Published Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014   ( 8 years ago )

Stable Notes Day 36

 By Hank Wesch


AS SUMMER SEASON NO. 75 ENDS, THOUGHTS TURN TO ‘CROSBY’ NO. 1

Closing day of the Del Mar summer season has long provided an occasion to look back on 22-43 racing days (depending on the year) and contemplate the 10-months ahead when the thoroughbreds are elsewhere on the Southern California circuit.

This year, for only the second time in the track’s 75-year history, the situation is different.

Instead of 10 months, the wait time for the return of racing here will be only 65 days.  Del Mar has picked up the fall dates formerly assigned to now-closed Hollywood Park and the inaugural “Bing Crosby Season” will begin Friday, November 7, and continue through the end of the month.

The 15 racing days will be conducted on a Friday-to-Sunday basis the first week and Thursday-Sunday the next three. First post will be at 12:30 p.m. on weekdays, noon on weekends with a special 11 a.m. first post on Thanksgiving Day, November 27.

Eight-race cards are planned on weekdays and nine-race cards on weekends with $6 admission at all gates and half-price for Diamond Club members.

It’s only the second time there will be a fall thoroughbred meeting at Del Mar,  the first since a 20-day season was presented in 1967.

With that in mind, Wednesday morning some key trainers from the summer of 2014 were asked for their thoughts on the meeting that’s ending and the one soon to come.

This meeting obviously had some challenging parts to it for everyone down here,” Doug O’Neill said. “But for the most part I thought it was a real good meet. Obviously for us it was highlighted by Goldencents winning the Pat O’Brien, Wake Up Nick the I’m Smokin and She’s Complete the Juvenile Fillies Turf.

“It was a good meet and Del Mar management does everything to make sure horse safety comes first and that the patrons, who push our sport along, are in a happy, comfortable zone. Which is a good combination.”

Regarding the fall meet:

“I’m excited, the owners are excited, everyone in this barn is excited,” O’Neill said.  “For awhile now the fall (meetings) in Southern California, the ones at Hollywood Park, were so ghost town-ish, so anything down here will be better than it has been.

“I’m hoping expectations are realistic and then we can exceed that.”

Details regarding stabling and other matters have yet to be finalized and many horsemen are taking a wait-and-see attitude. For many, the best  option economically, would be to ship horses down from L.A. area headquarters to race rather than bring a sizeable number of horses to Del Mar for the month. But that is the approach O’Neill said he is taking.

“We’re going to ship in and treat it like any other meet,” O’Neill said. “Trying to drive back and forth every day isn’t realistic if you live in L.A. We’re going to have the horses get settled, the humans get settled and be as competitive as we can be.”

Defending training champion John Sadler addressed the same topics.

“Overall it was an OK meet for our stable,” Sadler said. “We’ll finish third in the standings with over $1 million in earnings. Of course, you always think you can do better.

“It was a tough year overall for Del Mar, I know. A lot of things went wrong, but that’s horse racing, it doesn’t always go perfect. I’m waiting to hear what the plans are for the horsemen before making any decisions about the fall.”

Assistant Dan Ward deputized for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer.

“At the start of the meet we were just hoping to win more races and more money than we did last year,” Ward said.  “We have the same amount of wins and hopefully we’ll get one today and have more wins. We’ve already got more money. We’ve had fewer injuries. We’ve had some 2-year-olds win, and that’s the future.

“Nobody knows right now with it being the first time (for a fall meet). We’ll get the  first (condition) book, see what horses we have that fit and go from there. The stakes look good. It looks like a good stakes schedule and we’ll definitely be running.”


SKYWAY COULD PROVIDE A BIG FINALE FOR CASSE

Trainer Mark Casse, a six-time winner of the Sovereign Award as Canada’s top trainer, has pronounced his first season at sunny Del Mar successful enough that  he plans to make it more than a one-season stand.

“We were out to dinner the other night and my son was checking on the internet for houses we could buy,” Casse said recently. “I don’t know if we’re ready to go quite that far yet, but I love the place and I’m looking forward to racing here again.”

Casse will saddle Skyway, the 7-2 morning line favorite in Wednesday’s $300,000 Grade I Del Mar Futurity. Skyway, a 2-year-old son of Sky Mesa owned by John C. Oxley, provided Casse’s stable with its first Del Mar stakes victory in the Grade II $200,000 Best Pal Stakes on August 3.

WHAT’S IN A NAME -- Del Mar’s traditional closing-day feature, the Futurity has been won by three two-year-olds who went on to win the Kentucky Derby the following spring – Tomy Lee, Gato Del Sol and Silver Charm. Two others competed in the Futurity and subsequently won the Run for the Roses -  Canonero II and California Chrome. The Futurity was inaugurated in l948 when it was won by Star Fiddle.


O’NEILL GOES  FOR  2-YEAR-OLD TURF SWEEP WITH  SKY PREACHER

Trainer Doug O’Neill, who won the I’m Smokin with Wake Up  Nick and the Oak Tree Juvnile Fillies with She’s Complete on Labor Day, will shoot to win a third straight stakes for 2-year-olds when he saddles Sky Preacher in the $100,000 Oak Tree Juvenile Turf, the sixth on Wednesday’s 10-race program.

Sky Preacher, a son of Sky Mesa owned by Success Racing, has been freshened since a 7 ½-length victory in a one-mile maiden special race at Santa Anita on June 27 in his first start on grass. The Oak Tree Juvenile Turf is also contested at one mile.

“(Sky Preacher) is  doing well. He hasn’t run in awhile but he has been working consistently and we’re expecting a big effort from him,” O’Neill said.

