Los Alamitos races now Kentucky Derby, Oaks qualifiers
The $500,000 Los Alamitos Futurity has been added to the list of races that comprise the 2014-15 "Road to the Kentucky Derby." The series of 35 select races -- 19 "Prep Season" races and 16 "Championship Series" races -- will determine which horses qualify to the 141st running of the $2 million Kentucky Derby on May 2, 2015.
The 1 1/16-mile Los Alamitos Futurity, a race formerly known as the Hollywood (1981-2006) and CashCall (2007-13) Futurity at the now-shuttered Hollywood Park, will be run for the first time at Los Alamitos -- the home base for 2014 Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome -- on December 20. The race produced six Kentucky Derby winners during its run at Hollywood Park.
"The robust commitments by the team at Los Alamitos suggest a strong desire to be included in our series, and we're confident the race is likely to attract aspiring and compelling Derby prospects," said Churchill Downs President Kevin Flanery. "We're delighted to welcome the Los Alamitos Futurity to the Kentucky Derby 'Prep Season.'"
Points awarded to the top four finishers in the Los Alamitos Futurity will be 10-4-2-1 as part of the "Prep Season" that showcases foundation-building races over a minimum of one mile between September and mid-February. It commences September 6 at the home of the Derby with the $100,000 Iroquois over 1 1/16 miles.
The 16 significant events that comprise the "Kentucky Derby Championship Series" during the 10-week run-up to the first Saturday in May remain unchanged from a year ago.
This is the third consecutive year that Churchill Downs will use a sliding scale of points awarded to the top four finishers in choice races to determine preference for its 20-horse Derby field. At least 20 horses have entered the 1 1/4-mile classic every year since 2004, and 14 of the last 16 years.
In the first two years of the point system, the horses that topped the leaderboard with 150 points each won the Kentucky Derby: Orb in 2013 and California Chrome in 2014.
A similar series remains in place to qualify for the Derby's sister race, the $1 million Kentucky Oaks for three-year-old fillies on May 1, 2015. The lone change to the 31-race "Road to the Kentucky Oaks" series is the addition of the $350,000 Starlet, a 1 1/16-mile "Prep Season" race scheduled for December 13 at Los Alamitos. Like the Futurity, the Starlet also had been previously run at Hollywood Park.
The full schedule of Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks qualifiers, along with point breakdowns, can be found here.
Latest St Leger Day acceptors revealed
With just over a fortnight to go, the countdown to the final English classic of the season intensifies Wednesday with the unveiling of the latest acceptors for the Group 1 St Leger. The £650,000 contest takes place over one mile, six furlongs and 132 yards at Doncaster on September 13.
A total of 21 entries remain, headed by Kingston Hill who is already a Group 1 winner at Doncaster having landed the Racing Post Trophy in 2013. He is the 5-2 favorite with Ladbrokes.
This season, the colt beat all bar Australia in the Derby at Epsom Downs in June. He missed last week's 12-furlong Great Voltigeur Stakes at York due to the fast ground with connections opting to go straight to Town Moor. Snow Sky and Odeon, the second and third at York, both remain engaged in the St Leger.
Snow Sky was beaten 2 1/4 lengths by Postponed at York but had previously laid down a marker for the St Leger in the Gordon Stakes at Goodwood on July 30, repelling Windshear by a neck.
Stoute and Snow Sky's owner Khalid Abdullah are also responsible for the lightly-raced Kings Fete, who was third behind Forever Now and Alex My Boy in the March Stakes over 14 furlongs at Goodwood on August 23.
"Snow Sky has come out of York well and the plan is to run in the St Leger," said Lord Grimthorpe, racing manager to Khalid Abdullah. "He settled very well and got into a nice rhythm in the Great Voltigeur. He joined Postponed two furlongs out but the winner quickened well. We stayed on well to the line and were gaining at the end, so I thought it was quite encouraging.
"We are all going to find out on the day if he will stay but given the type of horse he is and his pedigree, I think he has a pretty good chance of staying a mile and three quarters.
"Kings Fete has got to settle better if he is going to get the trip. He was a bit silly at Goodwood the other day but has some talent and we won't discount him. At this stage, I would say it is unlikely but it has not been ruled out and we have left him in for good reason.
"We tried him in a ring bit instead of the hood at the weekend. I don't think you want to overburden a horse with too many contraptions otherwise you get too clever, but obviously the ring bit wasn't quite so successful."
