Stakes Trio Precedes Breeders' Cup Championships Saturday
Smokem © Benoit Photo
Launching the greatest day of Thoroughbred racing in the colorful 80-year history of Del Mar Saturday will be a trio of significant undercard stakes setting the stage for nine consecutive Breeders’ Cup championship contests. Climax of the afternoon will be the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic with “Horse of the Year” honors on the line.
Post time for the first race Saturday is 10:10 a.m., leading off with the $200,000 Goldikova Stakes which attracted a full field of older fillies and mares traveling one mile over Del Mar’s infield Jimmy Durante Stakes. Morning line favorite is On Leave at 9-2 under Irad Ortiz, Jr. Others in the line-up are Laur Net, Malibu Stacy, Thundering Sky, Laseen, Hillhouse High, Kitten’s Roar, Goldy Espony, Majestic Heat, Madame Stripes, Aljazzi, Mrs McDougal, Corps de Ballet and Sassy Little Lila.
Second on the program will be the Golden State Juvenile for California-bred two-year-olds at seven furlongs on the main dirt track. Early choice at 5-2 is Smokem with Evin Roman. His foes will be Night at the Opera, Campaigner, Lucky Pegasus, Lucky Romano, Bookies Luck, Ministersdontparty and Schulace.
The third race, the $200,000 Qatar Juvenile Turf Sprint Stakes, will feature a wide-open field of two-year-olds stepping five furlongs on the grass. The morning line favorite at 7-2 is March X Press to be ridden by Javier Castellano. His rivals are Fairyland, McErin, Count Alexander, El Dulce, Sound and Silence, Treasuring, Corinthia Knight, Out of the Flames, Declarationofpeace, Elizabeth Darcy and Majestic Dunhill. On an also-eligible list are Morinho, Burnside, Factorofwon and Gold Guy Bad Guy.