Wednesday, August 20th, 2014   ( 7 months ago )

Stable Notes Day 25

By Hank Wesch


FIELD OF ELEVEN ENTERED IN TVG PACIFIC CLASSIC;  DRAW TONIGHT

Defending champion Game On Dude and undefeated Shared Belief top a field of 11 entered Wednesday morning in Sunday’s $1 million TVG Pacific Classic.

The draw for post positions for the 24th running of the summer meeting’s signature event will be at a party Wednesday night, starting at 6:30, at the Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa in Rancho Santa Fe.

In alphabetical order, the horses (with riders in parentheses) are:

Clubhouse Ride (Joe Talamo), Frac Daddy (Alan Garcia), Game On Dude (Martin Garcia), Ice Cream Truck (Tiago Pereira), Imperative (Kent Desormeaux), Irish Surf (Elvis Trujillo), Majestic Harbor (Tyler Baze), Mystery Train (Fernando Perez), Shared Belief (Mike Smith), Toast of New York (Victor Espinoza) and You Know I Know (Edwin Maldonado).

The race, to be run at the American classic distance of 1 ¼ miles, is the highlight of a card with two other stakes, the Grade II $250,000 Pat O’Brien at 7 furlongs and the Grade II $250,000 Del Mar Mile on Turf. The Pat O’Brien and Pacific Classic are both “Win and You’re In” qualifiers for the Breeders’ Cup Championships October 31 and November 1 at Santa. The Pat O’Brien secures entry to the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, the Classic to the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic.

The Pacific Classic will be broadcast by NBCSN from 5-6 p.m. Pacific time.


TOAST OF NEW YORK SETTLES IN FOR PACIFIC CLASSIC ASSIGNMENT

If Michael Buckley’s 3-year-old colt Toast of New York wins Sunday’s $1 million TVG Pacific Classic it would be, monetarily, the second biggest of a career of only seven races.

In March, Toast of New York, trained for Buckley by Jamie Osborne, was 2 ½-lengths clear at the wire in the 1 3/16th mile, $2 million United Arab Emirates Derby at Meydan in Dubai.

“Traveling lad” Jimmy McCarthy was with the Kentucky-bred son of Thewayyouare on the trip from Osborne’s home base in Wolverhampton, England to the Middle East. McCarthy’s with him again on the West Coast venture.

“We didn’t expect him to do what he did and win as well as he did,” said McCarthy, 44, a native of West Cork in Ireland. “It was a little bit of a shot in the dark. He’d won two reasonably nondescript races (in England) but won them very well. We knew he was good. We didn’t know how good. We were, I wouldn’t say shocked, but grateful that he did what he did.”

The victory provided the encouragement for the Belmont Derby on turf at Belmont Park on July 5 (6th of 10) and, after a return to England for further training, the journey here. Toast of New York’s two wins prior to the UAE Derby were on the Polytrack at Wolverhampton, the same brand as Del Mar’s surface. Meydan is Tapeta, another all-weather brand.

“They’re a little different,” McCarthy said. “The heat affects Tapeta a little bit, the hotter it is the slower (the track is); the colder it is the quicker it gets. I wouldn’t think this would be affected as much. The (Polytrack) here is probably a little bit drier than we have at home, but then it doesn’t have the same (weather conditions). “

McCarthy has had a glance at the Pacific Classic probables. “Obviously, Bob Baffert’s horse (Game On Dude) is going to take a lot of beating. But if he (Toast of New York) is there with a chance coming around the final bend, what will be will be.”

European jockey Jamie Spencer was named to ride Toast of New York, but commitments there  prevented travel. Osborne sent out notification on Twitter and in a short time had secured the services of Victor Espinoza.             


MYSTERY TRAIN HAS FINAL CLASSIC TUNE-UP

Argentine import Mystery Train went five furlongs in 1:00.20 Wednesday morning at Del Mar under Fernando Perez, who will be aboard for the Pacific Classic.

“Just breezing,” trainer Darrell Vienna said. “It couldn’t have been better.”              


SHARED BELIEF EN ROUTE

Undefeated 3-year-old Shared Belief, the 2013 Eclipse  Award winner in the Juvenile category, completed preparations for the Pacific Classic with a half-mile work in :49.60 seconds Tuesday at Golden Gate Fields in Albany.

