer sent him out for a five-furlong work in 1:02.40 on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course here Sunday.

The field from the rail out: I’malreadythere (Flavien Prat, 7-2), Swiss Minister (Martin Pedroza, 20-1), Hollywood Don (Brice Blanc, 4-1), Dubdubwatson (Alonso Quinonez, 20-1), Mr Notorious (Mike Smith, 12-1), Getoffmyback (James Graham, 20-1), Annie’s Candy (Victor Espinoza, 6-1), Rare Candy (Joe Talamo, 9-2), Go Long (Kent Desormeaux, 15-1), Tiz a Billy (Rafael Bejarano, 6-1) and Hot Ore (Tyler Baze, 5-1). The also eligibles are: Recalibrating (Santiago Gonzalez, 10-1), Dressed In Hermes (Gary Stevens, 8-1) and Aztec Warrior (Flavien Prat, 20-1).


PATRICK VALENZUELA MAKING PROGRESS ON COMEBACK TRAIL

Patrick Valenzuela, granted a license to exercise horses by the California Horse Racing Board in early August while his jockey’s license remains suspended, is making progress for a return to riding, subject to board approval which, if successful, could be in evidence for the Bing Crosby Meeting here when it commences on Thursday, October 29.

“I’m working hard and doing all I can to get my license back on October 17,” Valenzuela said Thursday morning. Valenzuela will turn 53 on October 17.

Valenzuela said he has been working 5-10 horses a morning for a variety of trainers, among them Mike Pender, Doug O’Neill, George Papaprodroumou and Ron McAnally. His weight is 128.

“I’ll be at 117 when I’m ready to ride again,” Valenzuela said. “I’m calling it the ‘Eye of the Tiger’ comeback.”


 PRIZE EXHIBIT, PROSPECT PARK, JUDY THE BEAUTY TOP SUNDAY STAKES

Close  of entries and post positions were pending later Thursday, but  marquee performers and stellar fields were expected for the three stakes on Sunday’s card – the $200,000 Grade II Yellow Ribbon Handicap, $250,000 Grade II Del Mar Derby and $80,000-added C.E.R.F. Stakes.

The probables for the Yellow Ribbon, in alphabetical order: Alexis Tangier, Blingismything, Customer Base, Elektrum, Famous Alice, Istanford, Lady Pimpernel, Notte D’Oro, Prize Exhibit, Queen Of The Sand, She’s Not Here, Stormy Lucy and Thegirlinthatsong.

For the Del Mar Derby: Gunslinger, Om, Papacoolpapacool, Prospect Park, Royal Albert Hall, Soul Driver and Win The Space.

For the C.E.R.F: Amaranth, Baruta, Ben’s Duchess, Judy The Beauty, Uzziel and Windy Forecast.


AMERICAN PHAROAH TODAY

The Triple Crown champion walked the stable area of Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert while owner Ahmed Zayat made the big news of the day. Zayat told the Daily Racing Form that after lengthy consultation with Baffert, assistant trainer Jim Barnes and jockey Victor Espinoza, he had decided to keep American Pharoah in training.

“I have discussed all aspects of American Pharoah’s race last Saturday in the Travers – and his condition since the race – with our whole team and have decided American Pharoah deserves another chance, so we are pointing to the Breeders’ Cup Classic,” Zayat was quoted as saying.

American Pharoah will be paraded for the crowd here following the fourth race on Sunday.


CLOSERS – Forthenineteen, winner of Wednesday’s second race, is named to honor the 19 firefighters who were killed fighting a wildfire in Arizona in July of 2013 … Selected works from 63 on dirt and 13 on turf officially timed Thursday morning: Dirt – Off the Road (5f, :59.20), Normandy Invasion (5f, :59.20), Imperative (4f, :47.20); Turf – Class Leader (4f, :49.00), Om (3f, :38.00).


DEL MAR STATISTICS

Jockey Standings
(Current Through Wednesday, September 2, 2015 Inclusive)
Jockey Mts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% Money Won
Rafael Bejarano 187 33 38 24 18% $2,199,654
Joseph Talamo 167 26 13 14 16% $1,487,568
Tyler Baze 187 24 25 29 13% $1,484,020
Santiago Gonzalez 156 23 15 20 15% $1,266,706
Mario Gutierrez 119 23 14 10 19% $1,237,526
Flavien Prat 161 21 26 25 13% $1,801,744
Martin Garcia 125 18 12 15 14% $1,179,650
Corey Nakatani 78 16 9 4 21% $729,726
Kent Desormeaux 85 15 10 12 18% $781,174
James Graham 120 11 20 14 9% $925,494

Trainer Standings
(Current Through Wednesday, September 2, 2015 Inclusive)
Trainer Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% Money Won
Jerry Hollendorfer 82 20 9 10 24% $1,216,872
Peter Miller 117 15 21 15 13% $1,148,020
Doug F. O'Neill 93 14 18 11 15% $1,095,490
Richard Baltas 66 14 6 12 21% $706,658
Philip D'Amato 77 12 10 11 16% $918,932
Mike Puype 69 12 4 8 17% $653,860
Bob Baffert 56 11 9 8 20% $884,820
John W. Sadler 50 11 4 5 22% $586,834
Robert B. Hess, Jr. 51 10 1 8 20% $310,982
Mark Glatt 58 8 6 7 14% $413,540

Winning Favorites Report
(Current Through Wednesday, September 2, 2015 Inclusive)
Winning favorites 92 308 29.87%
Wining favorites on dirt 68 211 32.23%
Wining favorites on turf 24 97 24.74%
Winning odds-on favorites 18 36 50.00%
In-the-Money favorites 179 308 58.12%
In-the-Money odds-on favorites 32 36 88.89%





CLOSING SUMMER MEET






Fri., $150,000 I’m Smokin Stakes, Cal-bred 2-year-olds, six furlongs.

