Sunday, August 10th, 2014   ( 8 months ago )

Stable Notes Day 19

 By Hank Wesch


TVG PACIFIC CLASSIC WATCH, FOURTH EDITION, TWO WEEKS OUT

The potential field for the $1 million TVG Pacific Classic will come into better focus on Thursday, when nominations close for the 24th running of Del Mar’s signature event.

Any who don’t put up the $300 by Thursday can still get in by paying a $10,000 supplemental fee by the close of entries on Wednesday, August 20. But even so, the core group for the 1 ¼-mile event on Sunday, August 24 – a “Win And You’re In” qualifier for the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic – will be known well in advance of the race.

Not surprisingly, recent workouts by major candidates/contenders have seemed to be of a more serious nature. That trend figures to continue for the next two weeks as the race date nears.

Defending champion Game On Dude worked seven furlongs on Wednesday in 1:24.60 with Mike Smith up, going :59.40 for five furlongs and 1:11.60 for three-quarters, leaving stablemate and 2011 Del Mar Futurity winner Drill in his wake.

Gold Cup at Santa Anita winner Majestic Harbor worked seven furlongs in 1:26.40 on Sunday with regular rider Tyler Baze up. “He finished up the last quarter in 24 seconds and galloped out in 1:39 and change for the mile, so we were very pleased,” trainer Sean McCarthy said. “Tyler was pleased at how he bounced over the track with plenty of energy, so all systems are go.” Plans are for a final pre-race work on Monday, August 18. 

Gold Cup runner-up Clubhouse Ride worked 7 furlongs in 1:26.40 on Saturday under exercise rider Manny Rotela. “We’re pleased with it,” trainer Craig Lewis said. “He started slow, picked it up and finished very strong and full of run.”

Undefeated Shared Belief, recent winner of the Los Alamitos Derby, went six furlongs in 1:13.20 Tuesday at Golden Gate Fields in Albany, Ca. Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said the son of Candy Ride will remain in Northern California until the week of the race.

Cougar II Handicap winner Irish Surf went 6 furlongs in 1:13.0 on Sunday under jockey Elvis Trujillo. “It was just what we wanted,” said trainer Dan Hendricks. “He was relaxed and steady and picked it up for a solid last quarter in 24 (seconds).”  Irish Surf is scheduled to have a final major work on Friday

San Diego Handicap 1-2-3-4 finishers Fed Biz, Footbridge, You Know I Know and Frac Daddy all had useful exercises. Fed Biz, whom trainer Bob Baffert is considering for other Grade I events besides the Classic, went five furlongs in 1:00.40 on Monday. Footbridge went the same distance, in the same time as Fed Biz, a day later. You Know I Know was timed in :49.40 for four furlongs on Monday.

Big Cazanova, who set a track record for one mile (1:34.60), one race ahead of the 1 1/16 mile San Diego Handicap on July 26, remains a possibility. “We’ll nominate and take a look at it, but more likely we’ll look for an allowance here and aim for the Awesome Again at Santa Anita,” trainer Peter Miller said.  

The race lost one international runner when travel reservations for Cat O’Mountain were cancelled. But Toast of New York is still scheduled to ship in from Europe late this week. And trainer Darrell Vienna has the Pacific Classic in mind for Argentine import Mystery Train, whose latest work was six furlongs in 1:13.20 on Friday. 


NO. 49 IS A WORKING BIRTHDAY FOR MONEY RIDER MIKE SMITH

Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith marks his 49th birthday with three scheduled mounts on Sunday’s nine-race card including Moulin de Mougin (8-1) in the featured Grade II $250,000 John Mabee Stakes.

Smith, who was born in Roswell, New Mexico, had a pre-birthday celebration of sorts on Saturday with two wins for trainer Tom Proctor, one of them on favored Enterprising in the La Jolla Stakes. Smith has 12 wins for the meeting, tied for fourth in the standings, and is tied for the lead for stakes wins with Kent Desormeaux. They each have three.

Informed of Smith’s birthday, Proctor slipped instantly into “roast” mode.

“I didn’t know he was that old or I wouldn’t be riding him,” Proctor said. “Well, actually I thought he was older than that. He looks it.”

But seriously, folks.

“He’s as fit as anybody I know,” Proctor said. “He takes care of himself. He’s riding good and he has been for a long time.”