“I think we’ve done all the things we need to do to be ready,” trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said.

Shared Belief’s  journey from Golden Gate Fields to Del Mar by van commenced at 5 a.m. Wednesday. His arrival was expected sometime in the mid to late afternoon depending on traffic.

The gelded son of Candy Ride, with a 5-for-5 career record and earnings of $772,200, will be ridden by Hall of Famer Mike Smith and is the likely favorite when track oddsmaker Russ Hudak’s morning line is revealed at the post position draw ceremonies on Wednesday night.


FOOTBRIDGE WITHDRAWN FROM PACIFIC CLASSIC CONSIDERATION

Godolphin Racing LLC’s Footbridge, under consideration for the TVG Pacific Classic since a runner-up effort in the San Diego Handicap on July 26, was not entered on Wednesday.

“I’ll keep my powder dry and fight another day,” trainer Eoin Harty said. “The race came up extremely tough. There are five or six that I’m not ready to take on at this time.”


BAFFERT SORTS OUT PACIFIC CLASSIC, OTHER RACE PLANS

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert will saddle defending champion Game On Dude in the Pacific Classic, the only one of four horses he nominated to the event. Of the others, Bayern is headed to Saratoga for Saturday’s Grade I $1.2 million Travers, Fed Biz will go in Sunday’s Pat O’Brien Stakes here and Sky Kingdom will continue to train for a race yet  to be determined.

Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, aboard for Game On Dude’s last six starts, opted to ride undefeated Shared Belief in the Classic. In essence, he chose a 3-year-old gelding of great promise over a 7-year with eight times the experience and earnings of his younger rival.

“When Shared Belief won the Los Alamitos Derby, as soon as they crossed under the wire I thought, ‘Oops, I’m going to need a new jockey,’ ” Baffert said Tuesday on a national teleconference call. “Mike has been a big part of the (recent) success of  Game On Dude. With Mike, we learned some things we didn’t know about the horse before.

“I don’t blame him for going with the younger gelding.”


JOCKEY, TRAINER RACES HAVE DEADLOCKS IN COMMON

Two wins by two-time defending champion Rafael Bejarano and two by trainer Jerry Hollendorfer on Sunday moved them into co-leader positions atop the meet standings.

Bejarano is tied with Kent Desormeaux, who won once on Sunday, at 21 apiece. Elvis Trujillo, who was blanked Sunday, is one back and Hall of Famer Mike Smith, despite having far fewer mounts than the top three, is only two back in the win column.

Hollendorfer has won every training title except one since 1986 at the two San Francisco Bay area tracks, now closed Bay Meadows and Golden Gate Fields. While a major force for the last several years, he has not won a title on the Southern California circuit. Could it change with this meeting?

“We have lots of horses that look like they have chances,” Hollendorfer assistant Dan Ward said. “We’re competitive and we’re going to try. I like the last (condition) book. We have horses that fit if the races fill like we hope they will.”


THIRTEEN ENTERED IN DEL MAR HANDICAP

There were thirteen entries taken Wednesday for Saturday’s $200,000 Grade II Del Mar Handicap, a “Win and You’re In” qualifier for the  $3 million Breeders’ Cup Turf on November 1 at Santa Anita.

Two horses, Irish Surf and Ice Cream Truck, were also entered in the Pacific Classic.

The draw for the 1 3/8-mile Del Mar Handicap over the Jimmy Durante Turf Course from the rail out is: Topic (Fernando Perez), Poshsky (Drayden Van Dyke), Irish Surf (Victor Espinoza), Big John B (Mike Smith), Bright Thought (Rafael Bejarano), Star Spangled Heat (Edwin Maldonado), Sea Sage (Corey Nakatani), Bench Light (Kent Desormeaux), Quick Casablanca (Joe Talamo), Unbridled Command (Elvis Trujillo), Fire With Fire (Tyler Baze), Cogito (Mario Gutierrez) and also  eligible Ice Cream Truck (Tiago Pereira). 


TRAKUS FACTS FOR SUNDAY 

In Sunday’s seventh race, Conquest Misbehave ran her final quarter in 23.83 and final eighth in 11.91, the fastest split at both points, on her way to a 2 ½ length win at 9-1. The next fastest home in the race was fifth placer Show Stealer, recording a final quarter in 24.61 seconds and final eighth in 12.46.