Sat., $300,000, Grade I, Del Mar Debutante, 2-year-old fillies, seven furlongs.

Sat., $100,000 Del Mar Juvenile Turf, 2-year-olds, seven furlongs.

Sun., $200,000, Grade II, Yellow Ribbon Handicap, fillies and mares, 3-years-old and up, 1 1/16 miles, turf.

Sun., $250,000, Grade II, Del Mar Derby, 3-year-olds, 1 1/8 miles turf.

Sun., $80,000 C.E.R.F. Stakes, fillies and mares 3-years-old and up, six furlongs.

Mon., $80,000 Pirates’s Bounty Stakes, 3-year-olds and up; , six furlongs.

Mon., $100,000 Del Mar Juvenile Fillies Turf, fillies, 2-year-olds, one mile.

Mon., $300,000, Grade I, Del Mar Futurity, 2-year-olds, seven furlongs.







Wednesday, September 2, 2015

DEL MAR NOTES




THURSDAY'S PICK SIX CARRYOVER




AMERICAN PHAROAH WILL PARADE AFTER FOURTH RACE SUNDAY

Triple Crown champion American Pharoah returned to his Del Mar home Monday, two days after the three-quarter-length loss to Keen Ice in the Travers Stakes and will be paraded for the fans after Sunday’s fourth race.

Since his return, American Pharoah has taken his morning exercise by being walked in the area of Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert’s barn.  “He walked this morning and he’ll walk again tomorrow (Thursday),” Baffert said Wednesday morning.

American Pharoah travelled down the freeways from Santa Anita to Del Mar on July 14 and trained here for a winning trip to New Jersey for the Haskell Invitational on August 2 and the runner-up effort in the Travers last Saturday at Saratoga.

The routine has been to take American Pharoah to the track between 7:45-8 a.m. for jogs or gallops and he has had five works at Del Mar, all of them relatively fast, three of them the best of the day at the distance.

The morning appearances have, as would be expected, been attention grabbers for backstretch workers, horsemen and general fans on site at the early hour.

On Sunday, the Ahmed Zayat homebred and son of Pioneerof the Nile, will be paraded in the afternoon after the fourth race which has an approximate post time of 3:40, as part of a day of multiple events at the track. The next-to-last day of the 40-day summer racing season will include three stakes races – the $200,000 Grade II Yellow Ribbon Handicap, $250,000 Del Mar Derby and $80,000 C.E.R.F Stakes – a TVG-sponsored giveaway of 10,000 American Pharoah posters and a post-race concert by the popular band Weezer.

American Pharoah made his racing debut at Del Mar on August 9, 2014 with a fifth-place finish in a maiden event and came back on September 3 to win the Grade I Del Mar Futurity, the start of an eight-race winning streak that ended in the Travers. The colt’s career earnings have reached $5,900,300.

“It all started at Del Mar. It’s very fitting that we celebrate his Triple Crown victory with his fans at this great racing place,” Zayat said via text Wednesday. “Time to salute the legend.”

Del Mar President and CEO Joe Harper said: “So many fans have enjoyed seeing him in the mornings, we’re delighted to have a chance for them to see him in the afternoon.”

Though long-term arrangements have been made for American Pharoah to begin his stallion career in 2016 at Ashford Stud in Kentucky, the colt’s immediate future is being discussed.

His connections are weighing the possibility of retiring him now against the thought of running him once more in the $5-million Breeders’ Cup Classic on October 31 at Keeneland Race Course in Kentucky.  Should his retirement be the decision, his Del Mar appearance might serve as a farewell for the 2014 Male Juvenile Eclipse Award winner and current favorite for additional championship honors this season.

Del Mar’s 10-race Sunday program will have a first post of 2 p.m.


GAS TOTAL GOES FOR SECOND STAKES WIN IN TRANQUILITY LAKE

Haras Philllipson Inc.’s Gas Total, winner of the Osunitas Stakes here on July 18, is the 5-2 favorite on oddsmaker Russ Hudak’s morning line in a field of 10 for today’s featured $80,000 Tranquility Lake Stakes for fillies and mares at one mile on the main track.

The Osunitas was moved to the main track from the turf due to rains and Gas Total, a 6-year-old Argentinian-bred mare trained by Richard Mandella and ridden by Flavien Prat, rallied from fourth to defeat My Monet by a neck. My Monet is also entered in the Tranquility Lake.

