Friday, July 25th, 2014   ( 3 years ago )

Stable Notes Day 7

By Hank Wesch


 IMPERATIVE TOPS NEW LINE FOR SAN DIEGO HANDICAP

Del Mar oddsmaker Russ Hudak issued a new opening line for Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 San Diego Handicap on Friday morning reflecting the tragic loss of Dance With Fate in a training accident on Thursday.

Inheriting the favorite’s role from Dance With Fate, original choice at 3-1, is KM Racing Enterprise Inc.’s 4-year-old Imperative. Trained by George Papaprodromou and ridden by Kent Desormeaux, Imperative was third behind Majestic Harbor and Clubhouse Ride, and 4 ½ lengths ahead of Game On Dude in the Gold Cup at Santa Anita on June 28.

A gelded son of Bernardini, Imperative was made the 3-1 choice on the new line with Magic City Thoroughbred Partners’ Frac Daddy next at 7-2. The field from the rail out: Battier (Victor Espinoza, 20-1), Imperative (Kent Desormeaux, 3-1), Frac Daddy (Joe Talamo, 7-2), Soi Phet (Mike Smith, 6-1), You Know I Know (Edwin Maldonado, 15-1), Honduran (Drayden Van Dyke, 15-1), Summer Hit (Rafael Bejarano, 6-1), Handsome Mike (Mario Guttierrez, 12-1), Footbridge (Tyler Baze, 12-1) and Fed Biz (Martin Garcia, 4-1).

Frac Daddy won the Grade III Ben Ali Stakes at Keeneland on April 19 and Grade II Eclipse at Woodbine on June 1, recording Beyer Speed figures of 103 and 100 on Polytrack surfaces like that of Del Mar. A record of three wins and a second in four starts on synthetic surfaces was part of the motivation for trainer Ken McPeek to ship the 4-year-old colt West for the San Diego. A high finish could  lead to the $1 million TVG Pacific Classic on  Sunday, July 24.

McPeek was at Del Mar briefly last week but returned to his Midwest headquarters and has left Frac Daddy in the care of trainer Blake Heap, who will saddle the horse for the San Diego.   

“Kenny talked to Joe (Talamo)  when he was here and  they’ll talk tagain before the race,” Heap said. “Summer Hit is pretty fast and so is Frac Daddy. We’ve got a good post position (No. 3) and Summer Hit is outside a little more (No. 7). It’ll be up to Talamo to get a good trip. I think Frac Daddy can go to the front or he can sit off the pace.”


SURGERY FOR INJURED DANCE WITH FATE EXERCISE RIDER

Exercise rider Joe Duran, injured in Thursday’s tragic accident while aboard Dance With Fate, was scheduled to have surgery Friday at Scripps La Jolla Hospital for fractured vertebrae and three fractured ribs.

Trainer Peter Eurton visited Duran at the hospital Thursday. Duran’s wife, Janice, is with her husband.

“They said he could have healed without the surgery but recommended he have it,” Eurton said. “Joe feels terrible about what happened, but he’s going to be okay and could be back in 4-6 months.”


POWELL OPTS FOR SAN DIEGO FOR SOI PHET

Trainer Leonard Powell entered Soi Phet in three stakes this weekend -- Friday’s Grade III, $100,000 Cougar II Handicap, Saturday’s Grade II $200,000 San Diego Handicap and Sunday’s $150,000, ungraded California Dreamin’ Handicap.

Friday at scratch time the die was cast, Powell opting to run in the San Diego and scratch from the other two. Soi Phet is a 6-year-old California-bred gelding that was claimed for $16,000 in May of 2013 and has recorded six wins in 12 starts for Powell and has career earnings of $354,085.

“He’s a very special horse,” Powell said. “He’s a great character, he’s got a lot of class and he holds a special place in our heart.”

Soi Phet won four straight races from June 30-September 1, 2013, the last three of them at Del Mar. He comes into the San Diego having won his last two, on June 8 at Santa Anita and July 3 at Los Alamitos.

“I don’t know if I would say he is a streaky horse, I would say he is a season horse,” Powell said. “Last year he started winning in June and kept the string  going into September. Now I’ve noticed that he has really started to blossom. He could be a summer horse.

“The San Diego is going to be the test for us. We’re going to see if we have a very nice Cal-bred or a very nice graded stakes horse.”


SKY KINGDOM: TAKE II IN COUGAR II

Bob Baffert-trained Sky Kingdom, second to Richard’s Kid in the 2013 running of the Cougar II Handicap, is the 5-2 opening line favorite of eight for Friday’s 64th running of the $100,000 Cougar II Handicap.

The field was reduced by the scratches of American Blend, Big John B and Soi Phet. Baffert used the Cougar II, 1 ½ miles on the Polytrack, as a prep for the TVG Pacific Classic in 2009, 2010 and 2012 with Richard’s Kid. On-the-board Cougar II finishes in 2009 and ’10 preceded victories in the Pacific Classic. After winning the Cougar II in 2012, Richard’s Kid was third to Dullahan in the Pacific Classic.

Regarding Sky Kingdom, Baffert said: “It’s a mile and a half, so you never know, but he ran well in it last time and he ran well in his last race.” Sky Kingdom comes in off a win in the American Flag at Los Alamitos.

WHAT’S IN A NAME – Chilean-bred Cougar II won an Eclipse Award in the Turf Horse category in 1972. He was trained by legendary Charlie Whittingham for Florsheim shoe heiress Mary Bradley.  


