Published Friday, July 31st, 2015   ( 6 years ago )

Stable Notes
July 31 2015

By Hank Wesch
 

 
A BEAUTY, BEHOLDER, EYES ANOTHER GRADE I IN HIRSCH STAKES 
 
From June to November of last year Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella had a lot to deal with regarding his two-time Eclipse Award-winning filly Beholder.
 
In June, the then 4-year-old daughter of Henny Hughes – voted the top 2-year-old and 3-year-old filly of 2012 and 2013 respectively, came out of a fourth-place finish in the Ogden Phipps Stakes at Belmont Park with a pastern injury.
 
“We didn’t question that (it might be career ending) unless she got an infection that went to the bone. But that didn’t happen. We were lucky,”  Mandella recalled Friday morning.  “Once we got past the first week and she didn’t have an infection, then we felt it would be fine. That is until she re-hit it just before we left here last year and we had to cut it out, re-suture and start all over again.”
 
By the end of September, Beholder was ready to run again and won the Grade I Zenyatta at Santa Anita, a stepping stone to the  $2 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff, a race she had won by 4 ¼ lengths the previous year.
 
“Then she got sick just before the Breeders’ Cup,” Mandella said. “That just happens and there’s nothing you could do about it.”
 
Beholder, owned by B. Wayne Hughes’ Spendthrift Farm, had a respiratory infection that resulted in inflamed lungs but did not manifest itself in pneumonia. “It could have gone to pneumonia if we’d stressed her. So we had to give her two months off. Her lungs were fine after that and they’ve been fine since,” Mandella said.
 
“We have a lot of disappointments in this business. You just hope something good happens, knowing that it  doesn’t always.
 
“With her, she’d done so much good we could never be disappointed with her. You just take whatever happens and work with it. She had a few setbacks (late last year), but she had none in her first two years.”
 
Plans to run in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff and then send Beholder to Kentucky for sale were scrapped. She is, to the delight of Mandella and racing fans, back in 2015.
 
“Of course we’re glad to have her back, she’s part of the family,” Mandella said. “ I don’t know how long it’s going to last, but we’ll celebrate every hour that we have her.”
 
Beholder won the ungraded Santa Lucia at Santa Anita in April and the Grade III Adoration in June, boosting her career record to 12 wins in 17 starts with earnings of more than $3.4 million.
 
Beholder has two workouts over the Del Mar track in the 10 days leading up to Saturday’s Grade I, $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes, a “Win And You’re In” event for the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. She is the 6-5 favorite in a field of nine for a race, won by Zenyatta from 2008-2010, that is the third of seven Grade Is during the summer meeting.
 
The Clement L. Hirsch field from the rail out: Beholder (Gary Stevens, 6-5), Honey Ride (Victor Espinoza, 10-1), My Sweet Addiction (Santiago Gonzalez, 10-1), Warren’s Veneda (Tyler Baze, 3-1), Legacy (Edwin Maldonado, 20-1)), My Monet (Gonzalo Nicolas, 15-1), Yahilwa (James Graham, 12-1), Thegirlinthatsong (Martin Garcia, 5-1), Gusto Dolce (Flavien Prat, 20-1).
 

 
OUTSIDE ‘PHAROAH SPHERE, BEACH TENDS TO BUSINESS HERE
 
Jockey Victor Espinoza has one scheduled mount on Friday’s Del Mar card and six more on Saturday. Then, following a ride aboard  Rosicky in Saturday’s 10th and final race, Espinoza is off to New Jersey to take his familiar place aboard American Pharoah in the $1.75 million Haskell Invitational in the colt’s first start since becoming the first Triple Crown champion in 37 years.
 
Brian Beach, Espinoza’s agent and the man who secured the mounts upon which Espinoza has won five of the last six Triple Crown races, is staying here. He’ll pay attention to the Haskell, of course, but also to possible rides for Espinoza here next week and beyond.
 
“We were gone for nearly two months,” Beach said earlier this meeting. “A couple of trips to Arkansas (American Pharoah’s Rebel and Arkansas Derby).  A week in Dubai (California Chrome in the Dubai World Cup).  A week in Baltimore (American Pharoah for the Preakness), two weeks in New York (American Pharoah’s Belmont Stakes).
 
“So, on a day-to-day basis, we’re in a rebuilding mode right now,” Beach said. “When you’re gone, your business is going to be affected at home. We lost some good horses back here. Masochistic is one, for example.”
 
“I’m not complaining. The rewards were outstanding. But, for me, it’s back to reality this meeting.”
 
Espinoza rides three races on the Sunday card at Monmouth. Fellow Del Mar-based jockeys Mike Smith (six mounts) and Kent Desormeaux (three) will be there as well. In the Haskell, Smith rides Competitive Edge (8-1) and Desormeaux will be up on Keen Ice (12-1). American Pharoah is the overwhelming 1-5 morning line favorite in a field of eight.
 
Desormeaux will also be back east Saturday. He rides Texas Red for his brother Keith in the $600,000 Jim Dandy at Saratoga.
 

 
GIMME DA LUTE TOPS FIELD IN SUNDAY’S REAL GOOD DEAL
 
Bob Baffert-trained Gimme Da Lute, winner of the Grade III Affirmed at Santa Anita and Grade II Los Alamitos Derby in his last two starts, is the 4-5 favorite in the morning line by track oddsmaker Russ Hudak for Sunday’s featured seven-furlong $200,000 Real Good Deal Stakes for 3-year-old California-breds.
 
