Published Wednesday, August 12th, 2015   ( 6 years ago )

Stable Notes
August 12 2015

By Hank Wesch

The withdrawal of Sooner Time and Stays In Vegas reduced the field to six for today’s $200,000 Grade II Sorrento Stakes, the major stepping stone to the Grade I $300,000 Del Mar Debutante on Saturday, September 5.
The shorter field for the  6 ½ furlong sprint for 2-year-old fillies on the main track could make Bob Baffert-trained Pretty N Cool an ever bigger favorite than the 8-5 she was on track oddsmaker Russ Hudak’s morning line.
A daughter of Scat Daddy owned by the partnership of Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman, Pretty N Cool was an impressive 4 ½-length winner in her  racing debut here on Sunday, July 19, covering 5 furlongs in :57.80 over a sloppy track. She earned a 95 Beyer Speed Figure which far outstrips those of the five one-time winners scheduled to go postward against Pretty N Cool.
Hall of Famer Baffert has saddled six Sorrento winners and half of them have gone on to score in the Debutante as well. Accomplishing the Sorrento-Debutante double for Baffert were Batroyale (1995), Chilukki (1999) and Executiveprivilege (2012).
The field for the Sorrento from the rail out: Right There (Kent Desormeaux, 6-1), Gomo (Mario Gutierrez, 10-1), Undisputed (Flavien Prat, 8-1), One True Kiss (Tyler Baze, 8-1), Uptown Twirl (Victor Espinoza, 5-2), and Pretty N Cool (8-5).  

Named for the nearby Sorrento Valley, the Sorrento Stakes was  inaugurated in 1967 and, after a three-year lapse, has been run each year since 1970. It is the major stepping stone to the Del Mar Debutante and identifier of the top 2-year-old fillies on the grounds.

Preparations for the $1 million TVG Pacific  Classic on Saturday, August 22, continued to go on as scheduled for major contenders who recorded workouts in the last two days.
On Tuesday, two-time Eclipse Award-winning Beholder and 2014 Breeders’ Cup champion Bayern worked for their respective Hall of Fame trainers Richard Mandella and Bob Baffert. Wednesday, Mandella sent out Catch a Flight and Baffert saddled Hopportunity for fitness test runs.
Beholder went four furlongs in :48.60 under Gary Stevens in the 5-year-old mare’s first serious exercise since winning the Clement L. Hirsch Stakes on August 1. Catch a Flight worked 7 furlongs in 1:25.00 under Flavien Prat, covering the last five furlongs in :59.80.
Clocker Toby Turrell said Catch a Flight “didn’t slow down from start to finish in an impressive work.” Catch a Flight, winner of the San Diego Handicap on July 25, worked in company with stablemate Paiasolo, who clocked six furlongs in 1:12.40.
“A real nice work and he looks terrific, I’m expecting a big race from him,” Mandella said.
Bayern went seven furlongs in 1:25.60 under Rafael Bejarano* and Hoppertunity five furlongs in 1:00.40 under jockey Martin Garcia. Bayern and Hoppertunity were the  3-4 finishers behind Catch a Flight in the San Diego, beaten 1 ¼ and 1 ½ lengths respectively.
Hoppertunity spotted stablemate Air Pocket about five lengths to start their work, clocker Steve Stute noted and made up three of it  in good order before traffic problems in the stretch prevented completion of the task. Air Pocket was timed in 1:00.80 for the 5 furlongs.
In other Pacific Classic news: Trainer Phil D’Amato said he was “really encouraged” by a 6-furlong work in 1:12 for Midnight Storm on Sunday and the beaten favorite in the Eddie Read Stakes on opening weekend would be pointed for the Classic. D’Amato said he was “still up in the air” regarding the race for Big John B, who served as the workmate for Midnight Storm.

The Triple Crown champion galloped 1 ½ miles under exercise rider George Alvarez. A similar routine is anticipated until the weekend. Owner Ahmed Zayat told the Daily Racing Form that American Pharoah would work Sunday, his first toward an anticipated start in the Travers Stakes at Saratoga on August 29.

