Published Sunday, August 31st, 2014   ( 8 years ago )

Stable Notes Day 34

By Hank Wesch


BLANC’S RETURN COULD BE SERENDIPITOUS FOR MISS SERENDIPITY

Jockey Brice Blanc, out since July 25 with a shoulder injury incurred in a spill, is set to return Monday to ride Miss Serendipity in the Grade II $200,000 Yellow Ribbon Handicap, which goes as the ninth race on the 11-race program.

“It’s good to be back, it has been a long five weeks,” Blanc said Sunday morning outside the Michael Stidham barn in the Del Mar stable area. “This is the longest I’ve ever been out (with an injury). There was nothing broken, it just took some time for my shoulder to heal. I found out I’m not 20 years old anymore.

“But I’ve got a nice one (in Miss Serendipity) to ride tomorrow. Hopefully, she runs well and I can finish the meet strong.”
Blanc, 41, a native of Lyon, France who has been riding professionally since the mid-1990s,  is known for his patience and ability in turf events.  Even missing the last five weeks, he ranks, according to Equibase statistics, 37th of 905 jockeys with $1.03 million in earnings in 2014 on turf.

A nice chunk of that came with a victory aboard Miss Serendipity for trainer Ron McAnally in the Grade I $300,000 Gamely Stakes at Santa Anita on May 31.  It completed a progression for the 6-year-old mare with Blanc in the irons from third in the Grade II Santa Ana in March to second in the Grade III Santa Barbara in April to first in the Gamely.

With Blanc out, Rafael Bejarano took over for the Grade II John C. Mabee Stakes here on August 10, like the Gamely at 1 1/8 miles on the turf, and finished last of six as the 4-5 favorite, beaten 3 ¼ lengths.

“She had some trouble in the race,” McAnally said. “(Bejarano) said he had to move on her sooner than he wanted when a horse on the outside of him started making a move. Then he got trapped (in traffic) and she didn’t run as well as we hoped she would.

“She has trained well up to the race and with Brice Blanc back on her we hope she runs well. He rides her about the best of any of them.”

The field for the Yellow Ribbon:  Stormy Lucy (Rafael Bejarano, 5-1), Need You Now (Corey Nakatani, 15-1), Bunairgead (Joe Talamo, 20-1), Heat Du Jour (Alex Solis, 12-1), Cozze Up Lady (Kent Desormeaux, 4-1), Wishing Gate (Drayden Van Dyke, 7-2), Parranda (Elvis Trujillo, 3-1), Winning Rhythm (Mike Smith, 12-1) and Miss Serendipity (Brice Blanc, 4-1).


BAFFERT MAY NOT HAVE FAVORITE, BUT HE’LL BE A FUTURITY FACTOR   

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert has put together three different winning streaks in the Del Mar Futurity. He won seven straight from 1996 to 2002, then produced back-to-back wins in 2008-2009 and 2011-12.

Aiming  to start a new streak and add to his runaway leading total for Futurity wins, Baffert will be sending out American Pharaoh and Holiday Camp in the field of nine expected for the Grade  I $300,000, 7-furlong event Wednesday.

“I’ve got a maiden (American Pharaoh) and another that ran really well his first time out (Holiday Camp),” Baffert said Sunday. “They’re training well, so we’ll see what happens.”

Best Pal Stakes winner Skyway figures to go favored when oddsmaker Russ Hudak issues his line Monday morning. But Hudak said he will be taking a long look at Holiday Camp. The son of Street Boss, a $700,000 purchase at the Ocala sale in March, won handily in his racing debut on June 7 at Santa Anita, then was last of six as the even-money favorite  in the Santa Anita Juvenile on June 22 after a rough start.

On August 27, one week out from the Futurity, he worked six furlongs in 1:12, best of nine at the distance.

Baffert, who has had multiple favorites over the years and saddled the lowest-priced winner in Futurity history (Officer, $2.20, 2001) is accepting, but not entirely comfortable, with his 2014 situation.

“I’d rather have the two favorites,” Baffert said. “That way there’s more room for error.”