“Maybe it was (move to dirt) a blessing in disguise, because she’s been good on dirt before,” Mandella said. “I guess that mile and half race (Possibly Perfect, June 7 at Santa Anita) got her fit. At the half-mile pole I didn’t know if she was going to make it, but she did.”


WHAT’S IN A NAME – TRANQUILITY LAKE STAKES

The Tranquility Lake Stakes honors the multi stakes-winning mare owned by Mr. and Mrs. Martin Wygod and trained by Julio Canani. Tranquility Lake won three stakes at Del Mar – the Palomar Handicap twice and the Clement L. Hirsch Stakes.


ADVANTAGE BEJARANO, HOLLENDORFER ENTERING FINAL SIX DAYS

Jockey Rafael Bejarano and Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer have comfortable, but not secure, leads entering the final six days of the meeting.

With 33 wins, Bejarano has a seven-victory edge over Joe Talamo and, in light of a legal ruling, will have the full number of days to protect the lead. Stewards assessed Bejarano a three-day suspension which the three-time defending Del Mar champion has appealed and received a temporary restraining order.

Without the ruling, Bejarano would have been able to ride stakes races only on the meet-closing weekend. Bejarano has three mounts on today’s program to five for Talamo.

Hollendorfer takes a five-win lead, 20-15, over Peter Miller into today. In 2014 Hollendorfer and Miller tied for the summer title with 20 wins each.

         
SMOKEY IMAGE CLEAR FAVORITE IN I’M SMOKIN

Betty and Robert G. Irvin’s Smokey Image is the 8-5 favorite in a field of six for Friday’s $150,000 I’m Smokin Stakes, a six-furlong sprint for 2-year-old  California-breds.

A son of Southern Image trained by Greg C. James, Southern Image has three wins in as many career starts, the first two at Turf Paradise in Arizona and comes in off a two-length score in the Cavonnier Juvenile at Santa Rosa on August 16.

The field from the rail:  Carlos Dangerous (Rafael Bejarano, 5-1), Viviendo El Sueno (Martin Garcia, 5-1), Xingontothebone (Felipe Valdez, 10-1), Smokey Image (Juan Hernandez, 8-5), Found Money (Mario Gutierrez, 2-1) and Quorum of Joy (Corey Nakatani, 8-1).


DEBUTANTE, JUVENILE TURF ATTRACT BIG NUMBERS

The Grade I $300,000 Del Mar Debutante and $100,000 Del Mar Juvenile Turf, the two stakes on Saturday’s card, proved popular at the entry box.

 With the close of entries and post position draw scheduled later Wednesday afternoon, the names of 11 two-year-old fillies had been submitted for the Debutante, with two of them supplementals at a cost of $10,000 each. Thirteen were  entered for a possible 11 spots in the Juvenile Turf  with the racing office not ruling out the possibility of  more.

Supplementally entered to the Debutante were Big Chief Racing LLC’s Right There, trained by J. Keith Desormeaux, and Come To Mischief, owned by Loooch Racing Stables and trained by Peter Walder.

Other Debutante runners are: Pretty N Cool, Surfside Tiara, Stays In Vegas, Songbird, Gomo, One True Kiss, Mitzi Winks, Land Over Sea and My Dynamo.

Juvenile Turf entrants in alphabetical order are: Annie’s Candy, Dressed In Hermes, Dubdubwatson, Get Off My Back, Go Long, Hollywood Don, Hot Ore, I’malreadythere, Mr Notorious, Rare Candy, Recalibrating, Swiss Minister and Tiz A Billy.


CLOSERS – Twelve might considered to be a lucky number for trainer Bob Baffert,, as he pointed out Wednesday morning. He’s won the upcoming Del Mar Futurity 12 times, conditioned American Pharoah to be the 12th Triple Crown Champion and has been married to his wife, Jill, for 12 years … Jockey Edwin Maldonado enters the final week of the meeting with 997 career wins. He has two mounts today … Selected works from 271 officially timed over the last three days, all on the main track: Monday – Pretty N Cool (5f, 1:00.40), Papacoolpapacool (5f, 1:00.00), Elektrum (5f, 1:00.60), Prince of Prague (4f, :46.80), Dortmund (4f, :50.00); Tuesday – Yahilwa (4f, :47.20), Unforgettable U (4f, :46.20); Wednesday – Warren’s Veneda (5f, :59.80), Distinctiv Passion (4f, :46.80), Bayern (4f, :47.60) … Trainer Richard Mandella said Beholder, nicely recovered from her Pacific Classic victory, will run next in the Zenyatta at Santa Anita.