Undefeated (2 for 2) Zipessa is the 2-1 morning line favorite in a field of six for Friday’s $80,000 Sandy Blue handicap for  3-year-old fillies on the turf.
A daughter of City Zip trained by Mike Stidham for Empyrean Stables, Zipessa was a 6 ¾ length winner in her racing debut at Arlington Park in Chicago on May 31 and followed it up with a 2 ¾ length win here on July 17. Leading rider Rafael Bejarano again has the call on Zipessa.
The field for the Sandy Blue, from the rail out: Havanna Belle (Tyler Baze, 6-1), Princess Charm (Victor Espinoza, 3-1), Curlin’s Fox (Mike Smith, 4-1), Singing Kitty (Aaron Gryder, 12-1) and Spirit of Xian (Joe Talamo, 5-2).

Eight 3-year-old fillies were entered Wednesday for Saturday’s $300,000 Del Mar Oaks.  The fourth of seven Grade I events during the summer meeting, the Oaks is contested over 1 1/8 miles on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course.
Those named, in alphabetical order are: Her Emmynency, Majestic Heat, Paulina’s Love, Prize Exhibit, Rattataptap, Sharla Rae, Sunset Glow and Zipessa. Zipessa is also entered in, and favored for, Friday’s Sandy Blue Handicap and is expected to go in that race rather than the Oaks.
John Sadler-trained Stellar Wind, winner of the Santa Anita Oaks and Summer Oaks on the dirt main track at Santa Anita, was being targeted for her first turf start in the Del Mar Oaks. But a turf work on Sunday that was not satisfactory to Sadler resulted in a change of plans.
 Stellar Wind is now expected to stay on dirt in the Grade III $100,000 Torrey Pines Stakes at one mile on Sunday, August 30.

CLOSERS – Ship and Win program figures through the first 19 racing days: Starting allowances: $68,100,  bonuses earned $108,558 for a total  of $176,558… Selected workouts from 331 officially timed over the past three days: Monday – Ashleyluvssugar (6f, 1:17.00), Turnover (5f, :59.20), Majestic City (5f, 1:01.00), Customer Base (5f, 1:02.40); Tuesday – Bayern (7f, 1:25.60), Yahilwa (5f, 1:01.60), Beholder (4f, :48.60); Wednesday – Catch a Flight (7f, 1:25.60), Hoppertunity (5f, 1:00.40), Baruta (3f, :36.80).

Jockey Standings
(Current Through Sunday, August 9, 2015 Inclusive)
Jockey  Mts  1st  2nd  3rd  Win%  Money Won
Rafael Bejarano 98 20 16 15 20% $1,111,402
Tyler Baze 111 17 20 16 15% $1,037,690
Joseph Talamo 95 15 9 9 16% $865,150
Flavien Prat 90 14 8 16 16% $1,012,482
Mario Gutierrez 55 12 7 3 22% $660,506
Santiago Gonzalez 85 11 8 8 13% $652,046
Corey Nakatani 47 8 6 4 17% $406,556
Kent Desormeaux 48 8 5 8 17% $470,314
Martin Pedroza 70 7 6 6 10% $307,876
Mike Smith 35 7 6 4 20% $684,850
Trainer Standings
(Current Through Sunday, August 9, 2015 Inclusive)
Trainer  Sts  1st  2nd  3rd  Win%  Money Won
Doug F. O'Neill 55 12 10 6 22% $718,820
Jerry Hollendorfer 46 9 5 6 20% $650,242
Peter Miller 69 8 11 8 12% $578,246
Richard Baltas 38 8 5 10 21% $404,702
Philip D'Amato 39 7 5 6 18% $485,740
John W. Sadler 26 7 2 4 27% $348,310
Mike Puype 37 6 3 7 16% $339,250
Adam Kitchingman 16 5 5 0 31% $127,090
Jeff Mullins 18 5 2 2 28% $445,882
Mark Glatt 29 4 4 4 14% $234,320
Winning Favorites Report
(Current Through Sunday, August 9, 2015 Inclusive)
Winning favorites  46  168  27.38%
Winning favorites on dirt 36 118 30.51%
Winning favorites on turf 10 50 20.00%
Winning odds-on favorites 8 17 47.06%
In-the-Money favorites 97 168 57.74%

Contact: Dan Smith 858-792-4226/Hank Wesch 858-755-1141 ext. 3793 
*an earlier version of this story mistakenly had Martin Garcia working Bayern