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Baffert Closes With a Field Day

Horse racing: Trainer, with five entries in eight-horse Futurity, takes top four spots as Del Mar meet concludes.

September 12, 2002|BILL CHRISTINE | TIMES STAFF WRITER

DEL MAR — Trainer Bob Baffert not only had the best horse in the Del Mar Futurity, he had the best four horses.

Running an unprecedented five horses in the eight-horse meet-ending stake Wednesday, Baffert won the $250,000 race with Icecoldbeeratreds, and following the winner across the line were Kafwain, Chief Planner and Friendly Mike, who also come from the Baffert barn. Baffert's other starter, Bull Market, went off the 5-2 favorite and ran sixth.

Icecoldbeeratreds, owned by Mike Pegram and ridden by David Flores, gave Baffert his seventh Futurity victory in a row. He hasn't been beaten in the stake since Future Quest won in 1995 and Baffert's Cavonnier finished third. Baffert's first Futurity winner, Silver Charm, won the 1996 Futurity and in 1997 won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness.

On the first Sept. 11 anniversary, Del Mar made two observances. Before the races, there was a helicopter flyover, a raising of the flag to half-staff and 15 jockeys dressed in red-white-and-blue silks standing in the winner's circle for the singing of the national anthem by Jeff Ewert, a Chula Vista fireman.

Later, between races, a giant flag was unfurled before the crowd of 14,921 by dozens of firefighters and police officers.

They were joined by a special detachment of their counterparts from New York, where terrorists struck a year ago. The flag, 100 by 50 yards, covered an area from the sixteenth pole to the finish line, and from the outer rail to the tote board.

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In other closing-day stakes at Del Mar, D'wildcat, after Devine Wind was disqualified for interference in the stretch, won the $76,425 Live The Dream Handicap and Palmarola beat Fancee Bargain by half a length in the $75,000 California Equine Retirement Foundation Handicap.

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With telephone and internet betting available for the first time at Del Mar, averaging more than $584,000 a day, the meet ended with an overall $12.1 million daily average, a 2% increase over last year. The on-track daily attendance averaged 15,518, an increase of less than 1%. The on-track handle averaged $2.2 million, a drop of about 1%.

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Magic Weisner, recovering from the West Nile virus, will be returned to his barn at Laurel Park today.

Veterinarians say the 3-year-old gelding's recovery prospects are good and they believe that the horse could race again.

Magic Weisner ran second in the Preakness, was fourth in the Belmont and won the Ohio Derby.

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(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)

*--* Del Mar Leaders The leading jockeys and trainers for the 2002 Del Mar meeting, which ended Wednesday: JOCKEYS Name St 1st 2nd 3rd Win% Pat Valenzuela 245 46 40 37 18.8% Alex Solis 209 34 45 30 16.3% Victor Espinoza 190 33 22 21 17.4% Laffit Pincay Jr 192 32 29 29 16.7% David Flores 144 29 16 23 20.1% K. Desormeaux 180 27 19 30 15% Corey Nakatani 157 26 24 22 16.5% Mike Smith 150 22 24 20 14.7% E. Delahoussaye 112 19 14 17 16.9% Martin Pedroza 120 13 10 15 10.8% TRAINERS Name St 1st 2nd 3rd Win% Bob Baffert 134 30 22 21 22.3% Bill Spawr 92 16 15 16 17.3% John Sadler 65 13 9 9 20% Ron McAnally 56 10 12 1 18.5% Vladimir Cerin 33 8 8 6 24.2% Craig Lewis 50 8 3 8 16% Jack Carava 55 8 6 12 15.1% Bob Hess Jr 57 8 9 8 14% James Chapman 17 7 2 1 41.8% Warren Stute 25 7 2 0 28% Julio Canani 39 7 7 6 17.9% Bobby Frankel 44 7 5 9 15.9%

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Racing Schedule

* Friday: The 17-day L.A. County Fair meeting begins at Fairplex Park in Pomona.

* Oct. 2: Racing returns to Santa Anita with opening of Oak Tree meeting.

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