Jockey Standings
(Current Through Sunday, August 30, 2015 Inclusive)
Jockey Mts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% Money Won
Rafael Bejarano 185 33 38 24 18% $2,195,084
Joseph Talamo 162 26 13 14 16% $1,481,818
Tyler Baze 185 23 25 29 12% $1,441,770
Santiago Gonzalez 147 21 13 19 14% $1,175,356
Mario Gutierrez 114 21 12 10 18% $1,124,876
Flavien Prat 156 20 26 24 13% $1,746,294
Martin Garcia 122 18 12 14 15% $1,161,950
Corey Nakatani 77 16 9 4 21% $729,476
Kent Desormeaux 81 14 10 11 17% $733,874
Fernando Perez 132 11 17 21 8% $655,488

Trainer Standings
(Current Through Sunday, August 30, 2015 Inclusive)
Trainer Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% Money Won
Jerry Hollendorfer 80 20 9 10 25% $1,209,372
Peter Miller 114 15 19 15 13% $1,127,020
Doug F. O'Neill 91 14 17 11 15% $1,080,290
Philip D'Amato 76 12 10 11 16% $914,612
Richard Baltas 61 12 6 12 20% $611,708
Bob Baffert 56 11 9 8 20% $884,820
John W. Sadler 46 11 4 5 24% $581,884
Mike Puype 66 10 4 8 15% $568,410
Robert B. Hess, Jr. 49 10 1 7 20% $305,932
Mark Glatt 56 8 6 7 14% $410,890

Winning Favorites Report
(Current Through Sunday, August 30, 2015 Inclusive)
Winning favorites 90 299 30.10%
Wining favorites on dirt 66 205 32.20%
Winning favorites on turf 24 94 25.53%
Winning odds-on favorites 18 36 50.00%
In-the-Money favorites 175 299 58.53%
In-the-Money odds-on favorites 32 36 88.89%

WEDNESDAY SPOT PLAYS












RACE 1

I bet Temperature Runnin.....running with better company then this race.....like the pedigree and the connection.....Beware!

Baltas drops and adds blinkers......Let's Bet this one on the drop!



            1. Temperture Runnin   BET  $20    WON


PICK THREE PAID $333.00

Cost $12.00




RACE 2


            1. Hurricane Callie     PLACE
            2. Tribal Headdress
            3. Forthenineteen        WON



RACE 3


            1. Infinite Magic                   PLACE
            2. Sizzlin Joe
            3. Friendship With K Mill

           Long Shot Downtown C T      WON



Monday, August 31, 2015

AMERICAN PHAROAH SUNDAY AT DEL MAR






Triple Crown champion American Pharoah will parade at Del Mar between races Sept. 6, the next-to-last day of the California track's 40-day summer meet.

American Pharoah, who finished second to Keen Ice in the Aug. 29 Travers Stakes (gr. I) and left Saratoga Race Course Aug. 31 to return to California, began his career last year at Del Mar, where won the Del Mar Futurity (gr. I). Track officials and the colt's connections—owner Ahmed Zayat, trainer Bob Baffert, and jockey Victor Espinoza—are working out the specifics of his appearance, but it is expected to be early in the afternoon.

Del Mar will partner with TVG to offer 10,000 American Pharoah posters to those with paid admission while the supply lasts.

"We're delighted and excited to allow our always enthusiastic fans an opportunity to see a racing hero," Del Mar Thoroughbred Club president and chief executive officer Joe Harper said. "American Pharoah started at Del Mar last year and has returned to be with us again this summer. We're tickled that his people want to offer a salute to our loyal fans before they take their remarkable show on the road again."

Del Mar's 10-race Sunday program will have a first post of 2 p.m. PDT

Sunday, August 30, 2015

DEL MAR NOTES



STELLAR WIND FOLLOWS BEHOLDER’S PATH IN TORREY PINES

In 2013, Beholder, trained by Richard Mandella and ridden by Gary Stevens, ended a four-month layoff with a victory in the Torrey Pines Stakes. That was followed by triumphs in the Zenyatta and Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Santa Anita and an Eclipse Award as the top 3-year-old filly of the year.

Fast forward two years, change the names, and today’s edition of the $100,000 Grade III Torrey Pines has a very similar look.

Stellar Wind, trained by John Sadler and ridden by Victor Espinoza, returns to racing after a 2 ½ month layoff to embark on a path which, if all goes well, would lead to the same end of the year award that went to Beholder in 2013.

A Virginia-bred daughter of Curlin owned by the Hronis Racing LLC of brothers Kosta and Pete Hronis, Stellar Wind won the Santa Anita Oaks in April and the Summer Oaks at Los Alamitos in June. Sandwiched between the victories was her only loss in four 2015 starts, a troubled fourth in the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs in May.

Sadler thought about extending the “Oaks” string for Stellar Wind in the Del Mar Oaks on August 15. But that 1 1/8-mile Grade I $300,000 event is contested over the Jimmy Durante Turf Course and Sadler was not enamored of Stellar Wind’s workouts there.

“She didn’t like the grass,” Sadler said Sunday morning.

So it’s the one mile Torrey Pines, the meeting’s major stakes for 3-year-old fillies on dirt. Stellar Wind is the 6-5 morning line favorite in a field of six.

“She’s ready to go,” Sadler said Sunday morning.  “She’s got a couple of big races after this,  probably the Zenyatta and then the Breeders’ Cup, we’ll see how it goes. But she’s doing wonderfully and we expect a very good race today.”


WHAT’S IN A NAME – TORREY PINES STAKES

The Torrey Pines Stakes is named for the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve south of Del Mar. The race was inaugurated in 1976 and will have its 38th running today.