Said trainer Bob Baffert, who gave Smith a leg up on Richard’s Kid before back-to-back Pacific Classic victories in 2009-10: “Every time he and Gary Stevens would run 1-2, I’d call it the Geritol Exacta. But he doesn’t look 49, and once you’re great, you’re great. He’s like a Peyton Manning. He’s  fit and focused, just really sharp.”

“He’s a money rider because you know that 90 percent of the time, he’s going to make the right moves. “


APPRENTICE VAN DYKE HAS STAKES SHOT; BAZE 2,000 QUEST CONTINUES

Apprentice jockey Drayden Van Dyke, 19, has accomplished a lot in his brief career. But a stakes victory remains on the “to do” list.

He would appear to have a chance to check it off, however, with the call on Wishing Gate, the 7-2 second choice on the opening line, for trainer Tom Proctor in Sunday’s $250,000 Grade II John C. Mabee Stakes.

Wishing Gate won the Grade II San Clemente Handicap and was second in the Grade I Del Mar Oaks in 2013. The daughter of Indian Charlie will be making her second start after a five-month layoff. The first was a fourth-place effort, beaten 2 ¾-lengths, under Gary Stevens in the Grade II Royal Heroine at Santa Anita on June 14.

Stevens is out after having knee replacement surgery.

“I’m not worried about (Van Dyke) him, I’m worried about me,” Proctor said. “I hope he can get me my second (stakes) win of the weekend.  I told him, ‘I hope I still like you as much on Monday morning as I do today.’” 

Jockey Tyler Baze, one win away from the 2,000 career milestone, has five chances on Sunday. They are: Slew’s Charm (1st, 5-2), Home School (2nd, 2-1), Close to the Edge (3rd, 5-1), Chief Lion (4th, 12-1) and Ezio (6th, 6-1).

WHAT’S IN A NAME – The John C. Mabee Stakes honors the memory of one of the founding directors of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. The master of Golden Eagle Farm, he also bred and owned numerous stakes winners, including the inaugural Pacific Classic winner, Best Pal.


LA JOLLA TOP THREE EXIT RACE WELL; DEL MAR DERBY LIKELY

Enterprising, I’ll Wrap It Up and Sammy Mandeville, the top three finishers in Saturday’s $150,000 Grade II La Jolla Handicap, all came out of the race in good shape.

Trainer Tom Proctor indicated after the event that Enterprisng would be given much consideration for the $300,000 Grade II Del Mar Derby on Sunday, August 31. That would put the son of Elusive Quality in position to be the first to sweep Del Mar’s stakes series for three-year-olds – the Oceanside, La Jolla and Del Mar Derby – since Blackdoun in 2004.

Doug O’Neill, who trains both I’ll Wrap It Up and Sammy Mandeville, said the colts were “fantastic” following the race.

“I have to talk to the horses’ owners, but I expect we’ll be going on to the Del Mar Derby with both of them,” O’Neill said. “That was freakishly impressive by (Enterprising) but I thought both of our horses ran great.

“Sammy Mandeville is a lightly raced horse who is just getting better and better. I’ll Wrap It Up, with the addition of blinkers, made a huge move forward.”


CARACORTADO TAKES DETOUR FROM TURF IN GREEN FLASH

The switching of turf sprint races to the main track forced trainer Mike Machowsky to go to Plan B with 7-year-old standout Caracortado. Since that’s what the situation dictates, however, Machowsky will send out the 2011 Del Mar Mile winner on other-than-grass for the first time in seven starts – dating back to the Alysheba at Churchill Downs on May 6, 2011 – in Wednesday’s $90,000 Green Flash Handicap.

“We’ve been looking for options, we nominated for the race and he’s been working well,” Machowsky said Sunday. “He’s always had some foot issues but I’ve been training him in bar shoes and now that he’s on the main track, I’ll run him in bar shoes.”

Caracortado has nine wins from 21 career starts and career earnings of $883,365.


INNER TURF RAIL SHIFTS SCHEDULED DURING COMING WEEK

Shifts to the inner turf rail will occur during the coming week, according to Del Mar’s executive vice president for racing Tom Robbins.

After closing the newly installed turf course for six racing days between August 1 and August 8, the track returned to grass racing Saturday with three events contested without incident. The inner rail that afternoon was set at the 24-foot marker, one of six settings (in six-foot increments) available on the expanded surface.

