Published Saturday, August 1st, 2015   ( 6 years ago )

Stable Notes
August 1 2015

By Hank Wesch
 

 
SUNDAY COULD PROVE TO BE A REAL GOOD DEAL FOR BAFFERT
 
Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert has the odds-on favorite in a big race for 3-year-olds on Sunday.
 
Yeah, yeah we know, Triple Crown champion American Pharoah, 1-5 on the morning line in the $1.75 million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park.
 
No. Gimme Da Lute, 4-5 on oddmaker Russ Hudak’s morning line in a field of six for the $200,000 Real Good Deal Stakes here at Del Mar.
 
Baffert, his top assistant Jim Barnes, owner Ahmed Zayat and family will, of course, all be in New Jersey, having traveled from Del Mar in the past few days.  Barnes made the trip with American Pharoah on Wednesday and has been there through a  media blitz upon arrival and a reported 5,000 on hand to watch American Pharoah gallop Friday morning.
 
The eyes of the racing world will naturally be on American Pharoah when he takes on seven rivals in the  1 1/8 mile race which has a scheduled post of 2:52 p.m. Pacific time, making it fall between the second and third races of nine on the Del Mar card.
 
Back here the eyes of jockey Martin Garcia, who exercises American Pharoah and is the go-to rider for many of Baffert’s stakes standouts, will also be trained on the Haskell. Then he’ll suit up for the Real Good Deal, the fifth on a nine-race card with an approximate post of 4:10 Pacific.
 
“We’re excited and looking forward to it,” said  Tony Matos, Garcia’s agent. 
 
Gimme Da Lute, a son of Midnight Lute owned and bred in California by the partnership of Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman, was unraced as a 2-year-old but has four wins in seven starts in a career begun on January 31 of this year. Gimme Da Lute comes in off victories in the Grade III Affirmed at Santa Anita and the Grade II Los Alamitos Derby.
 
For the record: Baffert  has won the Haskell seven times, the Real Good Deal three with the last one coming with Stormy Jack in 2000. Baffert is the runaway leader in career stakes victories at Del Mar with 108 but the stable has seen limited success (1 for 18) in the first 12 days of the meeting. 
 
Gimme Da Lute is the only graded stakes winner in the field, but three rivals also won their most recent starts – Smack Talk and Rocco’s Wheel at Los Alamitos, Neveradoubt at Del Mar in the rain on July 18 in a race that was taken off the turf and run on the main track.
 
“Just taking a shot,” said trainer Mike Puype  of Neveradoubt. “Cal-bred 3-year-olds and where else am I going to run him? He ran well on the wet track and it might be different on dry dirt. But the best horses don’t always win and for $200,000 it’s worth taking a shot.”
 
The field for Real Good Deal, which goes as the fifth on a nine-race card, with an approximate post time of 4 p.m. is: Richard’s Boy (Fernando Perez, 6-1), Rocko’s Wheel (Joe Talamo, 5-1), Neveradoubt (Santiago Gonzalez, 8-1), Grazen Sky (Rafael Bejarano, 4-1), Smack Talk (Flavier Prat, 12-1) and Gimme Da Lute (Martin Garcia, 4-5).
 

 
HOLLENDORFER REFLECTS ON EARLY MENTOR JERRY DUTTON
 
Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer is in Charlestown, West Virginia to saddle Iron Fist in Saturday afternoon’s $750,000 West Virginia Derby. Contacted by phone Saturday morning, Hollendorfer reflected on an early mentor, Jerry Dutton, who died Thursday.
 
“Jerry was one of the very first people I worked for when I came out to California,” Hollendorfer said. “I learned a lot from him and my methods, what I do today, I incorporated from him.
 
“One thing nobody could outdo Jerry on was work ethic. You worked for him, you worked hard and long hours and so did he. I was proud to have worked for him and trained for him over the years.”
 
Dutton, a prominent Thoroughbred trainer in California for more than 50 years, died Thursday in his native Idaho, where he and his wife Barbara had resided since his retirement in May 2006.
 
Dutton was 87 years old.
 
Dutton saddled four stakes winners at Del Mar: Linda Card (1989 Fleet Treat), I’monfireforyou (1998 I’m Smokin’), Wild Babe (2004 Oceanside first division) and Senor Fango (2004 Graduation).
 
Dutton’s last official starter as a trainer was at Hollywood Park. According to Equibase, his trainees earned more than $20 million since 1966 with 1,624 winners from 12,645 starters.
 
Among Dutton's stakes winners were Century's Envoy, Zama Hummer, Starry Ice, Elaine's Angel and Wild Babe. He saddled Confederate Yankee in the 1974 Kentucky Derby to a 12th place finish in a 23-horse field.
 
He was also an active breeder and bloodstock agent. Among the horses he bred were Grade I Carter Handicap winner Forest Danger (2005), Golden Ballet and Tales In Excess.
 
With wife Barbara Jean as his partner, the Dutton Stables remained active as owners and breeders through December 2014. They owned horses in partnership with Tom Kessler, Rick Awtrey, Tom Capehart, Harry Bettis and other longtime friends and clients.
 
Dutton was inducted into the Idaho Thoroughbred Association Hall of Fame in 2007. Barbara Dutton served on the Thoroughbred Owners of California Board of Directors from 2002-2005.
 

 
DEL MAR RETURN OF BEHOLDER HIGHLIGHTS HIRSCH
 
Two-time Eclipse Award winner Beholder’s first race at Del Mar in nearly two years is the highlight of the featured  Grade I $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes, a “Win And You’re In” Challenge Series event for the $2 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff, on Saturday’s program.
 
