Friday, August 4th, 2017   ( 1 year ago )

La Jolla Handicap Attracts Nine Three-Year-Olds


Sharp Samurai © Benoit Photo

Pioneer Lad and Caribou Club, who outran their long odds to be second and third, respectively, behind Bowies Hero in the opening-day Oceanside Stakes, will try to improve on that finish Sunday when they face seven fellow three-year-olds in the Grade III $150,000 La Jolla Handicap at a mile and one-sixteenth on the grass.

Pioneer Lad, who will have Tyler Baze in the saddle at 119 pounds, went postward at 21-1 in the Oceanside and was a solid second behind Bowies Hero, beaten a length and one-half. Caribou Club, to be piloted by Drayden Van Dyke, also at 119, was a 15-1 outsider in the Oceanside and ran third in a good effort.

Packing topweight of 122 pounds in the La Jolla will be Sharp Samurai, winner of the Rainbow Stakes at Santa Anita June 10. Gary Stevens has the call. Other La Jolla entrants are Fashion Business, 116, Joe Talamo; Colonist, 118, Flavien Prat; Placido, 115, Rafael Bejarano; Offshore, 115, Evin Roman;Double Touch, 118, Kent Desormeaux, and Monster Man, 118, Santiago Gonzalez.

The La Jolla Handicap is the last steppingstone to the Grade II $250,000 Del Mar Derby at nine furlongs Sunday, September 3.

Supporting feature on Sunday’s nine-race program is the $100,000 Graduation Stakes at five and one-half furlongs for California-bred two-year-olds. Entrants are Sir Valentine, Smokem, Bookies Luck, Schulace, Hit the Seam, Utah Ute, Cono, Get Em Up Scout, Don’t Stalk Me, Drizzy and Continental Divide.