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Habibti Returns to Del Mar

September 08, 2002|BOB MIESZERSKI

Before Janet and Voodoo Dancer get together in what is essentially a match race in the $150,000 Palomar Handicap and before the mules Black Ruby and Taz renew acquaintances in what is a match race, Habibti will make her comeback for trainer Bob Baffert in the $75,000 Torrey Pines Stakes today at Del Mar.

At this time last year, the Tabasco Cat filly was unbeaten, having followed up her maiden victory with a two-length win in the Del Mar Debutante.

Habibti has run only five times since the Debutante, winning once when beating You in the Hollywood Starlet on Dec. 16.

Mike Smith will ride Habibti for the first time in the one-mile Torrey Pines. Her opponents include Ms Louisett, Bare Necessities, Ragin T Rex, Got Koko, Ponche De Leona, Tamarack Bay, Runaway Pro and Candor. The Torrey Pines is the third leg of a Pick Six that has a carry-over of $524,884.

Another talented 3-year-old filly will be in action on the other coast. Wonder Again, who may be the best member of her class on the turf, seeks her fourth consecutive win.

Owned by Joan and John Phillips and trained by Jimmy Toner, the daughter of Silver Hawk has won three of four since being switched to the grass and she will have nine opponents in the $250,000 Garden City Breeders' Cup Handicap, a Grade I at 1 1/8 miles.

Race of the day: A field of 13 will get together in the $1-million Atto Mile at Woodbine in Toronto. Corey Nakatani will ride Touch Of The Blues for trainer Neil Drysdale; Gary Stevens will handle Nuclear Debate for trainer Darrell Vienna. The top contenders in the grassy Grade I are Noverre, Del Mar Show and Good Journey.

Who's hot: Patrick Husbands. He is the runaway leader in the jockey standings at Woodbine with 114 victories.

Who's not: Adalberto Lopez. The jockey lost with his first 18 mounts at Bay Meadows.

Exotically speaking: A trifecta in the Atto Mile keying Noverre on top to Good Journey, Touch Of The Blues, Strut The Stage and Del Mar Show in the two hole and all in the third spot.

Winners: Previous day/meet total: 4/82. Money: Previous day/meet total: $21.60/$469.60. Total money bet: $702.

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