Sunday, November 30th, 2014   ( 6 years ago )

Stable Notes Day 15
November 30 2014

By Hank Wesch
 

 
GOOD VIBES FROM CALIFORNIA CHROME WIN LINGER AFTER DERBY
 
Immediately following California Chrome’s stirring victory, viewed by 21,889 on track Saturday, Mark Casse sought out Art Sherman.
 
The trainer of runner-up Lexie Lou shook hands with the trainer of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner and offered congratulations and compliments.
 
“Great job. You deserve it,” Casse said before turning Sherman over to the crush of media and California Chrome followers. Later, Casse expanded on his thoughts.
 
“He’s a very classy man,” Casse said. “It takes some real moxie to do what he did and run a horse that has done so well on dirt on the grass for the first time in a race like that. I can’t imagine the pressure that was on him, but he did it.”
 
California Chrome co-owner Steve Coburn after the race: “Art said he had a real strong, gut feeling that  this horse would run on grass. We said, ‘OK, Art, if you really feel that strong, let’s find a race for him.’ This was it.”
 
California Chrome’s victory, his fourth in a Grade I stakes in 2014 – one more than any of the other major Horse of the Year candidates – polished Chrome’s credentials for that honor as well as top 3-year-old. A loss would have … well, that possibility Sherman said he never gave a thought.  
 
“I know there was a lot on the line, people have told me that,” Sherman said. “If he didn’t run well, I would have looked like somebody who didn’t know what he was doing.
 
“But I know this horse. He wasn’t going to let me down.”
 
Sherman watched closely as California Chrome was walked around the barn area at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday. The walk was occasionally halted for the chestnut colt to look over the surroundings or pose for pictures from those who stopped by. “He ate up good last night, we checked him out this morning and the knees, ankles and everything looked tight. I’m happy,” Sherman said.
 
Saturday’s crowd, largest of the Bing Crosby Season, had a few thousand hard-core “Chromies” and several thousand more single-day enlistees to the California Chrome army of fans. They cheered his name when it was announced, cheered Coburn and the entourage when the group was shown on the big infield video board, and were in full throat when Victor Espinoza let Chrome loose in the stretch for a two-length victory.
 
“Reminded me of an opening day crowd, not an end of the meeting one,” Sherman said.
 
California Chrome is scheduled to van back to Los Alamitos on Sunday afternoon, accompanied by stablemate Perfect Set, Sherman’s final Bing Crosby Season starter in the day’s third race.
 

 
GIVEN FIRST-YEAR EXPERIENCE, CASSE HOPES DEL MAR’S IN HIS FUTURE
 
There were a lot of positives for trainer Mark Casse about Saturday.
 
Ol’ Fashion Gal won the $150,000 Grade III Jimmy Durante Stakes which, paired with Friday’s score by Kaigun in the Seabiscuit Handicap, gave Casse back-to-back wins from stakes starters for his stable.
 
Then Lexie Lou ran a creditable second to California Chrome in the Hollywood Derby, enhancing the 3-year-old filly’s chances of being voted the Horse of the Year in Canada.
 
“I was very proud of the way Lexie Lou ran,” Casse said Sunday morning. “I just wanted her to show that she belonged with horses of that caliber and she did that.”
 
Ol’ Fashion Gal and Lexie Lou came out of the races in good shape. Casse has four wins and four seconds from 17 starters during the Bing Crosby season and Conquest Typhoon to saddle in Sunday’s Grade III $150,000 Cecil B. DeMille Stakes.
 
Casse, a six-time Sovereign Award winner as Canada’s top trainer, said after the Seabiscuit: “I hear, or at least I used to hear all the time, ‘He only wins in Canada.’ One of the purposes in coming out here was to show we could compete.”
 
Casse, who has strings in several places east of the Mississippi, brought his family and 40 horses here to stay for the Del Mar summer meeting. He continued his West Coast presence at Santa Anita through the Breeders’ Cup, then came back down for the Bing Crosby Season.
 
“It’s been a wonderful experience for us,” Casse said. “As long as my owners let me, I think there’s a high percentage chance we’ll be back next year. Just looking at my horses today, there’s nowhere else in North America, with the weather and everything, that your horses look as good as they do here.”
 

 
QUEEN OF THE SAND AIMED TO FINISH WHAT SHE STARTED
 
Fans of symmetry – the concept, not the legendary horse of that name in the late 18th and early 19th century England – will be rooting for Queen of The Sand in Sunday’s $300,000 Matriarch Stakes.
 