ALL QUIET ON BAFFERT’S WESTERN FRONT; GIMME DA LUTE FINE

Where there had been a flurry of activity a week earlier, with American Pharoah being put through his final work for the Travers, there was a quiet scene Sunday morning at Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert’s barn in the Del Mar stable area.

Baffert assistant Pascual Rivera said that Gimme Da Lute and Fame and Power, the 1-2 finishers in Saturday’s $100,000 El Cajon Stakes, both came out of the race well. Gimme Da Lute recorded his fourth straight stakes victory, holding off stablemate Fame and Power by a half-length while running the mile in 1:35.79. The $60,000 winner’s share of the purse increased the son of Midnight Lute’s career earnings to $627,560 for owners-breeders Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman.

Baffert, top assistant Jim Barnes and American Pharoah all stayed in Saratoga overnight after the 3-year-old colt’s three-quarter length loss to Keen Ice in the Travers.

A twitter post by owner Ahmed Zayat and his son Justin Sunday morning said that American Pharoah came out of the race sound but tired and the colt would be shipping back to Del Mar on Monday.

As for the Del Mar crew, Rivera said the loss of American Pharoah was taken without a great outpouring of emotion.

“We’ve been in the business a long time and we know that even great horses can get beat,” Rivera said.


IRISH FILLY ARRIVES FOR JUVENILE FILLIES TURF

Optimism and Hope, a 2-year-old Irish-bred filly trained by Tommy Stack, arrived here Saturday, Cindy Niemetz of the International Racing Bureau reports.

Optimism and Hope, a nose winner in a field of five in her racing debut at Bellewstown, Ireland on July 3, is being pointed for the $100,000 Del Mar Juvenile Fillies Turf on Closing Day, September 7.
         

FIELD OF 10 ENTERED FOR WEDNESDAY’S TRANQUILITY LAKE STAKES

Gas Total and My Monet, the 1-2 finishers in the July 18 Osunitas Stakes that was moved from the grass to the main track by rains, will stay on the dirt in a field of 10 for Wednesday’s $80,000 one-mile Tranquility Lake Stakes for fillies and mares.

Gas Total, a Brazilian-bred import to the Richard Mandella barn this year, closed from fourth to prevail over front-running My Monet by a neck in the Osunitas.

The field from the rail: Savings Account (Mike Smith), Our Pure Creation (Fernando Perez), Sky Mega (Joe Talamo), Oscar Party (James Graham), Harlington’s Rose (Alonso Quinonez), Wild in the Saddle (Mario Gutierrez), My Monet (Santiago Gonzalez), Gas Total (Flavien Prat), Sam’s Sister (Martin Garcia) and Honey Ride (Tyler Baze).

The Tranquility Lake will go as the eighth on an extended (for a weekday) nine race card.


TEN STAKES REMAIN FOR FINAL SIX DAYS OF THE MEETING

After today’s Torrey Pines it will be 33 down and 10 to go on the Del Mar stakes schedule entering the final six racing days (Wednesday, September 2-Labor Day, September 7) of the meeting.

Unlike most previous years, the 76th summer season will not end on the Wednesday following Labor Day but will end on the Monday holiday itself.

The remaining stakes lineup: Wednesday, Sept. 2 -- $80,000 Tranquility Lake Stakes; Friday, Sept. 4 -- $150,000 I’m Smokin Stakes; Saturday, Sept. 5 – $300,000   Grade I Del Mar Debutante, $100,000 Del Mar Juvenile Turf; Sunday, Sept. 6 -- $200,000 Grade II Yellow Ribbon Handicap, Grade II $250,000 Del Mar Derby, $80,000 C.E.R.F. Stakes; Monday, Sept. 7 -- $80,000  Pirates Bounty Stakes, $100,000 Juvenile Fillies Turf, $300,000 Grade I Del Mar Futurity.


CLOSERS –  Selected works from 196 officially timed Sunday morning, 159 on dirt and 37 on turf: Dirt – Iron Fist (6f, 1:12.40), Nyquist (5f, 1:00.40), Wild Dude (4f, :50.00), Mrazek (4f, :48.40), Golden Atlantic (4f, :46.20), Big Macher (4f, :48.40); Turf – Soul Driver (5f, 1:02.20), Queen of The Sand (5f, 1:03.80), Prospect Park (4f, :49.60), Obviously  (4f, :48.60), Istanford (4f, :50.00).


