Friday, September 2, 2016


Del Mar kicks off its three-day Labor Day Holiday weekend of racing Saturday with a stakes double-header, spotlighting top two-year-old fillies in the Grade I $300,000 Del Mar Debutante and their male counterparts in the $100,000 Del Mar Juvenile Turf.

Post time for the first of eleven races Saturday will be 2 p.m.

Sunday’s program will feature the Grade II $200,000 John C. Mabee Stakes and the Grade II $250,000 Del Mar Derby.  The summer season ends Monday with a stakes triple-header headlined by the Grade I $300,000 Del Mar Futurity, the race that has been a springboard for the last three winners of the Kentucky Derby, California Chrome, Triple Crown champion American Pharoah and Nyquist.

The seven-furlong Debutante attracted a deeply-talented field of fillies, including the one-two finishers in the Sorrento Stakes, Champagne Room, who will have Mario Gutierrez in the saddle again, and Miss Southern Miss, with Kent Desormeaux.

Certain to be strongly supported are Bob Baffert’s twosome of American Cleopatra, full sister to American Pharoah who broke her maiden impressively July 31, and Noted and Quoted, a nine and one-half length maiden winner August 7. Rafael Bejarano rides American Cleopatra, while Mike Smith has the call on Noted and Quoted from Baffert, a seven-time Debutante winner.

Other Debutante contenders are Morganite, Victor Espinoza; Holy Mosey, Giussepe Ercegovic, and Union Strike, Martin Garcia.

The Del Mar Juvenile Turf, carded at one mile over the infield Jimmy Durante course, drew a wide-open field of 14 first-year runners – Arch Prince, French General, Big Score, Eichel, Billy Big, Irish Goodbye, Farley, Saldamente, Excavation, Ky. Colonel, Earnhardt, Bowies Hero, Van Cortlandt and Exotic Ghost. Battling for favoritism could be last-out winners Big Score, Billy Big and Ky. Colonel.

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