John Gosden has won the St Leger four times, with two of those successes coming in the last four years (Masked Marvel in 2011 and Arctic Cosmos in 2010). This time around the Newmarket handler has three entries going forward, headed by Derby third Romsdal. Gosden's two other possible starters are Forever Now and Marzocco, who finished fourth fourth in the Great Voltigeur.
Another handler with three entries is Mark Johnston. The North Yorkshire handler's trio include Hartnell, successful in the Queen's Vase at Royal Ascot and Bahrain Trophy at Newmarket before finishing sixth in the Great Voltigeur, Eclipse Stakes third Somewhat plus Alex My Boy.
Ireland's champion trainer Aidan O'Brien, who saddled his fourth St Leger winner with Leading Light in 2013, has five entries including Irish Derby runner-up Kingfisher. Adjusted, Blue Hussar, Granddukeoftuscany and Indian Maharaja complete the Ballydoyle quintet.
There is one other entry from Ireland in Streetcar to Stars, who was last seen out when fourth behind 2013 St Leger victor Leading Light in the Irish St Leger Trial last Sunday.
Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor has won the St Leger more times than any other current trainer, with five victories to his name. His one possible starter in 2014 is Winter Thunder, a dual winner at Newmarket this season in handicap company.
With the St Leger staged five days before the Scottish independence referendum, there would be no more topical winner than Scotland, who put up his best effort this season when third in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Completing the acceptors are Astronereus and Min Alemarat.
There is a £50,000 supplementary entry stage for the St Leger on September 8, when the five-day confirmation stage also takes place.
A total of 45 juveniles go forward for the Group 2, £75,000 Champagne Stakes over seven furlongs. Aidan O'Brien has eight entries, the most of any handler, headed by eye-catching Vintage Stakes victor Highland Reel and last weekend's Futurity Stakes scorer Gleneagles.
Richard Hannon Jr., whose father won two of the last three renewals, has five possibles, including Group 2 scorers Baitha Alga, Estidhkaar and Kool Kompany.
Other notables include impressive Chesham Stakes hero Richard Pankhurst, who has since been purchased by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, and last week's Acomb Stakes winner Dutch Connection.
The Champagne takes place on St Leger Day. There is a £7,500 supplementary entry stage on September 8.
Viztoria could bid for back-to-back successes in the Group 2 Park Stakes after the four-year-old was among 31 confirmations for the seven-furlong contest.
Those going forward also include Diamond Jubilee Stakes runner-up Due Dilliegence and Mustajeeb, who has not been seen since annexing the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Other interesting contenders include Bow Creek, Breton Rock and Es Que Love, who all captured Group 2 events last time out.
The Park takes place on St Leger Day and has a £9,000 supplementary entry stage on September 8.
Breeding & Sales News
Big Drama colt brings $230,000 at OBS
A Florida-bred colt from the first crop of 2010 champion sprinter Big Drama brought $230,000 from owner George Bolton on Monday at the selected session of the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's August Sale of Yearlings. Touring the ring as Hip No. 55, the April 30 chestnut was offered by Beth Bayer, agent.
Produced by the stakes-winning Doc's Doll (Out of Place), the session topper is half-brother to stakes winner Gator Brew (Milwaukee Brew) and the stakes-placed Montessa G (Montbrook).
Doc's Doll is herself a half-sister to multiple stakes winner Heidi Maria (Rockport Harbor) and to the dam of Sweet Whiskey (Old Fashioned), who captured the Old Hat S. (G3) and placed in the Acorn S. (G1) earlier this year.
Bayer also sold a Curlin colt to John Patitucci, Juan Vasquez, agent, for $185,000. Hip 21 is a Florida-bred foaled on April 8.
The bay was reared by Awesome Fleet (Awesome Again), a half-sister to champion and dual classic winner Afleet Alex (Northern Afleet), multiple Grade 2-placed stakes winner Unforgettable Max (Northern Afleet), and the stakes-placed Stormin Maggy (Storm Cat).
Also selling for $185,000, to Nick de Meric, agent, was a Broken Vow colt from the consignment of Summerfield (Francis & Barbara Vanlangendonck), agent. The March 10 Florida-bred sported Hip 41.
Raised by Grade 3-placed Cameron Crazies (Lion Heart), the yearling is a half-brother to Prudhoe Bay (Songandaprayer), who captured the Jersey Shore S. (G3) at Monmouth Park August 16 for his third stakes win on the year.
Also hailing from this family is Grade 1 winner Nostalgia's Star (Nostalgia) and multiple Grade 3 queen Clocks Secret (Apalachee).
