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Del Mar Stable Notes - By Hank Wesch

DAY 20

Goldencents In O’Brien Part Of Rosario’s Classic Swoop

Joel Rosario, the nation’s leading rider who made a huge impact on opening day, would appear to be positioned for an encore on TVG Pacific Classic Day.

Rosario rode four winners on the opening day card before heading back to his East Coast base.  Leaving behind, as a reminder, his name in the Top 10 of the Del Mar jockey standings where it remained through the first 12 days of the meeting.

The three-time (2009-2011) meet riding champion has scheduled another one-day visit for Sunday, August 25, centered upon riding Game On Dude in the $1 million TVG Pacific Classic. But he has also scheduled mounts on Goldencents in the $250,000 Grade II Pat O’Brien Stakes and Tigah in the Del Mar Mile in addition to Game On Dude for the $1 million TVG Pacific Classic.

It will be a busy weekend for Rosario, 28, a native of the Dominican Republic. On Saturday, August 24, Rosario will be occupied with the Travers Day card at Saratoga which features the $1 million Travers, $500,000 Test, $500,000 King’s Bishop and $250,000 Ballston Spa. Rosario will ride Kentucky Derby winner Orb in the Travers and has calls on My Happy Face in the Test, Forty Tales in the King’s Bishop and Somali Lemonade in the Ballston Spa.

That evening, according to agent Ron Anderson, Rosario will board a plane and travel part-way across the country, then complete the journey the following morning hopefully to arrive in time for the earlier-than-usual 1 p.m. post time on Pacific Classic Day.

Goldencents, heretofore ridden by Kevin Krigger, won the Sham Stakes and Santa Anita Derby to stamp himself as the West Coast’s top Kentucky Derby hope but was 17th in the Derby and a well-beaten fifth in the Preakness in May. The son of Into Mischief returned in the Grade I Bing Crosby on July 28 and finished second, beaten a head by Points Offthebench.

Tigah was third in the Wickerr Stakes on July 24, beaten 2 ¼ lengths by Arlington Million-bound Indy Point.

La Jolla Win Is Sweet In Dice Flavor Camp

Dice Flavor was well Sunday morning after providing jockey Garrett Gomez with an exclamation point in his first day back from suspension, and at the meeting, with a victory in Saturday’s $150,000 Grade II La Jolla Handicap.

As for the actual exclamation Gomez voiced from horseback while pumping his arm in triumph? “You don’t want to know,” Gomez said with a smile Sunday morning. “I was just glad to be back and happy that things worked out the way they did.

“To me, the biggest thing was the support from the fans. I had lots of people, many I didn’t even know, come up and give me congratulations and encouragement…lots of calls and texts from my friends.

“It was (gratifying) to show that I’m back and can still do what I’ve always done as well as ever.”

It was the third race, all in graded stakes, for Dice Flavor since returning from a trip to Dubai in March for an eighth-place finish in the United Arab Emirates Derby.

“If I ever have the chance (to race in Dubai), I’d do it again,” trainer Paddy Gallagher said. “It’s a great experience.”

Trainer Bob Baffert said that La Jolla runner-up Den’s Legacy came out of the race fine and would be considered for the $300,000 Grade II Del Mar Derby on Sunday, September 1.

Knust, Valenzuela Team Reunites

Comebacking jockey Patrick Valenzuela and his longtime agent Tom Knust are back together as a result of the latest rider-and-representative shuffle.

Knust, who served as Del Mar’s racing secretary from 1992-99 between stints of Tom Robbins, has represented Krigger for the past two years and also had Valenzuela, until knee problems forced his retirement last fall, and Mario Gutierrez when Valenzula was no longer riding.

Valenzuela returned on August 2, represented by Rick Evans.

“Patrick and I have had a long relationship, we work together well and we’re best friends and he persuaded me to take his book,” Knust said Sunday morning. “I thought about it a lot and in the end it seemed like the right thing to do.

“Believe me, it was a tough decision. I think the world of Kevin Krigger. He’s a talented rider and a very good person.  Kevin’s a pro, he knows how the game works and he’ll be fine. And Mario’s OK with it.”

Krigger’s new agent is Dudley Osborne, whose former clients include Jose Valdivia, Jr. and Orlando Mojica. Osborne also represents Julien Couton.  

Ramseys’ Kittens Will Be On An Oaks Mission

Ken and Sarah Ramsey, among the leading owner/breeders in the nation for the past several years, are expected to have two representatives in the $300,000 Grade I Del Mar Oaks on Sunday, August 17.

Emotional Kitten, runner-up in the Grade I American Oaks on July 13 at Hollywood Park, has been training at Del Mar and will be joined by Kitten’s Dumplings, shipping in from Churchill Downs where she has been training since a victory in the Grade II Lake George Stakes at Saratoga.

Both are three-year-old daughters of Kitten’s Joy, the Ramseys’ 2004 Eclipse Award winner in the Male Turf category.

Also shipping in for the Oaks is Christophe Clement-trained Discreet Marq, a winner of her last two starts, the Grade II $200,000 Sands Point Stakes in May and a $100,0000 ungraded stakes on July 4.

Past The Midpoint, Looking Good

With 19 of the 37 racing days in the book – the end of Saturday’s fifth race marked the midpoint of the meeting – major economic indicators are mainly positive.

On track handle is up 7.9 percent with a daily average of $2,482,993. Overall handle is up 11.3 percent with a daily average of $12,759,058. On-track attendance is off 4.9 percent but with a healthy daily average of 18,060.

