Published Thursday, August 6th, 2015   ( 6 years ago )

Stable Notes
August 7 2015

By Hank Wesch

Trainer J. Keith Desormeaux took a look at the past performance sheet for Saturday’s Grade II $200,000 Best Pal Stakes, noted that his Swipe was the 2-1 favorite in a field of six, and nodded his head in approval.
“I think he should be,” Desormeaux said. “He’s training like a favorite should.”
Swipe, a 2-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Birdstone, served notice with a maiden-breaking victory in the $85,000 Summer Juvenile Championship at Los Alamitos on July 12. The win by a head over Mrazek, who scored impressively in Wednesday’s $100,000 Graduation Stakes here, came in the third start for Swipe. He had finished second in a May debut at Santa Anita and then was third in the Tremont at Belmont Park in June, a race in which Best Pal entrant Paynes Prairie finished second.
He’s had two workouts over the Del Mar track, the most recent, what Desormeaux termed “a nice three-quarter breeze (1:14.40), last Saturday.
Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux, Keith’s younger (by three years) brother has been up for all of Swipe’s starts and will be again Saturday. “We’ve had no hiccups with him along the way and he’s ready to go,” Keith said. 
Swipe has come from off the pace in his three previous starts, the first at 4 ½ furlongs and the next two at 5 ½. The Best Pal is 6 ½.
“He’ll rate and he’s bred for distance so the extra eighth shouldn’t bother him,” Desormeaux said.
The Best Pal is the major prep race for the Grade I $300,000 Del Mar Futurity on Closing Day, September 7. “That’s the obvious hope for all of us,” Desormeaux said.
The field for the Best Pal, which goes as the fifth on a 10-race card, from the rail out:  Found Money (Corey Nakatani, 5-1), Paynes Prairie (Martin Pedroza, 5-2), Bistraya (Gonzalo Nicolas, 20-1), Swipe (Kent Desormeaux, 2-1), Nyquist (Mario Gutierrez, 3-1), and Annie’s Candy (Tyler Baze, 4-1).

Elektrum has one win, two seconds and a fourth-place finish in four 2015 starts since being imported from France and placed under the care of trainer John Sadler late last year.
The combined margin in the three defeats for the 4-year-old Irish-bred daughter of High Chaparral: 2 ¼ lengths.
“She’s been the best in almost every single start, but she’s had trouble in every one,” Sadler said Friday morning. “She’s very close with all of these. She’s been kind of unlucky.”  
The trouble lines in the past performances show Elektrum was “off slow,” “steadied,” “steadied” and was “boxed in” in her four starts this year.
Elektrum, unraced since a fourth-place finish in the Grade I Vanity at Santa Anita on May 25, will be given her next chance for a U.S. graded stakes win when Sadler sends her out Saturday as part of a field of nine in the Grade II $250,000 John C. Mabee Stakes for older fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course.
Like fellow Mabee entrant Personal Diary, Elektrum was entered in the Osunitas Stakes on July 18 but scratched when rains forced the race to be taken off the turf and run on the main track.
“She loves the (Mabee) distance. She just needs a good trip,” Sadler said.
The field for the John C. Mabee , which goes as the eighth on a 10-race card, from the rail out: Notte d’Oro  (Flavien Prat, 15-1), Emotional Kitten (Gary Stevens, 4-1), Fanticola (Joe Talamo, 5-2), Stormy Lucy (Rafael Bejarano, 4-1), Personal Diary (Brice Blanc, 15-1), Gusto Dolce (Martin Pedroza, 20-1), Queen of The Sand (Drayden Van Dyke, 7-2), Elektrum (Victor Espinoza, 6-1) and Blingismything (Tyler Baze, 12-1).

The Triple Crown champion jogged one mile around the Del Mar perimeter in his first racetrack exercise since Sunday’s victory in the $1.75 million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park in New Jersey.
A routine similar to Friday’s, starting at approximately 7:45 a.m., is expected Saturday for American Pharoah, who only walked in the stable area from Monday through Thursday after his return to Del Mar.

Doug O’Neill, the meet leader by three for training wins and one behind Richard Mandella for stakes wins, looks to pad his advantage in one and draw even in the other when he sends out  Birdlover in Friday’s featured $80,000 Daisycutter Handicap.
O’Neill horses finished 1-2 in Wednesday’s Graduation, the first stakes of the week, and Birdlover is 5-2 on oddsmaker Russ Hudak’s morning line, second to 2-1 favorite Home Journey,  in a field of nine for the 5-furlong turf sprint for California-bred fillies and mares.
Birdlover, a 5-year-old English-bred mare, is the only starter on Friday’s card for O’Neill. He starts the day with an 11-8 edge over Jerry Hollendorfer for wins. In stakes victories, Mandella leads with three (Osunitas, San Diego, Clement L. Hirsch) to two each for O’Neill (Wickerr, Graduation) and Jeff Mullins (Oceanside, Eddie Read).
The field for the Daisycutter Handicap from the rail out is: Shrinking Violet (Kent Desormeaux, 3-1), Mark of a Gem (James Graham, 15-1), Lucky Mo (Gonzalo Nicolas, 30-1), Our Pure Creation (Fernando Perez, 20-1), Birdlover (Mike Smith, 5-2), Windy Forecast (Tyler Baze, 10-1), Amaranth (Corey Nakatani, 8-1), Harlington’s Rose (Alonso Quinonez, 15-1) and Home Journey (Rafael Bejarano, 2-1).