On Monday, 161 head sold for $7,597,200, a decline of 1.4 percent over the corresponding session in 2013 when 143 yearlings sold for $7,705,000. The average was off 12.4 percent, from $53,881 to $47,188, while the median decline 16.7 percent, from $42,000 to $35,000.
The August Sale continues Wednesday and Thursday with open sessions beginning at 10:30 a.m. (EDT). For full results, visit obssales.com.
Treve works well; Cirrus des Aigles targets Prix Dollar
Treve, heroine of last year's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, remains on course for a likely appearance in the Prix Vermeille at Longchamp in a little under three weeks' time after delighting trainer Criquette Head-Maarek in a workout Tuesday morning.
The Al Shaqab Racing-owned bay stretched her unbeaten record to five with a stunning performance in the Arc last autumn, but has so far failed to rediscover that form in 2014 with a second to Cirrus des Aigles in her seasonal bow in April's Prix Ganay and a third in the Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot, after which she was found to have pulled muscles. Head-Maarek has slowly nursed her stable star back to full health and hopes she will be firing on all cylinders in the coming months.
"Treve worked this morning with three lead horses over 2000 meters and I was very happy with her," commented Head-Maarek to PA Sport. "The ground was a bit soft after all the rain, so that helped her. She seems fine, she's happy in herself and it looks like all the problems are gone, so we keep our fingers crossed."
"She is en route to either the Prix Vermeille or the Prix Foy, but I think the Vermeille is more likely."
Cirrus des Aigles is on the road to recovery with trainer Corine Barande-Barbe targeting a fourth victory in the Prix Dollar at Longchamp October 4 before a likely return to Ascot for the Champion Stakes.
The veteran gelding has been on the bench since being injured while winning the Coronation Cup at Epsom June 7, his sixth victory at the Group 1 level. The eight-year-old won the Champion in 2011 and chased home Frankel and Farhh, respectively, in the last two renewals.
"He is very well and is back doing canters," Barande-Barbe told PA Sport. "Our plan is to run in the Prix Dollar and then hopefully go back to Ascot for the Champion Stakes."
Gallante aimed for Prix Niel
Trainer Andre Fabre is keen to find out whether Gallante can develop into a realistic Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe contender by running in next month's Prix Niel at Longchamp. The Coolmore-owned colt was a 33-1 winner of the Grand Prix de Paris over the course and distance in mid-July, although the victory came as no shock to his trainer.
"His price in the Grand Prix de Paris was a bit a ridiculous, to be honest," commented Fabre to PA Sport. "He had run well in all his prep races and won a good maiden at Longchamp. It was probably one of the biggest surprises of the season in France, but I was not surprised."
Asked about a potential tilt at the Arc, Fabre remarked, "I don't think he's that good, but who knows? He will go to Longchamp next for the Prix Niel on September 14 and then we will see."
Fabre has also made plans for his two talented fillies Esoterique and Miss France, who finished first and second, respectively, in in the Prix Rothschild at Deauville at the start of the month.
"Esoterique has come out of the race fine and the plan is for her to go for the Prix du Moulin," Fabre said. "Miss France ran a good race and is a possible for the Sun Chariot at Newmarket."
Al Kazeem pondering Irish Champion
A tilt at next month's Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown could be back on the agenda for Al Kazeem after the multiple Group 1 winner got back on the winning trail in course record time in the Winter Hill Stakes at Windsor last Saturday. The six-year-old was put back in training after proving sub-fertile at the Royal Studs, and he returned to trainer Roger Charlton for previous owner John Deer.
"Al Kazeem did all that could have been expected from him, returning to the winner's enclosure in great style and in the process lowering the course record by 1.33 seconds which I gather is the equivalent of seven or eight lengths," commented Charlton on his website Tuesday. "He has come out of his race well and he was his normal fresh and happy self this morning. We have not ruled out the idea of returning to Leopardstown to run in the Irish Champion Stakes.
"There is also the La Coupe de Maisons-Laffitte in France over a straight 10 furlongs September 19 as an alternative. He clearly needs to improve again to have any chance of adding to his three Group 1s but it is not impossible and we both like a challenge."
Al Kazeem's owner is keen to see how his charge performs for the remainder of the season before deciding on his long-term future.
"We will see how he runs next time and if all goes well, we could end up in the big one (Champion Stakes) on Champions Day at Ascot," Deer told PA Sport. "He was terrific on Saturday and it was a big relief. He obviously still has the will to win, the other question is whether he still has his old ability."
