Friday, July 24th, 2015   ( 6 years ago )

Stable Notes
July 24 2015

 
By Hank Wesch
 

 
MILLER OPTS FOR SAN DIEGO OVER CROSBY WITH APPEALING TALE
 
Peter Miller, the defending co-champion who tops the trainer standings through the first six days of the meeting, entered Appealing Tale in both major stakes on the weekend, Saturday’s Grade II $200,000 San Diego Handicap and Sunday’s Grade I $300,000 Bing Crosby Stakes.
 
The die has been cast.
 
“We plan on running in the San Diego,” Miller said Friday morning. “We’d need a couple of scratches or something unusual to happen to go in the other race.”
 
Appealing Tale, a 5-year-old gelded son of Storm Cat, has four wins from 22 starts and earnings of $343,222 for owners Gary and Cecil Barber. He won a mile allowance race in May and was second to Masochistic in the Grade I Triple Bend Stakes, a 7-furlong sprint,  in June at Santa Anita, earning 101 Beyer Speed Figures in both.
 
“He’s got Beyers that certainly stack up against anybody,” Miller  said.  “He’s a good horse, he’s got a lot of speed.”
 
The question would be:  what is Appealing Tale’s best distance?
 
“He’s kind of a ‘tweener,” Miller said. “Six furlongs (Crosby distance) is a little short for him, a mile and a sixteenth (San Diego Handicap) is about as far as he wants to run. But anything from 6 ½ to a mile and a sixteenth, he’s a pretty good horse.
 
“We might run in the San Diego and then shorten him up to the (7 furlong) Pat O’Brien (Grade II, $250,000, Saturday, August 22).”
 
The field for the San Diego, the major prep for the $1 million TVG Pacific Classic on Saturday, August 22, from the rail out: Nowalking (Tiago Pereira, 20-1), Appealing Tale (Joe Talamo, 8-1), Hoppertunity (Mike Smith, 7-2), Bayern (Martin Garcia, 5-2), Majestic  City (Tyler Baze, 15-1), Catch a Flight (Gary Stevens, 3-1), Sammy Mandeville (Rafael Bejarano, 5-1) and Sahara Sky (James Graham, 8-1).
  

 
COUGAR II, SAN DIEGO TEST BAFFERT’S TVG PACIFIC CLASSIC HOPES
 
Friday’s Grade III $100,000 Cougar II Handicap  and Saturday’s Grade  II $200,000 San Diego Handicap will both present opportunities  for horses  from the stable of Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert to step forward and be recognized as candidates for the $1 million TVG Pacific Classic on Saturday, August 22.
 
Baffert will saddle 2-1 favorite Sky Kingdom and 7-2 third choice Cat Burglar in the 1 ½-mile Cougar II, an event which he used to prepare Richard’s Kid for a $50.80 victory in the 2009 Pacific Classic. Sky Kingdom, owned by Westrock Stables LLC, finished second in the 2013 and 2014 Cougar IIs but  didn’t go on to the Classic, an event for which Baffert had Game On Dude targeted. Cat Burglar has been returned to the West Coast after a year away and five competitive, but winless, starts at three different Midwest or East Coast tracks.
 
Baffert has the 5-2 favorite Bayern and 7-2 third choice Hoppertunity in Saturday’s San Diego, the traditional prep for the TVG Pacific Classic. Bayern closed 2014 with a victory in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic but finished dead last in his two 2015 races, the Grade II Churchill Downs in May and the Grade I Metropolitan Handicap in June at Belmont Park. Hoppertunity, winner of the 2014 Rebel Stakes, won the San Pasqual at Santa Anita to open 2015 and has on-the-board finishes in three subsequent graded stakes, most recently a runner-up to Hard Aces in the Gold Cup at Santa Anita, beaten a nose.
 

 
WHAT’S IN A NAME – COUGAR II HANDICAP
 
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.
  

 
MASOCHISTIC, ROCK ME BABY FAVORED IN SUNDAY STAKES
 
Triple Bend Stakes winner Masochistic is the 6-5 favorite in a field of  six – likely to be reduced by the anticipated scratch of Appealing Tale – for Sunday’s Grade I Bing Crosby Handicap. The Crosby, a “Win And You’re In” qualifier for the $1.5 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint, will go as the sixth on a 10-race card.
 
Also on Sunday, defending race champion Rock Me Baby is the 7-2 morning line favorite in a field of 11 for the $150,000 California Dreamin’ Handicap for California-breds. Owned by West Point Thoroughbreds, trained by Craig Dollase and to be ridden by Corey Nakatani, Rock Me Baby followed the California Dreamin’ win with a runner-up finish to Tom’s Tribute in the Del Mar Mile to complete his 2014 Del Mar campaign. He  comes into the race off  a victory in the Albany Stakes at Golden Gate Fields last month.
 
The California Dreamin’ will go as the eighth race on the program.
 
