July 17, 2024

Debutante, John C. Mabee highlight final Saturday of Del Mar summer

Going Global with Umberto Rispoli riding wins the Yellow Ribbon at Del Mar (Photo by Horsephotos.com)

Del Mar Debutante (G1) — Race 8 (7:30 p.m. ET)

Trainer Doug O’Neill will look to break Bob Baffert’s recent stranglehold on the $300,000 Del Mar Debutante (G1) with the undefeated Vegas Magic on Saturday.

Vegas Magic, who has started her career 3-for-3, breaks from post 1 in the seven-furlong Debutante, which Baffert has won the past three years. After a maiden score at Santa Anita in June, Vegas Magic followed up with a photo-finish win against males in the Everett Nevin S. at Pleasanton, and most recently landed the Sorrento (G2) at Del Mar by 1 1/4 lengths.

Baffert will be represented by Fast and Shiny and Home Cooking, both of whom graduated earlier at the meet. Fast and Shiny won at first asking going five furlongs in early August, while Home Cooking rebounded from a meet-opening loss to earn her diploma by more than nine lengths three weeks ago.

And Tell Me Nolies and Ice Dancing finished one-three in an Aug. 14 maiden, while Kissed by Fire was second on debut behind the highly-rated Justique, who was briefly sidelined in advance of the Debutante. The lone shipper in the field of eight is Arella Star, who graduate at Gulfstream second out in late July.

John C. Mabee S. (G2) — Race 9 (8 p.m. ET)

Going Global was an easy, odds-on winner of the Yellow Ribbon H. (G2) earlier in the Del Mar meet, and might be a similarly short price in the $250,000 John C. Mabee S. (G2) over 1 1/8 miles on the turf.

A three-length winner of the Yellow Ribbon over returning rival Avenue de France, Going Global has won two of her three starts this year, also accounting for the Royal Heroine (G2) at Santa Anita in April. She’s also won three times of her four lifetime outings on the local turf, having captured the Del Mar Oaks (G1) and Goldikova (G2) last season.

Grade 1 veteran Going to Vegas, who won the Mabee last year, also figures to be well-backed in the wagering. She has finished second in all three outings this year, including in the May 30 Gamely (G1) in her most recent start. Going to Vegas out-finished Going Global by one length for the place in that Santa Anita fixture.

The other grass stakes on the card is the $100,000 Del Mar Juvenile Fillies Turf at one mile. Trainer Phil D’Amato saddles three Irish imports — Comanche Country, Thebestisyettobe, and Excelia — while Leonard Powell has entered Havana Angel, who was Group 3-placed in France when last seen in June.