Gordon Lord Byron to Haydock Sprint Cup
Conditioner Tom Hogan is confident Gordon Lord Byron will return to Haydock in the best possible shape to defend his Haydock Sprint Cup crown September 6.
The six-year-old was a brilliant winner of last year's edition, one of three top-level victories during his career. He was found to be suffering from a back problem when disappointing in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot in June, but looked much more like his old self following a two-month break when beaten just a nose by Jamesie in last Saturday's Renaissance Stakes at The Curragh.
"He's come out of the weekend in great shape and we're hoping he'll improve for the run and come forward a good bit ahead of the race on Saturday week," commented Hogan to PA Sport. "If he'd have got the split he'd have won without coming off the bridle on Saturday, so it was a good run and there was no slouching about. A minute and 10 (seconds) at The Curragh is a pretty sharp time.
"Hopefully there isn't too much more rain. He's pretty adaptable ground-wise, but he doesn't want it too deep."
With Anticipation a battle of the unbeatens
Trainers Todd Pletcher, Chad Brown and Graham Motion have combined to win five of the past six editions of the $200,000 With Anticipation, and all three will be represented in Thursday's Grade 2, 1 1/16-mile turf heat for juveniles at Saratoga.
Pletcher, who has won the race three times including the 2013 edition with Bashart, has Designed for War entered for the grass and Blame Jim for the main track. Both were wire-to-wire debut winners, with Designed for War prevailing by 1 3/4 lengths over the course and distance August 9. The 3-2 favorite that day, Designed for War set a slow pace and had plenty of left to withstand his challengers.
"He had a bit of a pace advantage that day and he was able to kind of get an easy lead, and was good enough to take advantage of it," Pletcher said. "It was just a result of the way the race unfolded, but we were pretty happy with the way he did it.
"He's a colt that showed promise all summer. We felt like, typical of some of the War Fronts that we've had, when we put him on the grass he showed some improvement. We thought he ran well."
Blame Jim, the probable favorite in the event the With Anticipation is switched to the main track, zipped home by three lengths over next-out winner Bold Conquest July 19 as an odds-on favorite going 5 1/2 furlongs.
Brown and Motion will also saddle first-out winners in the With Anticipation. The Brown-trained Startup Nation steps up in class after posting a 9-1 upset against New York-bred maidens August 7. The Temple City colt was down 10 lengths after a half-mile and made up seven lengths in the final quarter-mile to win going away by two lengths.
"He ran terrific in his first start," Brown said. "He came out of the race well and he's trained well since. We're looking forward to trying him in a stakes race. We've always liked the horse. He was training well leading up to his debut and we expected him to run well. He's a beautiful horse. He's got good mechanics and a great attitude. He's what you're looking for in a two-year-old."
Motion will be represented by Strong Coffee, who rallied from slightly off a modest pace to win his debut by three lengths over next-out winner Face the Music on August 2. Strong Coffee is a half-brother to Grade 3 turf winners Gulch Approval and Rusty Slipper, and is closely related to last weekend's Travers runner-up Wicked Strong.
"Certainly, he surprised me that he could win like that first time out," Motion said. "I thought he would run well; I didn't necessarily think he had to win, and certainly didn't expect him to win like that.
"I actually brought him up here with the idea of running him on the dirt," he said. "I didn't think he handled the dirt up here that well when I worked him, so I took him over on the grass and he worked like a different horse. I have his half-sister, so it wasn't a surprise.
"The thing about this horse that's so neat is he just has this really remarkable attitude. He's just a very kind of cool, laid-back horse and takes everything very well, so that helps him."
Motion will also saddle Hot Tin Roof, who won at first asking over Presque Isle Downs' Tapeta surface going six furlongs on July 30.
Returning to the grass is International Star, who posted a 5 1/2-length debut win over Belmont's inner turf on June 21. The following month, the Mike Maker-trained colt finished second, beaten seven lengths, in the $122,000 Rockville Centre for New York-breds on dirt at Belmont.
The With Anticipation field is rounded out by Creaky Cricket, who's floundered in two main-track stakes since an 11 1/2-length debut win at Arlington on Polytrack; Nutty Futty, a 5 3/4-length maiden winner over the Gulfstream turf in his third start; and Kutuzov, a five-furlong maiden winner on the Gulfstream sod in his seventh start.
