Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015 ( 6 years ago )
July 22 2015
By Hank Wesch
RACING OFFICE WORKS TO SMOOTH OUT SCRATCHES FROM RAINY DAYS
Tom Robbins, Del Mar’s Executive Vice President, Racing loaded a box of books into the back of his SUV parked near the front side racing office early Wednesday morning.
The box contained the second “condition books” of the meeting. Sixty pages in a 4 ¾ by 7 ½ inch format which would be difficult to decipher for the average fan but are a must read for horsemen since the “conditions” for races on the cards from July 29-August 9 are described therein.
It will prove especially of interest to the trainers, owners and riders of the 29 horses scratched from races that were taken off the turf and run on the main track due to rainy weather on Saturday and Sunday. Those trainers, owners and riders will be looking for an opportunity to run that Mother Nature denied.
Saturday was the first off track for Del Mar in 24 years. Eighteen horses were scratched from the three races taken off the turf, seven of them in the $80,000 Osunitas Stakes. Sunday made it two rainy days in a row and 11 were scratched from three races taken off the turf.
“We’ve got everything kind of moved, we had to make a lot of shifts in the writing of the second condition book,” Robbins said. “We’ve got races for all of those horses, but it’s tricky. You’ve got to give them (scratches) enough time (for possible later races). But at the same time, for the ones that braved the mud, you can’t penalize them and write a race right back. They’re the ones that helped us out.”
Robbins, Racing Secretary David Jerkens and the racing office staff worked all day Monday on the condition book which was distributed Wednesday morning.
“We had to shuffle some things around but it all works out,” Robbins said. “It used to happen a lot more at the winter meeting at Santa Anita when we used to get rain. It doesn’t usually happen here and I hope it doesn’t happen again.”
SURPRISES TOP JOCKEY, TRAINER STANDINGS AFTER FIRST WEEK
The first week of the meeting brought surprises, and not just from the weather. Take a look at the jockey and trainer leader boards.
Flavien Prat, a Del Mar regular for the first time, tops the rider standings after the first week of the 76th summer meeting. While Jeff Mullins, who won the 2005 training title but concedes he doesn't have the horses (numerically) to harbor thoughts of such an accomplishment in 2015, matched defending co-champion Peter Miller win-for-win.
Prat rode winters and springs at Hollywood Park or Santa Anita since 2009 but returned to his native France for summer assignments. A decision to remain stateside this year and settle in at Del Mar, paid immediate dividends with six wins in the first four days of the meeting. It was one more score than Santiago Gonzalez, who notched four of his five wins on Sunday, among them the San Clemente Handicap aboard Prize Exhibit for trainer Jim Cassidy.
Joe Talamo also had five and three-time defending meeting riding champion Rafael Bejarano won four.
Mullins sent out seven horses the opening week and won four times. Two of the victories came in stakes races, the Oceanside on Opening Day Thursday with Soul Driver and the Grade I Eddie Read on Saturday with Gabriel Charles.
Miller saddled 24 horses and won four races as well. His 2014 co-titleist Jerry Hollendorfer won three races from 10 starters.
SAN CLEMENTE WINNER HAS A ‘HAIR OF THE DOG’ – LITERALLY
Prized Exhibit came out of her victory in Sunday’s $200,000 Grade II San Clemente Handicap fine physically and as feisty as ever, trainer Jim Cassidy reported Wednesday morning.
“She’s in good form and bit the (stable pet) dog on the ass the other day,” Cassidy said with a chuckle. “He goes in her stall and lays down and this time she bit him.”
Cassidy said he’ll give Prized Exhibit, notorious for the quirkiness she can display in workouts, extra time before resuming training for the $300,000 Grade I Del Mar Oaks on Saturday, August 15.
“She lost a little weight in that race, so we’ll give her a couple more days,” Cassidy said.
The English-bred daughter of Showcasing notched her fifth win from 15 career starts. The $120,000 winners’ share of the purse boosted her career earnings to $332,050.
San Clemente runner-up Sunset Glow also came out of the race fine and is headed for the Del Mar Oaks as well.
WINNING PRIZE, KULIK LODGE FAVORITES IN WICKERR
Winning Prize, fourth behind Talco in last month’s Grade I Shoemaker Mile is the 5-2 morning line favorite and Kulik Lodge, looking to extend a four-race winning streak the 7-2 second choice in today’s $80,000 Wickerr Stakes.
Trained by Neil Drysdale and to be ridden by Martin Garcia, Winning Prize is winless in six starts since taking the Grade I Kilroe Mile in March of last year at Santa Anita with five of the six in graded level stakes. Kulik Lodge, trained by Tom Proctor and ridden by Mike Smith, is three-for-three in optional-claiming events since being transferred west from Todd Pletcher to Proctor.