Queen of The Sand took the first stakes of the inaugural Bing Crosby Season, the Kathryn Crosby on opening day, November 7, going a mile on turf in 1:32.40 and winning by 2 ¼ lengths.
 
Sunday, the 4-year-old Irish-bred is one of five older fillies and mares who’ll cover the same distance in the Grade I Matriarch. Queen of The Sand, trained by Patrick Gallagher, is the fourth choice at odds of 9-2, seeking her first graded stakes placing against a group that includes three graded stakes winners.
 
“The filly’s training well and she looks great,” Gallagher said. “But it’s a step up for her, it’s a tough race and we’re just hoping for a good performance.”
 
The Matriarch field, from the rail out is: Queen of The Sand (Mike Smith, 9-2), Strathnaver (Rafael Bejarano, 4-1), La Tia (Joel Rosario, 5-2), Kadaya (Kent Desormeaux, 20-1), Discreet Marq (Irad Ortiz, Jr., 7-2), Gender Agenda, 15-1 and Sheza Smoke Show (20-1).
 

  
WHAT'S IN A NAME -- MATRIARCH STAKES
 
Inaugurated in 1981 and famously won by Flawlessly three years in a row from 1991-93, the Matriarch is the last Grade I Stakes of the season for older fillies and mares and a fittingly high-class graded event finale for the first Bing Crosby Season of fall racing at Del Mar.
 

 
SCRATCH OF DADDY D T MAKES ‘TYPHOON DeMILLE FAVORITE
 
Conquest Typhoon, the fourth-place finisher in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf on October 31 at Santa Anita, was elevated  to favorite’s status  for Sunday’s $150,000 Grade III Cecil B. DeMille Stakes by the scratch of Daddy D T, who was third, a head in front of Conquest Typhoon in the Breeders’ Cup race. Guilty was also a late scratch from the DeMille, which goes as the sixth race on a nine-race program.
 
The DeMille, like the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, is at a mile for 2-year-olds.
 
“Conquest Typhoon is a good horse,” trainer Mark Casse said. “He had a rough trip in the Breeders’ Cup and he only got beat three lengths. With a good trip, he’ll be tough today.”
 
The field for the DeMille, from the rail out, with oddsmaker Russ Hudak’s new morning line: St. Joe Bay (Elvis Trujillo, 4-1), Soul Driver  (Tyler Baze, 10-1), Sebastian’s Heart (Kent Desormeaux, 15-1), Diamond Majesty (Martin Pedroza, 6-1), Rock Shandy  (Gary Stevens, 8-1), Stormy Liberal (William Antongeorgi III, 6-1), Papacoolpapacool (Joe Talamo, 3-1) and Conquest Typhoon (Mike Smith, 5-2).
  

 
WHAT'S IN A NAME -- CECIL B. DeMILLE STAKES
 
The former Generous Stakes, inaugurated in 1993, has been renamed to honor Cecil B. DeMille, the Academy Award-winning  director/producer of screen epics such as The Greatest Show on Earth (1952) and The Ten Commandments (1956). Mr. DeMille was also the grandfather of Del Mar Thoroughbred Club President and CEO Joe Harper.
 

 
JOCKEYS AND TRAINERS: MILESTONE AND TITLE WATCH
 
Hall of Fame jockey Alex Solis will have three shots early in the Sunday program at career victory No. 5,000. Solis will ride Silver Spirit (12-1) in the second race, Perfect Set (5-1) in the third and Decisive Edge (6-1) in the fourth.
 
The jockey’s title, or at least a share of it, remains attainable for any of the top six or eight riders going into the final day. Victor Espinoza has a leading 11 wins and six mounts Sunday. Elvis Trujillo has 10 wins and five assignments. Kent Desormeaux and Joe Talamo (9 wins each) have five and seven rides, respectively.
 
Drayden Van Dyke and Fernando Perez (8 wins each) could also move up with big days.
 
The training title has been secured by Peter Miller. The victory by Big Cazanova in Saturday’s Native Diver Handicap was No. 13 for the  Carlsbad resident giving him an insurmountable lead of three over Mike Puype and seven over third-place John Sadler.
 
Miller shared the Del Mar summer training title with Jerry Hollendorfer and was Del Mar’s leading trainer for the 2012 meeting.
 