The $75,000 Mrs. Walter M. Jeffords, a 2 3/8-mile hurdle for fillies and mares, features a rematch of the top four finishers from the $75,000 Mrs. Ogden Phipps on August 7 -- Cat Feathers, Kisser N Run, Brilliant Match, and Opera Heroine. Also in with a chance is Bittersweetheart, a stakes winner last out at Percy Warner Park in Nashville.
Wednesday's $100,000 P.G. Johnson S. at Saratoga features two-year-old fillies going 1 1/16 miles on the lawn and making their stakes debut. The only exception is Ancient Goddess (Iffraaj), who ships in from France off a stakes win for trainer John Terranova and will race with Lasix for the first time. Rainha Da Bateria (Broken Vow) and Magnificent Margo (Congrats) figure to be contenders as they both enter in here off maiden victories over the course. Sunday Sonnet (Any Given Saturday) exits a 7 1/2-length maiden win at this venue in an off-the-turf race and will be trying the grass for the first time...
My Fiona (Ghostzapper) tries for her second stakes score in a row in Wednesday's $150,000 Generous Portion S. for state-bred juvenile fillies at Del Mar. The dark bay exits a neck victory in the California Thoroughbred Breeders' Association S. last month over Lost Bust (Bring the Heat), who tries to turn the tables on her in here. Desert Steel (Desert Code) exits a 5 1/2-length maiden win over the track for trainer Simon Callaghan, in her first start over a synthetic surface. Easter Fever (Stormin Fever) looks to take the step up in class after being claimed following her maiden win by 5 1/2 lengths over the track earlier this month. The bay will be making her first start for trainer Peter Miller, while Kent Desormeaux retains the mount. Princess Bertrando (Bertrando), Grand Yodeler (Swiss Yodeler) and Long Hot Summer (Street Boss) are also entering in here off maiden victories at this venue...
Red Outlaw (Tribal Rule) will attempt to stay undefeated from five starts in Friday's one mile, $100,000 El Cajon S. for three-year-olds at Del Mar on the Polytrack. The chestnut gelding is coming off a wire-to-wire victory in the Real Good Deal S. over the track on August 1. Indexical (Latent Heat) is still looking for his first stakes victory and stands a chance in here as he drops in class after finishing fourth against graded company in the Bing Crosby S. (G1) last month. Doug O'Neill adds blinkers to Home School (Intense Focus), who tries the all-weather surface for the first time, and Friendswith K Mill (Flashy Bull), who will try to get back on track after running second in the Affirmed (G3) just three starts ago. Diamond Bachelor (War Front) makes a bid to return to the winner's circle for the first time since capturing the Oak Tree Juvenile Turf S. at this venue as a two-year-old...
Oscar winner Jim Wilson's latest film, "50 to 1," the inspiring true story of Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird and his misfit New Mexico cowboy trainer and owners, is opening in dozens of new states in response to growing demand across the country. "Audiences are thoroughly enjoying the romp," says Wilson, Oscar-winning producer of Dances with Wolves. "I feel good releasing a film that reaches all ages and leaves you feeling great at the end." "50 to 1" recounts the tale of Mine That Bird, trainer Chip Woolley, and owners Mark Allen and Leonard 'Doc' Blach, who end up on the journey of a lifetime when their crooked-footed gelding qualifies for the Kentucky Derby. Fish out of water in the land of Kentucky's blue bloods, the cowboys face a series of mishaps on their way to Churchill Downs, becoming the ultimate underdogs in a final showdown with the world's racing elite. The film includes actual Derby race footage, which jockey Calvin Borel, who played himself in the film, says brought back the emotions he felt during and after his winning race. "It's so real," Borel says. "I have never seen a horse movie as real as this one."
NORTH AMERICAN ALLOWANCE RESULTS
North American Maiden Winners
DEL MAR NOTEBOOK
AUGUST 27, 2014
by John Mucciolo
A quartet of graded races, including the biggest event of the season, led the way this week at Del Mar Race Course.
Pacific Classic (G1): Jungle Racing et al's unbeaten champion SHARED BELIEF (Candy Ride) swept to the front nearing midstretch and powered home to a convincing 2 3/4-length score in the signature race of the meeting. The Jerry Hollendorfer trainee established himself as a major presence going forward in the Horse of the Year race and moved his mark to six-for-six, completing 10 panels on the main oval in 2:00 1/5 with Mike Smith in the silks.
Pat O'Brien H. (G2): W. C. Racing's GOLDENCENTS (Into Mischief) spurted to the lead soon after the break and gave his foes no chance late en route to a powerful 4 1/4-length romp under Rafael Bejarano. The superb Doug O'Neill charge sped home for seven panels on the Polytrack in a stakes record 1:20 4/5, winning under steady handling late.