WHAT’S IN A NAME --  Inaugurated two summers ago as a counterpart to the Oak Tree Juvenile Fillies Turf, the Oak Tree Juvenile Turf is open to both female and male two-year-olds at one mile on the Del Mar grass.  It also honors the Oak Tree Racing Association.


JOCKEYS RACE IS FOR SECOND; TRAINERS IS ‘ON’ IN FINAL DAY

With Rafael Bejarano having clinched his third straight title, the final-day intrigue in the jockey standings will revolve around Hall of Famer Kent Desormeaux maintaining his one-win lead to claim solo second or being caught or passed by Elvis Trujillo.

Bejarano, who has 42 wins on the season, 11 more than Desormeaux and 12 ahead of Trujillo, has seven mounts on the 10-race card. He prevailed with 52 wins in 2012 and 46 last year.

Desormeaux, in his first season based at Del Mar since 2005, has seven mounts Wednesday, two of them favorites on the morning line. Trujillo, in his first season at Del Mar, has eight mounts, none of which is favored.

Thirteen of Desormeaux’s victories were on horses trained by Bob Hess, Jr. They will combine on three horses Wednesday.

The trainers race has boiled down to Jerry Hollendorfer and Peter Miller with Hollendorfer going into the final day with a 20-19 advantage. Hollendorfer is seeking his first Del Mar title. Miller won in 2012. Hollendorfer has six entered Wednesday. Miller, with the late scratch of Heir of Storm in the second, has five.

Miller won three races on Monday to trail by only one win.

Hollendorfer’s lineup: Ain’t No Other  (2nd, Elvis Trujillo, 6-1), Top Kisser (4th, Elvis Trujillo, 5-1), Cougar  Country (7th, Rafael Bejarano, 7-2), Iron Fist (8th, 5-1), Definitely Not (9th, Rafael Bejarano, 3-1), and Taste Like Candy (10th, Rafael Bejarano, 7-2).

Miller’s lineup:  Reneesgotzip  (4th, Edwin Maldonado, 5-2),  Zip Cat (5th, Agapito Delgadillo, 9-2), Lovenseek (7th, Edwin Maldonado, 20-1), Calculator (8th, Elvis Trujillo, 8-1) and Kukaluka (10th,  Drayden Van Dyke (8-1).


CLOSERS – Trainer Doug O’Neill said that both Wake Up Nick and She’s Complete came out of their Monday stakes victories in good shape and are headed to Santa Anita for stakes starts late this month or in October. Dan Landers, assistant to Ron McAnally, said the same is true for Yellow Ribbon Handicap winner Miss Serendipity … Ship And Win eligible horses on Wednesday’s program are: Ore Pass (5th, Phil D’Amato, trainer), Stormy Adieu (9th, Ingrid Mason, trainer), Gabby’s Purim (10th, R.B. Hess, Jr.), Gender Agenda (10th, Carla Gaines) … Racing secretary David Jerkens expects that when the final totals are in the average field size for  the meeting will be around 8.8, roughly equal to 2013. Considering the number of races that were taken off the turf course and other factors,  Jerkens was pleased. “It’s a testament to the support  of owners, trainers and horsemen,” Jerkens said. “And to  the Ship And Win Program, which will show an increase over last year” … Selected works from 70 timed Wednesday: Iotapa (5f, 1:00.20) … Thank you and good luck to all Stable Notes readers.


DEL MAR STATISTICS

 Jockey Standings

(Current Through Monday, September 1, 2014 Inclusive)

Jockey

Mts

1st

2nd

3rd

Win%

Money Won

Rafael Bejarano

189

42

33

29

22%

$2,610,082

Kent Desormeaux

167

31

31

23

19%

$2,183,486

Elvis Trujillo

191

30

21

29

16%

$1,727,632

Mike Smith

117

27

13

13

23%

$2,732,334

Tyler Baze

206

20

26

25

10%

$1,615,080

Joseph Talamo

206

18

27

23

9%

$1,682,164

Victor Espinoza

129

18

14

17

14%

$1,605,376

Drayden Van Dyke

176

17

24

23

10%

$1,073,968

Fernando Perez

152

17

12

11

11%

$859,302

Martin Garcia

115

13

12

17

11%

$1,145,270

 

Trainer Standings

(Current Through Monday, September 1, 2014 Inclusive)

Trainer

Sts

1st

2nd

3rd

Win%

Money Won

Jerry Hollendorfer

90

20

18

9

22%

$1,901,896

Peter Miller

127

19

13

19

15%

$1,032,154

John W. Sadler

109

16

11

19

15%

$1,171,418

Doug F. O'Neill

127

14

18

20

11%

$1,244,266

Robert B. Hess, Jr.

56

14

9

6

25%

$543,360

Bob Baffert

67

11

7

8

16%

$906,240

Philip D'Amato

66

11

5

14

17%

$983,360

Vann Belvoir

47

9

3

3

19%

$233,040

Richard Baltas

50

8

7

4

16%

$540,042

Mark Glatt

61

7

13

10

11%

$610,402

 

Winning Favorites Report

(Current Through Monday, September 1, 2014 Inclusive)

Winning favorites -- 97 out of 315 -- 30.79%

Winning favorites on Polytrack -- 79 out of 247 -- 31.98%

Winning favorites on turf -- 18 out of 68 -- 26.47%

Winning odds-on favorites -- 15 out of 25 -- 60.00%

In-the-Money favorites -- 202 out of 315 -- 64.13%

In-the-Money odds-on favorites -- 19 out of 25 -- 76.00%


Wednesday, September 3, 2014 Contact: Dan Smith 858-792-4226/Hank Wesch 858-755-1141 ext. 3793