 
RACING VETERINARY PIONEER DR. JACK ROBBINS DEAD AT 93
 
Dr. Jack Robbins, who made numerous contributions to Southern California racing in decades in the sport, died Saturday afternoon at his Rancho Santa Fe home from pulmonary and respiratory disease. He was 93.
 
Robbins was a thoroughbred breeder, owner and a founding member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners veterinary organization. His four sons, Jay, Don, David and Tom all followed their father into the industry in one form or another.
 
Jay was the trainer of two-time Horse of the Year Tiznow. Tom is Del Mar’s Executive Vice President of Racing/Industry Relations.
 

 
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE BING
 
For the inaugural Bing Crosby Season at Del Mar, we’ve offered a daily note, quote or anecdote about the track’s founding father for whom the fall meeting is named.
 
“It was the year he died, 1977, and he sat up in the turf club,” Harper recalled. “I went up and introduced myself and we talked about all the changes we had made. We had redone the turf club and put in a new clubhouse floor and he said it had come a long ways since he was here.  I reminded him that we were in a movie together and I got more screen time than he did. It was The Greatest Show On Earth (directed by Harper’s grandfather, Cecil B. DeMille). There was a pan shot of the crowd looking up at the aerial acts. The camera panned right past Bing Crosby and Bob Hope and stopped on another group of people and one of them was me. I told Bing ‘You were only on screen for one second and I was on for about 10.”
 

 
CLOSERS – Racing secretary David Jerkens expects the final number for average field size for the meeting to be 8.3 horses. That would be .3 higher than Hollywood Park’s average for its final season in 2013. “When you look around the country, that’s a good number,” Jerkens said. “But we’re  more interested in the quality and competitiveness of the fields than the quantity because that’s what defines us. We’re pleased with the support we’ve received from the horsemen … The track will remain open for training through Tuesday…The Polytrack main surface, installed in 2007 will be removed during the off season and replaced with “El Segundo” dirt, the same as that at Santa Anita … Thanks to all Stable Notes readers. See you next year. 
 

 
DEL MAR STATISTICS
 
Jockey Standings
(Current Through Saturday, November 29, 2014 Inclusive)

Jockey

Mts

1st

2nd

3rd

Win%

Money Won

Victor Espinoza

47

11

5

4

23%

$729,438

Elvis Trujillo

70

10

11

7

14%

$526,964

Kent Desormeaux

64

9

12

10

14%

$414,830

Joseph Talamo

50

9

5

3

18%

$481,548

Drayden Van Dyke

68

8

18

9

12%

$496,044

Fernando Perez

49

8

2

10

16%

$261,048

Rafael Bejarano

48

7

12

5

15%

$441,380

Tyler Baze

68

7

4

7

10%

$288,774

Corey Nakatani

43

6

8

8

14%

$524,322

Edwin Maldonado

42

6

5

3

14%

$205,848

 
 
Trainer Standings
(Current Through Saturday, November 29, 2014 Inclusive)

Trainer

Sts

1st

2nd

3rd

Win%

Money Won

Peter Miller

55

13

9

6

24%

$678,868

Mike Puype

39

10

3

3

26%

$390,882

John W. Sadler

33

6

3

5

18%

$262,690

Leandro Mora

48

5

4

8

10%

$196,114

Robert B. Hess, Jr.

30

4

10

3

13%

$198,900

Philip D'Amato

26

4

5

2

15%

$137,428

Mark E. Casse

17

4

4

0

24%

$450,870

Peter Eurton

17

4

0

3

24%

$169,930

Bob Baffert

12

3

5

1

25%

$190,600

Jerry Hollendorfer

28

3

4

6

11%

$237,936

 
 
Winning Favorites Report
 
(Current Through Saturday, November 29, 2014 Inclusive)
Winning favorites -- 37 out of 120 -- 30.83%
Winning favorites on Polytrack -- 23 out of 77 -- 29.87%
Winning favorites on turf -- 14 out of 43 -- 32.56%
Winning odds-on favorites -- 4 out of 15 -- 26.67% 
In-the-Money favorites -- 81 out of 120 -- 67.50%
In-the-Money odds-on favorites -- 10 out of 15 -- 66.67%
 

 
Sunday, November 30, 2014 Contact: Dan Smith 858-792-4226/Hank Wesch 858-755-1141 ext. 3793