DEL MAR STATISTICS

Jockey Standings
(Current Through Saturday, August 29, 2015 Inclusive)
Jockey Mts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% Money Won
Rafael Bejarano 179 32 37 24 18% $2,154,954
Joseph Talamo 157 25 13 14 16% $1,437,128
Tyler Baze 178 23 24 28 13% $1,417,790
Flavien Prat 152 20 24 23 13% $1,725,444
Santiago Gonzalez 143 19 13 18 13% $1,111,396
Mario Gutierrez 111 19 12 10 17% $1,086,636
Martin Garcia 120 18 12 14 15% $1,160,700
Corey Nakatani 77 16 9 4 21% $729,476
Kent Desormeaux 81 14 10 11 17% $733,874
Fernando Perez 128 11 16 20 9% $641,748

Trainer Standings
(Current Through Saturday, August 29, 2015 Inclusive)
Trainer Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% Money Won
Jerry Hollendorfer 77 19 9 10 25% $1,190,272
Peter Miller 111 15 19 14 14% $1,117,130
Doug F. O'Neill 90 13 17 11 14% $1,056,290
Philip D'Amato 71 12 9 9 17% $878,392
Richard Baltas 59 12 6 12 20% $608,388
Bob Baffert 56 11 9 8 20% $884,820
Mike Puype 65 10 4 8 15% $568,160
John W. Sadler 44 10 4 5 23% $521,084
Robert B. Hess, Jr. 49 10 1 7 20% $305,932
Mark Glatt 53 8 4 7 15% $399,040

Winning Favorites Report
(Current Through Saturday, August 29, 2015 Inclusive)
Winning favorites 85 289 29.41%
Winning favorites on dirt 63 199 31.66%
Winning favorites on turf 22 90 24.44%
Winning odds-on favorites 17 35 48.57%
In-the-Money favorites 169 289 58.48%
In-the-Money odds-on favorites 31 35 88.57%

MIKE WATCHMAN AMERICAN PHAROAH

They all get beat.

Secretariat got beat. Citation got beat. Man o’ War got beat.

You stick around long enough and take enough chances, and you will lose eventually, no matter how great you are.

And it happened Saturday to Triple Crown winner American Pharoah in the Travers, getting run down late by Keen Ice, a colt American Pharoah humiliated just four weeks ago when he won the Haskell.

In the old days, when horses like Secretariat, Citation, and the like lost a big race they were expected to win, they came back, fought again, and avenged. But the game is different these days, and after processing the postrace comments from his connections, it is fair to wonder if we will see American Pharoah in competition again.

We all know that American Pharoah is so valuable as a stud prospect that it is understandable if his people, who have been nothing but extremely generous with the way they have shared their colt in so many ways, would find the risk of another defeat too daunting.

And let’s be honest: The American Pharoah we saw Saturday just was not the same American Pharoah we saw in all of his previous races this year.

Yes, American Pharoah was pressed aggressively by Frosted, especially late on the backstretch and around the far turn. But the fractions American Pharoah set early were downright slow, and that should have left him with plenty in reserve to meet, turn back, and move on from Frosted’s challenge.

But it didn’t play out that way. The Keen Ice who passed American Pharoah late is the colt American Pharoah toyed with in the Haskell while being pulled up the last three-sixteenths of a mile.

Many people came here to Saratoga on Saturday to see a Triple Crown winner win the Travers and went home disappointed. But they shouldn’t be disappointed. They still saw a Triple Crown winner. And instead of being able to say they saw a Triple Crown winner win, they might be able to say they saw a Triple Crown winner’s last race.

Quick notes

• I cracked wise on Twitter following the Sword Dancer after European shipper Flintshire won in thoroughly dominating fashion that the Europeans could send Ricky Gervais over here dressed in a horse suit, and he’d win one of our Grade 1 turf races.

You get the point. The U.S. male turf division this year has been a mess and is vulnerable to any halfway-decent shipper from Europe, where the quality of turf competition is just light-years better than what we have here right now. And when a true Group 1 performer like Flintshire comes over, well, it’s just a mismatch.

Even if he got an unobstructed rail run and the firm ground he might prefer, all it took was this one performance from Flintshire in the Sword Dancer to show he is the best male turf horse we’ve seen here in the U.S. this year. And by a long way.

• She's no Beholder, but which active female is even close? Nevertheless, it is past time for Sheer Drama to get her due. Back-to-back Grade 1 wins in the Delaware Handicap and now the Personal Ensign, combined with a win in the Grade 2 Royal Delta and three other graded stakes placings this year, give Sheer Drama at this point in the season the best credentials in her division east of Beholder’s stall.

That said, Sheer Drama's victory in the Personal Ensign was assisted by empty performances from Untapable and Stopchargingmaria. It is easy to debate the wisdom of the pace battle those two engaged in, but don't let that obscure the fact that neither ran well. And really, after four disappointing efforts in five starts this year, isn't it time to consider it doubtful that Untapable will ever regain her excellent 3-year-old form of last season?

• Credit Dallas Stewart with making the right decision with Unbridled Forever after she won the Shine Again off a nine-month absence early in the meet by pointing to the Ballerina instead of the Personal Ensign.

Unbridled Forever went long repeatedly last year at 3, hitting the board in five two-turn graded stakes, including the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks and Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks. So, Unbridled Forever could have stretched out after the Shine Again, and it would have been perfectly understandable. But the stretch punch Unbridled Forever showed in the Shine Again suggests that her true calling might be as a deep-closing sprinter, a notion strengthened by her Ballerina score.

• Runhappy surprisingly but emphatically made a shambles of his field in the King’s Bishop, the race immediately following the Ballerina. That these races were back-to-back is important because the final time for the seven furlongs in the King’s Bishop of 1:20.54 was exactly two seconds faster than the older Unbridled Forever went in the Ballerina.