After two more races today on the course at the 24-foot mark, track crews will shift the rail to its maximum extension – 30-feet – for racing this coming Wednesday and Thursday. Then, for the Friday, Saturday and Sunday cards – when there will be three grass stakes presented, including the Grade I Del Mar Oaks on Saturday – the rail will be shifted to its maximum inner position, the zero marker, where the course is at its full 80-foot width.

The rail shifts allow for the course to maintain fresh grass on its inner portion, the section of the surface that gets used and worn the most during the running of races. 


TRAKUS FACTS FOR SATURDAY

In Saturday’s second event, Sunny Kat saved ground throughout and slalomed through the field to win while Wicked Finance was parked wide throughout. At the finish, Wicked Finance covered 37 feet more than Sunny Kat, a distance that equates to roughly 4 ¼ lengths. In the La Jolla Handicap, Enterprising ran a final quarter in 22.99 seconds off a slow pace en route to the stakes win.


CLOSERS – Nancy Church, 83, former Turf Club Manager at both Del Mar and Santa Anita and wife of former jockey Ken Church, died Thursday evening at home in Reno, Nevada. She is survived by her husband, daughters Debbie and Laurie, son Mickey, several grandchildren and great grandchildren … Handicapping guru and turf writer extraordinaire Andrew Beyer has arrived for a two-week stay. “It’s the first time I’ve been here since the dirt went away (for Polytrack in 2007) and I’ve missed it dearly,” Beyer said … Ship And Win eligible horses on Sunday’s program are: Clovelly (2nd, Philip Oliver trainer), I’vegotafeeling (2nd, Simon Callaghan), Conquest Two Step (4th, Mark Casse), Every Way (8th, Michael Stidham, no bonus, stakes) and Hidden Zensation (9th, J. Keith Desormeaux) … Selected workouts from 234 timed on Sunday: Fiftyshadesofhay (4f, :47.20), Goldencents (4f, :51.20), Aotearoa (5f, 1:02.00), Customer Base (5f, 1:00.80), Fashion Plate (5f, 1:00.40), Kathleen Rose (5f, :59.60), Legacy (5f, :59.60), Imperative (6f, 1:13.80), Irish Surf (6f, 1:13.00), Obviously (6f, 1:13.20), Silentio (6f, 1:12.40), Majestic Harbor (7f, 1:26.40).


DEL MAR STATISTICS

 

Jockey Standings

(Current Through Saturday, August 9, 2014 Inclusive)

Jockey

Mts

1st

2nd

3rd

Win%

Money Won

Elvis Trujillo

100

16

12

11

16%

$871,514

Rafael Bejarano

87

15

18

19

17%

$1,114,448

Kent Desormeaux

74

15

11

10

20%

$943,230

Fernando Perez

81

12

6

3

15%

$569,630

Mike Smith

55

12

4

7

22%

$917,872

Joseph Talamo

108

11

13

14

10%

$950,106

Tyler Baze

107

10

15

10

9%

$848,178

Drayden Van Dyke

82

10

11

16

12%

$546,758

Victor Espinoza

70

10

8

5

14%

$693,286

Martin Garcia

73

9

7

12

12%

$697,042

                

Trainer Standings

(Current Through Saturday, August 9, 2014 Inclusive)

Trainer

Sts

1st

2nd

3rd

Win%

Money Won

Peter Miller

63

11

7

10

17%

$567,496

Doug F. O'Neill

73

8

10

12

11%

$600,536

Jerry Hollendorfer

47

8

10

7

17%

$623,566

John W. Sadler

58

7

6

13

12%

$711,688

Robert B. Hess, Jr.

31

7

3

4

23%

$256,420

Bob Baffert

40

6

3

5

15%

$462,410

Mark Glatt

31

5

5

5

16%

$345,582

A. C. Avila

16

5

4

3

31%

$187,220

Mike Puype

30

5

3

5

17%

$309,462

Thomas F. Proctor

21

5

2

3

24%

$364,272

  

Winning Favorites Report

(Current Through Saturday, August 9, 2014 Inclusive)

Winning favorites -- 43 out of 163 -- 26.38%

Winning favorites on Polytrack -- 36 out of 130 -- 27.69%

Winning favorites on turf -- 7 out of 33 -- 21.21%

Winning odds-on favorites -- 5 out of 11 -- 45.45%

In-the-Money favorites -- 98 out of 163 -- 60.12%

In-the-Money odds-on favorites -- 8 out of 11 -- 72.73%


Sunday, August 10, 2014 Contact: Dan Smith 858-792-4226/Hank Wesch 858-755-1141 ext. 3793