The field for the Wickerr from the rail out: County Lineman (Corey Nakatani, 12-1), Footstepsinbronze (Rafael Bejarano, 8-1), Zuri Chop (Kieren Fallon, 5-1), Kulik Lodge (Mike Smith, 7-2), Baccelo (Tiago Pereira, 20-1), Pure Tactics (Flavien Prat, 12-1), Play Hard to Get (Drayden Van Dyke, 20-1), Global View (Gary Stevens, 5-1), Flamboyant (Alex Solis, 20-1), Wilkinson (Tyler Baze, 15-1) and Winning Prize (Martin Garcia, 5-2).
WHAT’S IN A NAME – The Wickerr, being run for the 26th time, is named for four-time Del Mar stakes winner Wickerr, the hero of the Eddie Read Stakes in 1981 and 1982. He was owned by San Diegan Edmund Gann and trained by Bobby Frankel.
SKY KINGDOM: TAKE III IN COUGAR II
Bob Baffert-trained Sky Kingdom, runner-up to Richard’s Kid in 2013 and Irish Surf in the 2014 running of the race, will be given a third chance to take the final step up when the Cougar II Handicap is run for the 65th time Friday.
The Cougar II at 1 ½ miles is the longest main track stakes of the summer meeting. It has been used as a tune-up for the $1 million TVG Pacific Classic, most notably by Baffert in 2009 when the third-place finish of Richard’s Kid provided the impetus for a $50.80 win in the Classic.
The field for the Cougar II from the rail out: Lideris (Joe Talamo, 8-1), Cat Burglar (Victor Espinoza, 7-2), Sky Kingdom (Martin Garcia, 2-1), Bailoutbobby (Flavien Prat, 10-1), Big John B (Rafael Bejarano, 5-2), Point Piper (Mike Smith, 5-1) and Solid Wager (Tyler Baze, 15-1).
OSUNITAS RUNNER-UP MY MONET OFFERED IN SALE
Three horses have been added to the 4th Annual Paddock Sale at Del Mar of Race Ready Horses, scheduled to be held this Saturday, July 25 in the Del Mar paddock approximately twenty minutes after the last race is declared official.
There are now 22 horses of racing age and 14 two-year-olds in the sales catalog. The three recent additions are the Graded Stakes placed My Monet, a very game and unlucky runner-up in Saturday’s Osunitas Stakes; Mebossman, the 2014 Emerald Downs Derby winner; and Prohibition, a winner of 6 races and $194,000. Both Mebossman and Prohibition are eligible for Del Mar’s Ship and Win Program.
AMERICAN PHAROAH TODAY
After walking in the stable area Sunday and Monday, the Triple Crown winner galloped 1 ½ miles on Tuesday and Wednesday under exercise rider George Alvarez. American Pharoah is scheduled to work again on the weekend for a start in the August 2 Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park.
CLOSERS – Selected works from 263 officially timed the last two days. Tuesday: Distinctive Passion (3f, :37.80), Dortmund (3f, :36.20); Wednesday – Beholder (1 mile, 1:40.40), Stellar Wind (5f, 1:00.40), Sahara Sky (5f, 1:01.80), Nashoba’s Gold (5f, 1:02.20), Imperative (5f, 1:00.80), Hard Aces (5f, 1:01.80), Customer Base (5f, 1:02.60), Catch a Flight (4f, :49.40), Sunday Rules (3f, 37.80) … The Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation has met the $100,000 challenge gift announced by Oak Tree Racing Association in January 2015. The gift and matching program honor Dr. Jack Robbins, who passed away at age 93 on November 29, 2014…A new addition to the jockey colony is 19-year-old apprentice Cerapio Figueroa, who tacks 109. Figueroa, who does not have an agent at present, has two career wins, one at Emerald Downs and the other at Parx Racing, the stewards report.
DEL MAR STATISTICS
|(Current through Sunday, July 19, 2015 Inclusive)|
|(Current through Sunday, July 19, 2015 Inclusive)|
|Winning Favorites Report|
|(Current through Sunday, July 19, 2015 inclusive)|
|Winning favorites on dirt||12||30||40.00%|
|Winning favorites on turf||1||8||12.50%|
|Winning odds-on favorites||0||1||0.00%|
|In-the-Money odds-on favorites||1||1||100.00%|
Friday, July 17, 2015 Contact: Dan Smith 858-792-4226/Hank Wesch 858-755-1141 ext. 3793