“Daisycutter” is a racetrack term for a horse with a low running motion especially suited to turf racing. The race has been contested since 2003.

His newly-issued license to exercise horses in hand, Patrick Valenzuela was circulating around the stable area Friday morning, happy to be back and looking to get aboard as many horses as he could.
It was announced Thursday that under terms of a stipulated agreement between Valenzuela and the California Horse Racing Board, he would be granted an exercise rider’s license while his jockey’s license remains suspended through October 31. At that time he will be eligible to re-apply for the jockey’s license subject to CHRB review.
“I’ve got to lose some weight, and this will give me time to do it,” Valenzuela said.
Valenzuela, who will turn 53 on October 1, has more than 4,300 wins in a career begun in 1978 among them the 1989 Kentucky Derby and Preakness aboard Sunday Silence. He has seven Breeders’ Cup wins and two TVG Pacific Classic victories, winning the inaugural aboard Best Pal in 1991 and, 20 years later, the 2011 edition aboard Acclamation.

A field of 10 is entered in Sunday’s $150,000 Grade III La Jolla Handicap, the second leg of Del Mar’s turf stakes series for 3-year-olds. Soul Driver, winner of the Opening Day Oceanside Stakes, first event in the series, was not entered, precluding the possibility of a series sweep which has been accomplished twice since 1998.
From the rail out for the 1 1/16 mile run the field is: Tried and True (Martin Pedroza, 10-1), Hero Ten All (Tyler Baze, 12-1), Om (Fernando Perez, 7-2), Over Par (Mario Gutierrez, 20-1), Cross the Line (Rafael Bejarano, 8-1), Papacoolpapacool (Gary Stevens, 3-1), Pain and Misery (Martin Garcia, 15-1), Pretentious (Santiago Gonzalez, 20-1), Prospect Park (Kent Desormeaux, 5-2) and Royal Albert Hall (Flavien Prat, 10-1).

CLOSERS – Ship And Win eligible horses on Friday’s card are: Panther Creek (1st, Gary Sherlock, trainer) and True Ranger (1st, Dan Hendricks) … Through Sunday, the Ship And Win program had distributed $50,000 in starting awards and $70,890 in performance bonuses for a total of $120,890. Trainer Victoria Oliver secured one of the biggest Ship And Win payoffs of the meeting on Thursday when She’s Not Here pulled off  a $25.60 upset in the featured seventh race under Mike Smith. She’s Not Here had shipped in from Ellis Park in Kentucky. The winner’s share of the $78,000 purse was $46,800 and there was an additional 30 percent bonus ($14,040) plus $1,000 travel stipend as part of the Ship And Win program, bringing the total payout to $61,340 … Gai Waterhouse, the First Lady of Australian Racing, visited Del Mar Thursday as the guest of Del Mar Thoroughbred Club director Jon Kelly and his wife Sarah. Waterhouse has trained over 100 Group I winners in Australia, became the second woman, and first Australian woman, to win the Melbourne Cup when she saddled Florente to win in 2013 and became a member of the Australian racing Hall of Fame in 2007. Thursday she met Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert and Triple Crown champion American Pharoah. She was scheduled to leave Friday for Saratoga, the next stop on her tour … The Race Track Chaplaincy Picnic and Barbecue will be held Tuesday, August 11 at noon at the Infield Pacific Pavilion. Approximately 700 horsemen and stable personnel are expected for the annual event … With two wins on Thursday, three-time defending riding champion Rafael Bejarano broke a tie atop the jockey standings and opened a two-win lead on Tyler Baze and Flavien Prat.   

Jockey Standings
(Current Through Saturday, August 1, 2015 Inclusive)
Jockey Mts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% Money Won
Joseph Talamo 71 13 6 4 18% $671,100
Tyler Baze 80 12 14 12 15% $766,318
Rafael Bejarano 65 12 10 8 18% $749,902
Flavien Prat 74 11 7 13 15% $869,132
Santiago Gonzalez 52 10 3 5 19% $527,124
Mario Gutierrez 37 9 5 1 24% $405,436
Mike Smith 31 5 6 4 16% $590,280
Tiago Pereira 37 5 2 1 14% $196,170
Martin Pedroza 45 4 6 4 9% $218,876
Kent Desormeaux 40 4 4 7 10% $242,144
Trainer Standings
(Current Through Saturday, August 1, 2015 Inclusive)
Trainer Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% Money Won
Doug F. O'Neill 37 8 7 4 22% $401,010
Peter Miller 53 6 7 6 11% $450,416
Jerry Hollendorfer 32 6 5 2 19% $496,042
Richard Baltas 27 5 3 7 19% $281,250
Mike Puype 28 5 2 5 18% $255,520
Philip D'Amato 20 5 2 1 25% $276,920
Richard E. Mandella 15 4 3 4 27% $556,360
Jeff Mullins 14 4 2 2 29% $420,842
John W. Sadler 19 4 1 3 21% $96,820
Adam Kitchingman 12 3 4 0 25% $76,130
Winning Favorites Report
(Current Through Saturday, August 1, 2015 Inclusive)
Winning favorites  19  116  16.38%
Winning favorites on dirt 22 82 26.83%
Winning favorites on turf 7 34 20.59%
Winning odds-on favorites 3 11 27.27%
In-the-Money favorties 63 116 54.31%
In-the-Money odds-on favorites 10 11 90.91%

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