The son of Midnight Lute, owned by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman, has four wins in seven starts and earnings of $457,560.
 
The field for Real Good Deal, which goes as the fifth on a nine-race card, with an approximate post time of 4 p.m. is: Richard’s Boy (Fernando Perez, 6-1), Rocko’s Wheel (Joe Talamo, 5-1), Neveradoubt (Santiago Gonzalez, 8-1), Grazen Sky (Rafael Bejarano, 4-1), Smack Talk (Flavier Prat, 12-1) and Gimme Da Lute (Martin Garcia, 4-5).
 

  
TALAMO LEADS RIDER STANDINGS BUT BEJARANO’S ON THE MOVE
 
A victory by Joe Talamo aboard Dr. Crabby ($10.60) for Dave Hofmans in Thursday’s fourth race broke a tie with Flavien Prat and boosted Talamo into a solo lead atop the jockey standings.
 
The 25-year-old native of New Orleans has 11 wins in the first 11 days of the meeting, one more than Prat and Rafael Bejarano. Three-time defending riding champion Bejarano posted wins aboard Fritz Johansen ($7.80) and She’s Reddy ($9.40) in the fifth and sixth races – both out of the No. 1 position – to stay close to his customary place in the standings.
 
Doug O’Neill didn’t sustain the momentum of a track record five-win day on Wednesday, going 0-for-2, but retained a two-win margin (8-6) over defending co-champions Peter Miller and Jerry Hollendorfer.
  

 
WATCH AMERICAN PHAROAH PARTY
 
Fans in attendance on Sunday will have the opportunity to party around, watch and bet on American Pharoah’s first start since becoming the first Triple Crown Champion in 37 years when he takes on seven rivals in the $1.75 million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park in New Jersey.
 
Post time for the race is scheduled for 2:52 p.m., which places it between Del Mar’s second and third races.
 
The Haskell will be shown and heard live on the track’s large infield LED board as well as on hundreds of TV monitors throughout the plant.
 
American Pharoah has been training at Del Mar this summer as he continues his stellar championship campaign and put in a series of sharp recent works on the track where he began his career in 2014, highlighted by a smashing score in the Grade I Del Mar Futurity last September 3.
 
The track is encouraging A.P. fans to dress to impress by wearing their “Pharoah best” and entering the “Pharoah Dress Up Contest.” Check in is at the large fountain in the Plaza de Mexico from noon to 1:30 p.m. next to the lawn jockey with the Zayat silks and the panel of ambassadors and judges. Those wearing their “Pharoah best” – be that human or equine – will automatically win free Clubhouse passes and the grand prize winner – the one deemed “most Pharoah’d out” -- will be hosted at a trackside table for the remainder of the afternoon. 
 
Del Mar’s Silks Gift Shops will feature a collection of American Pharoah items, ranging from original paintings and prints of the star to T-shirts, hats, lapel pins and shot glasses featuring his image. 
 

  
CLOSERS – The Edwin J. Gregson Foundation fund-raising dinner honoring Hall of Fame jockeys Gary Stevens and Mike Smith will be held Monday, August 3, at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar. The dinner and program is scheduled to commence at 7 p.m. following a cocktail hour. For tickets or further information contact Angie Carmona (626) 447-2339 … Ship and Win program eligible horses on Friday’s card are: General Ann (1st, Bob Hess, Jr., trainer), Rockport Kat (2nd, Richard Baltas), Al’s Uncle (5th, Bob Hess, Jr.), Alex Rossi (6th, Peter Miller) and Prayer for Da Bric (8th, Frank Lucarelli). 
 

 
DEL MAR STATISTICS
 
Jockey Standings
(Current Through Thursday, July 30, 2015 Inclusive)
Jockey Mts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% Money Won
Joseph Talamo 57 11 4 3 19% $569,900
Rafael Bejarano 52 10 8 6 19% $618,452
Flavien Prat 61 10 5 10 16% $791,090
Santiago Gonzalez 39 9 2 5 23% $467,414
Tyler Baze 65 8 12 9 12% $548,108
Mario Gutierrez 30 8 4 1 27% $366,786
Mike Smith 30 5 6 4 17% $588,280
Kent Desormeaux 38 4 4 7 11% $241,644
Drayden Van Dyke 31 4 2 5 13% $207,044
Fernando Perez 38 3 8 4 8% $174,406
 
Trainer Standings
(Current Through Thursday, July 30, 2015 Inclusive)
Trainer Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% Money Won
Doug F. O'Neill 34 8 7 3 24% $395,580
Peter Miller 46 6 5 6 13% $406,036
Jerry Hollendorfer 26 6 3 1 23% $463,242
Richard Baltas 18 4 3 5 22% $246,330
Jeff Mullins 12 4 2 1 33% $410,042
Philip D'Amato 15 4 2 1 27% $259,300
John W. Sadler 16 4 1 3 25% $90,030
Richard E. Mandella 13 3 3 3 23% $371,680
James M. Cassidy 19 3 2 2 16% $254,190
Vann Belvoir 16 3 2 1 19% $101,020
 
Winning Favorites Report
(Current Through Thursday, July 30, 2015 Inclusive)
Winning favorites 27  98  27.55%
Winning favorites on dirt 20 70 28.57%
Winning favorites on turf 7 28 25.00%
Winning odds-on favorites 2 9 22.22%
In-the-Money favorites 57 98 58.16%
In-the-Money odds-on favorites 8 9 88.89%
 

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