Beholder, voted the top  2-year-old filly of  2012 and top 3-year-old filly of 2013, last raced here in September of 2013, winning the Torrey Pines Stakes. Beholder has six wins in seven starts since then, among them the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Distaff but missed the 2014 Del Mar summer season with an injury.
 
Beholder could provide Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella with the first Clement Hirsch victory of  his career.
 

 
WHAT’S IN A NAME – CLEMENT L. HIRSCH STAKES
 
The Clement L. Hirsch Stakes honors the memory of one of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club’s founding directors. During a long career as a an owner and breeder he campaigned stakes stars June Darling and Figonero.
 

 
FOUR-WAY TIE FOR LEAD IN JOCKEY STANDINGS
 
Tyler Baze won three races Friday, Flavien Prat and Rafael Bejarano one each.  And voila, a four-way tie for the lead in the jockey standings. Baze, Prat, Bejarano and Joe Talamo, who went into Friday’s card with a solo lead, all have 11 victories in the first 12 days of the meeting.
 
Baze, 32, ended July with a rush and can hope that August proves as pleasantly memorable as was August of 2014. On August 2, Baze and his wife Christina welcomed daughter Emilia into the world and on August 14, Baze recorded his 2000th career win aboard Kate’s Event.
 
Friday’s triple raised Baze’s career win total  to 2,160 according to Equibase statistics. He ranks 10th in North America for 2015 with earnings of more than $5.9 million.
 

 
PENDER HAS PRIME PROSPECT FOR BEST PAL
 
Trainer Mike Pender is just getting to know Payne’s Prairie, having only purchased the 2-year-old son of Tale of Ekati a little over a week ago. But Pender said he likes what he sees in a colt that won a maiden race in his third start for trainer Steve Asmussen on July 4 at Belmont Park.
 
Prior to that, Payne’s Prairie had been second in a maiden race at Churchill Downs on May 23 and second, 13 days later,  in the Tremont Stakes at Belmont Park.
 
“The horse really impressed me in his three races,” Pender said. “For him to run in a stakes in his second start, moving from Churchill Downs to the Big Sandy, Belmont Park, in two weeks and from a maiden race to a stakes in two weeks. Not a lot of horses can make that transition.
 
“Everybody knows that Belmont Park, with its sand base, is one of the most tiring tracks in the country. And he handled it with aplomb. Then when I watched him break his maiden with ease, I knew I had to have him. There aren’t a lot of good 2-year-olds for sale. When you’ve got one, you hold on tight. But they were willing to sell and we were willing to buy.”
 
Payne’s Prairie was purchased for an undisclosed price for owner Jack McShayne.
 
The purchase was quickly completed, Pender said, on July 24 and the colt, who stands 16 hands high, was quickly brought to Del Mar. Payne’s Prairie worked four furlongs in :48.20 on Wednesday.
 
Payne’s Prairie is nominated to the $200,000 Grade II Best Pal Stakes on Saturday, August 8. Pender said a rider has “yet to be determined.”
 

 
CLOSERS – Del Mar is hosting a group of 56 members of the Tokyo Horse Owners Association on Saturday. The fourth race on the program is named in their honor…Ship and Win eligible horses on Saturday’s card are: Nutty Futty (3rd, Edward Freeman, trainer) and Lamontagne (6th, Wesley Ward)…Jockey Edwin Maldonado, approaching 1,000 career wins,  has 994 entering Saturday’s program and five mounts on the card…Trainer Sam Scolamieri said Obey came out of  Friday’s CTBA Stakes well. It was the first Del Mar stakes win for Scolamieri, jockey Tiago Pereira and owner Ted Serna.
 

 
DEL MAR STATISTICS
 
Jockey Standings
(Current Through Friday, July 31, 2015 Inclusive)
Jockey Mts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% Money Won
Tyler Baze 72 11 13 9 15% $654,858
Rafael Bejarano 58 11 9 8 19% $685,802
Flavien Prat 66 11 6 10 17% $828,320
Joseph Talamo 63 11 4 4 17% $575,950
Mario Gutierrez 34 9 5 1 26% $404,686
Santiago Gonzalez 44 9 2 5 20% $469,344
Mike Smith 31 5 6 4 16% $590,280
Kent Desormeaux 40 4 4 7 10% $242,144
Drayden Van Dyke 35 4 2 6 11% $222,094
Tiago Pereira 31 4 2 1 13% $147,480
  
Trainer Standings
(Current Through Friday, July 31, 2015 Inclusive)
Trainer Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% Money Won
Doug F. O'Neill 35 8 7 3 23% $395,960
Peter Miller 48 6 6 6 13% $430,036
Jerry Hollendorfer 29 6 4 1 21% $472,992
Richard Baltas 22 5 3 6 23% $272,510
Philip D'Amato 17 5 2 1 29% $270,950
Jeff Mullins 13 4 2 1 31% $412,442
Mike Puype 25 4 1 5 16% $198,070
John W. Sadler 16 4 1 3 25% $90,030
Richard E. Mandella 14 3 3 4 21% $376,360
Vann Belvoir 17 3 3 1 18% $104,820
 
Winning Favorites Report
(Current Through Friday, July 31, 2015 Inclusive)
Winning favorites
27 
106 
25.47%
Winning favorites on dirt
20
75
26.67%
Winning favorites on turf
7
31
22.58%
Winning odds-on favorites
2
10
20.00%
In-the-Money favorites
2
10
20.00%
In-the-Money odds-on favorites
9
10
90.00%
 

 
Contact: Dan Smith 858-792-4226/Hank Wesch 858-755-1141 ext. 3793