Finnegans Wake Vs. Midnight Storm
In Eddie Read Stakes at Del Mar
Finnegans Wake, a winner of almost $1.5 million and an established star on grass, will take on the up-and-coming four-year-old Midnight Storm and five other foes Saturday in the 42nd running of the Grade I $400,000 Eddie Read Stakes at nine furlongs on turf at Del Mar.
Finnegans Wake, a six-year-old son of Powerscourt from the barn of Peter Miller, will have Victor Espinoza in the saddle as he attempts to rebound from a fourth-place finish in the Gold Cup at Santa Anita June 27. That race represented the stretch-runner’s first attempt over a dirt surface since the Clark Handicap in November of 2013. He acquitted himself well though only fourth after racing wide.
His stakes victories this year include the San Gabriel Stakes, the San Marcos and the Grade I Turf Classic at Churchill Downs. The bay horse has won seven of 31 starts in his career, including the Hollywood Turf Cup over the Del Mar turf last November.
Midnight Storm, a son of Pioneerof the Nile trained by Phil D’Amato, won the Del Mar Derby in front-running style last summer and comes into the Read from a game runner-up effort behind Talco in the Grade I Shoemaker Mile in mid-June. He is expected to vie for favoritism with Finnegans Wake. Tyler Baze has the call.
Others in the line-up are Twentytwentyvision, Flavien Prat; Gabriel Charles, Mike Smith; Power Ped, Gary Stevens; Big Cazanova, James Graham, and Maltes, Martin Garcia.
Saturday’s supporting feature is the $80,000 Osunitas Stakes for fillies and mares at a mile and one-sixteenth on the main track. Heading a line-up of a dozen with two on the also-eligible list is Istanford, the Michael Stidham-trained daughter of Istan who won the San Clemente Handicap and Sandy Blue at Del Mar last summer. Rafael Bejarano has the mount.
Post time for the first of ten races will be 2 p.m.