From the rail out the field is: American Pharoah (Victor Espinoza), Oh Newman (Aaron Gryder), Inexcess Time (Joe Talamo), Calculator (Elvis Trujillo), Iron Fist (Mike Smith), Henry’s Holiday (Tyler Baze), Red Button (Rafael Bejarano), Holiday Camp (Martin Garcia) and Skyway (Corey Nakatani). 


ENTERPRISING GOES FOR SWEEP IN DEL MAR DERBY

With victories notched in the Oceanside Stakes and La Jolla Handicap, Enterprising goes for a sweep of the stakes series  for 3-year-olds in Sunday’s $300,000 Del Mar Derby.

If successful, the Elusive Quality colt, trained by Tom Proctor and ridden by Mike Smith, would join Lightning Mandate (1974), Ladies Din (1998) and Blackdoun 2004) as the only horses to complete the triple.

WHAT’S IN A NAME-- The Del Mar Derby is the traditional championship race of the summer season for three-year-olds. Inaugurated in l945, it was contested on the main track until 1970 when the stakes was moved to the infield grass course.


JOJO WARRIOR RETURNS IN TORREY PINES

Jojo Warrior, making her first start since a victory in the Grade II Summer Oaks at Santa Anita on June 21, is the 2-1 morning line favorite in Sunday’s Grade III $100,000 Torrey Pines Stakes.

A victory by Jojo Warrior would be the third in the Torrey Pines for Bob Baffer and the Hall of Fame trainer also has Tiz Midnight, the 7-2 second choice in the $90,000 Tranquility Lake overnight stakes, on Sunday’s program.

Baffert’s previous Torrey Pines wins came with Magical Allure for Golden Eagle Farm in 1998 and Pussycat Doll for Mike Pegram in 2005.

WHAT’S IN A NAME – The Torrey Pines Stakes is named for the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve south of Del Mar race track. The race was inaugurated in 1976 and will have its 37th running today.

WHAT’S IN A NAME-- The Tranquility Lake Stakes honors the multi stakes-winning mare owned by Mr. and Mrs. Martin Wygod and trained by Julio Canani. Tranquility Lake won three stakes at Del Mar – the Palomar Handicap twice and the Clement L. Hirsch Stakes.


BEJARANO PULLS AWAY TOWARD JOCKEY TITLE, TRAINERS STILL CLOSE

With four wins Saturday, two-time defending champion Rafael Bejarano pulled away to a six-win lead (34-28) over Kent Desormeaux and Elvis Trujillo. Desormeaux had one win on Saturday’s 11-race card, Trujillo two.

It appeared to be the day that clinched, all but mathematically, the title.

“Every time I win one, he wins two,” Desormeaux lamented Sunday morning in the stable area. “That’s all right, I would kiss the earth to have a meeting like this every year.”

Desormeaux is third behind Mike Smith and Bejarano for win percentage and earnings. In stakes victories, it’s Smith 8, Desormeaux 6 and Bejarano 3.

Jerry Hollendorfer, Peter Miller and John Sadler saddled one winner each on Saturday as Hollendorfer (18 wins) maintained a margin of two over Miller and four over Sadler. 


TRUJILLO DEFEATS NAKATANI IN ‘BATTLE OFF THE SADDLE’

Elvis (Heartbreak) Trujillo floored Corey (Knockout) Nakatani in the third and final round and went on to win a unanimous decision in the much-anticipated “Battle Off the Saddle” Saturday night before a raucously enthusiastic crowd at Del Mar’s Seaside Terrace.

The three round bout between two of the nation’s top jockeys was the climax of a card of boxing with a portion of the proceeds going to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.

Nakatani was the aggressor in the first round as Trujillo jabbed and moved after being hit with a solid right hand early in the fight, most observors awarding the round to Nakatani.

In the second round, Trujillo changed tactics and attacked as the two boxers mixed it up in several multi-punch exchanges. Trujillo appeared to win the round, so going into the third and final two-minute period it seemed either fighter could win.

