Westrock Stables’ distance-loving Sky Kingdom, beaten a half-length as runner-up in the 2013 Cougar II Handicap, heads a field of 11 runners in Friday’s 64th running of the Grade III $100,000 mile one-half marathon over Del Mar’s main track.
Victor Espinoza again has the mount on the Bob Baffert-trained son of Empire Maker who will pack highweight of 121 pounds as a winner of five of 14 starts and $367,872.
Sky Kingdom, a game second to two-time Pacific Classic winner Richard’s Kid last summer, comes into this year’s Cougar II fresh from victory in the American Flag at Los Alamitos on July 4.
Scheduled to oppose the likely-favored Sky Kingdom are Lideris, Longview Drive, American Blend, Old Time Hockey, Ice Cream Truck, Big John B, Bailoutbobby, Soi Phet, Layton Register and Irish Surf.
Post time for the first of eight races Friday is 4 p.m., with the Cougar II carded as the seventh race.