GAME ON DUDE, CLUBHOUSE RIDE WORK FOR TVG PACIFIC CLASSIC

Game On Dude went four furlongs in :48.00 Friday,  a work that received a relatively rare “breezing” (well in hand, not urged) designation from head clocker John Malone.

Malone timed the defending race champion and 2013 Del Mar Horse of the Meeting in splits of :11.80 and :34.40, with a final quarter covered in :23.60. “A nice step forward,” said clocker Toby Terrell.

Clubhouse Ride went 7 furlongs in 1:24.80, fastest by a full second of four works at the distance. “Very speedy. He appeared to handle the track well from start to finish,” was the clockers’ comment.  


EARLY SUCCESS UPLIFTING TO PENDER

When Bench Light won Thursday’s eighth race under Kent Desormeaux,, rewarding backers with an $18 return for a $2 win bet, it made trainer Mike Pender 3-for-8 for the meeting. He’s tied for third in the trainer standings and his 38 per cent win rate is tops overall.

Some consolation for Pender, who lost his chief client, B.J. Wright – owner of Jeranimo and Ultimate Eagle among other stakes winners – with Wright’s death a week before the meeting started.

“Like most connections we always point for the Del Mar meet and try to have them (horses) on full tilt coming in,” Pender said. “I’m heartbroken with Mr. Wright’s recent passing and not even these wins take the sting away, but it certainly helps.

"I’ve got some new owners who are helping to try and fill the void. Letting go isn’t easy. Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”


DEL MAR JOCKEYS TO AUTOGRAPH PICTURES FOR PDJF SATURDAY

As a fundraiser for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund, Del Mar’s jockeys will turn out in force Saturday from noon to 1 p.m. arund the fountain in the Plaza de Mexico to autograph a picture of the riding colony shot on Opening Day.

The session is part of a national effort by riders at racetracks across America on July 26 to raise funds for disabled riders as well as to spotlight their plight. The PDJF currently pays 60 disabled riders $1,000 a month to help offset their expenses and medical bills. Since its founding in 2006, the fund has distributed some $5 million to disabled riders according to its website (www.pdjf.org).

While there will be no set fee for the autographed pictures, riders will have “boots” available to accept contributions to the PDJF.


CLOSERS – Ship And Win award eligible horses on Friday’s card: Pure Sovereignty (2nd, Doug O’Neill trainer), Contributor (3rd, Thomas Proctor), Clever Royal (3rd, R.B. Hess, Jr.), Local One Thirty (3rd, Mike Stidham), Master the Blues (5th, R.B. Hess, Jr.), Al Free (6th, Mike Pender), Tarn (6th, Richard Mandella), Lideris (7th, Peter Miller, no bonus-stakes), Old Time Hockey (7th, Tom Proctor, no bonus-stakes), Bailoutbobby (7th, Doug O’Neill, no bonus-stakes), Layton Register (7th, Philip J. Oliver, no bonus-stakes), Lirica Heat (8th, Barry Abrams) … Selected workouts from 115 timed Friday: Big John B (4f, :48.60),  Game On Dude (4f, :48.00), Clubhouse Ride (7f, 1:24.80) …The CARMA (California Retirement Management Account) 7th annual fund raiser on July 19 at the Del Mar Hilton Hotel raised more than $70,000 for the organization that provides for retired racehorses. Steve Rothblum, a prominent member of trainer Doug O’Neill’s team, won the Texas Hold ‘Em poker tournament with owner Bob Bone being the other finalist.  


DEL MAR STATISTICS

 Jockey Standings

(Current Through Thursday, July 24, 2014 Inclusive)

Jockey

Mts

1st

2nd

3rd

Win%

Money Won

Elvis Trujillo

38

6

3

4

16%

$321,574

Mike Smith

25

6

2

2

24%

$500,642

Martin Garcia

30

6

1

3

20%

$300,930

Tyler Baze

44

5

5

5

11%

$265,530

Martin Pedroza

16

5

2

0

31%

$157,180

Rafael Bejarano

31

4

6

7

13%

$360,824

Joseph Talamo

39

4

3

3

10%

$265,872

Fernando Perez

32

4

2

1

13%

$180,720

Drayden Van Dyke

34

3

3

8

9%

$178,132

Kent Desormeaux

26

3

2

5

12%

$204,480

 Trainer Standings

(Current Through Thursday, July 24, 2014 Inclusive)

Trainer

Sts

1st

2nd

3rd

Win%

Money Won

Doug F. O'Neill

30

5

4

5

17%

$230,846

Peter Miller

30

5

4

3

17%

$232,170

John W. Sadler

20

3

1

5

15%

$233,468

Jerry Hollendorfer

15

3

1

3

20%

$173,336

Michael Pender

8

3

1

1

38%

$118,720

Kristin Mulhall

11

3

1

1

27%

$105,910

Vann Belvoir

10

3

1

0

30%

$84,500

Mark Glatt

12

2

3

1

17%

$155,780

Bob Baffert

13

2

0

2

15%

$112,580

Mike Puype

13

2

0

2

15%

$93,942

 

 Winning Favorites Report
(Current Through Thursday, July 24, 2014 Inclusive)

 Winning favorites -- 12 out of 58 -- 20.69%

 Winning favorites on Polytrack -- 8 out of 38 -- 21.05%

 Winning favorites on turf -- 4 out of 20 -- 20.00%

 Winning odds-on favorites -- 1 out of 4 -- 25.00%

 In-the-Money favorites -- 32 out of 58 -- 55.17%

In-the-Money odds-on favorites -- 3 out of 4 -- 75.00%


 

Friday, July 25, 2014 Contact: Dan Smith 858-792-4226/Hank Wesch 858-755-1141 ext. 3793