Yes, the King’s Bishop was a fast race. No question. However, the paces in the King’s Bishop and Ballerina were disparate enough (23.10 and 46.04 seconds in the Ballerina vs. 22.43 and 44.54 in the King’s Bishop) as to make one wonder if a direct final-time comparison can really be made.

Where Runhappy gets his highly favorable time comparison is against Private Zone’s Forego.

Private Zone looked loose on the lead on paper in the Forego, he proved to be just that, and he turned this seven-furlong event into a procession. He's a very cool horse and is without question one of the top sprinters in the nation.

But Runhappy ran better than him.

The paces in the Forego and King's Bishop were comparable – 22.67 and 45.10 in the Forego vs. 22.43 and 44.54 in the King's Bishop – and because of that, you can make a direct comparison of final times in these races run back-to-back.

Runhappy went his seven furlongs in 1:20.54. Private Zone went his seven furlongs in 1:21.09. That is a significant difference and is highly flattering to Runhappy.

TORREY PINES STAKES

Saturday, August 29, 2015

EL CAJON STAKES






On an afternoon when stablemate and Triple Crown champion American Pharoah stunningly lost in the $1.6 million Travers Stakes at Saratoga in New York, Gimme Da Lute salvaged a small amount of success for the barn of trainer Bob Baffert with a hard-earned triumph Saturday in the featured $100,000 El Cajon Stakes for three-year-olds at Del Mar.

In a three-way battle down the stretch, Gimme Da Lute, the 1-5 favorite under jockey Martin Garcia, prevailed by a half-length over Fame and Power, also trained by Baffert and piloted by Rafael Bejarano. Desert Dynamo was third, a neck behind the runner-up under Flavien Prat. Completing the field as a distant fourth was Thanksgiving Day. Withdrawn from the original line-up were Iron Fist and Rocko’s Wheel.

Prat claimed foul against the winner for alleged interference in the stretch, but the stewards disallowed the claim after viewing the race replays.

Gimme Da Lute, owned and bred by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman, is a son of Midnight Lute. The victory was his sixth in nine starts and fourth consecutive added-money triumph. First money of $60,000 increased the colt’s earnings to $637,560. Previously this summer, he won the Affirmed Stakes, the Los Alamitos Derby and the Real Good Deal stakes.

Gimme Da Lute ran the one mile on the main track in 1:35.79 and returned $2.40 and $2.10. Fame and Power paid $2.60. There was no show wagering because of the small field.

There were two perfect tickets in the Pick Six and each paid $50,065.80.

2015 GENEROUS PORTION STAKES

VICTOR'S INTERVIEW TRAVIS DEFEAT

2015 TRAVIS STAKES

SWORD DANCER

NEXTDOORNEIGHBOR


You’ve probably heard of or know someone who has been referred to as a “salt of the earth” human being.

Meet Nextdoorneighbor, a “salt of the earth” Thoroughbred racehorse by the testimony of those who’ve crossed paths with the gelded Florida-bred son of Lido Palace who is still running and winning, lately here at Del Mar, at age eight.

“Everybody who ever rubbed him or rode him loves him,” said Mike Machowsky, the first of 10 trainers who have had the pleasure of Nextdoorneighbor in their barns over the years, starting in the fall of 2009, that Nextdoorneighbor has been campaigning through the mostly claiming level ranks.

The other trainers, in order of appearance in the horse’s life are: David Hofmans, Bob Baffert, Adam Kitchingman, Ron Ellis, Linda Mikus, Victor Garcia, Robertino Diodoro, Peter Miller and, as of August 8, Mike Pender.

Five of them won at least one race with him as Nextdoorneighbor has notched 11 victories in 44 lifetime starts. Miller claimed him for $8,000 on January 10, 2015 and in eight starts from February to August led Nextdoorneighbor to the winner’s circle six times, with one second and one third. The run, under Rockingham Ranch ownership, produced earnings of $109,490 as Nextdoorneighbor boosted his career total to $307,789.

“The owner picked him and when an owner calls me to claim a horse, unless I really don’t like the horse, I just claim them,” Miller said.  “So I did, and the race I claimed him out of he ran bad (last of six as favorite) and I thought, ‘Oh, oh, here we go.’

“But he bled that day. And we thought if we could get him to San Luis Rey and calm his nerves and get him to settle down, he’d be better. It’s kind of a day spa for horses and that was the key for him, I think.”

The San Luis Rey Downs Training Center, located 23 miles north of Del Mar, has full facilities in a more rural setting and has been used successfully by many horses, most famously 2002 Horse of the Year Azeri.

Brought back to the races at Santa Anita in February, Nextdoorneighbor started his streak of success for Miller, winning four times at Santa Anita and twice at Del Mar this summer at claiming levels from $8,000 to $22,500.

“We loved the horse,” Miller said. “He was a barn favorite. He’s a real neat, cool, sweet, docile, friendly horse. He’s got all the attributes. He’s got a good personality. He likes attention. He likes being fed. A big, good-looking horse that you like to have around.”