Del Mar Mile H. (G2): Braly Family Trust's TOM'S TRIBUTE (Lion Heart) corralled the clear and short-priced leader in midstretch and finished off a fine run to bag a second straight graded race on this lawn. The James Cassidy trainee, who was ridden by Smith, was a length clear late in finishing off one mile on the firm lawn in 1:33 3/5.
Del Mar H. (G2): Michael House's BIG JOHN B (Hard Spun) moved into contention at the top of the lane and spurted clear to a decisive victory beneath Smith. The Phil d'Amato trainee picked up his first graded win in completing the 1 3/8 miles on the firm turf in 2:12 4/5, finishing 5 1/4 lengths clear under the line.
From a total of 44 races held at the Southern California racetrack during the past week, favorites won at a 32 percent clip and the top two betting choices combined for 55 percent of the wins. From 34 frays contested on the Polytrack oval, eight animals won in wire-to-wire fashion (24 percent), while none of the 10 grassy tussles went all the way on the lead.
Early speed was not as dominant this week as it had been earlier in the meeting. And of the eight who led at each call on the Polytrack, all came in sprint runs, with four alone on Saturday. Sunday saw six of the eight races contested on the main oval taken by runners breaking from post seven and wider.
HORSES TO WATCH
5TH -- GRAZENETTE (Grzazen) made a big move entering the stretch and powered home a sharp winner going away under Joe Talamo. The Phil d'Amato trainee showed nice improvement off of her last and we've always though this one had some ability.
7TH -- ALEXIS TANGIER (Tiznow) proved more than capable of handling this route event with a solid allowance tally for conditioner Richard Mandella. The sophomore filly was patient after a good break, inched to the lead in early stretch and then powered home to a fine tally beneath Victor Espinoza.
5TH -- ASHLEY'S SASSY (Decarchy) built upon a solid debut try with a very professional tally to break her maiden for conditioner Peter Eurton. The juvenile miss shrugged off a pair of challengers leading up to the top of the lane and kept to task without being seriously threatened late. She could evolve into a stakes horse with more seasoning.
5TH -- Trainer Peter Miller wisely claimed PASSING GAME (Game Plan) out of this one, as the peaking sort ran a third straight big race on this main oval this summer. We're not sure if the gelding is only a Del Mar specialist or has simply morphed into a nice runner, but he's one we want in our shedrow right now.
2ND -- While we pretty convinced she didn't beat a great field in this maiden run, the 6 3/4-length romp by PLAY HARD TO GET (Purim) was still very impressive from a visual standpoint. The Eric Kruljac trainee made a big move approaching the turn for home and stayed on with it, decimating this field with ease. We'd imagine the gelding will be one to watch with winners next out.
4TH -- A C Avila's MASOCHISTIC (Sought After) should be headed for stakes foes last time after a third straight wire-to-wire tally following this effort, which he won with ease. The four-year-old gelding has been incredibly sharp following his debut run and beat a pair of decent runners in this dash.
1ST -- CONQUEST PANTHERA (Kitten's Joy) lived up to the hype when exploding once clear in the lane en route to a sharp debut tally for conditioner Mark Casse. The juvenile colt was hammered down at first asking and should be in the stakes ranks next time.
2ND --BEE BRAVE (Rail Link) was stuck for most of the stretch run, but once clear the import proved much the best. We're not very fond of the field the Simon Callaghan trainee toppled in here, but is was a second straight positive step and she could be tough right back.
6TH -- This was a big day for Cassidy, who also saddle a sharp first time winner in INTO OBLIVION (Into Mischief), who was much the best late. The juvenile filly might turn out to be a nice one, as we're not sure we've ever seen a first-time winner at the special weight level from this barn.
A Look Ahead
The Grade 1, $300,000 Del Mar Debutante will top the racing on Saturday here. Sunday will play host to the Grade 2, $300,000 Del Mar Derby and the Grade 3, $100,000 Torrey Pines Stakes -- while the Labor Day feature is the Grade 2, $200,000 Yellow Ribbon Handicap. Racing wraps up next Wednesday with the annual closing-day, the Grade 1, $300,000 Del Mar Futurity.
Click here for the monthly August Calendar
(through August 25, 2014)
Note: Figures are for North American-based racing
Top Speed/Class ratings
TOP BRIS CLASS RATINGS
*all times Eastern
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