CLOSERS -- Spendthrift Farm’s champion Beholder, who won the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies and 2013 Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Santa Anita, is back in training here after suffering a minor injury when she finished fourth in Belmont Park’s Ogden Phipps on June 7. Beholder’s third work since an August 1 return was a five-furlong bullet in 58.80 at  Del Mar on August 11. She went five furlongs in 1:02.80 on Tuesday. “She went a little too strong in her (Aug. 11) work, so we eased up a little this time,” trainer Richard Mandella said. Beholder is on track for the Zenyatta Stakes on September 27 at Santa Anita, a race she won last year … Mandella said Brazilian champion Bal A Bali is “doing well” in recovering from a foot problem and will spend some time at a farm in Kentucky before being shipped to his stable at Santa Anita … One Ship And Win eligible horse on Wednesday’s program: Dixie Deville (1st, trainer Val Brinkerhoff) …Two Ship & Win horses notched victories in Week 5 of racing, raising the meet total to 17 wins, $234,180 in bonuses and $25,000 in travel money distributed. The corresponding numbers for 2013 at a similar point were 18 wins, $209,733 in bonuses and $103,000 in travel money … Selected workouts the past three days: Monday – Frac Daddy (5f, :59.40), Game On Dude (5f, :59.60), Majestic Harbor (5f, :59.20), Soi Phet (1:01.00), Drill (6f, 1:11.60), Fed Biz (6f, 1:11.40); Tuesday—Tom’s Tribute (3f, :35.60), Big Macher (4f, :48.00), Ipolita (4f, :48.80), Old Time Hockey (4f, :50.20), Secret Circle (4f, :48.20), Beholder (5f, 1:02.80), Jojo Warrior (5f, 1:02.20); Wednesday – Setsuko (3f, :36.80), Mystery Train (5f, 1:00.20),  Indianapolis (5f,  1:12.40) …Del Mar Thoroughbred Club Director of Sponsorship and Digital Media Walker McBride is the featured interview subject in this week’s America’s Best Racing Thoroughbred Notebook presented by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.  


DEL MAR STATISTICS

Jockey Standings

(Current Through Sunday, August 17, 2014 Inclusive)

Jockey

Mts

1st

2nd

3rd

Win%

Money Won

Rafael Bejarano

123

21

25

23

17%

$1,479,032

Kent Desormeaux

102

21

18

13

21%

$1,399,720

Elvis Trujillo

126

20

13

18

16%

$1,067,730

Mike Smith

78

19

6

9

24%

$1,428,482

Tyler Baze

138

14

19

16

10%

$1,082,820

Drayden Van Dyke

115

14

16

17

12%

$807,668

Fernando Perez

103

14

8

4

14%

$651,292

Joseph Talamo

142

13

19

17

9%

$1,159,472

Martin Garcia

88

11

8

14

13%

$801,634

Victor Espinoza

85

10

8

9

12%

$767,356

  

Trainer Standings

(Current Through Sunday, August 17, 2014 Inclusive)

Trainer

Sts

1st

2nd

3rd

Win%

Money Won

Jerry Hollendorfer

57

12

13

7

21%

$853,768

Peter Miller

78

12

8

14

15%

$640,490

John W. Sadler

71

9

6

14

13%

$761,238

Robert B. Hess, Jr.

40

9

6

4

23%

$351,520

Doug F. O'Neill

90

8

12

14

9%

$655,886

Mike Puype

39

7

3

7

18%

$343,092

Vann Belvoir

29

7

1

2

24%

$170,770

Mark Glatt

38

6

7

6

16%

$440,632

Thomas F. Proctor

34

6

5

3

18%

$504,422

Bob Baffert

47

6

3

6

13%

$473,160

 

Winning Favorites Report

(Current Through Sunday, August 17, 2014 Inclusive)

Winning favorites -- 59 out of 214 -- 27.57% 

Winning favorites on Polytrack -- 48 out of 168 -- 28.57%

Winning favorites on turf -- 11 out of 46 -- 23.91%

Winning odds-on favorites -- 5 out of 13 -- 38.46%

In-the-Money favorites -- 129 out of 214 -- 60.28%

In-the-Money odds-on favorites -- 9 out of 13 -- 69.23%


Wednesday, August 20, 2014 Contact: Dan Smith 858-792-4226/Hank Wesch 858-755-1141 ext. 3793