With the unfortunate morning training mishap suffered by pre-race favorite Dance With Fate Thursday morning, 4-year-old Frac Daddy, a two-time stakes winner in 2014, is now the likely favorite Saturday in the Grade II, $200,000 San Diego Handicap at Del Mar.
The mile and one-sixteenth contest, a prelude to the $1-million TVG Pacific Classic on Sunday, August 24, will match a field of 10 older horses, including such stakes performers as Summer Hit, a multiple stakes winner who captured the Harry F. Brubaker Stakes at Del Mar a year ago; Imperative, 26-1 winner of the $1.5-million Charles Town Classic, and Fed Biz, victor in the seven-furlong Pat O’Brien Stakes at Del Mar last summer.
Others in the line-up are razor-sharp Soi Phet, winner of his last two outings; You Know I Know, third to Game On Dude in the 2013 TVG Pacific Classic; Battier, Handsome Mike, Honduran and Footbridge.
Frac Daddy, from the Midwest barn of trainer Ken McPeek, will have Joe Talamo in the irons as he seeks his third stakes success of the year. He won both the Ben Ali at Keeneland last April and the Eclipse at Woodbine in early June, both victories accomplished over Polytrack, the same main-track surface as Del Mar.
The supporting feature on a 10-race program Saturday is the $200,000 Fleet Treat Stakes for California-bred 3-year-old fillies. Pre-race favorite in the seven-furlong sprint is Sunday Rules, flawless in three starts including the Generous Portion Stakes at Del Mar in 2013. Mike Smith has the mount.
Post time for the first race Saturday is 2 p.m.