Romps At Del Mar
Argentine-bred Big Cazanova, a nominee to last Sunday’s $1 million TVG Pacific Classic, skipped Del Mar’s signature race of the season to compete Thursday and the decision paid off with a romping wire-to-wire victory in track record time.
Taking command from the gate under jockey Elvis Trujillo, Big Cazanova enjoyed a clear advantage throughout the mile and one-eighth contest, breezing home six lengths in front in a record 1:48.85, easily bettering the mark of 1:50.03 set a month ago by Friendly Banter.
Patrioticandproud, an 11-1 longshot, salvaged runner-up honors, 1 ¾ lengths in front of Stoney Fleece in the field of six horses.
For Big Cazanova, owned by Dona Licha and trained by Peter Miller, it was his second track record of the season. On July 26, he set a new standard for one mile on the main track of 1:34.74 in winning by 3 ½ lengths. The former mile mark was 1:34.86 set by Potesta Sept. 2,2012.
Big Cazanova earned a prize of $48,000 from the purse of $83,130 to boost his career bankroll to $264,692. The 1-2 favorite of the crowd of 7,749, Big Cazanova, a five-year-old son of Giant’s Causeway, returned $3, $2.40 and $2.10.
Patrioticandproud paid $6.40 and $3.60, while Stoney Fleece paid $2.80 to show.
The battle for supremacy among Del Mar’s jockeys tightened up as leader Rafael Bejarano, seeking his third straight title, was blanked in six mounts.
With five racing days remaining of the 2014 summer season, Bejarano leads 29-27 over Kent Desormeaux who doubled Thursday. Trujillo also had two victories, including Big Cazanova, to move into third place with 26 wins.
There was a single perfect ticket in the Pick Six and it paid $63,075.