However, Trujillo landed the best punch of the bout, a hard overhand right early in the round,  knocking Nakatani across the ring and down. Nakatani rose and took an eight count, but the knockdown was the decider in what had been an even battle until then.

Guest judges at ringside were Hall of Famers Mike Smith and Alex Solis plus Cisco Alvarado. Smith scored it 29-28; Solis, 29-27, and Alvarado, 30-27, all in favor of Panamanian Trujillo. 


TRAKUS FACTS

Sunset Glow covered one of the shortest trips in the Del Mar Debutante, covering 25, 27, and 21 feet less than the second, third, and fourth placers, respectively. Third placer Conquest Eclipse ran the fastest final furlong in 12.92 seconds.


CLOSERS –  Del Mar Debutante winner Sunset Glow and runner-up Heremmynency both came out of the Grade I race in good shape, their camps reported. Sunset Glow will be shipped to Kentucky and trainer Wesley Ward to be pointed for a Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies race at Santa Anita on October 31. Trainer Mike Stidham said Her Emmynency would be sent to Santa Anita with distance races on turf the likely target … Ship and Win eligible horses on Sunday’s card are: Quint (1st, Simon Callaghan, trainer), Thegirlinthatsong (Jerry Hollendorfer, no bonus, stakes), Talco (9th, John Sadler, no bonus, stakes), Aventador (9th, Darrell Vienna, no bonus, stakes), Malibu Way (10th, Alfredo Marquez), Seek A Star (11th, Patrick Biancone) and Halljoy (11th, Gary Mandella) … Selected workouts from 125 timed Sunday: Istanford (4f, :47.60), Setsuko (4f, :50.40), Soi Phet (5f, turf, 1:06.00).


DEL MAR STATISTICS

Jockey Standings

(Current Through Saturday, August 30, 2014 Inclusive)

Jockey

Mts

1st

2nd

3rd

Win%

Money Won

Rafael Bejarano

172

34

32

29

20%

$2,194,492

Kent Desormeaux

150

28

27

21

19%

$1,998,700

Elvis Trujillo

179

28

19

26

16%

$1,560,020

Mike Smith

109

26

12

13

24%

$2,662,084

Tyler Baze

192

19

24

23

10%

$1,380,450

Joseph Talamo

192

18

26

21

9%

$1,630,832

Drayden Van Dyke

162

17

23

22

10%

$1,042,608

Victor Espinoza

116

17

11

15

15%

$1,484,586

Fernando Perez

142

16

12

10

11%

$832,202

Corey Nakatani

74

13

7

9

18%

$1,073,382

 

 Trainer Standings

(Current Through Saturday, August 30, 2014 Inclusive)

Trainer

Sts

1st

2nd

3rd

Win%

Money Won

Jerry Hollendorfer

79

18

15

7

23%

$1,721,578

Peter Miller

115

16

10

16

14%

$874,884

John W. Sadler

99

14

11

17

14%

$1,048,448

Doug F. O'Neill

118

12

18

19

10%

$1,061,786

Robert B. Hess, Jr.

51

12

8

6

24%

$475,570

Philip D'Amato

57

10

5

12

18%

$788,150

Vann Belvoir

43

9

3

3

21%

$230,610

Bob Baffert

63

8

7

7

13%

$741,240

Richard Baltas

47

8

6

4

17%

$518,742

Mike Puype

57

7

5

9

12%

$397,428

 

Winning Favorites Report

(Current Through Saturday, August 30, 2014 Inclusive)

Winning favorites -- 86 out of 293 -- 29.35%

Winning favorites on Polytrack -- 70 out of 232 -- 30.17%

Winning favorites on turf -- 16 out of 61 -- 26.23%

Winning odds-on favorites -- 11 out of 20 -- 55.00% 

In-the-Money favorites -- 186 out of 293 -- 63.48%

In-the-Money odds-on favorites -- 15 out of 20 -- 75.00%


Sunday, August 31, 2014 Contact: Dan Smith 858-792-4226/Hank Wesch 858-755-1141 ext. 3793