Published Thursday, November 16th, 2023   ( 7 months ago )

'Chosen' a Standout Saturday in Del Mar Stakes Doubleheader

The Chosen Vron | Benoit Photo

The Chosen Vron © Benoit Photo

Del Mar will conduct a stakes doubleheader Saturday featuring a pair of $100,000 offerings – one for older Cal-bred sprinters and the other for 2-year-old fillies.

The “older” race is the Cary Grant Stakes, a seven-furlong spin for 3-year-olds and up that has drawn a field of nine homegrown sprinters. It is topped – and seriously topped – by the multiple-stakes winner The Chosen Vron, who takes not a class drop but a plunge from Grade I company to the state-bred ranks and is listed at 4-5 in the morning line.

The filly affair – the Desi Arnaz Stakes -- has five entered and also gets a 4-5 morning line favorite in the Kentucky shipper Royal Slipper, who was sent west by trainer Wesley Ward, a man who specializes in developing young horses.

The Cary Grant will go as Race 8 on the nine-race card with a post time of approximately 4 p.m. The seven-furlong Desi Arnaz is slated for Race 2 on the card and will go off at 1 p.m.

The Chosen Vron, owned by the partnership of Sondereker Racing, Fetkin or Thornburgh, et al, is a 5-year-old gelding who has been a win machine thus far in his career with 13 victories in 18 starts and earnings of $1,092,678. The son of Vronsky is trained by veteran J. Eric Kruljac and in his last two starts beat Grade I company at Del Mar in the Bing Crosby Stakes on July 29, then took on the best sprinters in America in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint on November 4 where he managed to finish fifth.

He’ll again be handled by regular rider Hector Berrios as they try for a repeat in the Cary Grant, a race they won by three and a quarter lengths last year.

In the Desi Arnaz, Michael Tabor’s Uncle Mo filly Royal Slipper jumps into stakes company off a smart debut tally against straight maidens at Keeneland on October 6 under Hall of Fame rider John Velazquez. The veteran jockey will be up again Saturday and break from Post 4 in the short field.

Here are the full fields with riders and morning line odds for the two stakes:

Cary Grant – Bernsen and Mia Familia Racing’s Principe Carlo, Kyle Frey (15-1); McMahon or Rudy’s Trip to Spain, Giovanni Franco (20-1); J. Kirk and Judy Robison’s None Above the Law, Flavien Prat (6-1); Nick Alexander’s Lovesick Blues, Umberto Rispoli (12-1); William Peeples’ Big City Lights, Juan Hernandez (5/2); The Chosen Vron; R L Stables’ Moose Mitchell, Mario Gutierrez (12-1), and Alexander’s Desmond Doss, Tyler Baze (12-1).

Red Baron’s Barn or Rancho Temescal’s Fast Draw Munnings was originally entered in the race but was scratched Thursday morning.

Of note among the runners is the fact that the now 7-year-old gelding Principe Carlo won the Cary Grant in 2021 giving trainer Librado Barocio his first stakes victory.

Desi Arnaz – Hunt, Giglio or Rogitz’s Nothing Like You, Hernandez (5/2); Haymes, McCadden or Strauss, et al’s Tambo, Antonio Fresu (7/2); Great Friends Stables or Davis’ Don’t Bring Crazy, Rispoli (12-1); Royal Slipper, and Baoma Corp’s Halone, Prat (6-1).

First post as usual throughout the fall session is at 12:30 p.m.