Dolce Zel © Benoit Photo
A Saturday Veterans Day card at Del Mar offers nine races headed by a $75,000 stakes named for Bing Crosby wife, the Kathryn Crosby Stakes. The overnight affair has drawn nine fillies, eight of them 4-year-olds, one a 3-year-old, for a one-mile spin on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course.
Three Hall of Fame trainers have entered horses in the race and they must all be respected. Richard Mandella has the Arrogate filly Linda’s Gift, owned by Cronin, DiMaraco or Mandara, et al, in the test and she’ll be ridden by her regular rider of late in Tiago Pereira. Neil Drysdale brings in the comebacking Nadette for Team Valor International and will partner her with Hector Berrios. Also, Bob Baffert will saddle the Baoma Corp’s Ganadora with Juan Hernandez aboard.
Additionally, Baffert has another runner in the heat in Magnier, Smith or Tabor’s Lucky for You, an Uncle Mo offspring who’ll be handled by Kyle Frey.
But the filly they’ll all have to beat according to Del Mar’s morning line maker Jon White is Madaket Stables, Dubb or LaPenta, et al’s Dolce Zel, who races out of the Phil D’Amato barn and gets top rider Flavien Prat. White has hung her the 5/2 favorite in the lineup even though she hasn’t raced since last December. The French-bred daughter of the stallion Zelzai had been running – and running well – in graded stakes company back east for trainer Chad Brown, winning twice and placing three other times. Her last out was at Del Mar in the Matriarch Stakes last December 4 where she went unplaced.
D’Amato, who has had a special touch with his turf horses, has been prepping Dolce Zel steadily for this return and she appears to hold a class edge over her rivals in the overnight.
Here are the remaining runners in the field: Richard Pell’s Free and Humble, the lone 3-year-old in the bunch, who’ll get the saddle services of Mike Smith; Luedtke, Oracheff or Oracheff’s Very Scary (Kent Desormeaux); Abbondanza Racing and Medallion Racing’s Tunerloose (Antonio Fresu), and Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners’ Yerwanthere (Umberto Rispoli).
The Kathryn Crosby will go as Race 7 on the nine-race card with a first post of 12:30 p.m. The stakes should go off at approximately 3:30 p.m.