The lineup for the Bing Crosby from the rail out: Kobe’s Back (Gary Stevens, 6-1), Distinctiv Passion (Edwin Maldonado, 4-1), Caminetto (Martin Garcia, 8-1), Wild Dude (Flavien Prat, 10-1), Masochistic (Tyler Baze, 6-5) and Appealing Tale (Joe Talamo, 3-1).
 
The field for the California Dreamin’ from the rail out: Poshky (Flavien Prat, 20-1), Ambitious Brew (Santiago Gonzalez, 6-1), Rock Me Baby (Corey Nakatani, 7-2), Aotearoa (James Graham, 15-1), Weewinnin (Joe Talamo, 12-1), Lucky J Lane (Rafael Bejarano, 6-1), Patriots Rule (Fernando Perez, 6-1), Awesome Return (Mike Smith, 9-2), G.G. Ryder (Mike Smith, 6-1), Temple Keys (Tyler Baze, 8-1), Surf Cup (Edwin Maldonado, 20-1).
 

 
AMERICAN PHAROAH TODAY
 
The Triple Crown winner walked in the stable area following Thursday’s 1:11.0 six furlong workout, fastest by three seconds of 12 at the distance on the day. He will work once more here, Tuesday morning at 7:45, and ship the following day to Monmouth Park in New Jersey for the $1 million Haskell Invitational on Sunday, August 2.
 

SADLER PATIENTLY AWAITS TIME TO PLAY HIS ‘ACES’
 
Three-time Del Mar training champion and perennial contender John Sadler said before the meeting that it would be “Less about the trainers title and more about the big races,” for his stable in 2015.
 
So if Sadler’s charges haven’t created a stir in the first two weeks of the meeting, just wait.
 
Sadler won two Grade I stakes and a Grade II the last two weekends of the Santa Anita spring meeting and all those winners are here with targets in mind.
 
Talco, winner of the Grade II Shoemaker Mile on June 13 is training for the $200,000 Grade II  Del Mar Mile on Sunday, August 23. Gold Cup at Santa Anita winner Hard Aces is headed for the $1 million TVG Pacific Classic on Saturday, August 22. And Grade II Summer Oaks winner Stellar Wind is possible for the Grade III, $100,000 Torrey Pines stakes on Sunday, August 30.
 
“They’re all here, training well and doing fine,” Sadler said.
 

 
CLOSERS—Ship And Win program eligible horses on Friday’s card: No Surrender (4th, Mike McCarthy trainer), Win Quietly (5th, Mike Puype) … Over $80,000  was raised for retired racehorses at the eighth annual CARMA Cares Charity Fundraiser last Saturday night at the Del Mar Hilton Hotel which was attended by more than 150 owners, trainers, jockeys and fans. The evening included live music, a silent auction and charity Texas Hold ‘Em poker tournament which was won by Elizabeth Ellis, who was cheered on by fiancé Joe Talamo. CARMA (California Retirement Management Account) Founder Madeline Auerbach and Executive Director Lucinda Mandella expressed thanks to all participants and sponsors … Selected works from 146 officially timed Friday morning: Yahilwa (5f, 1:01.40), Oscar Party (5f, 1:01.60), Fame And Power (5f, 1:01.60) … Oscar Party was the sale topper at the 2014 Barretts Paddock Sale at Del Mar of horses in training. The fourth such Barretts sale is scheduled for Saturday, July 25  in the paddock area shortly after the last race of the day.
 

 
Jockey Standings
(Current Through Thursday, July 23, 2015 Inclusive)
Jockey Mts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% Money Won
Flavien Prat 32 7 2 8 22% $446,020
Joseph Talamo 28 6 0 2 21% $253,880
Rafael Bejarano 29 5 4 3 17% $228,662
Mario Gutierrez 19 5 2 0 26% $197,236
Santiago Gonzalez 20 5 1 2 25% $286,194
Mike Smith 18 4 4 4 22% $492,414
Drayden Van Dyke 16 4 1 2 25% $144,444
Tyler Baze 34 3 7 6 9% $225,172
Kent Desormeaux 20 3 4 4 15% $159,680
Martin Garcia 29 2 4 3 7% $158,350
 
Trainer Standings
(Current Through Thursday, July 23, 2015 Inclusive)
Trainer Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% Money Won
Peter Miller 27 5 2 4 19% $288,900
Jeff Mullins 9 4 1 1 44% $395,392
Doug F. O'Neill 20 3 3 2 15% $166,050
Vann Belvoir 10 3 1 0 30% $90,500
Robert B. Hess, Jr. 10 3 0 3 30% $67,470
 
Winning Favorites Report
(Current Through Thursday, July 23, 2015 Inclusive)
Winning favorites 18  54  33.33%
Winning favorites on Dirt 16 40 40.00%
Winning favorites on Turf 2 14 14.29%
Winning odds-on favorites 0 2 0%
In-the-Money favorite 30 54 55.56%
In-the-Money odds-on favorites 1 2 50.00%
 

 
Contact: Dan Smith 858-792-4226/Hank Wesch 858-755-1141 ext. 3793