And field size, averaging 8.5 percent, is up from the equivalent 8.3 in 2012 and 8.1 in 2011.

Stevens Wins One, Team Finishes Third

Hall of Fame rider Gary Stevens won one of the races but the “Rest of the World” team he captained finished third of four in the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup international jockey competition Saturday at Ascot, England.

In an event where three-person teams scored points based on 1-to-5  place finishes in the day’s races, Europe, led by French veteran Gerald Mosse, who took top individual rider honors, totaled  91 points.  Britain/Ireland was second with 61 ahead of Stevens’ Rest of the World (46) and the “Girls” team led by Rosie Napravnik (40).

Stevens, who has two mounts in his return to Del Mar on Wednesday, won the Duty Free Shergar Cup Sprint aboard Annunciation (8-1) by a head over Napravnik-ridden 3-1 favorite Noble Deed.

Powell Eyes Brubaker With Rapidly Rising Soi Phet

Soi Phet’s victory in Saturday’s sixth race was the third in a row for the 5-year-old gelded son of Tizbud since being claimed by trainer Leonard Powell for $16,000 out of a race at Hollywood Park on May 23.

Prior to Saturday’s three-quarter length victory, Soi Phet’s winning margins had been 9 ½ lengths in a June 30 allowance at Hollywood Park and 6 ½ in an optional claiming event on July 20 at Del Mar.

“We waited five weeks after we claimed him before we ran him again and one week before the race at Hollywood Park you could see he had turned around physically and become a different horse,” Powell said Sunday morning. “I don’t know what made the difference but it happened.

“He’s a very nice horse and from the beginning has shown a lot of class to me.”

Saturday’s $77,000 allowance, when California-bred bonuses are added in, was the equivalent of a $100,000 race. Soi Phet’s next assignment could be the $90,000 Harry F. Brubaker Stakes on Saturday, August 31, at one mile on the main track.

Green Flash Draws Full Complement Plus

A field of eight, and three also-eligibles, has been entered for the $90,000 Green Flash Handicap when racing resumes on Wednesday, August 14.

Jeff Bonde-trained Distinctiv Passion will be seeking a fifth victory in his last six starts in the five-furlong turf dash.

Trakus Fact For Saturday

In Saturday’s second race, third place finisher Fascinating ran the fastest final furlong in the 6 ½-furlong event, coming home in 11.71 seconds. Winner Bajan was home in 11.94 seconds, while fourth-placer Miss Lafayette managed the last eighth in 11.89 seconds. Fascinating covered between 11 and 13 feet more than both rivals.

CLOSERS – Ship And Win bonus eligible horses on Sunday’s card are: So Far So Fast (1st, trainer Henry Dominguez), Proud Step (3rd, Sal Gonzalez), No Jet Lag (5th, Simon Callaghan), Explosive Argument (7th, Dallas Keen), Malibu Affair (9th, Dallas Keen) … Selected works from 203 officially timed Sunday: Lady of Fifty (4f, :48.00), La Quintessa (4f, :48.60), Spring Moon (4f, :48.00), Via Villaggio (4f, :50.80), Gervinho (5f, 1:00.00), Kettle Corn (5f, 1:01.60), Marketing Mix (5f, :59.20), Mizdiretction (3fT, :35.20), Rousing Sermon (4fT, :49.80), Appealing (5fT, 1:00.60), Emotional Kitten (5fT, 1:02.20) and Gabriel Charles (6fT, 1:13.80).

DEL MAR STATISTICS

Jockey Standings

(Current Through Saturday, August 10, 2013 Inclusive)

Jockey

Mts

1st

2nd

3rd

Win%

Money Won

Rafael Bejarano

131

28

24

16

21%

$1,677,020

Edwin Maldonado

113

15

13

12

13%

$807,616

Martin Garcia

77

15

9

6

19%

$822,230

Julien Leparoux

70

15

6

11

21%

$931,398

Mario Gutierrez

68

13

9

6

19%

$677,012

Victor Espinoza

83

11

17

10

13%

$902,544

Gary Stevens

35

11

4

3

31%

$720,994

Joseph Talamo

128

9

20

17

7%

$842,820

Corey Nakatani

69

8

8

13

12%

$793,932

Martin Pedroza

68

6

2

9

9%

$257,152


Trainer Standings

(Current Through Saturday, August 10, 2013 Inclusive)

Trainer

Sts

1st

2nd

3rd

Win%

Money Won

John W. Sadler

75

14

15

12

19%

$1,070,314

Bob Baffert

49

12

9

5

24%

$834,440

Jerry Hollendorfer

38

11

2

5

29%

$702,020

Doug F. O'Neill

68

10

13

9

15%

$764,710

Peter Miller

50

8

9

5

16%

$467,632

Mike R. Mitchell

35

7

5

3

20%

$287,662

Victor L. Garcia

12

4

4

0

33%

$200,238

Tim Yakteen

11

4

1

1

36%

$246,146

Dan L. Hendricks

14

4

0

2

29%

$139,036

Leonard Powell

5

4

0

0

80%

$163,510 

Winning Favorites Report

(Current Through Saturday, August 10, 2013 Inclusive)

Winning favorites -- 45 out of 166 -- 27.11%

Winning favorites on Polytrack -- 29 out of 118 -- 24.58%

Winning favorites on turf -- 16 out of 48 -- 33.33%

Winning odds-on favorites -- 10 out of 18 -- 55.56%

In-the-Money favorites -- 99 out of 166 -- 59.64%

In-the-Money odds-on favorites -- 16 out of 18 -- 88.89%