Jockey Tyler Baze was aboard for five of the eight starts, and four of the wins in the 2015 streak. Baze has ridden Nextdoorneighbor 10 times, and won six, since they were introduced on October 2 of 2014. Mention the horse’s name and Baze’s eyes twinkle and a smile plays at his lips.

Tyler Baze by Zoe Metz Photography

“The first eighth of a mile he puts us where we need to be, and if he gets the lead in the stretch, he’s not going to give it up.”

Machowsky was sent the horse, bred in Florida by John and Jerry Amerman,  because Machowsky had trained his dam, Fencelineneighbor. He made two starts late in his 2-year-old year of 2009 and broke his maiden in his first start as a 3-year-old in January of 2010. An immediate jump to the Santa Anita Derby prep Sham Stakes didn’t work when Nextdoorneighbor faded to seventh after setting or attending the pace for the first mile of the 1 1/8-mile run.

“That was a little too much, too soon,” Machowsky said.

One other stakes, the Sir Beaufort at Santa Anita in December of 2010, resulted in a third-place finish. After that, the horse settled into diligent effort at the allowance and claiming levels that earned wide respect from horsemen.

The latest is Pender, who claimed Nextdoorneighbor for $22,500 out of his August 8 victory for Miller under Baze. The claim was made for the trainer’s own Pender Racing LLC group and Shelbe Ruis.

What prompted the claim?

“His level of consistency,” Pender said. “He may be eight years old, but he’s back into the zone and racing well. He’s the epitome of a class horse. We were ready to go for him when he ran here the first time (Opening Day, July 16 in an $18,000 claimer). But the majority of the (ownership) partners were kind of hesitant because of his age.”

A change in stable can, and often does, result in a change in rider. But Baze adamantly hopes that’s not the case.

“I had Craig (agent Craig O’Bryan) check in with them,” Baze said. “And I saw Shelbe (Ruis) the other day at the Arco station and let her know I wanted to keep the mount. I hope it works out.”

The Del Mar meeting is winding down to its last nine days, but Pender said Del Mar fans may get a chance to say ‘Hi’ to Nextdoorneighbor once again.

“We’re looking at a couple of spots for him,” Pender said. “In a perfect world, he’ll run here again before the end of the meeting.”

Friday, August 28, 2015

FRIDAY'S GENEROUS PORTIONS STAKES











RACE 3    TURF DASH FIVE FURLONGS ALLOWANCE RACE



Desert Steel is coming back after running at this meet two times.......Her third start and I think the one to beat.........

I like the filly Moon Over Me who broke her maiden not against state bred but open company.......bred to love the turf.......Trainer James Cassidy can get them ready to fire off the vacation........


           1. Moon Over Me
           2. Codacious
           3. Bonus Spin

           Desert Steel......filly to beat Favorite





RACE 4        STATE RESTRICTED OC SPRINT


Matriculate has run twice.......really impressed with his maiden win.........last race he was the beaten favorite finishing a strong third.........

I thought Cornbread Red's maiden win was impressive.........like the pedigree and the odds here.......8 to 1.....good value bet.............Let's try to beat Matriculate and Hye I'm Jack with Cornbread Red.


             1. Cornbread Red
             2. Matriculate
             3. Hye I'm Jack

             Long Shot    Kristi's Copilot






RACE 6    GENEROUS PORTION  STAKES SPRINT TWO YR. OLD FILLIES

Obey has the Highest Beyer speed number and has a perfect record two for two..........She is the one to beat............She will be pressing the early pace with other speedy fillies on her inside and on her outside .......Run For Fetts.......and the filly Later My Love.......

if there is a speed meltdown going the added distance then I will look to two strong pedigree fillies......Just Goggle Me and Patriotic Diamond to upset the favorite.......Obey........This all depends on what the jockeys do with Obey.......will they let Obey get a easy lead........or will the pace be contested is the Generous Portion Question in Today's Feature Race on the card.

I love how Just Goggle Me finished her last race with Obey and Later My Love.......She flew home and after the wire she kicked it her afterburners.........she was full of run......I hope the added half furlong and a fast contested pace will help her chances in the Generous Portion Stakes........

A good betting race for the public!


            1. Just Goggle Me
            2. Patriotic Diamond
            3. Obey

             Long Shot Play  Later My Love




RACE 7   SEVEN FURLONGS MAIDEN CLAIMING 20 G RACE

The bottom level of the claiming ranks is a condition that is hard to trust because they do not run to there current form........

Puype drops Alpha Doll to the cellar.........first time at this level.......She coming back off a April lay-off.........like the fast blow out.......If her wheels have not come off......she has faced better and run races that can take down this field........She will need to catch the speed.......which is:

Scatvhmeifyoucan trained by Vladimir Cerin........should press the pace......catch her to win this race........She looks to be the fastest filly in this race.......

Canadian Exchange is a contender who ran strong when she dropped down to this level. She the top two selection then Exchange who has the red hot Prat can win this......

Upsetter is Avo who walked out of the gate and seemed to me rank.......a valid excuse for her last race......expect better today


              1. Alpha Doll
              2. Scatchmeifyoucan
              3. Canadian Exchange

              Long Shot   Avo





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