Published Sunday, November 21st, 2021   ( 1 week ago )

Stable Notes
November 21, 2021

Graham Motion | Benoit Photo

Graham Motion © Benoit Photo


Maryland-based trainer H. Graham Motion won the 2015 running of the Red Carpet Stakes with Rusty Slipper. Motion’s assistant Alice Clapham, who has travelled with his horses to Del Mar since 2009 as part of worldwide assignments, was here to do the preparation work and saddling.

That combination, both natives of England, will be seeking a second score in the Grade III, $100,000, 1 3/8th mile race for older fillies and mares on Thanksgiving Day. It’s the first of seven graded stakes which make up the four-day Turf Festival to end the Bing Crosby Season.

Single Soul, a 3-year-old, English-bred daughter of  Dubawi, notched her second win in six career starts in a Belmont Park allowance race on October  22 and has been training since at Motion’s facility in Fair Hill, Maryland. The most recent work was Saturday, five furlongs in 1:03 breezing.

Single Soul is scheduled to journey here on Tuesday. Clapham has been at Del Mar since before the Breeders’ Cup earlier this month.

“I haven’t heard anything about the work, but (Motion) must have been happy with it or he wouldn’t have entered her,” Clapham said this morning. “I’ve been around her before and she’s a really sweet filly. She hasn’t travelled before but she seems quite sensible, so you’d think she will be OK with it.”

Single Soul had a forgettable debut for trainer Chad Brown on a yielding surface at Belmont a year ago. In five starts for Motion she has never been off the board, notching a maiden win at Belmont Park in June and the 1 1/8-mile allowance there as an odds-on favorite in a field of six last month.

The Red Carpet will be her first race at the stakes level.

“We think she’ll like the longer distance and we know she likes firmer turf,” Clapham said. “You can’t really get that in New York right now, so this looks like a nice spot. Graham is sending out some for other races as well, so it kind of works out.”

A field of five was entered Saturday for the Red Carpet. From the rail out with riders in parentheses: England’s Rose (Victor Espinoza); Luck (Flavien Prat); Neige Blanche (Juan Hernandez); Single Soul (Joe Bravo), and Nicest (Umberto Rispoli).


Phil D’Amato-trained Acclimate, John Shirreff’s Astronaut and Chad Brown-conditioned Rockemperor, last seen at Del Mar in the $4 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf, are among seven entered today for Friday’s Grade II, $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup.

A victory, or high placing, for Acclimate, Astronaut or Rockemperor, would salve the sting of ill-starred efforts in the Breeders’ Cup, in the case of Astronaut and Rockemperor after gaining entry through “Win and You’re In” victories.

Astronaut rallied in the stretch for a half-length victory in the Del Mar Handicap at odds of 24-1 on Pacific Classic Day in August. Hall of Fame jockey Victor Espinoza found no clear path in the BC Turf, however, had to check hard before the quarter pole and finished 12th  of 14. Rockemperor won the Turf Classic at Belmont Park in October but was in tight quarters throughout in the BC Turf and finished eighth.

Acclimate, with one win and three narrow losses in graded events leading up to the BC Turf was close to the pace early before fading to last.

The post position draw was scheduled this afternoon. The entrants, in alphabetical order: Acclimate (Ricky Gonzalez); Astronaut (Espinoza); Award Winner (Juan Hernandez); Cupid’s Claws (Abel Cedillo); Friar’s Road (Umberto Rispoli), Rockemperor (Flavien Prat) and Say The Word (Kent Desormeaux).


  • Jockey Flavien Prat and wife Manon welcomed their second child, a son they named Lennie, into the world on Tuesday. The newborn joins 3-year-old sister Elana. Elana was in the winner’s circle on Saturday to greet Flavien after he guided Azul Coast to a half-length victory in the Grade III, $100,000 Native Diver Stakes. It was stakes win No. 77 at Del Mar for Prat, 10th best all time and barreling toward No. 9 Kent Desormeaux’s 84.
  • The win on Encroach ($12.60) for trainer Ryan Hanson in Saturday’s first race ended an 0-for-35 drought at the meeting for jockey Tyler Baze. For good measure, Baze notched another race later with Dream Robber ($51.20) for Val Brinkerhoff. Some observers theorized the aerodynamic benefits from shaving the beard he had cultivated since being injured in a spill here in late August was a major contributing factor to ending the streak. Baze wasn’t so sure. “You’ve to have the horses to work with and I loved both of them (Saturday),” Baze, 39, said this morning. “They both ran well. It is kind of a weight off your shoulders (when a winless streak ends), but I’ve been at this 22 years and I know you learn to ride the ups and downs on the roller coaster.” As for shaving off the beard? Superstition about the streak had nothing to do with it. He dropped the hirsute look four days earlier for his wife’s birthday. Whatever the cause, the mojo continued in today’s first race when Baze won a photo aboard Rifey ($10.20) for trainer Gary Stute.
  • It probably won’t last, not with Phil D’Amato and Doug O’Neill and their extensive stables so close behind. But Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, whose streak of seven straight training titles ended in 2003, is back atop the standings. The win by Azul Coast in the Native Diver gave Baffert eight from 27 starters at the meeting. D’Amato is 7-for-30 and O’Neill 6-for-45.

Del Mar Statistics


Jockey Standings

(Current Through Friday, November 20, 2021 Inclusive)

Jockey Mts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% In-money% Money Won
Flavien Prat 55 12 13 6 22% 56% $1,790,750
Juan Hernandez 48 11 10 8 23% 60% $783,246
Umberto Rispoli 49 10 8 5 20% 47% $946,356
Irad Ortiz, Jr. 17 5 2 0 29% 41% $2,847,190
Victor Espinoza 20 5 1 1 25% 35% $716,880
Ricardo Gonzalez 22 4 3 5 18% 55% $275,360
Abel Cedillo 46 3 7 10 7% 43% $249,660
Jose Ortiz 11 3 2 2 27% 64% $2,398,850
Diego Herrera 27 3 1 3 11% 26% $96,420
Joel Rosario 22 3 1 2 14% 27% $4,716,020


Trainer Standings

(Current Through Friday, November 20, 2021 Inclusive) 

Trainer Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% In-money% Money Won
Bob Baffert 27 8 3 5 30% 59% $2,753,900
Philip D'Amato 30 7 3 5 23% 50% $626,190
Doug F. O'Neill 45 6 13 3 13% 49% $922,020
John W. Sadler 23 4 3 2 17% 39% $539,505
Peter Miller 34 3 7 5 9% 44% $360,426
Michael W. McCarthy 12 3 3 1 25% 58% $1,009,420
Jonathan Wong 12 3 2 2 25% 58% $115,850
George Papaprodromou 9 3 1 0 33% 44% $83,960
Vladimir Cerin 11 3 0 2 27% 45% $110,500
Charles Appleby 4 3 0 0 75% 75% $3,680,000


Winning Favorites Report
(Current Through Friday, November 20, 2021 Inclusive)

Winning favorites -- 29 out of 90 -- 32.22%
Winning favorites on dirt -- 18 out of 45 -- 40.00%
Winning favorites on turf -- 11 out of 45 -- 24.44%
Winning odds-on favorites -- 12 out of 24 -- 50.00%
In-the-Money favorites -- 67 out of 90 -- 74.44%
In-the-Money odds-on favorites -- 21 out of 24 -- 87.50%